Album of the Week 010 ~ My Universe by The Shires



Album: My Universe by The Shires

Release Date: September 2016

My Favourite Tracks: Beats To Your Rhythm, Not Even Drunk Right Now, A Thousand Hallelujahs

Album Notes

I’m off to see The Shires again next week, so I thought it was about time that I had a listen to their second album.

I first discovered them having heard them on Bob Harris Country on Radio 2 a few years ago. Since then, I have been to see them numerous times (I think I’m up to four), and I just think they are great.

My Universe is much of the same as what has come before, which sounds derogatory, but isn’t. It’s a great blend of the vocals of Chrissie and Ben, who make up the band, and the songs are a great example of UK country music; they sound like true Southern US country songs but with that something slightly different that comes from being from somewhere else.

I’m really looking forward to heading to see them again next week, as well as stuff from the new album, I’m hoping to hear my favourites from the first one!

Album of the Week 002 ~ A Very Kacey Christmas by Kacey Musgraves


Album : A Very Kacey Christmas by Kacey Musgraves

Release Date : October 2016

My Favourite Tracks : Present Without a Bow, Ribbons and Bows, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

Album Notes

A Very Kacey Christmas is actually the album that gave me the idea for doing this album a week blog post – I saw that she was releasing it and I saved it for the last week in November to listen to it!

It’s an excellent addition to the plethora of Christmas albums that have come before it. From the seasonal standards like Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Let It Snow and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, to the original songs written by Kacey herself. These are some of my favourites on the album – I love the classics but the new songs are great. Present Without a Bow features Leon Bridges, a gospel and soul singer whose voice is just a delight (I’ll be exploring his albums throughout the year, I’m sure). A Willie Nice Christmas is a fun track featuring Willie Nelson, while Christmas Makes Me Cry is a more melancholy look at the festive season. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas is the earworm from the album, and it’s a lot of fun!

Kacey Musgraves is a country singer, but to me, this isn’t a country Christmas album per se. It seems to be just be a collection of songs that Kacey loves, along with those she has written for the album. It’s helping to get me in the festive spirit, and I know that some of these tracks will be upgraded to my regular Christmas playlist for many years to come.

Now Listening ~ The Shires

It’s not often I talk directly about music on this here blog. It’s not because I don’t love music, because, of course I do. I’ve written before about my evolving music tastes (something I was thinking about earlier as I listened to a Smiths song – something my fifteen-year-old self would never have done!), the simple pleasure of listening to a favourite song and singing along very loud, and the ten best solo Spice Girls singles.

All of that preamble is a way of saying that sometimes I like to write about music, when I find something I truly, truly love, and want to share with the world. Or at least the readers of this blog. And that’s what I am doing today, but I’ll stop short of pretending that I’m going to make a regular series out of it, because I’m rubbish at making a regular series out of anything.

First up, we have The Shires. I heard them on Bob Harris Country (how far into a post did you think we were going to get before I mentioned Radio 2?), and since them their song Nashville Grey Skies has obviously been added to the BBC playlist, because it’s getting an awful lot of airtime. I also just listened to it three times in a row on Spotify. I’m obsessed!

The Shires are a British band, and they are actually the first ever UK country act to be signed to a major Nashville label. If you have a listen to their song, you’ll understand why. They are just about to record their debut album in Nashville, and I can’t wait. On the basis of Nashville Grey Skies, I’m sure it’s going to be amazing.

If you want to take a listen to The Shires on Bob Harris Country, you can do so here. And if you’re a country fan and you’re not already listening to Bob Harris on a regular basis, you’re missing out. He’s my second favourite Radio 2 DJ.