We Dropped the Ball

We dropped the ball.  There’s really no other way of putting it.  Lauren at least has the excuse of being on a different continent for a few weeks.  I’ve got nothing.  About a month ago (yikes, you haven’t heard from me in over a month, sorry!!), I came to the realization that there’s likely no time in life when I won’t be busy.  That’s just life as an adult and apparently I’m one of those now.

The month of June was hectic.  I was taking a condensed course and started two new jobs.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to enjoy the whole summer in Boston thing (read: drinking at every outdoor bar in the city).  There was also a 5-day trip to San Diego squeezed in there for a wedding and meet-the-parent/friends time.  All good things.  I really can’t complain.  But I was supposed to spend the summer working, volunteering, re-learning Spanish, and working on my thesis; it’s July and I’ve done one of those things.  That’s summer for you, right?

All the while I have been feeling guilty about neglecting the blog.  (I swear!  We had a New Year’s resolution!  We were doing so well!)  But I’ve also been seriously lacking motivation.  Talking about inspiration and creativity make me eye-roll like Mitch in Modern Family, but there’s been zero for me recently.  In the past two months, I’ve written one poem.  Pretty pathetic.  Not to mention concerning for someone trying to write for a living.  By and large, I think it’s had to do with a lack of personal free time, or me time.  June consisted of thinking about Irish literature, learning about craft beer brewing, pretending to understand spending $500 on “athleisure”, and fretting over making a good impression on the boyfriend’s parents.  Not the most inspiring things.

My whole point of this is not to invoke my-life-is-so-busy pity.  I know many people—Lauren being one of them—who do a lot more.  My point being I haven’t even been listening to much music!  That’s the true tragedy.  I’m still regularly listening to Life of Pablo as if it were just released (not that that’s a bad thing) and I’m beating myself up for not writing about the album.  But here’s what I’ve got for recent plays.

 

My stand-by tactic is my “Discoveries” playlist.  Most of the time, if I even do get around to listening to my Discover playlist on Spotify, I don’t listen to it enough times to remember which songs I like by the time it updates Monday.  Hence the Discoveries playlist.  This is where I add any random song I like from Discover/work/radio to listen to later.  They’re not all new songs, but instead new finds.

Willow – Wait a Minute

I know, I should be embarrassed about this.  This song is actually crazy good, though.  Willow comes off a bit whiny to begin with, but she evokes that melodramatic lady you want to be.  The song has a pop-y, almost disco-y beat and is just ridiculously catchy.

Yuma X – Matchstick

Breathy vocals rendered into distorted, low tones and steady, spacey percussion.  Kinda my jam.

Stonefox – All I Want

This one is just a calm, simple, slightly folksy song, but I fall in love with it all over again every time I hear it.  The lyrics “To say I love you is too strong / But you are all I want” and “Second class lover in the making” sum up the song, and are beautiful.  Nothing super complex, nothing flowery in the language.  But simple and lovely.

CuckooLander – Beating Myself Up

Another song that starts out super simple and gentle.  And “I’m beating myself up over what went wrong /… / I’m trying my hardest to keep from tripping over what I wish I didn’t know” = so relatable.  The second chorus leads into a soulful ballad of “Just a lonely, lonely week / Is exactly what I need” and you really feel it.

The Electric Hearts – Going out Tonight

This one is fun.  Totally Duffy-esque vocals and some sassy tamborine.

Allan Rayman – Lucy The Tease

Sexy.

Wafia – Heartburn

I probably shouldn’t think the concept of heartburn being compared to heartbreak is so clever, but I do.  Wafia voice soars, gives tude, and gets funky in the mixing of this song.  I dig.

Another good way to find new music, check Spotify’s New Releases section.  I’m a genius, I know.

Marian Hill – Act One

Last summer I was all about Marian Hill’s Sway EP.  This summer they dropped their first full album and I’m hyped.  I’ve been thinking of it as Spice Girls meets Läpsley.  It’s got sass, pop, r&b beats, and wicked fun 90’s vibes.  Everything I expect and want from them.

RHCP – The Getaway

These guys don’t stop.  And I wouldn’t want them to!  Shredding as per usual.  I’ve got to be mainstream and say I’m a sucker for “Dark Necessities”.  My favorite part of the album, though, just might be the cover art.  Really all I want is to be that badass little girl.

Blood Orange – Freetown Sound

Be on the lookout for a real review of this because it’s just so good.

 

I’ve been listening to pop.  Sue me.  (Maybe actually?)  I have a “pure golden crap (pop)” playlist going and it’s so summer fun.

Sia – Cheap Thrills

I feel a little bad putting Sia in this category, but she’s super talented.  Still pop.  The call and response in this song is stupid hard to resist.  I also just love Sia’s voice.

FRENSHIP, Emily Warren – Capsize

I’m a sucker for female/male duo’s and I think they pull this one off really well.  Maybe your most sung lyric shouldn’t be “Oh my god”, but I love the build up to the chorus in this song and the way the chorus hits feels like a wave crashing over you.  Effective.

Drake – One Dance

I don’t care if it’s basic.  Again, sexy.

Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman

Repeatedly impressed with this woman’s voice and I just love that this song is packed with confidence.

Halsey – Colors

Straight rip off of T-Swift (who we seriously side-eye), but it’s catchy and I like it conceptually.  I think there’s something pretty poignant about the line, “And now he’s so devoid of color he don’t know what it means”.

 

And then there are the stand-bys, the albums I turn to when I just want to listen to something I know is good.

Kanye – The Life of Pablo

I know other Kanye albums are more significant in terms of message, but I think The Life of Pablo is so fun and still important.  It really is a post in itself, one I really wish I’d written when relevant, but personal overall appraisal: a killer jam.

Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Another that deserved a full post.  I fell in love with this album on the first song and never swayed (but he did make me sway, ayy! I hate myself.) throughout.  There’s so much to unpack here.  All I can say is—I don’t care that it’s only July—this is a standout album of the year.

Hinds – Leave Me Alone

Lauren already covered this, but overjoyed, angsty; this is such a perfect summer album.

 

That was a lot.  Probably too much.  But these are the songs that got me through June madness.  Realistically, even though I have more free time now, I’m sure I’ll continue feeling chaotically busy.  But music is the best way to maintain sanity.  Chance is so right when he says, “Music is all we got.”  So here’s hoping we can keep up our listening and blogging practices; I’ve missed it too much.  Resolution back on.  Come at us, July.  We’re back.

 

-Mairead

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