Playlist: release

I return to you today with another playlist! Yay! I’ve been listening to a bunch of cool music lately and I WANT TO SHARE IT WITH YOU A LOT. And I am still working on that music link-up thing, by the way, so keep your eyes out. 😉

I’ve been mulling over this playlist for quite a while — the first version had so many different songs — but as ever I’ve edited it down to something I think is more cohesive. But I still just love all the music! Argh, it’s so difficult to choose. I do hope you enjoy.

release 2

release

for the summer dusk. for the ache of a feeling half-remembered. for looking back and perhaps finally letting the memories pass on into the night.
spotify / youtube

fools – lauren aquilina
blud – soak
high – phoebe green
saw you in a dream – the japanese house
supercut – lorde
around u – muna
saint claude – christine and the queens
meteorites – lights (midnight machines version)

I’m actually scheduling this post, so as you read it I will hopefully be having lots of fun learning Spanish (?!?) which is cool. HOPEFULLY. So I might be a bit delayed in commenting. I hope you’re all having a good day, wherever you are. I’d love to hear what you thought of this playlist, or any music recs you might have!

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Playlist: Hey April

I haven’t made a new playlist in what feels like absolutely ages — okay, I just looked it up and AUGUST; I need to find a playlist prompts thing — and I have also been listening to some rad new music lately. This is a bit of a mixed playlist, but I suppose it’s just a collection of songs that make me think of April! I hope you enjoy 😀

hey april playlist cover

Hey April

for the of threading daisy chains on the damp grass. for the ripening citrus summer. for the sun through the clouds as it rains, splintered but bright.
listen on spotify / youtube

i love you (but i’m leaving) – rusty clanton

absolutely smitten – dodie

past lives – børns

don’t take the money – bleachers

happy with me – holychild

bwu – tegan and sara

don’t kill my vibe – sigrid

feel it still – portugal. the man

the wire – haim

edge of town – middle kids

I KNOW. TEN SONGS. More than usual, right? But what can I say, I’ve been hearing some good tunes. Last month was pretty cool for me because I got to go see Dodie on tour with some of my friends which I am STILL SCREAMING ABOUT. Rusty Clanton was the opening act, and I hadn’t heard of him before but I really liked his music, so!

I actually sincerely want to find a music playlist prompts thing, because I used to love doing the one that went around this corner of the blogosphere. MAYBE I SHOULD JUST MAKE ONE. Hmm. *strokes beard*

Isn’t It Strange? Collab Review

Processed with Snapseed.

If you have yet to experience my intense Lauren Aquilina flailing, HERE IS YOUR CHANCE. Today I’m so thrilled to be reviewing (!!) her debut LP (!!) with An Overthinking Teenager (!!) @ Mixolydian Musings. We’ve both been massive fans of her for a while so obviously ALBUM NEWS was amazing to hear. It’s been a long wait for Isn’t It Strange? but I truly think it was worth it. 😀 We also reviewed some of her earlier music including the Ocean EP here, if you’re interested!

We’ll be going through the album track-by-track, but we’ll also discuss the album as a whole and general comments throughout.

midnight mouths

I personally wasn’t that keen on this upon my first listen — I think I was feeling a bit nervous that Lauren had gone completely electronic? But now I adore this one, especially the chorus!

Me: And I also love the whole ‘midnight mouths thing and the entire aesthetic of the song haha.
AOT: I loveeee how the texture thickens just before the chorus, it makes it so powerful… and I personally quite like tropical house/dance music so I like old Aquilina but I was well on board with the new electronic era too.

(Again I’m slightly paraphrasing and editing for readability, by the way. Not completely direct quotes! Because those had a lot more terrible punctuation and capitals on my part.)

wicked game

Wicked Game is definitely a favourite of mine on the album. I love the combination of darker lyrics with more electronic-y production, and the lyrics basically kill me every time. We also thought that the contrast of the lower verse with the higher chorus was super effective — the contrasts in this song do just work REALLY WELL.

AOT: And the lyrics kinda reflect a lot of life, like “nobody ever taught me to play this wicked game”…it kinda reminds me of how much of life you’re just expected to navigate alone.
Me: YES that is a good point! It’s kind of…both specific yet extremely relatable?

kicks

We discussed this one a bit in our previous review, but basically WE STILL LOVE IT. The production feels so seamless to me; the clapping and the little electronic-y riff going on are really cool. It was also fabulous to see a more positive song here! We also thought this (like many others on the album) felt more mature and experienced compared to the EPs.

AOT: AND ALSO KICKS = KICKING ME AROUND = PUNS/WORDPLAY = LOVE.
Me: IKR WHAT GREAT WORDPLAY HONESTLY.

(Okay, I lied about the capitals. WHAT CAN I SAY? Our flailing is too great to be constrained by proper grammar and capitalisation.)

how would you like it?

I loved this one from the first listen, although I think it’s only improved with time. We thought that the stripped production really let the emotion shine through — it’s just such a raw and powerful song. Although again it’s quite a specific situation, ‘how would you like it?’ feels like a really universal lyric too. HONESTLY, this just gives me the chills asdfjkl.

way too good

Me: I love the aesthetic of it like — I don’t know, it feels so classy to me.
AOT: Yesss I agree about the classiness thing, I think that’s because it’s more minimalist and, again, ‘grown up’.

I think I’ve said this way too good many times, but this one is ALSO one of our favourites. I love the humming bit at the start, and generally the whole minimal but also slightly electronic production? The lyrics are honestly SO AWESOME — in particular I enjoy the ‘I am, I am’ bits and the whole vibe of appreciating the moment even though you know it won’t last.

hurt any less

This one is pretty different to the last one, but it has so many great contrasts — the fast verse and then slowing down at the chorus, the lyrics/melody… I adore the pre-chorus bit. ‘This was never love/it was chaos,’ is probably one of my favourite lines on the album!

AOT: Yep it’s amazing and also like that it feels happy even though it def isn’t.
Me: Ooh yes that’s interesting! Like, it does feel rather upbeat but listening to the lyrics you’re like…wait… It’s a bit bittersweet, I guess.

fools – live at RAK studios

So this one is a re-recording of Lauren’s first single, Fools, rather than a new song. She only wrote this age 16 (!?!?) but it’s still an incredibly moving song — like, seriously, where can I get these skills? It still fits well with the rest of the album, and it feels very fitting since it’s been such an important song in her career. We thought it was a little more reflective and subdued than the original. Lauren’s voice has also changed a lot, wow!

Me: Currently I’m just listening to the original of this to kinda compare haha.
AOT: I read somewhere that she rerecorded it because her voice has changed. And I agree with something else she said — about the way she sings it now is more serious and less naïve because she knows how the relationship ends
Me: oh that’s very interesting to hear! I’d definitely agree — I think it actually feels pretty similar to the rest of the album. Like, more grown up.

suddenly strangers

Suddenly Strangers has a lovely water-y vibe, especially at the beginning! The concept of how people can go from knowing each other so well to not talking at all is really interesting, and I think it works wonerfully here. This song has some great lines including the album title, ‘isn’t it strange?’ Once again it feels like a very universal theme.

thinking about

I was pretty excited to hear this one because I’d seen a video of Lauren performing it live about a year ago and I was like OH I REMEMBER THIS LYRIC. (Actually, turns out the video is still up on YouTube!) We really liked that this is pretty pared down yet it’s still so powerful. The melody and lyrics speak so strongly on their own!

Me: Mm yes I don’t think it’s one of my absolute favourites overall but definitely another strong song. (And it reminds me a little more of like kinda Liars-y production? What with all those floaty piano things and stuff.)
AOT: Yes yes yes love it — I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite song overall but ‘all I’m thinking about’ etc is one of my fave lines on the album, I think.

ocean

We also reviewed this one previously, since it came out late last year, but IT’S STILL SO AWESOME. What a fabulous end to the album! To me it feels very cathartic, and it’s a lot more abstract than the others — like, it kind of applies to the whole album in a way.

an overall look

Me: *flails* tbh just…what great music…i think I have used too many ellipses here but yes I am vaguely speechless
AOT: Yess yess yess she’s done so freaking well it’s honestly amazing. 10/10 methinks.

In summary, we absolutely ADORED this. It was definitely worth waiting for, and I know that it’s one of my absolute favourite recent albums. We really liked that the songs sort of followed a linear narrative — going from the more electronic and dark opening tracks, they became a little more reflective as we went along. Something that I also noticed was that third person pronouns were used more; I think there were hardly any in the EPs! The lyrics in general just feel more experienced and direct, though they still retain a beautiful poetic quality. Like, there’s definitely less abstract imagery happening. AAH YAY IT’S JUST SO AMAZING and I can’t wait to hear more from Lauren Aquilina! Thanks so much to my wonderful reviewing partner An Overthinking Teenager, and I hope you guys enjoyed this flailing. 😀

what did you think of isn’t it strange? lauren aquilina fan? listened to any other good albums lately?

Playlist: carry on, simon

This might sound completely insane, but…I feel like I haven’t flailed about Rainbow Rowell in a while? Anyway. I AM EXPERIENCING A RENAISSANCE. I still have all of my Carry On feels. Beneath this veneer of silence I am still actually complete trash.

Anyway. I made a dark magic/Baz/angsty wizard playlist (don’t laugh) on my Spotify an absolute age ago and I thought this might be time for all of my music feels to come to use. Because I HAVE A LOT OF FEELS WHEN IT COMES TO CARRY ON. I found it difficult to fit everyone’s stories into one playlist here — because playlist cohesion — so this is mostly a Simon and Baz one. And that is definitely not a gentle foreshadowing for more Carry On playlists… 😉

(Just to let you know, several of these songs contain swearing.)

carry on playlist.jpg
you have to pretend you get an endgame. you have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all. (by rainbow rowell)
listen on youtube / spotify

runaway – aurora
creep – radiohead
carry on wayward son – kansas
tectonic – brendan maclean
bloodsport – raleigh ritchie
young & beautiful – lana del rey
flaws – bastille
into my arms – nick cave & the bad seeds

Playlist: wolf daughters

So… my heart has been rather heavy lately, both with personal struggles and with news from across the world. I made this playlist before the Orlando shooting, and I intended it to be a sort of celebratory playlist about girls loving girls. (Vaguely Eposette. SORRY. But also not sorry.) I’m not going to tell you that every single song here is happy, because it’s not — but I like to think I gave it a happy ending. And although I am sad, I’m also more determined to keep writing and creating things that celebrate queerness.

I do hope you enjoy this one. ❤

wolf daughters2

wolf daughters

for the girl who taught herself how to survive. who found that even the softest have their own wolves. who was never taught the word love but learnt it anyway.
listen on youtube / spotify

hotel song – regina spektor
sex – lauren aquilina (cover)
muscle memory (midnight version) – lights
wicked games – parra for cuva
cliff’s edge – hayley kiyoko
the fool – ryn weaver
elastic heart – sia
harlem – cathedrals
i’m not your hero – tegan and sara

I’d strongly suggest listening to the playlist in YouTube so that you can experience the very awesome and beautiful cover of Sex. The Spotify version is still the dude singing, so. Also: I’d also love to hear any queer artist recommendations! I AM ALWAYS ON THE HUNT FOR MORE QUEER SONGS.

 

Collab Review: Lauren Aquilina

As you might know, both An Overthinking Teenager @ Mixolydian Musings and I are MASSIVE Lauren Aquilina fans! And following the recent release of Kicks, I’m super excited to announce that AOT and I are going to be doing some reviewing together. 😀 Hopefully this will culminate in a release of Lauren’s LP (later this year?!)  but for now I present to you: a review of Lauren Aquilina’s new releases since her Liars EP! Be sure to go and check out An Overthinking Teenager’s post to compare our preferences and comments. 🙂

lauren aquilina ocean ep

ocean ep

We’re going through the songs chronologically (not counting Time to Say Goodbye, since it’s a cover). So first up on the Ocean EP is the title single, Ocean.

AOT: OK I have a tiny confession…at first I didn’t like this song. Like I listened to it a couple of times then kinda forgot about it because I wasn’t that keen on it. BUT NOW, after listening to it again today, I like it!

At first I was a bit worried that Lauren had gone all mainstream electronic and that this one was a little repetitive. But after a few more listens, this grew so much on me and now it’s one of my favourites! The lyrics are a lot more abstract than Old Aquilina (which is my word for the Trilogy EP songs, basically) but there’s so much wonderful ocean imagery in there.

Me: Video thoughts of mine: A+ ocean aesthetic. I mean, mostly Lauren’s videos don’t have like massive stories? But I like that its simplicity lets me focus on the song.
AOT: So…like you at first I was like wut is this where is she it looks like the blinds are moving but THEN I was like “yass dem cgi skills though”. And I LOVED LOVED LOVED the bit when right at the same time loads more instruments come in a massive wave crashes.

(By the way, I’m sort of editing and paraphrasing our flailings for readability.) I love this video — I think it allows you to interpret the song, but it really goes with its aesthetic. And some of the ocean overlays and timing of the scene switches are excellent. Rating: 4/5.


Me: Um, I sort of…didn’t like Low AT ALL when I first heard it. It’s probably still my least favourite of like the New Aquilina songs?
AOT: I LOVE the like double vocals? I don’t know. what to call it but they’re awesome. Video wise I like that it’s simple and one take and it kinda fits with the lyrics but not that much? It’s maybe a bit too abstract.

Next up is Low. I was also a bit sceptical of this at first, and I’m personally just not a massive fan of its production! But as ever there are still some great lyrics (like ‘too deep to see the waterline/too young to know that I’ll be fine’.) I thought the video was rather too abstract but the one take was impressive. PROPS FOR VIDEO STYLE. AOT preferred Low and I preferred Ocean, so rating: 4/5 again!

AOT I like the chorus but feel like it’s maybe a bit anticlimactic? (I don’t like that word but I couldn’t think of anything else.)
Me: Asdfjkl I actually love this so much! I think it is less of a big chorus? But I’m not sure; I do like it though. And I particularly enjoyed the kinda echoey piano thing.

Out of Our Depth technically isn’t one of the ‘main’ singles — hence the lack of a video or proper track for me to show you — but I adore it. I think it’s a gem! It’s a bit more traditionally structured. The echo-y piano thing and guitar are awesome, and I feel as though it’s more of a mature song? There could be lots of interpretations for it. *nods* Rating: 4.5/5.

echoes lauren aquilina.jpg

echoes

AOT:AOT: IDK THE INSTRUMENT BUT THE BIT AT THE START
Me: I LOVE THAT SO MUCH (*switches onto caps lock*) And I love how it continues and slightly changes throughout. Argh, this is probably the song I had the best first impression of and then continued to love!

Now Echoes! I LOOOVE THIS. Both AOT and I agreed this was probably our favourite! The little electronic motif we hear repeated throughout is awesome. For this one my excellent first impression continued through all my listens. Nothin really to be improved: fabulous lyrics, melody, and production! Rating: 5/5

This session is a bit more chilled and pared down musically. Live vocals is always wonderful — and we have less backing so more of the main — and the setting is SO COOL. Man, do I love the black and white aesthetic. (And I’ve been there at the Tate! #claimtofame.) I’d also highly suggest checking out the Edeema remix of Echoes. I’m not normally a massive fan of remixes but I thought this one brought just the right touch of originality!

kicks lauren aquilina

kicks

Me: Okay I’m done! *flails* I FEEL SO PUMPED NOW. Yesss upbeat video and awesome song. Kicks is definitely more pop-y & the lyrics are less sort of…lyrical, I guess, compared Old Aquilina. But IT’S POP PERFECTION.
AOT: YES THE VIDEO IS GREAT! And I love that she included fans. The only thing is I can see why she made it all girls but idk it feels maybe a little bit unfair to boys. Makes it less relatable? But I do get that she’s going for the female empowerment thing.

*gasps* Kicks is…NOT a sad song?!? Upbeat, you say?! Ahaha so Kicks is a bit of a departure from the usual Aquilina vibes. It has more succint rather than descriptive lyrics, I thought, but I love the upbeat girl power message. YAS THE BOXING. It was super cool that the video included fans, although maybe in going for all-girls it was a little exclusionary? But the song itself is pop awesomeness. (A hint of what’s to come?) And the album art is stunning — I love a good Helvetica-y font. *nods* We couldn’t really think of anything wrong with this so we went rating: 5/5.

which artists do you flail about? do you like lauren aquilina too? what are your thoughts on her new songs? don’t forget to check out aot‘s post!

Playlist: starcross (my camp nano project!!)

YES. This Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m working on a new writing project! I’ve been planning it for a few months now, and I’m super excited to get started. The current pitch is lesbian Henry V in space — which I know sounds slightly crazy, but I am slightly crazy. I’m not keeping strictly to the plot — Shakespeare buffs, please don’t kill me, I seriously chose to swoop in on this on a whim. IT WORKS IN MY HEAD, at least. 😛

Pretty soon I realised I was going to actually need to plan this project. ME, a pantser. The very thought made me want to cry.  But I’ve…actually rather enjoyed it? Hopefully it means I can get down to actual writing this April!

My first line of development with any writing project is picking music. I find it extremely difficult to write without songs. They help me to get into the mindset of my writing infinitely better. Within this playlist I have songs for all my main characters, whom I have briefly described below. (my smol children) Bonus points if you can figure out which song goes to which character! 😛

-> Eleanor Lin, a volatile young space queen/general/queen sounds way better though right. Newly ascended to the leader of her system after somewhat manic teenage years.
-> Neus Felices, self-loathing angsty heir to the bustling interstellar empire.
-> Jem, an excitable small mechanic with a lot of enthusiasm for flying.
-> Junjie, angsty son of a general with secret illegal doings he has yet to inform his mother of.

And also there is idolisation of a universe-wide Wikipedia, travel at the speed of light, and artificial intelligence. *dances in excitement*

starcross

starcross v2
cross me and i’ll cross the stars to get my revenge.
listen on spotify / youtube

judge and jury (paul dinletir remix) – audiomachine
can’t kill us – the glitch mob
radioactive – imagine dragons
gasoline – halsey
dance anthem of the 80s – regina spektor
elastic heart – sia
glory and gore – lorde
born to die – lana del rey

I know it starts off with very scary electronic songs. It gets less scary and electronic as you progress. (Although scary and electronic is probably quite an accurate aesthetic description of my WIP.)

are you participating in camp nano? are you a plotter or a pantser? do you make playlists for your writing?

Playlist: sea creatures

I like mermaids. I love mermaids. All kinds of mermaid mythology. For my final art project at the end of last year, I even ended up doing a sort of mermaid self-portrait. (Even though I’m not very good at art, I actually really enjoyed painting that, and I also thought it was decent.) Our teacher let us listen to music, so I made an entire mermaid playlist for that. IT WAS AWESOME.

But that old playlist was also little disorganised. I realised when I was compiling this new one that I had two ways I wanted it to go, because there are two kinds of mermaid music I have: the soft guitars and ocean noises and relaxing vocals, and the dark electronic pulsing. In other words: the surface, and the seabed, which is a line I stole from lauren Aquilina’s Ocean. 😉

It turns out I actually had to narrow down songs to put on here. More songs than usual. I have sooo many ocean-themed songs! I hope you all enjoy this playlist, even if you’re not as mermaid-crazy as I am hehe.

sea creatures

sea creatures cover

i lost my head somewhere between the surface and the seabed. (a playlist in two parts: one for the lulling of the tides on the sand, and the other for the deathly quiet of the depths.)
listen on spotify / youtube

side a. seabed
merewif – willow beats
water me – fka twigs
drowning – banks
bloodflood – alt-j

side b. surface
the water – johnny flynn ft. laura marling
sailingsong – a fine frenzy
sea creatures – soak
ocean – lauren aquilina

Also, although it didn’t fit onto here, Siren Song by Bat For Lashes is a beautiful haunting mermaid-song. (I have so many other mermaid song recommendations, but that will have to do.)

do you make playlists for projects? what are your feelings on mermaids? what mythological figures fascinate you?

Fanmix Yourself: the wanderlust of inertia

Is it narcissistic fanmixing yourself? I don’t know. Maybe. 😛 No, I’ve actually been wanting to do this for a while — I thought it would be kind of nice to tie in with all the New Year reflections. The hope is that I do one next year and see if my choices change.

I recently spotted a fanmix yourself tag going around Tumblr, but that didn’t feel right… If I’m making a playlist to tell a story, then I like the whole playlist to tell a story. (Rather than each song on its own.) (Also, I like cohesive playlists a lot more.) So this ended up being, um, pretty difficult. Character playlists are laborious anyway, and that’s when you have a better judgement of the character. — I probably have skewed judgement of myself.  So I was pretty pleased that I actually finished this playlist!

Are the songs I like different to the songs that describe me? I don’t know. I think so. There’s a fair bit of…angsty dark electronic stuff in my music library, and I’m not actually that angsty and dark. (Maybe angsty. Sometimes. XD) And my music taste is also ridiculously varied — it doesn’t tell you that much about me, probably. I’m not sure. It swings between electronic pop and sweeping soundtracks and things with loud guitars quite frequently.

I didn’t really realise when I was putting it together, but this has a lot of my favourite songs. Songs that make me feel things more than other songs. Basically: SONGS I LIKE A LOT. So, um, this is making me a little nervous. But I hope you like it!

image

the wanderlust of inertia

for when you no longer know what you’re waiting for. for the ache of souls contorted into the bones you built them from. for screaming up at the stars and expecting an answer back.
listen on spotify

counting down the hours – ted leo and the pharmacists
lost that easy – cold war kids
paris – magic man
i stand corrected – vampire weekend
deeper than love – colleen green
here – alessia cara
forest fires – lauren aquilina
new constellations – ryn weaver

I’m using Spotify for my playlists now, and I’m finding it way easier than Soundcloud. (And I keep putting obscure songs in that it didn’t seem to have. *laughs awkwardly*)

What songs would you have chosen for yourself? Have you discovered any new music in 2015?

Writing Playlist: static/silence

I am weird about writing playlists — I absolutely love them, and I think they help me so much, but they’re really bloody difficult to create. Usually with a playlist, I’ll choose a few songs and then see a connecting story; that’s why I’m awful at sticking to themes. And probably part of all why I’m awful at finding what I actually want in a writing playlist. I end up describing characters as ‘this artist plus this artist plus some of that one’. XD

Not to mention all the different facets you have to cater for in a writing playlist: songs with lyrics that actually make sense with a character, mood songs with irrelevant lyrics, all the different plot points and emotions in a book. UGH. Anyone else who manages it, you’re fabulous. It’s taken me, like, several months to concoct this one. Whoops. It’s been working really well for my NaNoWriMo project so far, even if my plans have gone entirely out the window haha.

static silence cover

static/silence

for when the white noise becomes as familiar as your heartbeat. for running through darkened streets. for desperation and deceit and trying to find a reason to stay alive when your world is falling apart.
listen on soundcloud

female robbery – the neighbourhood
creep – scala & kolacny brothers
take me to church – ellie goulding
blood on my hands – danielle parente
control – halsey
forest fires – lauren aquilina
shadow preachers – zella day
forest fires – lauren aquilina
laura – bat for lashes
broke – lauren aquilina
little dawn – ted leo and the pharmacists

I had to condense it down a bit and remove some Lauren Aquilina songs, because, erm, I think I had most of her discography on it. Even if I could only get covers on Soundcloud. And also, the Ted Leo track isn’t there either, sorry! UGH I still haven’t found a good site to curate playlists on. Any recommendations, guys? 🙂

Do you like to use writing playlists? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo too then how’s it going?