to say the last few weeks have been testing would be an understatement. from patronising comments (all my by men, might i add) about how i need to know more about politics and completely dismissing my ideas in group projects, to my inner monologue telling me that maybe the one thing i always thought i was supposed to do with my life perhaps isn't what i wanted after all, i've pretty much experienced the entire spectrum of human emotion.
now i've landed somewhere in the middle, trying to take on any criticisms of my work and understanding that i'm only just getting started in the world of ~journalism~ and that not everything i do will be pulitzer-prize winning and that just because the first ever magazine pitch i made didn't receive a response doesn't mean my career is over before it even started.
i've also made a point of not checking my "work" email when i get home in a bid to Chill The Fuck Out, which feels excellent, especially in a time where working oneself to death is constantly being glamourised and seen as the only way to Make It.
my faith that what i want to do within journalism has been somewhat restored thanks to a serendipitous session about feature writing, and i had a glorious moment when we were shown a series of introductions and asked to guess what they were about. one of them had the headline "bigger than the beatles" and instantly i knew it was about one direction, a fact that i, a 23 (!) year old woman, delivered to the room with not a shred of shame. i only wish the guy who had chastised me for my lack of political expertise had been there to see it, but sadly he was absent that day.
nevertheless, despite being the only person to put my hand up when he asked who would like to go into feature writing, it reminded me that though my love of writing has been somewhat stifled by the more ~serious~ news writing we've been doing, the possibility of ~creative freedom~ isn't totally out of reach, and someday i might have my own column where i can scream about harry styles to my heart's content.
until then, i'm retreating back into the comfort of my own blog, where word counts and super-snappy headlines (15 words or less!) need not exist, to talk about the one thing that's kept me alive for nearly ten (!) years; music new and old.
1. gerard way
everyone's favourite emo made his return to the music world with baby you're a haunted house, a scuzzy lo-fi track reminiscent of his excellent solo album hesitant alien. hopefully this means more music is on the way, but until then i've rediscovered my love of my chemical romance and have had summertime, bulletproof heart, teenagers, i don't love you and the legendary i'm not okay (i promise) on repeat, and am pleased to report i'm still word perfect.
keeping with the pop punk theme, busted also marked their return to music with nineties, a super nostalgic track about their childhoods, which is fitting given that their iconic bangers crashed the wedding, year 3000 and what i go to school for soundtracked many of the primary school discos i attended. ever since charli xcx and troye sivan (who i recently acquired tickets to see next february) released 1999, i've put on my rose tinted glasses and have been reminiscing about growing up in a world unconcerned with instagram likes and snapchat filters.
3. allie x
the canadian singer released her latest EP super sunset, which deals with her last five years spent living in LA. i highly recommend reading this interview she did with paper for more insight into the alter egos she's created to tell the story, not unlike marina did with electra heart. every track is a piece of synth-pop excellence but my favourites include science, little things, focus and girl of the year.
4. the japanese house
after what feels like forever, the genius that is amber bain returned with two incredible tracks, lilo and follow my girl, ahead of the release of her debut album good at falling next macrch. both tracks deal with her breakup from fellow musician marika hackman, who appears in the video for lilo.
it would seem there's a trend emerging of remaining amicable with exes; first ariana's smash hit thank u, next (i am living for her recent take-down of sexist pig piers morgan) and now this video, which sees the two embracing as a fire rages behind them. personally i've never believed people who say they're still friends with an ex, but from what i've seen and read about amber, it seems they're very much on good terms.
the tracks remain minimal as ever, but i've noticed that on her last few releases, she's allowed her own voice to come through, no longer lost in a sea of autotune like on her first EP. there's also a sense of freedom emanating from lilo as she realises she's enough on her own; the line it felt good, it felt transitional / a feeling i'd been waiting on seemed particularly poignant as i've realised that though i've lost a few "friends" this last year, it was probably, definitely for the best.
5. carly rae jepsen
in keeping with this theme, the light of my life carly rae jepsen released a new song, party for one. i'll admit it did take me a few listens to really get into, but now i can't get enough. here's hoping her disco-inspired album will be on the way sometime soon.
6. l devine
it's no secret that pop music is becoming relentlessly gay by the second. with hayley kiyoko being dubbed "lesbian jesus" and heather from pale waves declaring "yes i'm gay" on twitter (i must also give a mention to their cover of last christmas, aka the only festive-themed song not ruined by working in retail), there's no shortage of female artists unafraid of sharing their sexuality with the world.
however it wasn't always so easy, something l devine - first name olivia - explores in one of the tracks from her new mixtape peer pressure. all the songs are objectively excellent, but daughter hit me particularly hard as she declares her love for another girl whose mother isn't so accepting of their relationship.
though fans had speculated about the singer's sexuality for a while (see: the comments on her video for like you like that), this song lays it all out on the table. though it's an incredibly important song, it's a tale that could have been ripped straight out of my teenage diary, making it hard for me to listen to at times. nevertheless, i've had it on repeat and eagerly await her next release.
7. king princess
sticking with the Relentlessly Gay theme, we may have hit its peak with the latest track from king princess. titled pussy is god, the lyrics really need no explanation, but this kind of bold celebration of female sexuality is something we've been lacking ever since pop music started its transition into something decidedly less hetero. it was only last year that pitchfork produced an in-depth piece on the lack of same-sex pronouns in pop songs, so imagine the shock of listeners everywhere when mikaela strauss boldly declared "she's god and i found her" on the aforementioned track.
i've said it before and i'll say it again; representation is everything. though i'm newly 23, it's only in the last few months that i've fully accepted my own sexuality and though i'm overjoyed that teenagers these days have a plethora of role models to look up to, i only wish i'd had just one to reassure me that what my 14 year old self was feeling was totally normal.