'Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences'

Posts Tagged ‘Zooey Deschanel

Intercontinental Idols – this top 5 would certainly a talent competition make

with 5 comments

I wonder whether the zany allure of Zooey Deschanel would win her hearts and a hypothetical place, on one of the many and varied TV talent shows of today? Surely her perfect musical pairing with M. Ward (Matthew Stephen Ward) would secure her a place through to the live shows, where we could become smitten with her beguiling glances and addicted to the indie angst that her voice exudes. I’m pretty certain that Deschanel would never and will never have to venture down the reality show route in any case, not least due to the success of her aforementioned band of two; She & Him.


After collaborating with Gary Lightbody et al on supergroup Tired Pony‘s debut album, She & Him return with a festive offering for their quirky Folk followers. ‘A Very She & Him Christmas’ was released on October 24th, 2011 in the US and is also available to purchase online. The 12-track covers record features such Christmas classics as ‘The Christmas Song’, ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’, all performed with their trademark subtle wit and wonder. This record would be the perfect backdrop to your Yuletide merriment; light and carefree on the build-up, fast-paced fun when you hit your festive social stride, then rejoicefully reflective in its resolve.

It was Snow Patrol lead singer, Gary Lightbody, that gave me the title inspiration for this piece; I’ve seen the Irishman in somewhat of a deity capacity for several years now. I recently had a conversation about idols: what constitutes and typifies an idol, what makes someone an idol to one and a nobody to another and what would I actually say to one of my idols? For me, an idol is someone that I respect, who is possessing of qualities which I admire and aspire to have and typically, someone who I would be completely dumbfounded to meet in person. Lightbody encompasses all of the above in my case: he’s creative, intelligent, quick-witted, unassuming and Irish (a common theme in my idol rule book)…need there be any further criteria?!


Snow Patrol’s latest 14-track record, ‘Fallen Empires’ was released earlier this month and is currently continuing to reside in the top ten of the UK album charts.  The second single to be released from the album is ‘This Isn’t Everything You Are’ and it would be fair to say that I am rather taken with it. It is unequivocally Snow Patrol and Lightbody at their very best. Some of my best memories of a live show have been at Snow Patrol headline gigs and festival slots. The emotion of the lyrics and power of the band’s performance combine to produce something quite special. I can’t wait to hear the tracks from ‘Fallen Empires’ performed live early next year.

I have always preferred Marina & the Diamonds to Florence and the Machine; I find Marina’s voice more pleasing to hear, warmer and more emotive somehow. I can sense her passion when she performs, whereas I’ve always found the more abstract Welch to be trying that little bit too hard. A personal deconstruction, perhaps. Marina releases her second album in early 2012, which has been given the title, ‘Electra Heart.’ A demo has recently been released on her official website of a new single; ‘Starring Role.’ The follow-up to ‘Radioactive’; this track is perhaps more typically pop than her usual electro-pop offerings and I like it. I like it a lot.


I bought Lisa Hannigan‘s second album, ‘Passenger’ a couple of weeks ago and have been listening to it every day since. I have a couple of favourites, of which ‘Paper House’ is definitely one. I’ve always dreamt of moving to Dublin, living in an apartment and taking autumnal walks around Trinity College – perhaps one day I’ll get there, but for now I’m content to listen to Hannigan’s tale of similar surroundings and pursuits. If she is also looking for a lodger in said paper house, I am most interested…have ferry fare, will travel.


You will probably be familiar with the work of Christina Perri courtesy of previously mentioned tv talent shows; her hit single ‘Jar Of Hearts’ has been covered on both sides of the Atlantic recently. Perri is a 25-year old singer songwriter from Philadelphia who has only relatively recently rose to fame in the US, on the back of the single being aired on various hit shows on the Fox network. Perri released her debut album, ‘Lovestrong’ in May 2011 and has been compared to Folk favourite, Natalie Merchant.


Perri wrote a song for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn official soundtrack, entitled ‘A Thousand Years.’ The track doesn’t appear on ‘Lovestrong’  but gives listeners a good idea of ‘la douleur exquise’ to expect from Perri’s album of love and heartbreak. I think the music world will be seeing a lot more of Perri in the years to come.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

November 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm

New tracks I like from: Tired Pony, Eliza Doolittle and James Blunt

leave a comment »

Oh sorry, I got a bit distracted there…are we back to me? Oh what a dream collaboration this is; my two favourite Irish singers; Gary Lightbody and Lisa Hannigan, reunited (were they ever apart?) once more to perform the second single from Tired Pony’s debut album ‘The Place We Ran From.’ ‘Get On The Road’ is released as a download in an exclusive iTunes bundle (including a non-album track “Silver Atoms,” plus the video for “Get On The Road“) on September 26th, 2010.) The album track is actually a duet between Lightbody and Zooey Deschanel, who is equally as mesmerising a performer as Hannigan, but Lisa will always have a special place in my heart; her debut album ‘Sea Sew’ is one of my top 3 favourite albums ever. I can’t wait for her next installment. Lightbody’s lyrical perfection and Hannigan’s  intoxicating elegance, coupled with their obvious chemistry, make this one of my tracks of the year.
Eliza Doolittle follows up her Top 5 chart-dwelling, chirpy classic ‘Pack Up’ with the equally catchy Rollerblades‘ (released October 18th, 2010). I really like Doolittle’s upbeat, addictive tone and think she shows great promise for the future, with her already critic-friendly and well-mastered songwriting finesse. Doolittle’s self-titled debut album has spent the last ten weeks in the Top 20 and isn’t showing signs of slippage at the moment. I’d recommend giving it a listen; a surefire way to brighten up your Monday.
James Blunt’s ‘Back to Bedlam’ was the success story of 2005;  topping the albums charts of over ten countries. The record was the highest-selling album that year in the UK, with almost 2.4 million copies, and was the best selling album of the decade in the UK. My favourite track from the album is ‘Tears and Rain’; in no small part due to the fact that it namechecks the main character from my favourite book ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray.’ ‘Stay The Night’ (released October 25th, 2010) is the first single from Blunt’s upcoming album‘Some Kind of Trouble’ (released in the UK on November 8th, 2010.) Blunt’s vocals are so distinctive, you couldn’t confuse him with any other male artist around at the moment. I look forward to more classic Bluntesque melodies and lovestruck lines from this new album.

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

September 20, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Tired Pony’s new album ‘The Place We Ran From’ – out 12.07.10

with 2 comments

Tired Pony, 'The Place We Ran From', out 12th July 2010

In May 2009, Gary Lightbody expressed his love for country music during an interview and his intention to record a country album. In the October of 2009, he announced the members of a ‘supergroup’ who he had brought together to record this album. They were: Peter Buck of R.E.M, Iain Archer, Richard Colburn of Belle & Sebastian and producer Garret Lee. Contributions to this album also came from She and Him duo M Ward and Zooey Deschanel and Tom Smith of Editors. The group would be called Tired Pony.

Now it was a few years before that, when I expressed my love for both Gary Lightbody and his songwriting; so it comes as no surprise to me that I think this album is simply rather marvellous. I love country music, as well as the combination of Lightbody’s vocals and the sweeping lyrical imagery of dusty american plains and quaint little watering holes, ringing out with the sound of strings and the smell of sarsaparilla…I have seen Calamity Jane far too many times…‘Oh the Deadwood Stage is a-rollin’ on over the plains, with the curtains flappin’ and the driver slappin’ the reins. Beautiful sky! A wonderful day! Whip crack-away! Whip crack-away, Whip crack-away!’

God I love that movie and the exceptional Doris Day.  

But back to Tired Pony.

The band’s debut album ‘The Place We Ran From’ hits the shops and the net next Monday 12th July 2010.  For a sneak preview please follow the link below to their official You Tube page:

My favourite tracks on first listen are ‘Dead American Writers’, ‘Point Me At Lost Islands’, ‘Get On The Road’ and ‘Held In The Arms Of Your Words.’ Vintage Lightbody at his songwriting best; I could truly listen to this man all day and never get bored; singing, talking, blogging, humming whilst ironing his sweatervests…but enough of my idol worship!

Tired Pony’s debut single ‘Dead American Writers’ is available to download now and I am sure a series of live dates will follow. I’ll be first in line that’s for sure.


The Temper Trap

leave a comment »

The summer of 2009 was a great time for music and film; two of my particular favourite occurences being the arrival of and subsequent hysteria surrounding The Temper Trap and also the UK release of ‘500 Days of Summer.’ It just so happened that these two exciting events were not un-related, with The Temper Trap’s debut single ‘Sweet Disposition’ playing a pivotal and recurring role in the indie anti-romcom spectacular. If you haven’t seen the film I strongly urge you to, especially if, like me, you’re a fan of anything slightly off the wall, dark-humoured and ironic which features Zooey Deschanel and a whole raft of silly song and dance spectacles. 

Why can't elaborate, impromptu song and dance routines happen in real life?

But back to Australia’s finest export since Castlemaine XXXX and Alf  ‘stone the flamin’ crows!’ Stewart. The Temper Trap have gone from strength to strength since their debut single, which still sounds as fresh today as it continues to dominate the air waves. Their talent for atmospheric sounds and sun-drenched heart thumping rhythms was further proved when they released their debut album ‘Conditions’ in the summer of 2009, which has since reached platinum status. 

I caught the band live on a supporting slot for Florence and the Machine in December 2009 and they were amazing. The crowd had clearly come to see them as much as the headliner, in fact I would say that the reception and appreciation for these guys was louder and more constant, therefore definitely rivalling that of the main act. 

‘Sweet Disposition’ has been used on several tv advertisements, including that of the V Festival in 2009; perhaps inevitable then that the band would appear on the line-up this year, as so many people already associate the song with the Chelmsford/Weston fun-time fiesta. A slew of supporting slots and a selection of headlining shows followed, culminating in a headlining tour of the UK taking place at the moment. If you get the chance to see this band live I would certainly recommend you taking it up; you will be guaranteed a night of electric moments, effervescent melodies and a feel good ending which will leave you on a high for days to come.

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

May 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm

%d bloggers like this: