Music

Z is for Hans Zimmer

I love film scores, they’re the best thing to listen to while writing in my opinion. There’s so many brilliant composers out there but Hans Zimmer is my favourite. I saw him live a few years ago at Hammersmith in London and it was the best experience, and probably my favourite gig I’ve ever been to. I wrote (more like gushed) about his concert on my blog here.

He’s composed so many iconic scores, from the superhero films like the Dark Knight Trilogy, Man of Steel, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, to epic films like Inception, The Last Samurai and Gladiator. He spans all genres, has worked with so many great directors and still manages to bring something new and different to each of the films he works on.

I find it hard to pick a favourite soundtrack of his. I think The Dark Knight was the first film score I bought so that has a special place in my heart, The Lion King gives me goose bumps and I adore both Sherlock Holmes and Inception.

I love how kind of mainstream Hans Zimmer is becoming. He’s got a world tour this year and he performed at Coachella a few weeks ago – can you imagine a film composer performing his scores with a full orchestra at a music festival like Coachella a few years ago? It’s kind of mad but brilliant. It makes people listen to the scores, and seeing all those people on stage really shows how much time, effort and people power it takes to make a film score.

Below is a compilation of some of Hans Zimmer’s best, or most famous, film scores – I’ve been listening to it as I write this post!

R is for Rag’n’Bone Man

This guy is my new favourite artist when it comes to music. His voice is amazing and he’s breaking records, achieving number ones and winning awards left, right and centre. His music is soulful and heartfelt and kind of beautiful in my opinion.

The single Human went to number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and peaked at number 1 in eleven countries while his debut album, also titled Human, was the fastest-selling debut album by a male act during the 2010s! He even beat the likes of Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith! Now that is some achievement. This year at the BRIT Awards he won both British Breakthrough Act and the Critics’ Choice Award, tying with David Bowie for the most wins of the night.

Human was the first song of his I heard and I instantly sat up and took notice. It’s such a different sort of song to what I’d heard before and I love the bass beat. Skin is the latest single to be released and it’s just as wonderful. His debut album is brilliant and I’m currently recommending to everyone. I think if you like acts like Bastille and like soulful voices then you should definitely give Rag’n’Bone Man a listen.

I love his entire album so much it was so hard to choose which song to include in this post. Bitter End and Arrow are two of my favourites from his album but I had to choose Human – it the first song of his I heard and it still gives me shivers.

Q is for Queen

No, not her majesty of Great Britain but Queen the band. Even though Freddie Mercury dies just a couple of months after I was born, I’ve grown up listening to his music. This is thanks to my mum, she’s a huge Queen fan so she’d have the cassette tapes (then the CD’s) playing in the car when I was little. We would sing along and it cemented my love for the band.

I think it’s brilliant that so many Queen songs have become an everyday part of our lives. We Are the Champions is sung at spot events, and so many of their songs have been featured in films. Bohemian Rhapsody in Wayne’s World, Somebody to Love in Ella Enchanted, We Will Rock You in A Knight’s Tale and so many more. It always puts a smile on my face when I hear a Queen song in a film or TV show.

It’s pretty impossible to choose a favourite Queen song, there’s so many of them that I even forget a few of them. I love the headbangers, the proper sing-along songs and the ballads, I love them all. So, I had to go with a medley of songs and what better than Queen’s performance at Live Aid in 1985. I love watching their performance, Freddie Mercury has the audience in the palm of his hand and I love when they all clap along in perfect time to Radio Ga Ga – both in the audience at Wembley and all the way in Philadelphia. The Audience Improve part gives me shivers every time I see it.

O is for On a Mission by Gabriella Climi

So this song is one of my favourite feel-good, motivational songs. I’m not sure how I discovered it but it was during my University days. It became part of the soundtrack to my final year of Uni, especially when I was writing my dissertation.

I’d play it as I was getting all my stuff ready to leave my flat to head to the library for the day. It would get me all pumped and motivated, feeling like I was going to achieve something that day.

On a Mission will always bring back strangely fond memories of studying in the library for hours with my friends. While no doubt I was stressed and worried about my dissertations and the various essays I was writing, I still had a lot of fun writing in the library with my best friend sat next to me, bouncing ideas off each other. The song was (and still is) a part of my Kick-Ass Inspirational Playlist and even today if I need a boost I’ll listen to that playlist and it helps me throw my shoulders back, stand tall and get on with whatever I was putting off in my life.

I is for Imagine Dragons

I love this band a lot, so much so it’s caused me a major dilemma as to which song to include in this post. I love so many of their songs, there’s songs like Radioactive which are so well known now and then there’s song like Bet My Life which I forget is an Imagine Dragons song but it’s still super catchy.

I like how their music is featured on so many big films. There’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Iron Man 3 and many more. They’ve made so many great songs that you can see the lyrics being used on fandom gifsets – that’s how I think An artist has made it, when their lyrics are used for someone’s OTP.

I saw Imagine Dragons live in 2013 in London and it’s still one of the best concerts I’ve been to. Dan Reynolds was just full of energy, jumping all over the stage while singing and banging drums – I don’t know how he did it. He’s a brilliant showman and it was a brilliant show. I especially loved how there were people of all ages in the crowd, young teens with parents, twenty-odd year olds and “proper adults” as I call them.

I can’t wait till their third album is finally released. It feels like there’s been talk of it for ages but when the single Believer was released it made it all seem a bit closer and more real. I love this single (even though I often get tongue-tied trying to sing along to it) and I love how it continues the band’s tradition of making kind of weird yet striking music videos.

G is for Grounds for Divorce by Elbow

I think this song came to my attention after the instrumental bits were used in multiple film trailers as well as the song being used in TV shows at pivotal moments. It definitely has a movie connotation in my mind because it’s a part of my “Songs from Films” playlist on my phone.

Anyway. It’s one of my favourites and listening to it gets me pumped. I think it’s the beat to it and the guitar, it’s just got such a good tune. Grounds for Divorce is the sort of song that I like to listen to as I’m walking down the street because it makes me feel confident. It’s the sort of song I imagine playing in the background as I do something amazing or badass, or rather it makes the mundane feel more badass.

That’s probably a weird thing to say since the song’s about an unhappy relationship but it does make me feel strong and confident.

A is for Alive by Sia

This song man. I love it so much. I don’t even know if this post will adequately put across how much I love it or how it makes me feel but I’ll try my best.

Alive has been out for a couple of years now and while I’m sure I heard it back in 2015 and liked it, it wasn’t till mid-2016 that I properly fell for the song. Maybe it’s because at that point I was almost a year being unemployed so the never give up feeling of the song started to resonate with me more. Just listening to it would give me a boost as I’d sing and dance around my living room.

I think that is one of the things that makes me love it so much. You can just scream/sing along to it knowing that you’ve survived whatever’s been thrown at you and you’re still strong and moving on. It’s a great feel-good song, but you can also feel the pain as well thanks to Sia’s amazing vocals.

Alive is fast becoming one of my all-time favourite songs, it’s powerful, emotional and is just a great piece of music. I love it more than words can describe.