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!

Isn’t It Strange? Collab Review

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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?

Summer Favourites!

You may have noticed that my monthly favourites just sort of…disappeared from the blog. I know it didn’t have much of an explanation. BUT! Although it might sound hard to believe (I mean, this is me) I actually did have a master plan. 😛 From now on I’m going to be doing round-ups every three months — that is, quarterly. Except it’s going to run from December – February, March – May etc. because seasons and cohesion. Yeah. DON’T ASK. Doing a round-up every month was just becoming a bit of a chore for me, but I still wanted to be able to check in and share the great posts I’ve been reading. Hopefully I’ll start being more organised with keeping track of posts haha!

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1. Nothing’s Real by Shura YAY, I have listening to a bunch of great queer music lately! I first came across Shura when I found her video What’s It Gonna Be? on Tumblr, which to be honest STILL makes me sigh in happiness. It is so wonderful and cute and excellently aesthetic and you all need to click on that link right now…(No, seriously: KEEP WATCHING TO THE END. It’s fab.) Anyway, I bought her full album and it’s awesome and now I might have a tiny crush…? Erm. Anyway.

2. Japanese Woah, guys. I ACTUALLY LEARNT SOME JAPANESE. (I’m attempting to learn some for my trip next year.) I feel so proud of myself. I’ve only done the first few lessons in my textbook (an old edition of Japanese For Busy People) and a bit of a Memrise but I feel very productive. I’ve also signed up to an online course on Minato, so let’s see how that goes.

3. This Savage Song by VE Schwab Let’s be real: it’s a Schwab book. It was always going to end up in my favourites. The writing was beautiful as I per usual and I adored all of the characters! It was also completely awesome to be able to go to one of her events, asdfjkl. (In a subtle bit of self-promotion: here! check out the post where I wrote about it! :P)

4. Isn’t It Strange? by Lauren Aquilina *shrieks* A NEW LOZZA AQ FULL LENGTH ALBUM, WHAT IS LIIIFE. I’ve listened to it in full about 3 times already and…honestly. I think my life is complete. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. Expect more flailing in the future. 😉

5. Mr Robot Another programme I finally got round to watching. I find it a bit intense and occasionally a bit of a downer, but it’s a seriously awesome programme. I have 2 episodes left of the first series to watch. (Yes. I know. I watch TV programmes pretty rarely and if I do it’s with the pace of a snail. This is impressive for me.)

6. Serial I downloaded this podcast to my ancient iPod some time ago, but I only recently got round to listening to it. And woah, it’s so gripping! I’d definitely recommend it.

7. Alexander Hamilton  by Ron Chernow I am very proud of myself for finishing this brick of a book. It evens rivals The Brick (aka Les Mis) for historical density. Despite its length, though, I actually found it super readable! And…well. My Hamilton obsession is only increasing, to be honest. I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in the American Revolution! (Because history actually is as crazy as the musical.)

8. Slovenia and Croatia So, my big trip this summer was travelling with Guides around Slovenia and Croatia! I’d been fundraising and working together with 13 other girls from my area for just under a year and the trip was absolutely AMAZING. I mean…Girlguides is a little weird for me, because obviously everyone assumes you’re a girl. But it was so nice and asadfjkl I AM FILLED WITH JOY FOR GUIDING & SCOUTING. If you guys ever get the chance to go on an international trip with a scouting organisation I’d definitely recommend it! ❤

stuff from around the internet:

  • I wrote about the Unforgivable Curses for #PotterheadJuly and I am still quite proud of that post. I just…enjoy fun Harry Potter things ahaha.
  • Well, er, Brexit happened. I talked about it just beforehand and just after. You’ll probably see some difference… -_-
  • I talked about all the languages I really want to learn! For some reason this post was super popular…? I have no idea hy, but YAY. It’s been wonderful flailing about languages with everyone! ❤
  • The Finding Our Feet project is finally live! I’ve been working this in collaboration with Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen and Victoria @ Addlepates and Book Nerds. I do hope you enjoy it. 🙂
  • Chiara @ Delicate Eternity wrote a guest post on The Daily Prophecy about the importance of LGBTQ+ retellings, along with many recommendations.
  • Both alwaysopinionatedgirl and Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense wrote about the wonderfulness of Ginny Weasley and why she is more than just a love interest. *coughs* like the movies made her out to be *coughs*
  • Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff created the Amsterdam Book Tag, which is SERIOUSLY cool. And I definitely need to do it. Everyone: PLEASE REMIND ME TO DO THIS.
  • The world has been blessed with new Hayley Kiyoko music and a video! Mmm, the song is called Gravel to Tempo seriously wonderful.
  • Look! The cast of Class! Only the new Doctor Who spin off written by Patrick Ness. I am…actually really excited for this ahaha. *nods* It’s due to air around October, which will hopefully keep me surviving through school.
  • Ayy, the BBC is making a Les Mis miniseries. I AM SO HYPED. I was so hyped that I even wrote about all the things I want to see in it. I will doubtless be nattering to you all about this in the future, because HELLO I am still very much a Les Mis nerd haha.

in the diary:

  • Well. June was a little dominated by a) internal exams over the first half and b) Brexit over the second. I mean…I don’t want to write a massive thing about Brexit now because that’s a whole post in itself. I think it’s fair to say that whilst I am feeling a lot better about it, it’s always a jolt in my mind when I remember. :/ I just finished reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton and he’s all like tryign to create a system with a balance of government and people. And I do feel like this is an example of something popular but not good… Like, WHY ARE WE MAKING THINGS SO DIFFICULT ON PURPOSE. But yeah. Anyways. British politics is crazy right now ahaha.
  • However, June was also Pride month! This was my first time actually reading & participating slightly more in stuff so that rocked. I am still sad that I couldn’t make it to London Pride, but I swear to you: NEXT YEAR.
  • I went to Wimbledon and saw Serena & Venus Williams, which I am STILL VERY IN AWE ABOUT. Asdfjkl it was a pretty insane day.
  • I was so excited to do a swap box with the lovely Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen! I mean, the internet is great and all but sometimes it’s awesome to get something real in the post. There were loads of wonderful things in it besides the ones pictured as well! (But THAT BOOKMARK THO.) You can check out Em’s post with my swap box here.

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  • I learnt how to make lemon curd and subsequently made it several times. IT’S SO FREAKING TASTY. And it’s really easy to make! (Which is good for me considering I’m not the best cook ever.)
  • I’ve just generally be hanging out and doing fun things over the summer: meeting friends, making ice cream, going into town. Writing. Reading. It’s wonderful to have some time on my hands. 🙂
  • I head back to school today — well, I’m writing this a little earlier, but on the first — and although school and work and stress…I’m also pretty excited to be starting another year. 🙂 I’ve dropped a bunch of subjects this year and we’re getting entirely new classes so it should be good! And I am weirdly excited for the History syllabus, to be honest haha.

I hope you all had a good summer! And if any of you guys got your exam results back then congrats, and I hope you’re pleased.

how was your summer? are you back at school (or not)? listened to any good music lately?

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!

April Favourites!

From the number of favourites this month it looks like my April has been a bit dismal. BUT IT REALLY HASN’T BEEN. The things that have happened are just more interesting, and also I wrote more about them. Although I’ve been rather stressed out with the combination of Camp NaNo, music exam, and revision, so. Maybe my ability to be excited was eaten away by stress…? Wow, that also sounds dismal. LET’S MOVE ON.

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1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Well, duh. This was one of my most anticipated books of this year. And I adore The Raven Cycle. I thought that maybe in terms of story it was a little messy? Like, there were a lot of new things that seemed to appear out of nowhere. But overall I’m SO HAPPY with how the series has ended and ASDFJKL AMAZINGNESS. *flails* I’m really not ready to leave these characters. I need something to help my emotions here.

2. Kicks by Lauren Aquilina First of all: NEW AQUILINA MUSIC!! Second of all: AWESOME UPBEAT CATCHY NEW AQUILINA MUSIC!! Kicks is just a really fabulous song. Lauren’s sort of moving into more pop-electronic kind of things, but I’m loving it if it’s like Kicks. (I’ve also been writing an excellent co-review of New Aquilina songs, so be watching out for that.)

3. My Neighbours the Yamadas Another Studio Ghibli movie night in the quest to watch them all. Me & my friends have a super fun group where we all watch Ghibli movies together, and we were kinda expecting this one to not be so good…? It has a very different experimental art style, and it’s a series of short stories about a family instead of some crazy whimsical film. But it was HILARIOUS. I highly recommend!

4. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt I haven’t read many books this month because I spent absolutely forever on this. It’s a complete brick of a book. And I actually enjoyed it so much! It was cool to read it right after my New York trip. It dragged in places, but the writing was beautiful. And also it was slightly awful to watch the train wreck happening, but beautifully awful.

5. Camp NaNoWriMo I HAVE LITERALLY JUST COME FROM FINISHING THIS. 10 words over my goal yess. I mean, I was only doing 15k this time — I started out pretty strong, but very soon realised that maybe it wasn’t a great idea to do Camp NaNo right before exam season? *laughs manically* Normally it would be more aligned with my school holidays, but Easter was really early and it sort of messed my plans up. ANYWAYS. I’m a bit frazzled now, but I’m pretty proud of my WIP so far & I’m looking forward to talking more about it in the near future! (Meanwhile you can check out my Camp playlist here.)

 

Stuff from around the internet:

  • I flailed about my trip to New York, and also I talked about the relationship between school sport and gender.
  • Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen looked at the arguments on each side for the upcoming EU referendum, and educated me on some more points! Although I can’t vote, this was super informative and now I’m definitely supporting in.
  • Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout talked about different design shops and monetising your book blog. (And I had a little feature in this, which was fun!)
  • This Guardian article talked about why YA books with politics are important.
  • Pearl Mackie is playing the new companion on Doctor Who, Bill! I’m excited to see what’s she’s going to be like, although I’m still super sad to see Clara go. 😦
  • Alice Oseman (author of Solitaire and Radio Silence) started a video series about her book-writing process.
  • Robin Talley announced the cover + title of her new book, Our Own Private Universe! Which she blurbed as Judy Blume’s Forever with queer girls. OBVIOUSLY I’M EXCITED. (Also, can we appreciate that she’s also releasing As I Descending, a modern F/F Macbeth retelling?!) (LITERALLY MY PERFECT BOOK I’M SO PYSCHHEEEED RIGHT NOW.)
  • Um, I’ve been a little bit terrible at reading blogs, which is probably going to continue until my exams finish mid-June. But I’d love to see what you’ve been doing over the last month!

In the diary:

  • I…went back to school? And then promptly started freaking out about exams, so yeah.
  • Back to school did mean the start of Carnegie Medal Shadowing! This year seems particularly strong so far — I’d read a couple before we started, but One by Sarah Crossan was a fabulous new find for me. And Robin Talley’s Lies We Tell Ourselves is currently the favourite, which I’m VERY pleased about. 😀
  • If anyone has tips for music exam aurals: PLEASE. Let me know. *flails with stress* I’ve got my clarinet exam in two weeks and, like, I hadn’t processed it was so soon until now haha.
  • I’VE BASICALLY FINISHED MY JEHAN COSPLAY. I just have to sew one bit along the waistcoat shoulder to make that a bit tighter, and then DONE! It’s by no means perfect, but I’m basically a complete beginner sewer (as in person who sews, not the drain) so I’m thrilled. MCM London, here I come! I’ve been thinking of putting up a tutorial, too… Do let me know if you’d enjoy that. 🙂

It really pains me to say this, because I’ve been a bit missing in action over the last month as well, but: I’m not going to be as active on my blog until mid-June, which is when my exams finished. I’ll still be posting and chatting to you all, but I don’t want to put more stress on myself! So, yeah.

how’s your april been? got any upcoming cons? (not the heist kind, the other one.) have you been having crazy weather like me?!

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?

October Favourites!

october faves

October is now… Octover. (Hush. Let me quote stupid Tumblr posts in peace.) Still: November! The month of NaNoWriMo! And 2016 is in 2 months! This is so weird!

1. Hamilton *flings open window* I AM NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOTTT So, everyone on Tumblr was talking about this musical. It sounds like it shouldn’t work — uh huh, a hip-hop opera about the founding fathers of America? I guess? — but IT TOTALLY DOES. It’s awesome. The lyrics, guys. (I think I just really like musicals about dead revolutionaries, full stop. History is always improved by overdramatic singing.)

2. Always Human by walkingnorth I hadn’t really been reading any good webcomics lately… UNTIL I FOUND THIS ONE! And it’s an adorable sci fi thing with girls falling in love and awesome art and asfdjkl did I mention how cute it is. Seriously. Go read it nooow. (I started reading it in summer? But then it got taken down so it could be featured in October. And now it’s updating again, yay!)

3. In Perfect Light by Benjamin Alire Saenz Yep, it’s the author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe… It turns out he has written a bunch of other, seriously awesome books. Like, wow. The best book I’ve read in ages. His writing style from Ari and Dante definitely shows through here too. I mean, I definitely enjoyed that, but I think I liked this one more. I have zero idea why people aren’t all over it because WOW CHARACTERS AND POETIC WRITING DAAAMN. *whispers* I loved it.

4. MCM Comic Con Yes. That is a pack of tea with the Doctor on the front. A HAUL POST IS COMING! But I wore my Penny Bunce cosplay and spent too much money and the world was in its rightful nerdy place. *nods*

5. The Big Lie by Julie Hearn It’s Britain, but if the Nazis had won WW2. Plus political disobedience, queer characters, and awesome writing. ‘Tis good.

6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell AHAHAHA. No surprise here. My love affair with Watford is no secret. ❤ Carry On was a little different to what I expected — and not perfect, but I totally loved it. ALL MY SMALL MAGES, WHY DO YOU PINE SUCH. *shakes head* (Though, people: Carry On is not Cath’s fanfiction. It’s not designed to be in her style, or in the style of fic.)

7. Oceans by Lauren Aquilina Yep. Lauren’s new EP aah! Her style has definitely grown since her last EP, and I’m so in love with it. 🙂 I also got a SIGNED CD. And a POSTER WITH MY NAME ON IT!! I’m totally cool! not omg Lauren SIGNED MY EP

Stuff from around the internet:

  • This month my top posts were Should We Judge Books By Their Authors?, I Am a Person Too and Poetry: Ashore.
  • It was asexual awareness week! I was hoping to write, like, an actual blog post rather than a few links but… I was pretty disorganised, and life got in the way. You should totally visit the site though, and here is cute comic drawn for last year’s ace awareness week which I think explains asexuality myths nicely. (Sorry, but A does not stand for Allies.)
  • It was the Les Mis 30th Anniversary! I didn’t get tickets to a show or anything, but. There you go. It was on the same day as the Carry On UK release, weirdly. Speaking of:
  • There were a lot of Rainbow Rowell interviews, because, well. CARRY ON WAS RELEASED ASDFJKL
  • There’s going to be a new Solitaire novellaaaa.
  • Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages shared her Raven Cycle character playlists.
  • Okay, I was really bad at reading blogs this months. I’m really sorry. And I’ll probably be bad at it next month too because NaNo. UGHHH.

In the diary:

  • I got a haircut! I don’t normally take selfies, but I thought this one was nice, so: here, my new short hair. 🙂

  • Sooo I started attending a Japanese club at school with my friend. I mean, I’m progressing rather slowly because it’s just one lunchtime a week, but we’re trying to learn some out of school too. (And I might be going to Japan soon! I actually haven’t been back since I left when I was about six, so I am VERy EXCITED OMG.)
  • I went train-hopping, finally — I just ended up riding the Tube until I got to a nice station, and then sat down and did some writing. Okay, I know that sounds like the literal craziest thing ever but I’ve wanted to do that for ages.

If you didn’t see my moany and/or panicked tweets, I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month! Weirdly, this is my third year — even though it still feels so new. I’m hoping to get some decent writing done, but it does mean that I’m probably not going to be around the blogging community as much. I’ll (hopefully) see you guys on the other side, though, hehe. 😉

How was your month? Did you do anything for Halloween? Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo?

September Favourites!

september favourites

1. Book events I’ve been to Waterstones SO MUCH over the summer. Over the last month, I went to see Patrick Ness, Jandy Nelson, and I spent an afternoon writing poetry with the lovely Aisling Fahey. IT WAS ALL FABULOUS OKAY BYE.

2. Les Mis For my birthday, I went to see it on stage at the West End and OH MY WAS IT FABULOUS. I mean, I spent a lot of time dissecting pretty much everyone’s perferomances, but it’s still the most fun I’ve had at the theatre in forever. THE SET WAS SO COOL AND IT MOVED AND THERE WAS A LIVE ORCHESTRA AND EVERYONE MY HEART. I mean, I have a whole document of post-show notes on my phone, so I might have to dedicate an actual post, but on the whole it was awesome. I thought Javert & Eponine were particularly excellent. ❤

3. Doctor Who So far, the new series isn’t overwhelming me, but I’m enjoying it more than the first few episodes of last season. It’s so nice to have something to watch on Saturday again.

4. The Matsuri The Matsuri is the Japanese festival that happens in London every year, and I had so much fun! It’s in Trafalgar Square at the moment — very near Waterstones, hehe — and I ate far too much food. And spent £10 on washi tape, because I am easiely seduced by cute things. Ahem. That’s something new… 😉

5. New blog design ‘Things are still being tweaked…’ says she, tweaking absolutely nothing. XD But I was very excited to unveil it, and I hope you like it! I spent longer than I’d like without a blog post — I didn’t spend all of those 10 or so days designing, I won’t lie — but I wanted to take some emotional time out too. 🙂 I’d forgotten how much time school takes up, eek.

Stuff from around the internet:

In the diary:

  • School started… It’s nice to be back, but at the same time really, really stressful. It was weird coming back from having all that free time to…nil.
  • I finished my Penelope Bunce cosplay! I can’t believe I, like, made something wearable? WHAT IS THIS MYTH YOU SPEAK OF? I’m BEYOND EXCITED to wear it for MCM in October, eep.
  • September 23rd was Bi Visibility Day, yay! (September was actually a pretty busy month, looking back on it.)
  • I’m, like, kind of getting good at putting bits of jelly contact lenses in? I think. I’m getting better, at least.
  • I’m supposed to be taking my Grade 5 Theory exam in November. I’m SCAREEED. *hides*

How was your month? Are you watching any TV shows right now? 🙂 (THE BAKE-OFF, GUYS, oh wow the drama. MY HEART.)

Snooping Around #1: Street Piano

I’ve been spotting and snapping some interesting things on my travels about town, so I decided it would be fun to share them with you. First up is the street piano! (Yes, you do indeed spot a number one there. I’m hoping – note I say hoping – that there will be more to come, but only time can tell. Let me know your thoughts.)

snooping around

Every so often, I take the train into the City for my choir, and at one of the stations there’s a piano. I never have enough time to play it – yep, I’m one of those people who always gets there just in the nick of time – but I really wish that I could. I’ve resolved that someday I’m going to learn a beautiful piece so that I can play it in the station, just as others have done from me. There isn’t always people there during rush hour, but at weekends it’s pretty busy; the great thing is that it’s often normal people just stopping by and having some fun with music.

And maybe I could even sing. My friends once gave an impromptu rendition of Lorde’s Royals on the tube and it was amazing. It’s hard to explain the thrill of watching someone make beautiful music out of nothing. (Take Lauren Aquilina’s cover of Stay With Me in St. Pancras station. Awesomeness.) I was too embarrassed to join in with my friends at the time, but I wish I had.

But back to the street piano. A sign above the piano informs the reader that this is London’s longest surviving street piano (it’s two years old) and is part of a worldwide project called Play Me, I’m Yours by the British artist Luke Jerram. You can view the website here – who knows, maybe there’s one near you?

Credits: videos found via Street Pianos website, map background in the public domain due to the expiration of its copyright. (I feel so weird doing this. But hey.)

Oh, and one more thing: Deep Blues and Sea Foam Greens has gone private. I hope everything’s okay in there!