Three albums have graced my life here recently. I was pretty fixated on the new album by 10 Years, (How to Live) As Ghosts. And I revisited Dorothy’s Rock is Dead and ZZ Ward’s Til the Casket Drops, two of my favorites from the last couple of years. If you’re at all familiar with any of these artists, you know how much they vary from one another. 10 Years is a rock band, Dorothy is a bluesy rock singer, and ZZ Ward is straight up blues, with some pop and R&B mixed in for good measure.
What can I say? I have different moods and the different sounds balance my moods. I’m not currently listening to blues ’cause I’m sad. I think it’s because I’m calm and accepting of what’s going on. Maybe. I can’t fully explain what makes me listen to what I do. It’s just what I feel when I start my day, what moves me. So maybe it’s the drums driving me, the sound of the guitars of 10 Years. . . Or ZZ’s blues, or the angry soulful sound of Dorothy. I’ve been bouncing between the three for a couple weeks now.
What catches me about 10 Years is his utterly amazing vocals and the lyrics. (How to live) as Ghosts is an album about dealing with your demons. I mentioned in a previous post that I was still trying to wrap my head around the lyrics, and that’s still true. It just occured to me after listening to it for over a week what most of the songs were about. I could listen to this album for a month and still not 100% get it without looking up the lyrics and analyzing them. The sound just feels good, though. Not too angry, enough guitar to satisfy my craving, and a hard enough sound behind the drums to drive me. And the bits of the lyrics that speak to me help me see that I’m not alone in being haunted by my past. Others actions, my own actions, their faults, my own. . . And accepting that you can let it haunt you and hold you back, or you can grow from it. Haunted. Living as Ghosts. Got it.
Dorothy is one of the sexiest, realest women to grace music in a long time. Real as in she’s true to herself. Black hair, red lips on the band’s debut album, and now a more natural look as the band evolves. . . and a voice that burns your soul. She’s angry and raw, but not in that screaming rock music way. The first time I heard her, I was listening to a random station on Slacker, trying to find some new music. Mascara wand posed to my eyeball, I stopped in my upward motion and stood staring at my reflection in awe. What was I hearing? Old music from my parents era? New, from my own? It was impossible to tell. There’s an old feel to her sound, and it spoke to me down to my core. She’s a helluva artist. Rock is Dead definitely shows that Rock is indeed very much alive, and women can hold their own in the genre. She makes it her own with the blues influence that is very apparent in the album. Rock is Dead focuses primarily on the fact that if a man can’t accept you for who you are – the good, the bad, and the ugly – then he isn’t worth keeping around. I can get behind that 100%.
If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that Dorothy (my friend) And I went to see ZZ Ward in concert a couple months back. She recently released The Storm, but during this past long weekend I visited her first album Til the Casket Drops. As I said, she’s a blues singer, with bayou influences, mixed with pop and R&B. She plays multiple instruments fluently, and owns the stage. Soulful and sad, or driving the beat with her voice, you really can’t go wrong with this album. She speaks to every aspect if who I am – the hopeless romantic or the vengeful bitch. Giddy in love, or heartbroken. Participant in infidelity or victim. . . She covers it all. The album is about all aspects and stages of being in love and involved with another human being. And no matter where you’re at – currently in love or going through a breakup, etc., – it doesn’t matter. She transports you, makes you feel what she’s singing. Seeing her perform it all on stage, watching her bounce from guitar to harmonica to piano, all the while singing. . . And she’s just a little younger than me. It simultaneously makes me ashamed that I didn’t follow my heritage in music, and hopeful that real music is still a thing.
Since I started writing this a couple days ago, I have also added a Godsmack greatest hits album to my list and two Pretty Reckless albums. I’m sure I will write on these artists in the future. I needed to call out my inner bad ass these last couple days, and these artists do it for me.
Pardon the all over the place music post. Sometimes, that’s just me. Sometimes I need a little bit of everything to get me through and push me forward and inspire me to get up and do it all again.
Have a favorite album? Feel free to share. I’m always looking for something new, or a reason to listen to something from before.