Friday, 15 April 2016

new (and old) music friday #2: ariana grande, allie x, nick jonas, ladyhawke

yesterday i had my whole evening planned; i was going to write this post, try and get some uni work done (after my struggle trying to find a placement i managed to find somebody to interview for my current project) and try out the new make-up i'd bought in town earlier on in the day. all of these plans, however, were interrupted by a surprise visit from one of my dad's friends who now lives in america and was here for the week. due to the last minute nature of his visit, i was made to abandon the above plans and forced into socialising instead. but in the interest of consistency i was determined to get this post up today before i travel to york to see my best friend for the last time in god knows how long before he leaves for new york next week, and i'm sure some of these songs will definitely feature in our getting-ready-to-go-out playlist. 

1. sweet tempest 

something perhaps a tad embarrassing about me is that i really love watching beauty youtubers; there's something oddly calming about watching someone do their make up and talking you through the process. though the number of people i'm currently subscribed to has dwindled considerably over the last year or so, one of my favourites is a girl called marie, and one reason for this is because she has the best music playing in the background of her videos; i'm always having to stop halfway through watching them to shazam whatever song is playing. it was when watching her latest video that i found my first favourite song of this week, a dreamy track by sweet tempest called the truth. my spotify tells me that i added it to my "starred" playlist only a day ago, but i've had it on repeat non-stop ever since, and once you hear it i'm sure you will too, so press play, sit back and dream of summer. 

2. nick jonas

once again, spotify gets a mention in this post for introducing me to nick jonas' infectious new track, champagne problems. the title might sound like one of drake's earlier offerings, but this is pure pop. this track certainly fizzes with an bubbly chorus, just like the champagne jonas is pouring in attempts to stop his on/off relationship turning sour. 

3. ariana grande

when i first heard ariana grande's single dangerous woman, i wasn't overly keen on it, but ever since she performed a stripped-back, jazzy rendition of the track at the MTV movie awards last week i revisited the original version and now i can't stop playing it. something about this track certainly makes me feel like a dangerous woman, kind of like a heroine from a bond film or a femme fatale-type character from the golden era of hollywood; something ariana was clearly channelling at the MTV movie awards. i also can't get enough of how good she looks in the music video (despite what other people may think). it's good to see ariana taking a stand for all the girls out there who have been made to feel ashamed for loving themselves and being confident, and i only hope she continues to make her voice heard, not just musically but also when it comes to issues that really matter.

4. allie x 

sometimes it feels like all the days blur into one, but a particular day that stands out to me is one mundane weekday before i came back to manchester. out of nothing more than sheer boredom i was aimlessly browsing H&M and praying nothing would catch my eye, lest i have to spend money on something i don't really need, but something that caught my attention beyond cut-price tights and jewellery sets with half the pieces missing was the song playing in store; a track i used to love but had since forgotten about, and it was good by allie x, an artist with a penchant for anonymity

the song gives me goosebumps every time i hear it, and it wasn't until i was back at home that i was able to fully immerse myself in the feelings it elicits, something i don't do often as it hits me right where it hurts. the chorus breaks my heart every time, so much so that i had to stop after a few listens because i know that feeling of wanting to be so much more, something better. recently i find myself wanting to start again, to tear it all down and somehow rebuild everything i've ever ruined. i've gotta get out and make this better, goes the chorus, and i repeat this mantra over and over in my head now, hoping one day i'll actually become the person i always knew i could be. 

all emotions aside, once i'd recovered from binge-listening to good, i did a quick search for allie x on spotify and listened to her latest release, old habits die hard, a distinctively more upbeat track that perfectly captures how i feel about those frustrating on/off relationships, a theme also seen in champagne problems. it would seem the songs i'm listening to at the moment match my situation perfectly, so perhaps life really does imitate art? 

5. tegan and sara (again)

seeing as the canadian duo's eighth album, love you to death, won't be released until june, i've been tiding myself over by revisiting 2013's heartthrob, and this is another album full of tracks that, much as i love them, break my heart whenever i listen to them. again, perfectly encapsulating my current feelings are now i'm all messed up - why do you take me down this road if you don't want to walk with me, goes its first verse -, i couldn't be your friend, and the anthemic i'm not your hero, which i've been playing at full volume with tears in my eyes as i sing the line, i'm not your hero but that doesn't mean i wasn't brave at the top of my lungs because it resonates so deeply as i still can't believe i've made it this far, despite the people i've lost along the way. 

6. ladyhawke

naturally i saved the best till last. this year saw the return of new zealand star ladyhawke and along with it, her ridiculously catchy new single, a love song in support of her new album wild things, due for release on the 3rd june, which is coincidentally the same date as tegan and sara's love you to death is released (much like last in week's post, things have truly come full circle). the video drew me in straight away with its day-glo 80s aesthetic (and the song isn't too bad either). comments on the music video describe the track as "a great pop song" and "a real return to form" and i couldn't agree more. 

it also led me to revisit one of my favourite tracks from her self-titled 2008 album, entitled magic, and the title pretty much sums it up. hearing it after so long took me back to (illegally) downloading a terrible quality version of the track from youtube onto my old ipod mini, which i still have buried in a drawer somewhere. as a socially awkward 14 year old going through a sexuality crisis, i'd never even had a proper relationship at the time but the lyrics one journey for you but it's worth it / one life here with me and it's magic seemed to resonate with me, and still do. 

maybe because despite all my fears, i still want to believe that there's somebody out there who could change my mind, somebody i'd be willing to make that journey for. until then, the only journey i'll be making will be to see my best friend in york this weekend, but honestly there's nowhere else i'd rather be. 

p.s. this week's playlist can be found here.

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