Over the last decade there has been so many incredible additions to the music industry in the form of new artists and new albums that it is almost impossible to choose a favourite. Despite this, I have chosen five recommendations for fairly recent records that I believe everyone should listen to.
Muse - Drones
Royal Blood - Royal Blood
My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
Fall Out Boy - American Beauty/American Psycho
Twenty One Pilots are a popular music duo consisting of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun from Ohio. Their music is described as a mix of alternative hip hop, indie pop, electropop and rock music however I don't believe they can be categorised into a specific genre as they are so amazingly unique and have created their own individual style of music. You may know them due to their chart-topping songs 'Stressed Out' and 'Ride' from the 2015 album 'Blurryface' or their most recent single 'Heathens' which features on the soundtrack for the new Suicide Squad movie however you may not have heard their previous album 'Vessel'.
Vessel is the third album Twenty One Pilots released but the first studio album that they released with Fueled By Ramen. Tyler Joseph said that he wrote the album "not knowing whether or not people were going to hear it" which shows that every song was written with great passion and a true love for music. You can feel the meaning behind each song as you listen to the album as the poetic lyrics take you on a journey through Tyler's personal experiences.
Josh Dun's incredible drumming also adds to each track and pulls everything together making the album even more unique.
Fans of Twenty One Pilots have described the album as 'a masterpiece' and have said that the meaningful lyrics of the songs have helped them in their own personal battles with similar issues. They have also said that they love the album because it has such a powerful message that is shown through a mix of upbeat and slow songs meaning that each song is individual but they all link together nicely and because the songs seem to suit whatever mood they're currently in.
In an interview about Vessel, Tyler Joseph said "Vessel was exactly what we wanted it to be musically but we didn't know who was going to listen. We wrote songs not knowing if anyone would care so there was a bit of recklessness because it didn't matter if it worked or not. There was definitely some fearlessness as well but at the same time we had to learn how to put on a live show and all the different things we now know. I guess that's the biggest thing when I think about that album, we learned so much from each other."
Personally, I love all of Twenty One Pilots' music as I feel like I can very much relate to and learn from messages that come with their songs. If I could, I would recommend every Twenty One Pilots album but I chose Vessel in particular as it is such an artistic album that has something for everyone. Even if you don't think it would suit your preffered music taste, I would definitely recommend giving it a listen as you may be surprised at the diversity of the album and maybe even find a new favourite duo.
I would also definitely recommend going to see Twenty One Pilots live if you get the chance because their music really comes alive on stage and they put on an extremely energetic and unique show. You can catch Twenty One Pilots at Reading and Leeds Festival in August.
You can listen to the first track from Vessel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OnO3UXFZdE
Major fan update accounts: @topupdated, @twentyonefandom and @topupdating
Muse are an English rock band from Devon that formed in 1994 and is made up of Matt Bellamy (guitar, piano and vocals), Chris Wolstenholme (bass and background vocals) and Dominic Howard (drums). They're are well known for their individual style and extremely modern stage shows that really give fans a glimpse into the musical future. Words can't do their incredible stage shows justice as you really need to experience the atmosphere, amazing technology and music that comes with a Muse show. Floating Orbs, 3D projection and an LED Reaper aircraft were just a few of the innovative aspects of the Drones arena tour. Muse are definitely ahead of the game and constantly deliver an extremely high standard with their albums and shows and this album certainly continues the streak of great music.
Drones is the seventh studio album by Muse and it follows the story of a character who becomes weak and vulnerable and gives in to the demands to a controlling drone. As the album progresses, the character overcomes the 'Psycho' by fighting back. This represents the dehumanisation of modern warfare and shows that the world is run by controlling 'Drones' that are trying to make everyone be like them. The message given by the album is that you don't have to give in and that it is possible to defeat the controlling authority in order to be individual.
Musically, I would describe Drones as alternative rock and I would recommend it as a great album if you're interested in getting into Muse as a band. I love the rocky feel of each song and the wide range of tempos across the album. The use of operatic vocals also adds to the futuristic style of music. The combination of instruments used makes it a truly beautiful album that really shows off Muse's true musical ability. I also like the fact they have a sound that is different to anything that I've listened to before and everything about them from the lyrics to their live shows is completely unique.
In an interview soon after the release of Drones, Dom Howard said "By our standards, it's back to basics. Yeah it's layered and bombastic but the start of that process was very different to how we normally do it. For the first time, there's three of us in a room, eyeballing each other again." He also said "I guess we wanted to push the boat out on 'Drones'. For that reason, it's very diverse - it's the sound of us being very experimental and losing our minds a bit."
Muse have just finished their UK tour but if they come back it will be a tour you won't want to miss.
You can listen to the first track from Drones here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5sJhSNUkwQ
Major fan updates accounts: @Muse_updates and @MuseFans
Royal Blood are fairly new to the music scene as they only formed in 2013. The duo consists of singer/bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher and they quickly became well known after winning the award for 'Best British Group' at the BRIT Awards in February 2015.
I love the fact that their self titled album 'Royal Blood' was recorded using only Mike's vocals, Ben's drums and the occasional use of shakers and tambourines; there was no use of samples or overdubbing and most of the tracks were recorded in one take. This means that the album has a wonderfully natural sound and shows off the real musical ability of the duo.
Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page saw Royal Blood live and quickly fell in love with their music. He said "They were fantastic. Absolutely riveting. Their album has taken the genre up a serious few notches. It’s so refreshing to hear, because they play with the spirit of the things that have preceded them but you can hear they’re going to take rock into a new realm – if they’re not already doing that. It's music of tremendous quality."
When asked how they made it in the music industry so quickly, Kerr said "It's just having a good instinct for how you don't want to do it. To be honest with you, most of how we've done things comes from us listening to people who are far more experienced – our manager, artists who’ve done it the wrong way and regretted it, and from bands we love. We’ve paid attention to their careers over the years, and they haven’t done anything lame. Which is why they’re cool.”
Although many people now know of Royal Blood, I still feel like they are very underrated and their music deserves much more recognition than they currently have as their hard rock based tracks have a natural feel that I think would appeal to most lovers of rock music.
I love how well put together every track on the album is and how each one leads on nicely to the next and I believe that there is big things to come from Royal Blood. Even if you don't like rock music, I'd still recommend giving Royal Blood a listen as it is such an organic album from a fresh, up and coming duo. As Kerr said "You don’t have to be a certain type of person to enjoy our music, you can like Black Sabbath and us or you can like Sam Smith and us. Whatever you want, we’re here."
You can listen to the first track from Royal Blood here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSdtvfBQd6c
My Chemical Romance were an American rock band consisting of vocalist Gerard Way, drummer Matt Pelissier, guitarist Ray Toro and bassist Mikey Way. Although the band sadly made the decision to split up, The Black Parade is still an incredibly powerful album that I would definitely recommend.
The Black Parade was My Chemical Romance's third studio album and was produced with Rob Cavallo who produced many of Green Day's albums. As a band, My Chemical Romance are described as alternative rock, emo, pop punk, post-hardcore and punk rock but I believe that their music is so diverse that it is impossible to label them with a specific genre.
Gerard Way explained in an interview that the album tells the story of a cancer patient that died at a young age and that his journey to death is 'The Black Parade'. He said that he believes that death comes in the form of your most powerful memory and that for the patient this was a parade that he went to with his father when he was younger. Because of this, the tracks explore dark themes but the lyrics put across a range of important messages in a rather poetic manner.
When asked about what it was like to record the album, Gerard Way said "This was a really difficult record to make and there was a certain point where it was so dark for us that it felt like we needed to become so much more than brothers. We had to be there for each other in many more ways and we also needed to become a new band. Normally, a band says that every time they make a new record, in some ways, they become a new band. But we really did it this time and became a different band."
I especially love the vocals and use of guitar throughout the album and the combination of instruments fit together perfectly. There is a good mix of rock based songs that are perfect to dance along too and slower songs that really show off the bands vocal talents.
Fans of My Chemical Romance said that they always turn to this album because the songs put how they're feeling into words and that they love the album because you can really hear the emotion in Gerard Way's voice.
Overall, this album gives everything that you could want and more from My Chemical Romance and even though they are no longer a band, I would definitely recommend listening to 'The Black Parade' and some of their older albums.
You can listen to the first track from The Black Parade here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK1Fn1MWLYc
Fall Out Boy are an American band consisting of vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley. American Beauty/American Psycho is Fall Out Boy's sixth studio album and quickly became their third number one album.
I love the fact that the album features a lot of tracks to dance to, slower, more natural tracks and a few in between. You can definitely hear the rock based undertones that Fall Out Boy began with in this album but they have also reinvented themselves since then to create a completely new and original sound. The band's vocal and instrumental talent shines through in this album and the result is really quite beautiful.
American Beauty/American Psycho definitely deserves all the praise that it has received as it is so distinct and shows how much Fall Out Boy have developed as a band since they first formed in 2001.
When asked about how they decided the direction that their new album was going to take, Wentz said "The way this album worked is everyone worked on the things that were their strengths in order to streamline the process and make it become a little bit faster. It was like best idea wins, when the title track got written and it was a great song, a lot of it became the concept for the album. It almost moulds itself, so I think that for the most part we agreed."
I would also really recommend seeing Fall Out Boy live as they put on an amazing live show, you can catch their set at Reading and Leeds Festival.
Overall I would recommend this album to anyone because no matter what genre of music you prefer, I think that American Beauty/American Psycho has something for everyone to enjoy.
You can listen to the first track from American Beauty/American Psycho here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8BGAYXNW74
Major fan update accounts: @FOBAlerts and @FallOutBoyInfo