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Me & My Other Interests: Music

Here on Northern Blood, you've probably noticed by now that I'm a big lover of makeup, I'm into personal style (particularly if it has something to do with denim and clogs), and I like to go out exploring and photograph the lovely countryside and architecture various spots of England has to offer. Although they are some of my big interests, I seem to have failed to mention other big parts of me and my personality on this blog and for the longest time, I've managed to convince myself that it was for good reasons: my content will be too varied and not have any constant "themes", people won't be interested, wondering if I should share a particular interest with the great worldwide web... But I've now realised, all those reasons are null and void - after talking about it a little on my Twitter and getting positive feedback from some lovely people, I've decided I needed to include these parts of me on NB. Sure, it is wonderful that you fantastic individuals take the time out to read my 3 times a week rambles, but ultimately? I made this blog for me. I made it so I could document my interests, I could share my thoughts, feelings, and wishes. I need to keep me in mind. So with a combination of self-power and love and all that jazz, and the fact that you guys expressed an interest in to the other sides of my hobbies and personality, I'm going to drop in some posts about these other aspects of Amyleigh and I hope you will enjoy them.

So, where should I start? There's so many things I would say are so important to me, but one thing seemed to stick out more than the others - and that is music. It will come as no surprise that I love music like every other Tom, Dick, or Harry, but I'm always intrigued to find out other people's tastes in different genres and bands and I love that so many people who I speak to can sometimes be surprised by my own tastes, so it seemed like a great idea to share.

As someone who grew up with a rock n' roll loving mother, I was exposed to the likes of Bon Jovi, Meatloaf, Alice Cooper, and Sisters of Mercy and as a result, became the movie Wayne's World's biggest fan at around aged 4. Alice Cooper and Aerosmith became firm favourites and still have a place in my heart and whilst I did listen to the likes of Steps, S Club 7, and Gareth Gates (remember him?! That hedgehog haired guy was on the "boys to marry" list for Amyleigh aged 11), I always remember getting my first Linkin' Park hoodie at around the age of 10 and wearing it to school and from that moment on, I was dubbed as one of the goths/emos until I left secondary school. Being a MySpace generation teenager, I listened to the usual suspects such as My Chemical Romance, Fallout Boy, Panic! At the Disco, The Used, Metro Station (awful, I know, I know) to name but a few, but this was also the age I really fell in love with the 80's. The Smiths, The Cure, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Joy Divison, David Bowie, Prince... they were all regulars on my old iPod shuffle alongside all the screaming hardcore-ness of The Devil Wears Prada, Alexisonfire, Heavy Heavy Low Low, letlive., Dance Gavin Dance, and also some of my super faves - Slipknot, Oceana, and Deftones.

Heading into my twenties, I fell head over heels time and time again with Frank Sinatra and Seasick Steve in particular. I love jazz. I love the blues. My mam loved her soul music and rat-pack tunes just as much as her classic rock, so maybe this is where her influence took hold of my tastes again. Seasick Steve is one of my all-time favourite artists because if a dude can wear a string vest, play guitar that has only 3 strings at best and still sound effing amazing, he is a musician who is definitely worth my time.

Other genres also came into my life at this age. I started to fall more in love with the likes of Cult of Luna, Russian Circles, King Dude, and discovered my all-time favourite artist, Chelsea Wolfe. Chelsea Wolfe has a sound of her own that I can't even begin to describe, but drone, doom metal, instrumental music has taken a huge hold of me and I'm super pleased about it. Whilst I love bands that fit the "heavier" genres, I also love the likes of The Gaslight Anthem, The 1975, Busted, Purity Ring, Spookyland, Modest Mouse, and City and Colour to name but a few other very varied favourites. I've also recently realised I have a major soft spot for hard-hitting, powerful female singers - Lana Del Rey, Amy Winehouse, Alanis Morissette, and the 4 Non Blondes are some killer ladies who I can and will listen to on repeat for days and weeks at a time.

Just some of my favourites (in no particular order): The Smiths, Chelsea Wolfe, Purity Ring, Lana Del Rey, Frank Sinatra, The Cure, Morrissey, Joy Division, David Bowie, Dance Gavin Dance, Saosin, Townes Van Zandt, Chvrches, King Dude, Amy Winehouse, Seasick Steve, The 1975, Prince, 4 Non Blondes, The Gaslight Anthem, Alanis Morrisette, Twin Shadow, Haim, Spookyland, Letlive., Brand New, The Chariot, Pixies, Mastodon, The Old Wind, Dead Man's Bones, Slipknot, Cult of Luna, Electric Wizard, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Earth, Arab Strap, City and Colour, Oceana, Alexisonfire, Modest Mouse, HIM, Deftones, Klaxons, Twin Atlantic, Jake Bugg, Frank Turner, Funeral For a Friend, Mumford & Sons, Architects, Elvis Presley, Band of Horses, Placebo, Cosmo Sheldrake, Jimi Hendrix, Norma Jean, William Fitzsimmons, New Order, Adam and The Ants, Bon Iver, Kavinsky, Nirvana, Luke Pickett, Little Comets, †††, Vance Joy, Glassjaw, Caribou, Taking Back Sunday, Future Islands, Fuck Buttons, Fever Ray, Alice in Chains, Deafheaven, Thursday, Stone Temple Pilots, Zola Jesus, Circa Survive, HORSE the Band, Nicole Dollanganger, Sigur Rós, Sun O))), Boris, Converge, and Gothic Tropic.

I guess what I'm really saying in this post is that I think it is great to have a rich and varied music taste. I will happily listen to woeful country cowboy tones of Townes Van Zandt one day, then shout along to Black Sabbath the next. I wouldn't say I have any guilty pleasures because every band and artist I listen to, I'm happy to shout to the world about how much I love them and I think everyone should do the same. Yes, Bieber has had some absolute bangers out relatively recently and 14 year old Amy would shudder to know I declared such a thing, but the likes of Blink 182 and Bring Me The Horizon have also pleased my ears in the last couple of months, so I'd say everything is a positive.

- A.
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