Lists

Stepping Outside of My Music Comfort Zone + PLAYLIST

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

I know it’s been a while since I last published anything on my blog. It’s such a pity, I know! There are a lot of reasons why I took some time off blogging and at some point, I will focus on the reasons why I stopped writing for a while but now it’s not the time to do that. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who’s still following me and my musical adventures on Instagram and Twitter. The accounts of @myrockmixtapes are still active and will remain active because I truly believe it’s important to spread love and joy through music. I will do everything I can to continue sharing and recommending great music to the fabulous rock music community out there.

Let’s go back to my post!

For my, let’s say, “comeback” publication, I decided to do a little summary of all the incredible music I’ve discovered throughout the past year (maybe?) that kind of drifts away from my (as I call it) music comfort zone. The bands, albums and songs I wanted to share with you today are definitely outside that musical safe heaven I created for myself which basically covers a couple of genres I am mostly fond of. I was and still am always excited to discover new music that brings that something extra to your daily life. The genre is certainly not a reason enough for me to discriminate music or completely ignore it. On the contrary, I am always up for a new musical adventure. What do I mean by all that?

My music comfort zone

For years and years, the type of music I was only interested in was hard rock and melodic rock music, mostly from the ‘80s. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to and collecting fantastic hard rock music from the decade which I adore with all my heart and soul (though I wasn’t born in the ‘80s). Bands like Def Leppard, Winger, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Dokken, Cinderella, Hardline, Warrant, Slaughter, Skid Row, Journey, Foreigner, Giant, Great White, WASP, Ratt, White Lion, Tesla, Kix and similar were the type of bands I lived for. To be honest, they still are. This is the type of music that gives me strength, empowerment and most importantly, can fix my mood on a daily basis. I dug up almost each and every hard rock/glam rock band from the ‘80s and turned it into an inseparable part of my physical and online collection of music. At this point, I don’t think there’s a hard rock/AOR band from that marvelous period I haven’t heard of, regardless of whether they released one album and disappeared or are still around. Finding obscure, one-album hard rock bands, as a matter of fact, became a hobby of mine. There are plenty of publications on this website that cover such forgotten but incredible albums and the music they left behind. Thanks to Spotify and YouTube (mostly), I got introduced to bands that were once named “the next big thing”, yet no one remembers them now. Such may include XYZ, Heaven’s Edge, Nelson, Jagged Edge, Giant, Giuffria and way more.

You see, this particular musical niche quickly turned into “MY THING”! The ocean of hard rock music from the ‘80s seemed bottomless. Each day, new album to fall inlove with! It’s still like this, you know! I love love love hard rock and glam rock from the ‘80s and each time someone asks me what type of music I listen to; I always answer the same – “’80s hard and glam rock”.

There’s magic in that music; a certain raw, unpolished, natural magic to it that can’t be recreated. On top of it all, my personality matched perfectly with that type of music. I am a nostalgic individual who lives in the past. It’s always been like this and it’s not just with music, certainly! All that, added to the fact that many of the above-mentioned bands are still making music and releasing great new albums (hugely thanks to record labels like Frontiers Music), presented an enormous ground to cover. Musically, it just all feels right to me. I managed to create a meaningful connection with my music and I am so happy I am not one of those people who just listen to what’s popular these days and what’s on the radio.

What happened, though?

What happened is that I started using Spotify, met a lot of new people and started going to concerts that were not hard rock or heavy metal. See, sometimes doing your own research and covering all the bands and music genres that are out there is immensely difficult. Honestly, I didn’t really feel like doing it that much. I was perfectly fine with my music and anything different that ended up on my library was just a great bonus I discovered on YouTube.

With concerts it’s the same. If I have to decide, by myself, whether to go to a concert of a band I’ve never heard of and that plays music, entirely different from my favorite type of music, the answer will be a no. However, when friends and loved ones started inviting me to underground concerts, it all kind of changed.   

With the rise of my newly-emerging social life, my music life changed a little bit as well. It’s inevitable, I guess. I’ve always said that people who introduce you to new music are important and this was the case with me, for sure!

This is probably the time to thank my boyfriend (who is a drummer and had several bands in the past) for his contributions. His taste in music is quite different from mine and that was a blessing in disguise. The endless evenings that he spent sending me some of his favorite music surely changed everything. I am picky, though. Not everything was for me. But what I hear and love, I love, regardless of the genre or the circumstances under which I came across it.

Spotify became another reason why I started paying attention to more and more bands that were not falling under the hard/melodic rock genre category. For that I praise it! It sucks that artist are not paid enough from streaming but the one great thing about the application is that it gives you a perfect opportunity to meet new bands through various playlists it generates for you. I listen to Spotify on a daily basis. With all that travelling to work I do, it’s only natural. I love checking up my Daily Mixes, New Releases, Discover Weekly and other playlists that the application recommends.

Some bands that challenged me and turned into favorites:

Tesseract
[Genre: Progressive Metal]

Daniel Tompkins
[Genre: Progressive Metal]

Katatonia
[Genre: Doom/Death Metal (early), Depressive Rock/Metal (later) ]

The Contortionist
[Genre: Progressive Metal]

Seven
[Genre: Progressive/Alt Metal]

Gemini Syndrome
[Genre: Alternative Metal]

Like a Storm
[Genre: Post-grunge/ Alt-metal/ Hard Rock]

Monuments
[Genre: Progressive Metal]

Beartooth
[Genre: Hardcore Punk]

Art of Dying
[Genre: Alternative Rock/ Alternative Metal]

Palisades
[Genre: Post Hardcore]

Bad Wolves
[Genre: Heavy Metal, Groove Metal]

Lower than Atlantis
[Genre: Alternative Rock/ Punk Rock]

Skyharbor
[Genre: Progressive Metal]

pg.lost
[Genre: Experimental Instrumentalism]

Corelia
[Genre: Progressive Metal]

Final Words

To sum it up, I currently feel more open-minded towards discovering new bands and genres that don’t fall under what I like to call “musical safe heaven”. I was open-minded before but rather consumed by that magical and highly-appealing vibe of the ‘80s! I am starting to spread my wings a little bit over several other genres, as shown in this publication. Most of the artists I included here are progressive metal/alternative and I can’t wait to see what else is there for me.

I should point out that I am still a glam rock girl and I will always be. Sometimes, however, it’s good to be challenged musically; it’s great to learn how to appreciate other genres and most importantly, to feel proud of it and admit it. Don’t be bothered by the fact that you liked a band that’s out of your musical horizons. Be honest with yourself and never embarrassed to admit that you find a certain artist/band’s music appealing to you. I’ve witnessed that a lot of people who enjoy listening to a band that plays music that’s a little bit softer than what they usually listen to, often don’t disclose it out there, don’t share their music and keep things privately because of their public image. Don’t do that. Spread the word if a band caught your ear. Each band deserves it!

Hope you enjoyed my little selection! Rock on and share the love!

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