Inside My Earbuds: Soothing Music for a Stressful Time

Once upon a time I used to review music albums and concerts on my blog.

I always enjoyed doing this because music is such an important part of my life.  I only allow myself to watch TV/Netflix on weekends, but I listen to music all day every day.

I got away from blogging about music the further I progressed in my writing journey, centering most posts on that instead.  This was especially the case after I reduced my blogging schedule from once a week to twice a month.

About three weeks ago, though, I thought to myself, I should start blogging about music again, to change things up a bit.

And then the world as we knew it completely changed.

COVID-19.  Global pandemic.  Borders closed.  Cities under lockdown.  People quarantined at home on a massive scale to help slow the spread of the disease.

Suddenly blogging about music again seemed less just a fun idea and more a glaring necessity.

I listen to a lot of what could be characterized as New Age, classical crossover, or otherwise “easy listening” music.  This is because I spend the majority of my time either a) working, b) working out, c) reading, or d) writing, and for three out of four of these, I need to be relaxed to perform them effectively.

A lot of people could use some relaxation and stress relief right about now.

As such, from the confines of my home that I now almost never leave, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite New Age/classical crossover/singer-songwriter artists that might help ease our passage through this challenging time, the way art invariably does in times of hardship.

Introducing Eurielle

Eurielle is the stage name of Lauren Walker, an independent classical crossover recording artist from the UK who has multiple studio albums, singles, cover songs, and numerous film, TV, and video soundtrack vocal credits to her name.

Even though her debut studio album, Arcadia, was released back in 2015, I only learned about her in 2018, randomly on YouTube.

As an indie artist, she has a large YouTube presence thanks to a number of cinematic videos for her music, one of the best known being for her heartfelt ballad “Carry Me” (the first of her songs that I heard on YouTube).

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Arcadia as an album is diverse, sentimental, and somewhat ethereal, Eurielle’s clear, classically-trained voice at times wistful, at times soaring, and at times also layered in multi-part choral arrangements with herself.

She sings in English, French, and Latin on themes of love, loss, longing, heartbreak, death/the process of dying, and salvation, using imagery of nature, colours, the afterlife, historical figures, and more in her evocative lyrics.

Arcadia immediately drew me in and receives almost daily play, to which I often sing along to “Carry Me” and other favourite tracks like “Raindrops”, a jubilant song about falling in love; “Whispers”, a pensive vocalise; and “Burning Cold”, a multi-layered track about unwavering faith that draws a comparison between that of Joan of Arc.

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Eurielle’s most recent album, Goodbye Butterfly, was released late last year and again, I learned of it by accident … and on YouTube.

Although I’d long subscribed to her channel, I hadn’t enabled notifications, so it was purely by luck that I saw a teaser for an upcoming live broadcast of a single (“Petit Papillon”) from her forthcoming album.

“Petit Papillon” (French for “Little Butterfly”) is a bright, whimsical earworm of the operatic kind, yet with a wistful message about saying goodbye.

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The album itself echoes this sense of things ending in a number of tracks, it having been written, according to the album’s liner notes, following the breakup of a long-term relationship.

At first listen, this album is a simpler composition, featuring less layering of Eurielle’s voice and less variance among its songs, many of which are ballads.

However their melodies, combined with the poignancy of Eurielle’s voice, are incredibly compelling, to the point that despite initially dismissing it, my overall favourite song on the album is the sorrowful ballad “Feels Like Yesterday”.

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Beyond songs about breakup, Goodbye Butterfly also touches upon the environment/the climate crisis, the sacrifice of veterans in war, the false promises of mythological creatures, forbidden love, and the predicted supernova of the sun 5 billion years from now and the destruction of the earth and the other inner planets that will result.

Eurielle is an artist to watch, and one whose engaging music might bring you comfort during this difficult time.  You can find her music on all major online retail and streaming platforms.

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A/N: For the record, I only ever use over-the-head style headphones.  I’ve tried a number of styles of earbuds but they just will not stay in my ears.  I chose the title “inside my earbuds” purely for its alliterative artistry.

(Image source – J.G. Noelle)

5 thoughts on “Inside My Earbuds: Soothing Music for a Stressful Time

  1. That ‘Petit Papillon’ is pleasant, though couldn’t access the second. Strange, I’m the opposite to you in that I rarely listen to music these days, even as background. Maybe in the car (and we can’t drive far here). If I do listen it’s to favourites from the past, some of whom are still performing.

    Until our lockdown I’d go out for a quiet beers on a Sunday with a few of the boys. Our favourite bar in St Helier has French-style jazz/blues on as background which we all love with our beer.

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    • She is from your side of the pond (a Yorkshire lass) so I’m sure you can find her in your region’s version of YouTube if you’re curious.

      I listen to a lot of old favourites as well (particularly nowadays since I’m working completely uninterrupted at home alone). Your favourite bar sounds lovely. I enjoy live music too. I was all set to attend a concert in May for an artist who just released her first album in 10 years, but the show has been cancelled. Actually postponed, for the artist has promised to reschedule and honour all existing tickets, so that’s something to look forward to when we’re all set free again.

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    • I find her music very soothing either to actively listen to or to have on in the background while doing other things. And one of her songs helped inspire the relationship between two characters in my next novel, so there’s that.

      I learned to type on an IBM electric typewriter. My dad made me take typing class in school in grade 11. And he made me practice at home, perhaps thinking I’d just repeat those boring fff [space] jjj [space] drills. I started typing my stories instead, and the rest is history.

      (I did have to re-learn touch typing after migrating to the computer, though, since the feel of the keyboard was completely different. And to this day I can’t touch type any of the numbers because that was one of the last things taught in the class and I’d lost interest at that point since I already knew I was acing the class.)

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