Hating Pop Music Does Not Make You Holier Than Thou

I’m driving 70 down I-75, contemplating if I want to reach for the radio dial, but I ultimately decide that I don’t, for you see I’m left with a choice. Do I want to purposely subject myself to the pointless dribble that the mainstream wants to call “music” or do I want to continue to sit on my high horse, listening to the same 5 indie pop songs because I have this idea of complex superiority that the average pop music listener will never understand.


Photo by Samuel Burress Johnson

The year is 2013 and I can’t be bothered by anything that isn’t Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, or The Neighbourhood. Yeah, I may only know songs such as Sweather Weather, Do I Wanna Know, or Chocolate, but that doesn’t matter; because I listen what I like to call, “Pop music with substance.” I may only know their singles, but I’m going to act as if I’ve been a fan of this band since their first EP, despite the fact I really don’t know a single word being said in Chocolate.


Photo by Bring Me The Horizon

The year is  now 2014 and I’ve decided to give into my angsty teen years at 18, basically had a membership at Hot Topic and you couldn’t scroll through my Instagram without seeing me in a black T Shirt that had a band name in a font that looked like an unorganized cluster of dead branches. Okay, so I may not be able to understand exactly what the frontman is screaming at me, but I’m sure it has meaning and it’s not just about cheesy lyrics and unrequited love.

I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s all I had associated with pop music. Cheesy lyrics and unrequited love.
Pop music, as it is defined, is “a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s​.” It is a genre of music that has had many artists become the face of it. In the 1950’s, we had the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee and many more representing the face of what is now, traditional pop.

We then went through different eras of music, the 60’s was filled with what we now called Classic Rock, though it was just Rock to them. The 70’s had a hyperactive craze surrounding disco and big afros and bell bottom jeans.

Then came that of the 80’s and those that are now considered “Synthpop”, reigned over the genre. You had acts such Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, and a-ha; and yes, even though Take On Me was the only successful hit of a-ha, you can’t deny that you enjoy singing along.

The 90’s was a fast paced time filled with alternative rock music that most punk bands now try to resurrect, and a type of hip hop/rap that most of us can only wish we could hear once again on the radio.

However, what most pop music haters don’t seem to realize is that, at one point, most of the songs we know were in fact, popular. They may not be considered what the industry now considers “pop music” but it was popular nonetheless and we don’t feel the need to invalidate that artistry, so why do we do so today?

The year is now 2017 and I’m actually heartbroken I didn’t buy tickets to see The Vamps when they came to my town. I now happily belt out the words to “That’s My Girl” by Fifth Harmony, I’m not afraid to say that I love “Purpose” by Justin Bieber, and I’m not afraid to say that I’m more than excited to see Harry Styles next year. Pop music does not mean you have a manufactured taste in music, it simply means you enjoy what’s popular; and what’s wrong with that?


Photo by Fifth Harmony


I Love This Band And You Should Too: Sons of An Illustrious Father

This past April, a friend of mine and I traveled almost four hours to see a band that goes by the name, Sons of An Illustrious Father; and this names only scratches the surface of the depth of creativity this band possesses.

Sons of an Illustrious Father are a three pieced band based out of Brooklyn, New York. The three members; Lilah Larson, Josh Aubin and Ezra Miller all bring a personal flair to the collective, but also remained unanimous in their powerful sound.

I was introduced to Sons of an Illustrious Father sometime late 2016, and the first song I listened to was a song entitled, “Very Few Dancers” and wow, what an introduction it was. The song consisted of quick paced lyrics with a driving instrumentation force behind them and I can happily say this is a band that mirrors that same energy when performing.

What I really love about this band, and what I feel makes them stand out from most bands today, is that they aren’t afraid to get political and speak up about social injustice. They’re not afraid to discuss the overwhelming tension of current race relations, about our the lack of structure in our current political climate. The middle of the performance was graced with a beautiful rendition of “Ella’s Song” originally performed by Sweet Honey and it made me realize just how much I love this band.

Being an avid concert goer, I’m used to hearing the same speech about how “music can bring us together” and “despite what’s happening in the world we can always rely on music to provide solidarity”, which I agree with, but it’s nice to see people with a platform and a following not sugarcoat what’s happening to the world right now and want to act as ally and take a stand against injustice.

I love this band because they are a band that refuses to be quiet. In an industry that can seem so manufactured and corporate, they aren’t afraid to use their platform for what they believe in and what they believe in, is justice.


Give this band a listen, I can guarantee you that you won’t regret it.

Recommended Song of the Day: The Opposite of Love by Sons of An Illustrious Father

Have you liked us on Facebook yet? Be sure to like us at ThisIsHowYouMusic!




An Interview with Jenna Holiday

Earlier this year, I came across a song on Spotify entitled “21” and it was written by an artist by the name of Jenna Holiday. For today’s blog post, I decided to reach out to Jenna herself and ask her more about her upcoming music and what our readers can expect from her. Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 8.08.57 PM

Photo by mobrangii

Hello! Do you think you could tell our readers a little bit about yourself? 

Hi! My name is Jenna Holiday. I’m a 16 year old singer and songwriter from the Boston area and best known for my debut single “21”!

Wow, only 16 and already so much talent!  How long have you been interested in writing and performing music?

I’ve been writing pretty much for as long as I could hold a pencil or navigate a keyboard, although it wasn’t until last year that I decided to release any material. Since then I’ve been writing absolutely none stop while balancing school and music programs when I can fit them in!

This summer, I attended the Grammy Recording Academy’s summer camp held on the USC campus in LA and it was absolutely insane. I met so many incredible musicians and fell in love with LA even more, if possible.

What could current and future listeners expect from this album? 

My debut album, which I’ve been working relentlessly on for the past year or so, shows the narrative of an original character. You may already be familiar with  said character from “21”, which like the rest of the album, is from his perspective. The album will tell you his backstory and detail his rise to fame and his inevitable fall, all resolving with “21” as the last track.

The music you’ll be hearing from me in the (not so distant) future mirrors the theatrics of Lorde and Allie X, and captures the dynamics of Thomston and Melanie Martinez. I consider myself to be what only can be best described as a concept artist. I approach my craft like that of a storyteller, and see myself as more of the author of a story told through my music, rather than being the face of it all.

So it sounds like we should be expecting this album soon.

As of now, my debut album is completely written and in the production process, although that hasn’t stopped me from continuing writing! I’ve been working even further into the future, bringing on board one of my best friends and cowriter Emma Cobalt to help create the storylines and music of future albums.

What is something you hope to convey to those that listen to your debut  album?

I hope to redefine the way people think of concept albums and musical storytelling, and I’ll be telling you a wild and twisting tale featuring a handful of original characters all littered throughout my music. I’m so so insanely excited to bring this vision to life through music, visuals, videos, and by any means possible! My next single will be out in the very near future, and I’m beyond excited for everything to come!

You can find Jenna at her social media links below: 

Twitter: @jennaholiday

Facebook: Jenna Holiday

Instagram: jenna.holiday

and be sure to like ThisIsHowYouMusic on Facebook!

10 Acts You Need To See At Music Midtown 2017

Earlier this month, Music Midtown released the longly awaited line up for this year and I think this line up is simply amazing. Not only does it include some of my personal favorites such as Two Door Cinema Club and Oh Wonder, but there’s also a lot of great acts I’ve seen personally like, Dua Lipa, COIN and Young the Giant. This week I’ve dedicated a post to who I think everyone should see at Music Midtown. Let’s get started.


Photo by John Gentile

Weezer  – Last year, Weezer went on tour with Panic! at the Disco and I had never been more excited for a joint tour. While many fans were there to enjoy the music and newly released album from Panic! at the Disco, and honestly I was too, I was even more excited for Weezer. Their varying discography is sure to keep you entertained the whole time you’re watching. With hits such as, “Beverly Hills”, “Say It Ain’t So”, “Island in the Sun”, and “Buddy Holly”, you’ll never be bored at a Weezer show.


Photo by David Vincent Wolf

Young the Giant – I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Young the Giant not once, but twice in the last two years. When I saw them on their Mind Over Matter Tour, I was floored, when I saw them at Shaky Knees last year, I instantly wanted to see them again. There are very few artists who can sound better live, than in the studio and Young the Giant is definitely one of those artists. They released their third album last year, which featured the indie hit, “Silvertongue” which is sure to be a crowd favorite.



Photo by Poppy Marriott 

Bastille – Earlier this year, Bastille was featured on the 7 Shows to Attend list, and for a good reason. As I said in that blog post, I’ve been a fan for a couple of years, after hearing their album Bad Blood, and after watching their set at Live at T in the Park, I knew I had to see this amazing band live. They provide electric energy, show a ridiculous amount of talent and love to have the crowd involved. Definitely a show you don’t want to miss.


Photo by Press

Two Door Cinema Club – I’ve been lucky enough to see this band already, and I’ve actually written a post on it before. Two Door Cinema Club is an act I would recommend to anyone that enjoys the indie rock sound, and an overall good time. They’re a band that has amazing stage performance, interacts with the crowd and really gets you involved and you’ll never want the live show to end. Whether you know their hit, “What You Know” or are able to sing every lyric from their latest album, “Gameshow”, there’s no doubt, you’ll have fun and want to dance along.


Photo by Laura Harvey Photography

Oh Wonder – Okay, if you’ve been keeping up with this blog for a little while, you know that Oh Wonder is an act I love to talk about. Featured on not only my Who To Watch but also on 5 Tours To Attend , Oh Wonder is an act that brings a great live show. Having had multiple sold out dates on their first tour, and this tour sure to follow, this is a group I will always recommend seeing live. They also just released their sophomore album, Ultralife, which I would also recommend giving a listen.


Photo by Tom Griffiths

Dua Lipa – I saw Dua Lipa late last year when she was opening for Troye Sivan on his Suburbia Tour and earlier this year on her headlining tour, and this is an artist that puts on a show. Not only is her music fun and lively, but her live show mirrors that perfectly. She’s a singer with a unique voice and an amazing stage presence. She released her debut album earlier this year and with it’s track list, it’s sure to be a great live performance. Definitely an act you should catch.


Photo by Eliot Lee Hazel

PVRISSo I’ve seen PVRIS about four times now, and I can guarantee you I’ll be seeing them a fifth time. PVRIS is a band that brings a great amount of energy no matter what demographic their performing to. I’ve watched them open for Pierce the Veil, MUSE Fall Out Boy, and headline their own show, and they bring a great live show every time. Do yourself a favor and catch their set this year.


Photo by Kristy Smolcic

Circa Waves– I’ve liked the sound of Circa Waves ever since I heard their song, “T Shirt Weather” about two years ago. When I first heard they were opening for Two Door Cinema club on their upcoming tour, I was ecstatic. Circa Waves is a group that provides an unstoppable amount of energy and ensures that every crowd member has a great time while listening to them. Check out their set this year, you won’t regret it.


Photo by Zachary Gray

COIN – I’ve actually talked about COIN before on this site, and I’m happy to be seeing them on such a great line up. I was able to see COIN early last year when they performed mid day at Shaky Knees and they were an absolute treat that provided upbeat rhythms, catchy lyrics and an overall good time. They released an album earlier this year titled, “How Will You Know If You Never Try” featuring songs such as “I Don’t Wanna Dance” and “Talk Too Much” so this is a show that’s sure to have you dancing.



Photo by Jim Metzger

AJR –  A trio that I’ve recently fallen in love with the sound of; AJR is a trio of brothers based out of NYC and are an act that conveys an insane amount of energy. You might know their song “I’m Ready” or one of their more recent songs “Weak” from their latest album, The Click, which was released earlier this year. If they can perform at even half the energy they exhibit in their songs, this is sure to be a fun show.

Hopefully this gave you some insight on what to expect at this year’s Music Midtown and you’ve added a couple of must sees to your list. Tickets for Music Midtown are now on a sale and you can find them at the provided link below.


Misterwives Is Not Part of Your Machine

Late last week, Misterwives released their long awaited sophomore album “Connect the Dots” and I believe that it was well worth the wait. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Misterwives, seeing how they’ve been talked about many times on this blog and I simply couldn’t wait to do a track by track review this album. Let’s get started.

MachineI don’t think they could have picked a better song that start off the second album. Current political circumstances make this song even more impacting with lyrics such as “Maybe I’m a dying breed, but I believe in individuality.” Machine is a song that not only wants to make you want to get up and dance, but also make a change, and not conform to less than ideal societal standards.

Chasing ThisThe first time I heard this song, I couldn’t help but smile the entire time. It’s a song that rings true to the style Misterwives have and why one falls in love with their unique sound. It’s a cute, upbeat sound with lyrics that details the life of following your heart, no matter who tries to discourage you as time goes on.

Only HumanIt’s as if Jason Mraz joined Misterwives in this song. It’s got a sweet mellow sound that reminds us all of something that we shouldn’t forget, ” Oh, we’re human, only human, like a moth to a flame, we can’t resist love’s game.” It’s a style we didn’t hear very much of on their debut album “Our Own House” but it’s one that I like very much.

Drummer Boy: One thing I was looking forward to with this album was a love song.  After hearing Oceans from their first album, I was excited to see what we were going to get on this album, and I personally was overjoyed with the track. It’s a sweet song that allows us to see a bit more into the personal life of lead singer Mandy Lee and drummer, Etienne Bowler and how much love Mandy has for Etienne.

RevolutionMuch like Machine, this is a song that has the intent of wanting to inspire listeners to get up and make a change, but with a somewhat darker tone. You can hear the drive, determination and power behind the instrumentation, vocals and lyrics of this song. With lyrics such as, “Laying in bed, trying to empty my head all these acts of violence ripping this world to shreds while I’m trying to sleep, oh how could I sleep?”  it’s definitely one of the more powerful songs on the album.

My Brother: This song is so indescribably beautiful. A song that shows the beauty of support, and watching someone struggle but sticking by them to the end, and truly wanting the best for them. The chorus, “Oh my brother it pains me to see you here again. Oh my brother, I’ll take this road with you until the end.” Shows a vulnerable side delivered beautifully, slightly reminiscent of their earlier released song Lullaby.

Out Of Tune PianoI’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Misterwives is a band that radiates positivity and promotes self love time after time and that’s proven again with this song. With a chorus that says, “Love yourself my dear, la la la love yourself my dear
Go on and, love yourself my dear, la la la love yourself my dear, do I make myself clear?” You can see how much this band respects the idea of confidence and the idea of loving yourself.

Coloring Outside the LinesI actually feel like this is the one song on the album that sounds the most like their debut album “Our Own House” and I love it. It’s a song that’s about embracing life, loving someone, and don’t conform to society’s standards. True Misterwives fashion.

Band CampBand Camp might actually be might favorite track of this album. Though it may be the shortest track, I think the instrumentation, vocal stylings, and the lyrics in compilation with one another makes it a memorable track for me. While it sounds like a track Misterwives would produce, the somewhat minor overtones that are on this song make it a new sound from Misterwives that I absolutely love.

Oh Love: Oh Love was the second single released from Connect the Dots and this is a song that showcases just how powerful Mandy’s voice, as well as her lyrics can be conveyed to listeners. It has a great rock and roll feel to it, and I can’t wait to hear it live once again on their upcoming tour.

Let The Light LineThe longest, and last track on the album is a song that builds upon itself and is just over 5 minutes of encouraging and beautiful words. Misterwives is a band that I always associate with optimism, and have ever since I stumbled upon their Reflections EP in 2014, and this song encompasses how positive and how much music can provide an uplifting feeling.

Misterwives’ sophomore album was eagerly  awaited by most fans, and I believe it’s safe to say the album was well worth the wait. Though the instrumentation of this album is different of that of their debut album “Our Own House”, the variety, complexity and overall creativity this album has goes to show that Misterwives is a unique and talented act in the industry and whatever they produce will stay true to their brand.

Be sure to watch them other upcoming tour with Vinyl Theatre and Smallpools this fall, and buy your tickets here.

Song Recommendation of the Week: Band Camp by Misterwives

A Night You’ll Never Forget: The Death of A Bachelor Tour

Hello yes, it’s been quite a while, but I am here once again. I’m here to tell you all about the amazing concert I experienced last week, Panic! at the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor tour. Let’s get started shall we?

Let’s start with the first opening act, one of my long time favorite bands, Saint Motel. Saint Motel is an indie pop band based out of Los Angeles and gives us all a refreshing taste of genuinely good music. From a set list that ranged from their songs Sweet Talk to Destroyer and their popular hit, My Type, it was guaranteed to be a great time.

The set was accompanied with amazing visuals that were reminiscent of classic television. With the  black and white film and the vintage vibes, it was a very aesthetically pleasing performance. I will most definitely be seeing them the next time they’re in Georgia.

This brings us to our second opening act, and one of my personal favorites, Misterwives. After having seen them on the “Our Own House Tour” , and then later on the “Scrapbook Tour”, I was more than excited to see them for a third time, and let me tell you they did not disappoint.Their setlist consisted of both new and old song featuring those such as ReflectionsOur Own House, Machine and Oh Love.  The overall performance radiated positivity throughout the audience and I can’t wait to see Misterwives again.

Now, onto the headliner, Panic! at the Disco.

I saw Panic! at the Disco for the first time last year when they went on tour with Weezer, and they left a memorable impression to say the least. Having been a fan of Panic! at the Disco since their “Vices and Virtues” days, I wasn’t gonna pass up on an opportunity to see them once again.

The night started with something I’ve seen no other artist do before, a countdown. Introduced with the playing of Secrets by the Weeknd, my friends and I waited anxiously as the clock counted down from 10:00 to 0:00.

When the clock finally reached 0:00, we we’re met with the all too familiar introduction of Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time, a great beginning if I do say so myself.  After the performance was completed, and the audience was at a high level of energy, the center stage back drop lit up and said “Welcome To the Death of A Bachelor Tour.”

The night was filled with a setlist that featured a medley of old favorites such as The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage, Camisado, But It’s Better If You Do, Nine in the Afternoon, Ready to Go and of course, I Write Sins Not Tragedies.

We also heard come current songs, such as: Hallelujah, Golden Days, LA Devotee, a beautiful piano version of This Is Gospel and title song Death of A Bachelor.  We even heard a couple of covers such as Movin’ Out and a classic favorite Bohemian Rhapsody.

However, I think the highlight of the night had to be near the end of the set where Brendon gave a beautiful speech about inclusion, equality and that no matter what happens he will always stand by us nt, as both an ally and a friend. The song Girls/Girls/Boys began to play and the audience lifted up the paper hearts we had received at the beginning of the night and proceeded to make the color of the pride flag across the venue. It was a moment of camaraderie, inclusion, true beauty, and shows how passionate one fan base can be about coming together.

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 7.55.40 PM

Photo by Jake Chams 

Panic! at the Disco is a band that gives an impeccable show and helps in bring a sense of togetherness along with providing an uplifting energy to everyone that attends. If you get the chance to see them, I suggest you do, you won’t regret it.

Song of the Week: Emperor’s New Clothes by Panic! at the Disco

Who To Watch: 2017

2016 was a year that had some pretty amazing break out acts such as twenty one pilots, Flume, Halsey and Shawn Mendes but I’m almost certain that 2017 is going to have even more amazing break out acts.  From personal favorite acts such as Oh Wonder and LANY to acts that are getting consistent radio play like Jon Bellion and Daya, I’m here to tell you who you need to watch for this upcoming year. Let’s get started.

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 10.45.49 PM

Photo by Dexter

Jon Bellion – I first heard Jon Bellion when my friend showed me a song called Timeless, and ever since then I’ve taken strong liking to his musicality and vocal style. This past year, however, I realized that Jon Bellion is about to be a force to be reckoned with. Though he’s been in this industry since 2011, and even has a Grammy to his name, his debut album, The Human Condition, really has everyone talking. You’ve might have seen him on the road with twenty one pilots or heard his latest single All Time Low on the radio, but I guarantee you’ll be hearing even more of him this upcoming year.


Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 10.51.59 PM.png

Photo by Daya

Daya-You’ve heard of this girl, I can almost guarantee it. Whether you’ve heard her singles, Hide Away, Sit Still, Look Pretty, or heard her feature on The Chainsmoker’s single, Don’t Let Me Down, you’ve heard of her. Slightly reminiscent of Alessia Cara due to her genuine personality, honest lyrics and the relatable factor, Daya is an 18 year old powerhouse who I can see going very far within the near future. Be sure to see her on her upcoming “Sit Still Look Pretty” Tour. You can always say you saw her first.

Jake Goss, Paul Klein and Les Priest of the band LANY photographed by Dan Doperalski at the PMC Studio in Los Angeles in June 2017 for WWD

Photo by Dan Doperalski

LANYI’ve actually had the pleasure of seeing this band three times, one of which I’ve written about before, and I know I’ll be writing about them again soon. LANY is a band that is based out of Los Angeles, California and have been quickly making a name for themselves within the indie demographic. After their single, ILYSB, started to gain more internet traffic, the band was soon traveling as opening acts for artists such as Troye Sivan,and Halsey and started creating their own fanbase. You’ll be sure to be hearing a lot about this band this upcoming year, especially with the much waited release of their debut album.



Photo by Oh Wonder

Oh Wonder – Okay, yes, I consistently talk about this band on this blog, but there’s a good reason for it. This is a talented duo and I can guarantee you that they’re about to be recognized for it on a higher level. Not only is their music extremely pleasing to the ear, their music videos memorable and sweet, but there’s also a unique aspect to their vocalization style and instrumentation.Having opened for acts such as Halsey, and performed at festivals such as  Bonnaroo, Firefly, Lollapalooza, this alt-pop duo is about to one of the most talked about groups in the independent and alternative scene.



Photo by Nicole Nodland

Dua Lipa – I’ve actually had the pleasure of seeing Dua Lipa live due to the fact she  opened for Troye Sivan on his Suburbia Tour and I’m not lying when I said she left an impression. Not only did she bring a fun, playful energy with her songs such as, Hotter Than Hell, and my personal favorite, Blow Your Mind (Mwah), she also later joined Troye on stage to do a cover that also showed off her amazing vocal talent. Dua Lipa has the potential to become one of the biggest acts of this year, and you can hear that in the songs I’ve listed below.



Photo by Louis the Child

Louis the Child – Though they’ve been in this industry since 2012, I just know that Louis the Child is about to amongst the notoriety of artists such as Flume and ODESZA. After gaining a name for themselves, this duo has played at festivals such as Coachella, Electric Forest,  Electric Zoo and Lollapalooza. Their latest single, It’s Strange is starting to generate more internet traffic for them, but I know you’ll be hearing this Chicago based duo on the radio soon.



Photo by Rebecca Need-Menear

Dodie Clark – Quite often known as a “quirky little thing”, Dodie Clark is a phenomenal singer who started out by posting covers on YouTube, ranging from songs such as Goner by twenty one pilots, Drive by Oh Wonder, Somebody Else by the 1975 and even La Vie En Rose by Edith Pilaf. Are you starting to see why she’s one of my personal favorites? However, not only does she show an amazing sense of artistry in these videos, but she’s also showcased her talent and her lovable personality.


Grace VanderWaal

Photo by Grace VanderWaal

Grace VanderWaal: You might know her as the 12 year old that wowed everyone with her audition for America’s Got Talent, but I promise you’re about to know her for so much more than that. She’s a now 13 year old pop prodigy who’s about to take the world by storm due to her unique vocals, unmeasurable talent and lovable, bubbly personality. You might have even heard her song, Light the Sky, in the latest Google commercial entitled Year In Search 2016.

Are you impressed? Do you already know some of these acts? Do you have any more acts to add on? Please, let me know it the comments and I’ll be sure to give them a listen! I’ll be writing to you all next week and I hope you enjoyed this post. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook at ThisIsHowYouMusic!


Song of the Week: Body Gold by Oh Wonder (Louis the Child Remix)