September Favourites!

The words September Favourites over a purple watercolour background

That’s right, folks, I’m back for monthly favourites! Maybe I’ll keep up with them, maybe not. Who knows?

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Rainbow by Kesha I saw a bunch of people listening to this album and I AM SO GLAD I LISTENED TO IT TOO. It’s not perfect but there are so many songs I loved — from jams like Woman to songs such as Rainbow and Spaceship which do make me a bit teary.

Young Avengers I finally picked up the last volume in this series and I’M SO SAD THAT WAS THE END because I enjoyed it so much! It’s one of the first superhero comics that I’ve really got into and I’m very much looking forward to reading more about these characters in the future. (Miss America has a solo series. And I think there are the previous Young Avengers comics too. But I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to these things.)

Brooklyn 99 I feel like I might have talked about this before on my faves? WHO KNOWS ANYMORE, NOT ME.  I’ve just about finished the first series which is an amazing show of commitment for me when it comes to a TV show (I can barely make it through 8 40-minute episodes) and AAH! I I love that everyone loves and supports each other and it’s very wonderful to watch. However, in the last episode I watched Gina talks about her ‘spirit animal’ which is a Super Not Okay thing to do and it wasn’t at all called out, so, that really sucks. :/

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat Another EXCELLENT comic here. It’s super cute, features a bunch of LGBTQ+ characters, and friends being wonderful with each other. Just, yeah. So wonderful. Though again I’m sad that this wraps up after a few volumes since it got cancelled. 😦 Is there a theme with the comics I’m talking about…?

Yerma I saw the Young Vic production of this with Billie Piper broadcast live at the cinema and WOW. I didn’t really know what I was getting into beforehand so it was quite hard-hitting but I thought it was such a great piece of theatre.

The Diviners by Libba Bray Well, it’s October and I still haven’t quite finished this, but I’m loving it so far — which is cool since I wasn’t really expecting that? (To be fair, I don’t quite know what I was expecting. But not magic and murder in 20s New York. THE COVER I HAVE MISLED ME, OKAY?) Plus, I’ve just found out that the sequel includes more of one of my favourite side characters, Henry, so yay for that.

stuff from around the internet:

  • Well, er, my stats were a bit up from the rock bottom of August when I barely posted? I talked about going back to school, comics I’m loving, and shared some cat photography in the What Cats Do book tag.
  • I started following the newsletter Two Bossy Dames when one of my favourite podcasts Witch Please how many times can I fit it into this post did a guest letter and I’m loving it! I’m new to newsletters (haha, amazing joke, I know right) so I didn’t really know what to expect but I just adore having all these links and things to go read… If you have any recommendations for newsletters I’d love to hear them!
  • I’ve definitely read some great posts, but…I’m kind of tired right now and I don’t want to miss any out. Hopefully I’ll be better at keeping track of them over October, my apologies.

in the diary:

  • Well, school started? It feels like I’ve been back for ages. We’ve packed so much in. Year 11 is…alright so far. A bit stressful, especially since it feels like everyone is always talking about A levels and careers whilst I freak out internally but, there we go.
  • Can I think about anything that’s not school…uh…
  • WAIT it was my birthday! Yay! I’m now 16 which feels very weird. But, it’s cool, I guess, and I’m looking forward to having my friends over for some fun. *nods* I have been kind of ill over my birthday though which sucks.
  • I went to the book launch It’s Only in the Movies by Holly Bourne! I was a big fan of the free content, especially the popcorn. Maybe a hint to other book events…? I can’t decide if I should do a recap of it so let me know what you think.
  • It was my school House music competition, which was pretty stressful since we had rehearsals almost every day for two weeks, but also SUPER fun and rewarding. (I am lucky in that I do love the people in my house and also I love singing in choirs.) Unfortunately we didn’t place but I’m still super proud of us.

how has your september been? did you return to education like me? have you read any good books?

 

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My Music Taste Through The Ages

my music taste through the ages

My music has gone through a LOT of evolution. I find it difficult to tell people exactly my favourite music because I LOVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT MUSIC. I just go through…genre phases where I will listen to a ton of one kind of music, and then a few months later move on. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy some of my old music! I take my favourites with me.

Pre-Music Years

In primary school I didn’t really listen to or take an interest in music. ABBA was actually my favourite band, haha. (Though they are still amazing.) Selections from this era include Love Story by Taylor Swift and Replay by Iyaz, which were probably both what was on the radio at the time. What a throwback…

Formation

Some developments of okay stuff. I bought as many iTunes free singles of the week as I could — which I still have — including Lauren Aquilina, Orla Gartland, twenty one pilots and Rudimental. Man, I miss that feature. Free music is the best.

Soft Guitars: the First

I started listening to study playlists on 8tracks with kinda country and guitar songs like The Paper Kites and Angus and Julia Stone. I still use the playlist I made at this time for chilling around the house! Man, I really miss 8tracks. Since it stopped working with soundcloud I don’t use it much anymore.

Indie Rock Things

I read a book about a girl who’s really into, like, 80s indie rock? (It was called This Song Will Save Your Life. I still have it on my shelf.) And thus, I made a playlist of 80s bands including things like The Smiths and The Cure. Some of those songs have made it through, but not many. Considering that playlist was like 120 songs or something.

Bubblegum Guitar

Another find from 8tracks as I was looking for summery playlists! I also still really enjoy this genre — not exactly guitars, but not exactly pop? Just. Summery bubblegum guitars. I don’t know how to describe it. Includes stuff like Knox Hamilton, Misterwives, the Two Door Cinema Club, and Holychild. My playlist is called ‘neon sneakers’ and I like that.

Fandom-related

A brief interlude in which I listened to lots of fan playlists, mostly for Les Mis and Harry Potter, and hence made my own. I actually discovered some cool stuff this way! But I also formed super strong character associations with certain songs — I can’t listen to Hang Me Up to Dry by the Cold War Kids without going HEY GRANTAIRE DON’T BE SAD. Blame it On the Girls is also still The Most Courfeyrac song.

Loud Guitar and Drums

I’m pretty sure someone stayed at our house and made me listen to some stuff? Update: IT WAS MY COUSIN’S AUSTRALIAN FRIEND. We saw him again the other day after like two years which was wild. Anyway. Stuff like The Black Keys, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Cold War Kids. A bunch of stuff I still listen to, actually! Also, Vampire Weekend got in there somewhere even though it’s not super related.

Electro Pop

I got pretty into more electronic-y pop kind of thing during the summer Halsey’s Badlands was released — so I listened to a lot of Halsey, Ryn Weaver, Banks, Lights, Pvris, Verite. Basically ALL THE COOL LADY ARTISTS. I actually just went to look for the playlist and I COULDN’T FIND IT so maybe I deleted it which is super annoying

Summery Electro pop

Some stuff happened in between these two. I probably just listened to old stuff. I can’t really remember but, yeah, a weird mix. Maybe this was my musicals period. ANYWAY the summer of 2016 I started listening to more summery pop! And kind of actual pop pop. Honestly I’m pleased that I am finally able to embrace that I JUST REALLY LOVE POP. Highlights include Shura (What’s it Gonna Be? is still one of my favourite music videos ever), Troye Sivan, Years & Years, Aurora, Hayley Kiyoko & Lauren Aquilina because YOOO SHE IS MY FAVOURITE AND THIS WAS WHEN SHE RELEASED HER LP. IT WAS AMAZING & YOU SHOULD GO READ MY REVIEW.

Soft Guitars: the Second

More pop & musicals happened between these. Then I had a bit of a renaissance with the soft guitars, and actually bothered to make a new background guitars playlist with people like Sufjan Stevens, Dodie & The Lumineers.

Summery Chill Pop, Also Other Stuff

AND THUS WE HAVE REACHED NOW. What is my current taste in music, you ask? To be honest, I don’t know, because I just listen to a mix of everything. But my summer 2017 playlist — which you can listen to here — includes stuff like The Japanese House, HAIM, Christine and the Queens, Tegan and Sara, and Lorde. So…some pop? But also some guitars and electronic-y things? I DON’T EVEN KNOW, DON’T ASK ME.

You can check out my spotify account if you like, but it doesn’t cover all of these music phases haha. (Thank goodness.) I don’t know if this is quite a definitive list, but it broadly covers what music I have liked…well, ever, discounting musicals because THAT IS A WHOLE OTHER THING. Maybe I should just write a post screaming about musicals. Anyway, this has been very nostalgic and fun for me, what about you? I’d love to chat!

My cover photo for this post is by Alphacolor 13 on Unsplash.

do you go through phases like me? what are you loving at the moment? i’d love to hear any recs!

 

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!

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*

7 #Relatable Clarinet Things

7 relatable clarinet things.jpg

I’ve played the clarinet for a couple of years now, and I love talking to other clarinet players about all the clarinet things. So HERE ARE A FEW. Also, whilst I was writing this post I I realised that this was kinda similar to An Overthinking Teenager’s #Trumpeterproblems post so do go and check that out, it’s excellent! I mean, I’m not actually a trumpeter, but I DID ENJOY IT NEVERTHELESS.

1. Wait, how many ledger lines?

As you can see here, you can get a whooole bunch of ledger lines on the clarinet. I’ve got a pretty solid hold on the lower ledger lines, but in the higher register? (The weird altissimo one.) Yeah, just no. I am that person who sits there counting them all out. TOO MANY LEDGER LINES, GUYS.

2. There are approximately 30172907 other clarinet players out there

Don’t get me wrong, I’m eternally glad so many people choose to play the clarinet, because clearly the best instrument out there. *coughs* It just means that there’s a lot of competition for the few clarinet spaces there are in orchestras. (Like, at least there are about a million violins. Compared with THREE CLARINETS, I tell you. THREE CLARINETS.) (This especially sucks when you have, like, a clarinet prodigy at your school. RIP me.)

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3. Playing 3rd clarinet in the school orchestra

Even when you do manage to get a place in orchestra, if it’s a lower part then it’s often just minims or crotchets plus 40 bars rest. I’m still pretty bitter from my 3rd clarinet days, to be honest. But it means that you can be SUPER HAPPY when you move up a part.

4. Trilling over the break

Some composers obviously just…do not understand how the clarinet works. BRO, I CANNOT TRILL FROM AN A TO A C. I JUST CAN’T. For non-clarineters: that means going from leaning on one key with your index finger to having all your fingers down! Plus another key! THE HORROR. I mean, there probably is a trill key for it. (See below.) But when you have to do it in like a scale of really quick notes going over the break and it’s just asdgyjhakeflkw.

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5. SO MANY DIFFERENT KEYS

I’ve played the clarinet for a good while now, and even I don’t know what all the little keys along the side do. (I think I know most of them. But I might have to experiment a bit if you actually asked me to tell you.) It also means that if you knock one of them slightly, it can send your entire instrument off kilter and then you have to improvise with cling film and blue-tack to try and get the notes out.

6. Cleaning your clarinet is just…no

There are a variety of different clarinet cleaning things out there that you can use, but I have a weird cloth with a weight on the end. It used to be white, but now it’s brown and ripped and just in general extremely disgusting. I used to barely ever clean my clarinet, so when I did it would come out with loads of brown stuff, but now I try and clean it every time I play to minimise that. It’s still pretty gross.

7. Your one good reed always chips

Reeds are just really weird and mostly out to hate you. (It always seems like they’re especially out to get you when you are a wee tiny clarinet player.) They’re dry and they chip really easily and sometimes you find a 2 year old one somewhere and it is super super manky. And then when you get out the one reed you trust to play it at the concert…IT GOES AND CHIPS. Because of course.

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do you play an instrument, or would you like to? (the clarinet maybe?!?) can you relate to any of these struggles?

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: 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!