All Posts By:

Tessa McClinton

  • Articles, Celebrities, GirlSpring.com, Music, This and That

    What To Do When All of Your Favorite Musicians are Dead

    Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a fan of many celebrities. Most of those celebrities, however, happen to be dead. There’s Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, Prince, the list goes on and on.

    I know of some other people who also share this problem. In this article, I thought I would lay out some of the bad things and some of the gratifying things about being a fan of dead celebrities.

    Many of the people I’m a big fan of are musicians. One of the most obvious downsides to this situation is that my favorite artists can’t make music anymore. Some musicians, though, have music released posthumously. This music is usually comprised of stripped-down demos and unfinished songs. The songs sometimes feel as if they were never meant to be released. The artist clearly has no say in what does and does not get released after their death, so these songs often feel like an invasion of the artist’s privacy, and sometimes even of their minds. This can also happen sometimes with officially unreleased records.

    For example, Jeff Buckley created a song called “All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun” with Elizabeth Fraser, another musician (of the band The Cocteau Twins). This is my all-time favorite song from Jeff Buckley, and arguably my most favorite song ever. It is raw, real and unplugged. You can hear the relationship between the two artists clearly in the recording. The fun they have while making this piece is evident throughout it. It is a beautifully written and recorded song. But it is technically unreleased.

    Elizabeth Fraser has come out since Jeff Buckley’s death and expressed how upset she is that the song has been published on Youtube and other music sharing websites. The recording is a personal moment shared between two friends. When I listen to this song, I sometimes feel selfish in consuming it. Although I love it so much, I can’t help but feel like I’m stealing something from Jeff and Elizabeth. This is the slippery slope you encounter with unfinished songs that end up getting released.

    Prince is another great example of this. All of his posthumous releases are questioned. Throughout his long career, Prince was known as a perfectionist. Every album was carefully crafted and completely his own. He didn’t like his songs to be covered by other artists. Every release seemed so meticulous and perfectly curated to contribute to his overall image as an artist. He is also known for recording many songs and for having an extensive vault of unreleased music. Prince died in April of 2016. There have been five posthumous album releases. Each of them has been met with critical and hesitant eyes. None of the albums have included many new songs from the vault.

    Although many of these songs have been released in the past, either by Prince himself or (in the case of his Originals album) by another artist, it is still a bold and risky choice to release this music. Again, this is another instance where one might feel guilty while listening to these songs. Considering his picky behavior while he was alive, who knows if he would have ever wanted these new albums released to the public.

    Another downside that comes with being a fan of dead musicians is the remembrance and mourning of their death every year. This is really tough for many people. Although this is an obviously sad occasion, it can bring fans closer together. Many fans take to social media to express their thoughts and to remember their favorite artists. You can meet new people this way and relate to them. I’ve met a few people through Twitter this way. 

    So is there anything good about being a fan of a dead musician? It can easily all seem like doom and gloom, but there are some fulfilling parts of this dilemma.

    Like I’ve mentioned, you can find new friends through being a fan of celebrities. This happens with really anyone who is vocal about their interests. There is something really special about relating to strangers through a subject that you’re both passionate about.

    Also, you can spread the message of the creators’ art, as they are no longer allowed to do so. You play a small role in keeping their memory alive. I love talking about and sharing the music of my favorite artists.

    Maybe this article hasn’t made the issue more appealing to anyone, but I’ll leave you with this: like it has been said many times, a true musician never dies.

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Music

    Amazing Women in Music

    women in music

    I’ve been thinking about music a lot recently; looking through my saved songs on Spotify and scrolling through my different playlists. While doing this, I have noticed how early music has influenced later music and pop culture. Women in music have contributed so much to society. In this article, I’m going to be looking at seven powerful women throughout different genres in music who I’ve been loving recently (from both the past and the present). 

    Aretha Franklin:

    Genre: Soul, R&B, Gospel, Jazz

    The Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin is widely regarded as one of the most talented and influential musicians of all time. Her music encompasses a large variety of genres. Her voice is powerful and loud, singing about the social issues of her time. She was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and won plenty of music awards throughout her life. Franklin performed at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral, was featured on the cover of TIME magazine, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, among many other achievements. Aretha Franklin was one of the most powerful people in the music industry, and her songs continue to shape artists today.

    Here are some Aretha Franklin songs to check out:

    I Say A Little Prayer Chain of FoolsSpirit in the Dark

    Stevie Nicks:

    Genre: Rock & Roll

    Stevie Nicks is a member of the band Fleetwood Mac, but she has also had an amazing solo career. She is one of the most accomplished women in music today: the only woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, has won Grammys, hit number 1 on the US Billboard charts with her first solo album release, and has had countless songs go Platinum. Her unique voice always stands out against any instrumentals. No one sounds like Stevie Nicks.

    Stevie Nicks songs to listen to (both solo and with Fleetwood Mac):

    Blue DenimSeven WondersAfter the Glitter Fades

    Sade Adu:

    Genre: Soul, Smooth Jazz, Sophisti-pop

    Normally referred to simply as Sade, this singer created (and continues to create) smooth music with soul influences. She was born in Nigeria and raised in the U.K. Her band (also known as Sade) was very popular in the 1980s and 90s. Adu’s voice is calming and pairs beautifully with her soothing instrumentals. Several of her albums have gone Platinum. Her music always has a distinct tone. 

    Here are some great Sade songs to listen to

    The Sweetest TabooBullet Proof SoulNo Ordinary Love

    PJ Harvey:

    Genre: Alternative Rock, Experimental Rock

    PJ Harvey probably has the most ear-catching music of all of the women on this list. This English artist tackles controversial topics with her typically loud and surprising music. She has been nominated for Brit Awards and Grammys. Harvey explores femininity and female sexuality with her lyrics and imagery. She is not afraid to express herself exactly how she wants to, no matter who she shocks.  

    Great PJ Harvey songs to check out

    Happy And BleedingDown By The Water50 Ft Queenie

    Mitski:

    Genre: Indie Rock

    Mitski is one of the most recent artists on this list. She released her first album in 2012. Her music is real and raw. Her poetic lyrics hit deep and connect with her listeners; at one moment you hear a slow ballad, then switch to a dance-worthy rock tune. She was nominated for a Grammy for the packaging of her last record, Be the Cowboy, released in 2018. Mitski’s lyrics are some of the most hard-hitting on this list.

    Some Mitski songs to get into:

    Liquid SmoothA Burning HillA Pearl

    Lizzo:

    Genre: Hip-Hop

    Lizzo has only released one album, Cuz I Love You. It came out this year. Despite her new career, she has already performed at a few award shows and been nominated for awards. Her music explores self confidence and social issues. She is a role model for young girls, preaching self-love. Her music is fun and catchy, and her voice is dynamic, too. She is known for her rap and hip-hop songs, but she can also sing very well. You can hear this in her song “Jerome.” I can’t wait to see what else Lizzo has in store.

    Some fun songs by Lizzo:

    Truth HurtsJuiceLike A Girl

    Jade Bird:

    Genre: americana/folk

    Jade Bird has also only released one album. Her first album, Jade Bird, was released earlier this year, but she has released a few EPs in the past. Her music has been quite successful, too with a song hit number 1 on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs chart in 2018. She toured with Hozier as his opening act this year. Although she is from England, Jade Bird is very inspired by American folk music. Her style mirrors that of the 70s. Her songs talk about relationships and struggles. There’s a lot to come from Jade Bird.

    Some songs by Jade Bird:

    I Get No Joy Good At ItLottery

    Hopefully, this article helped you learn more about the history of women in music (and maybe introduced you to some new artists).

    Here’s a Spotify playlist of all the songs mentioned in this article:

    Musicians can shape lives, look at one of our Springboarder, Audrey’s, experience with Betty Who, and how she changed Audrey’s perspectives!