Music of the Month: January 2017

I know there’s 10 days left of January but a) I have lotssss of music in my January playlist already and b) I’m actually in New York (omg) at the end of January so I feel like if I don’t write this now it’ll never get done. Anyhow, here are some of my favourite songs from 2017 so far…

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Let’s Dance To Joy Division The Wombats

When The Sun Goes Down Arctic Monkeys

Foundations Kate Nash

How Far I’ll Go Alessia Cara (from ‘Moana’)

Cocoon Milky Chance

Shape Of You/Castle On The Hill Ed Sheeran (which of these do you like best? interestingly, a lot of guys I’ve spoken to don’t like Shape of You whereas most girls do?? Also, reputable sources have told me COTH is just Ron Weasley’s life story. The more you know…)

Livewire Oh Wonder

Oops Little Mix

No Lie Sean Paul ft. Dua Lipa

We Got U Lemaitre

I Don’t Wanna Live Forever Zayn & Taylor Swift

Inhale Kate Miller – I found this on Spotify ages ago from a Buzzfeed playlist but never really listened to it much till this month, when it’s become one of my go-to songs for walking to college.

Talking To You Izzy Bizu

Records Y.V.E. 48 feat. Hier

Going On Gnarls Barkley (if you like this, I also recommend Ella Eyre’s cover)

Can’t Stop Red Hot Chili Peppers

Naïve The Kooks

Love Is All I Got Feed Me ft. Crystal Fighters (+ the Friction remix of this)

Runaways Sam Feldt

All Night/These Nights/Ways I Can’t Tell/Good Girls Crystal Fighters

Notion/Jungle/Gemini Tash Sultana

Alright Supergrass

Best Fake Smile James Bay

On Hold The xx

Wake Up Circa Waves

Blame – Bunker Sessions Bastille

Redbone Childish Gambino


what songs have you been listening to this month?

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20 Ways To Be In Charge Of My Own Happiness

One of my goals for 2017 that I’m trying really, really hard to implement and keep on top of is being in charge of my own happiness. (Another one is to make my college notes beautiful and I’m very invested in the success of that goal) It sounds kinda stupid, but I feel like I rely too much on external factors, like whether I have a bad timetable today or if I’ve scheduled a Wetherspoon’s lunch, and other people to make me happy and change my mood. So, inspired by this, I decided to make a list of things that make me happy, as a kinda safety net for when I’m feeling down…

  1. Getting so into a new book you can’t put it down.
  2. Finding new songs on Spotify.
  3. Singing along to songs you know all the words to (at the moment, this is my favourite singalong song).
  4. Knocking off at least 50% of my to-do list.
  5. Fairy lights.
  6. Having a tidy, clean room.
  7. Exchanging stupid Snapchats with my best friends.
  8. Exercise (Zumba!).
  9. A small bucket of tea.
  10. Lotus biscuits (54 for £1 in Poundland 😏😏😏)
  11. Planning all the places I want to visit.
  12. Making plans to see friends.
  13. Online shopping (H&M has been so dangerous for me the last few months).
  14. Food food food – there’s a new Mexican place near college and it’s so good.
  15. Netflix binging a trashy TV series.
  16. Chain-reading my favourite blogs/scrolling through my favourite Instagrams.
  17. Random Buzzfeed articles.
  18. Writing down everything I have to do so I finally feel like I’m on top of things.
  19. A bath, complete with Lush bath bombs (or similar), a book and no phone.
  20. Moving whatever I’m doing to my bed, because that makes it 10000x comfier.

2016 Meets 2017

Quick side note: I’ve not been on here in at least a month and whoa WordPress has changed, I was not ready for this. Are computers catching onto the ‘new year, new me’ thing now too?!

Anyway, I’ve not been on here in ages but I thought I’d drop in and try and write a bit of a 2016 in review thing. I know that globally 2016’s been labelled as one of the worst years in recent history, but it wasn’t so bad for me. I finished GCSEs, went to prom, went to BBC R1 Big Weekend, saw Bastille, Lucky Chops and Kygo live, visited Holland, Cornwall and Scotland and just had a pretty great summer altogether.

In September I left school to go to college instead of staying on for sixth form and it hasn’t been all easy, but I definitely think I made the right choice. I still miss school and all the familiarity that comes with it, but I finally feel like I’m getting to the point where I know who I want to stay in touch with (definitely not some of the people I thought I would), I’m developing a bit of a routine for staying in touch with them (ish) and I’ve got friends at college. And, even though I’m taking IB, I’m still alive so that’s also a plus.

Of course 2016 had its ups and downs – I’m probably guilty of romanticising it, especially as I’ve left school – but I think it was one of the best years I’ve had lately. And hopefully 2017’s going to be even better – I’m going to New York, one of my dream destinations, in less than a month, Seville for a week at the end of March with, among other people, one of my closest friends at college, and then playing at the Vienne and Montreux jazz festivals in the summer. So yeah, 2017 doesn’t look too bad so far!

And just to finish off this post, as I’ve not written anything in sooo long, here’s a few of my favourite songs from 2016…

And if you got this far down, Happy New Year!

Music of the Month: October/November

I know it’s been over a month since I last posted, but I’m just going to jump straight back in with a mega, bumper Music of the Month which I think mostly covers October and November? I’ve kinda lost track tbh, but here’s a bunch of music I like…

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Albums

You Haunt Me Sir Sly

Death Of A Bachelor (+ This Is Gospel & Build God, Then We’ll Talk) Panic! At The Disco

Vessel (+ bonus tracks) twenty one pilots

Wild World (Complete Edition) Bastille

Songs

Final Song

Never Be Like You Flume ft. Kai

Human Rag’n’Bone Man

After the Afterparty Charli XCX ft. Lil Yachty

Re-arrange Biffy Clyro

Lovesick Mura Masa

24k Magic Bruno Mars

Water Under The Bridge Adele

Starboy/False Alarm/Sidewalks The Weeknd (+the Kygo remix of Starboy)

Would I Lie To You John Gibbons

Shout Out To My Ex Little Mix

Unknown Tuvaband

Treat You Better/Mercy Shawn Mendes

Fresh Eyes Andy Grammer

In The Name Of Love Martin Garrix

All We Know The Chainsmokers

Love Me Now John Legend

All Night The Vamps/Matoma

The Mack Nevada

The Greatest Sia

Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur

Rockabye Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie

Highs & Lows Emeli Sandé

By Your Side Jonas Blue

Call On Me (Ryan Riback Remix) Starley

Liquid Lunch/Tangled Up/That Man/A Night Like This Caro Emerald

I’ve Got A Dream/Mother Knows Best/When Will My Life Begin? Tangled

That’s My Girl Fifth Harmony

So Good Louisa Johnson

Don’t Wanna  Know Maroon 5

Quick Step Maceo Parker

Stayin’ Alive Say Lou Lou

Anywhere Passenger

Dye My Hair ALMA

Good Girls Crystal Fighters

Love On Me Galantis

Starving Hailee Steinfeld

Sexual NEIKED

When You Love Someone James TW

Crazy In Love Eden Project ft. Leah Kelly/Oh Wonder

Fuel To The Fire Rationale

When I Wake Up Lions Head

Can’t Help Falling In Love Twenty One Pilots

Feel Good/Put Your Records On Aslove

Let Me Hold You Cheat Codes

This Town Niall Horan

Renegades X Ambassadors

Cheap Thrills Vitamin String Quartet

Danza 2016 Lucky Chops

listen to this playlist on Spotify here


What’ve you been listening to this month?

 

I’m Going To New York!

As I hinted at in this post, I’m going to New York next January! Like, actual New York City! With Manhattan and the Empire State Building and stuff like that! Eeek!!!

I’m going for six days with my college on a media trip that I managed to get a place on and I am insanely excited, especially as two of my college friends are also going. I think we’re staying in Manhattan and going to some film museum place, having a tour of TV/film locations, visiting the Empire State Building, 9/11 Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty as well as having a tour of the NBC studios AND maybe seeing Aladdin on Broadway and watching Good Morning America filmed live. HOW AWESOME IS THAT I’M DYING OF EXCITEMENT ALREADY. Oh yeah and you might remember I’ve made a NYC bucket list before? I’m going to modify that and tick off as many as I can!

And as if my 2017 travel plans couldn’t get any better…I’m going on a tour of France and Switzerland with my jazz orchestra – we’ve been invited to play at both the Vienne Jazz Festival, who are also giving us tickets to the main stage in a Roman amphitheatre (!) and then the Montreux Jazz Festival, which will be my second time playing there and I am so, so, SO excited.

Have you been to any of these places? Any recommendations of things to do? Have you got any travel plans for 2017 or the rest of 2016?

Introspection: Songs for Sundays

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Today’s been quite a good day, nice and relaxed and a decent start to half term. Unusually for me I stayed in bed till about 11:30 (I normally start feeling guilty about everything I need to do and wasting time after about half an hour of extra sleep) and I had the whole day to myself, as le parents were up visiting my sister at uni. I did some helpful stuff like ironing, some scanning for le parents to earn money for my Travel Fund (I’m actually really truly going to NYC in January!!!!!!!! And performing at Montreux/Vienne jazz festivals in the summer). Then I went for a wander down by the river (I had to take a photo of something for geography half term homework) and while I was there, listening to Spotify on shuffle, began doing my thing of mentally compiling a playlist. I’m a relatively introverted person, but while I often like being alone for a while, I then start to think a lot and sometimes start to feel, not down but like my head’s kinda cloudy and then you’re in that mood when you get kinad lost inside your own head? Idk, it’s hard to describe, but here are some songs that matched my mood today…


Middle DJ Snake feat. Bipolar Sunshine

Make You Feel My Love Adele

The One Kodaline

Hallelujah Jeff Buckley

Life Support Sam Smith

Higher Love State of Sound, Viktor Noren

Thinking Out Loud Ed Sheeran

Stay Kygo feat. Maty Noyes

Oil On Water Bastille (I’M SEEING THEM NEXT SATURDAY EEK!!!)

XO Eden Project

listen on spotify here

I’m Not Really Freaking Out Anymore (+ things are changing round here!)

silent in the trees #tøp

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You might remember that a few weeks ago, when I was just starting college, I wrote a couple of not-too-cheery posts about how I was feeling (original here and update here – short version, I was terrified and missing everybody and questioning my choice slightly). Now, a month on, I’m feeling very different indeed so I thought I’d give you a final little update bit, in case you were vaguely interested or felt like me when you first started college.

So, first things first – I mentioned I was thinking about it in my update post but I’ve now swapped from Environmental Systems & Societies to Biology (at standard level). I’m enjoying it so far – this sounds kinda twisted but I’ve always struggled a bit with biology, especially during GCSE and I kinda like having the familiarity of that challenge?? I don’t really understand myself but I’m finding it OK so yeah, that’s the main thing. Other than that, I’ve kept my subjects the same and am enjoying almost all of them – we all have a bit of an issue with our maths studies teacher but other than that it’s all good, especially Spanish and Film Studies! (I’m actually actively looking forward tomorrow because I only have two lessons – we’re writing and filming telenovelas in Spanish and then learning how to use the cameras and shooting our film noir we’ve been working on for the past few lessons in Film Studies so that should be fun.) I’ve got the beginnings of a group of friends within IB and a group in the extracurricular academic academy thing I do so that’s good, and the Co-op bags of 5 cookies for £1 are getting very popular.

The missing friends and school, which was a big issue for me to start with has really settled down. I keep in contact with my old friends to varying degrees and have been in to see them at school a couple of times, and I’ve actually found there are some “friends” I don’t miss at all now I’m not forced to see them. It probably also helps a lot of my close friends were from out of school anyway. I do occasionally get pangs of, weirdly, missing GCSEs – I think because the work was easier and there was familiarity and people you’ve known since forever? Idk, it’s weird. College and IB was definitely the right choice for me and obviously I still struggle occasionally but what I’m trying to say is it gets so much easier. Everyone says it and you never believe it but in the last week or so I’ve started feeling so much happier coming home from college and it’s great. I’ve also started trumpet lessons, choir and a thing called Jazz Project at college so I’m just getting to know so many people! So yeah, overall yay 🙂

Now onto the ‘things changing’ bit…I’m going to start being more organised. Or try to at least. So I’m going to try and post regularly on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with a bonus ‘music of the month’ post at the end of the month. I don’t know if I’ll set a schedule of what I’m going to post, but I’ll see what evolves over the next few weeks and let you know!

Thanks for reading this mega rambley vaguely pointless post…

-AOT

PS this is my favourite song atm so you should definitely listen to it…

Summer In Songs

As some of you might already know, and might’ve guessed due to the lack of posts over the summer, I had a veryyy busy few months. It was one of the best summers ever, and as much as I want to (and may still) do a mega write up with tons of photos etc, I feel like as a lot of my memories from the summer are associated with music, it made sense and seemed more interesting to make a playlist of all the songs I have distinct memories of, and explain the stories behind a few. I’m still hoping to do a mega playlist post of all my favourite songs from the summer, but these have all been chosen with a specific even in mind…


All The Right Moves – One Republic

Raging – Kygo feat. Kodaline

Viva La Vida – Coldplay

This, as well as the previous two, were all chosen from the Radio 1 Big Weekend back in May. One Republic, Kygo and Coldplay were all amazing, and that weekend was just a real highlight of my whole year – Thursday was my birthday, Friday I had a birthday meal out with friends, Saturday I did a charity 5K with a friend and then on Sunday I went to Big Weekend with so many friends, which was amazing.

Talk Dirty – Jason Derulo

Anaconda – Nicki Minaj

This and Talk Dirty date back to prom specifically, but really encompass my last three years at school…Talk Dirty has a very specific memory from our Year 9 battlefields trip that involves some ~interesting~ dancing, and Anaconda has music GCSE memories and a lot more attached.

Lovely – twenty one pilots

Bonkers – Dizzee Rascal

I think this has been played at every party I went to this summer, and every time it was amazing. Such a classic.

Mr Brightside – The Killers

I remember everyone wanting to hear this at the end of one party, but not being able to find it, then it ended up making me cry at the last party of the summer because a) it always makes me emotional and b) ALL THE FEELS about leaving school and my friends and it all just kinda hit then.

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen 

Same as Bonkers. And everybody always knows the words so it just turns into singalong squad goals.

Step Into The Light – Teminite feat. Jonah Hitchens

One Dance/Hasta el Amanecer – Alex Aiono

This and Step Into The Light remind me of a couple of days with two of my best friends between my trips to Holland and Scotland, when we went swimming at a local lido and absolutely froze and then had the best evening attempting hair chalking and just having a laugh. It’s hard to do it justice in words but it was just so, so fun.

hair chalk ➡️ real life 🦄 ➡️ too many tangles 😬🙎🏻

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Over and Done With – The Proclaimers

This is the product of a trip to Scotland and finally watching Sunshine On Leith…

XO – Eden Project

Middle – DJ Snake feat. Bipolar Sunshine

Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This is for one of my best friends and her amazing talent that we discovered at a party – she can rap the entire thing, even under the influence of alcohol, word for word. It’s pretty impressive, ngl.

Dance Wiv Me – Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris

Same as above, except it was just aforementioned best friend and my boyfriend singing and we were all stood there like ‘how do you know these words’. Fun times.

Wonderwall – Oasis

Same party, but at this point we were all sat round the fire with a guitar singing a bit of Oasis, as you do.

Millionaire – Cash Cash & Digital Farm Animals feat. Nelly

Good Grief – Bastille

Nobody To Love – Sigma

For some reason I can remember that this was on the radio when we were coming back from a beach trip, and yeah, it just reminds me of that trip.

Forest – twenty one pilots

Bouncy Ball (from High School Musical) – Bad Lip Reading

I know this isn’t technically a song, but it was such a big part of my summer I couldn’t resist…the specific memories involve me, two friends and my boyfriend, blowing up balloons, my friend and I walking back from Waitrose to discover the other two bathing their feet in our (admittedly amazing) bath  and then attempting basketball and smashing a light in the process. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination…

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Take On Me – a-Ha (Kygo remix)

That moment my friend and I discovered someone else who liked Kygo at my party and just added half his album to the Spotify queue. Whoops…

This Girl – Kungs vs. Cookin’ On 3 Burners

Hair – Little Mix feat. Sean Paul

This reminds me of driving back when my sister picked me up from work on a really sunny day and we got McDonalds and this song was on the radio or we were talking about it or something and for once we weren’t really arguing.

If You Got The Money – Jamie T

How Would You Like It – Lauren Aquilina

I had to include this because a) Lauren’s debut album finally came out this summer and omg it was amazing and b) I had the best time reviewing it with Eve.

Manhattan Skyline – David Shire

The most recent addition, I played this in jazz band yesterday. It’s 70s disco from Saturday Night Fever and the strings are just amazing and it’s just amazing.

Are there any particular songs you associate with your summer? Which of these songs is your favourite?

I’m Freaking Out: An Update

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After all the many seriously lovely comments on one of my recent posts about my college-joining nerves, I thought I owed you all an update, now that I’ve done my two days of induction and two days of lessons too.

Looking on the bright side to start with, overall college is great. So far I’m enjoying the courses I’ve started already (except Environmental Systems & Societies…the teacher isn’t great and I’m thinking about swapping to Biology), the work generally seems doable, I’m *beginning* to make friends and get to know people (the IB cohort is only 50 people so you get to recognise people pretty quickly, even in a multi-building college of 4000 people) and my tutor’s really nice. Plus, where else can you get 80p tea and £1 sausage rolls? (probably quite a lot of places, shhh.)  Altogether I don’t think I regret my decision to go to college, which is always a good start!

But…probably naturally, it’s all slightly terrifying and I miss all my friends and my old school so, so much. I miss knowing everyone’s names and knowing the teachers and the teachers knowing me and knowing how stuff works and where to go and everything like that. I just miss the familiarity, the routineness and even the people who I was never really friends with but who were just part of the scenery until suddenly, in the space of a day, they’re not.

I am starting to get to know people, but I’m stuck in that awkward limbo where you’re trying to figure out who you’re drifting away from and who you want to stay in touch with, and you can’t call someone you’ve known for max four days a friend just yet. Add to that the stress of finalising my course choices, a residential to London with a bunch of people I’ve met exactly once next week, all the catch up work from that and the impending doom and stress of ‘when will the mountain of work we’re supposed to get hit’, coupled with all the extra elements of IB like CAS (shoutout to my new photography/writing blog for my creative section), nerves over starting college enrichment next week and general September back-to-school blues and you can probably imagine just how cheery I’m feeling at the moment.

I get that all this is normal – I’ve barely been there properly for two days, I can’t exactly expect to be settled in already – but, and I think it’s especially because I wasn’t forced to leave school, most of my friends left and I actually quite liked it, it’s still making me feel pretty shitty at the moment. I can cope OK during the day, but two days in a row now I’ve had mini meltdowns after college (at least I’m getting into a routine – get home, talk about how great day was (and it genuinely normally is), deny anythings wrong, do homework, freak out, bulk eat chocolate or other sugary substance, hide in cushion fort with duvet and blanket). I know it wouldn’t be the same if I was at school because two of my close friends also left, and the thought of doing A-Levels (my school doesn’t offer IB) makes my stomach feel vaguely sick and fluttery and anxious and panicky, but it’s still not easy.

So yeah, there’s a bit of an update. Not the cheeriest, but accurate. And I know things will get easier, probably even by the end of this week, but until then, things are feeling a little bit bleh. But I promise to update you again sometime, hopefully when I’m feeling a little more settled!

– featured image via unsplash

Lauren Aquilina – Isn’t It Strange (collab review)

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You might remember that wayyy back in May, the fantastically awesome Eve @ Twist In The Taile and I did a collaborative review of Lauren Aquilina’s Ocean EP and various other newish music she released, in preparation for her ~debut album~ release. And now, finally, (or as of August 25th anyway) her album is out, so of course mega fangirls Eve and I decided we should (virtually) get together again and review it. Amazingly, we managed to flail over the whole 10-track album in just one hour (our fangirling must be getting much more productive/we barely had to listen to the tracks because we knew them so well already) and produced these incredibly concise and well written reviews (jk they’re inarticulate badly punctuated fangirling word vomit I’ve made slightly more coherent but at least it’s REALISTIC (or that’s what I keep telling myself)). Anyway, here are our thoughts, track by track…

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Midnight Mouths

I wasn’t really that keen on this the first time I heard it, but I definitely think its grown on me. I really like how the texture thickens before the first chorus, it feels like it makes it more powerful and I also quite like the new-era Aquilina electronicy vibe. Also, likemost of her songs, the lyricism is amazing…especially ‘it’s just the lonely talking’, and ‘We’re in too deep, so let go of my hand”.

Eve:I wasn’t as keen on this on on my first listen — like, when they were released earlier? I think I was feeling a bit negative about all the electronic production compared to Lauren;s old stuff. BUT BUT BUT now I do really enjoy this one, especially the chorus! It’s VERY catchy. And I also love the whole ‘midnight mouths’ and the aesthetic of it haha.

Wicked Game

This feels like a different, more adult Lauren, more mysterious and and dramatic, especially because, as Eve put it, of the contrast between the darker lyrics and the more dance-y production style, and also the pitch of her voice is much lower than a lot of her others songs. I also really like the contrast between the lower pitched verses and then the higher choruses. Eve and I also both thought the lyrics were specific-but-vague-and-extremely-relatable at the same time…they apply both to the specific situation she’s writing about, but also to a lot of wider aspects of life, like ‘nobody ever taught me to play this wicked game’ kinda reminded me of how much of life you’re just expected to know how to navigate alone It feels like you can apply it to almost anything which is one of the best things for you to be able to do with music. Also, side note, I seriously love the lines ‘He said he didn’t do commitment/With tattoos on his skin/Maybe I wasn’t worth the pain’ and ‘
I’ve been thinking about death/But I’ll hold my breath’.

EveI absolutely ADORE this one honestly, and I do feel like this is a more grown-up song on this album. But asdfjkl the lyrics are so wonderful (‘I’ve been thinking about death but I’ll hold my breath’ arghh). SPOOKY.  Basically the high notes on the chorus just give me the chills every time. man I do just really love this song eek.

Kicks

I love this song so much, ever since I first heard it, and the lyrics are just OMG AMAZING. ALSO KICKS = KICKING ME AROUND = PUNS/WORDPLAY = LOVE. (*pause for Eve and I to flail about amazing wordplay*). Plus yay for positivity, especially ‘I’m done being down about this’…and I also like the more modern-y electronicy-ness. Overall this song feels more mature, and the message feels less naive than some of the old-era Aquilina songs.

Eve:  I love how the production feels, like…really seamless? And YAY for positive songs! Like the claps and the little electronic-y riff thing are so awesome.  I feel like a bunch of songs on here seem older? Not, like, OLDER. But I guess more mature haha. There are loads of different (relationship, song, whatever) dynamics. Lots of different situations and messages and stuff. *nods*

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How Would You Like It?

I love this song so much! It’s more stripped-back and that makes it a nice contrast to the rest of the album and lets the emotion really shine through…it feels very raw and powerful and again, even if not in this context/situation i feel like the whole ‘how would you like it’ message is very relatable and applicable in a number of contexts, which I really like.

Eve: Also gives me the chills. This is one I loved from first listen, I think — although it’s only improved with listening. WOW SO MUCH EMOTION. So much lyrics. And I think the more stripped production works well here. (*is feeling so many things as I listen to chorus woah*) . I also…find myself singing this a lot? Yeah. And THE BRIDGE IS SO WONDERFUL.

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Way Too Good

Okay I absolutely LOVE this song (such sad times when my boyfriend said it sounded like a ‘crappy christmas song’ like oi no this song is a masterpiece. The lyrics are so good and the stripped-down-ness really works well but for me the main thing about this song is the lyrics. I especially like  ‘If nothing is meant to last maybe we should drink to that’. I can totally relate to the feeling that everythings too good and something’s going to go wrong. 

Eve: Okay, this one is ALSO one of my favourites. (I think I’ve said this way too many times but I do adore this.) I looove the kinda humming bit at the start?? Idk what that is but yeah. And I love the ‘I am, I am’ and ‘I know, I know’ bits. And THE CHORUS. All the background things. I love the aesthetic of it like ?? idk it feels so classy to me.I like the whole vibe of kinda…being in the moment? (This is a terrible description. But yes.) And the kinda overlays of her voice on the last chorus are stunning. [insert heart eye emoji] 

Hurt Any Less

The start is so good! A real contrast to the last one but it works really well, then the slowing down at the chorus and yes again the contrast between tempo and melody and lyrics. I also just love the melody of ‘why did you have to let me let you in’. Yep it’s amazing and I also like that it *feels* happy even though it def isn’t, kinda bittersweet, as Eve put it.

Eve: This one…also SO GOOD. *cries* (way too good even) (ha) (anyway) I also really enjoy listening to the pre-chorus bit? Like, I LOVE THAT. ‘this was never love it was chaos’ is such a fabulous line. And yep, the contrast between the tempo of chorus and the rest is so wonderful, works very effectively. I also feel like ‘I gave everything expecting nothing’ is a bit of a theme across some of the songs? (Idk, i feel like there was a similar line somewhere haha.) YES overall honestly this is also absolutely stellar a+. 

#IsntItStrange track 6 – hurt any less. this is one of the songs i'm most proud of because i feel like i perfectly articulated how i felt about something (which doesn't happen very often). the lyrics describe how i entered into a relationship knowing full well that it was never going to go that far and that i would probably get hurt, but i did it anyway (classic me!! lol!!!). when the ending came around, even though i'd predicted it from the beginning, it didn't make it hurt any less. this was also one of the main inspirations for the album title, because i think it's so # hashtag strange that we all as humans put ourselves into these situations that we know are going to end badly just because we naively hope they won't! also, i know i've made this song sound like it's really sad, but this is actually the one i bop around to MOST in my kitchen, so.. get excited. congrats to @nephe_d_horne for winning today's #IsntItStrangeArt competition! (i know this is the second winner that includes a drawing of an eye but LOOK HOW AMAZING THIS IS)

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Fools – Live at RAK Studios

I read somewhere that she rerecorded Fools because her voice has changed and I also agree with something else she said, about the way she sings it now is more serious and less naive because she knows how the relationship ends. Also can we please have a round of applause that she wrote this aged 16?!?! (how can she do this, GCSE music composition was hard enough!!!) Also, it’s very stripped back and bare, maybe because it’s live? Also, because this was one of the first songs she ever released, it feels like quite an important one in her career so it’s nice to have that on the album.

Eve:  I like that this one feels less hurried, too — a little more reflective. Maybe that’s the lack of drums & like less piano and stuff?  (also wow live honestly wow) I quite like having Fools on the album in some ways bc it feels like a sorta…full circle? And as well with that line at the end of Broke. ‘Those hardest to love need it most’ is still SUCH a powerful line tbh. The new piano stuff is rad as well yep. (idk if it’s like new but I think it’s a bit louder & different? Yes anyway wonderful) 

#IsntItStrange track 7 – fools. it was very important to me that this song was on the album. not only is it the first song i ever released, but it's still probably the song that people consider to me most synonymous with me and what i do as an artist. it's a very special song to me as even though i wrote it when i was 16, i still relate to it as much as i did 5 years ago. i decided to re-record it for the album as my voice has changed in that time, and i wanted to give people an updated version as i sing it slightly differently now! i think of the original as a lot more naive and hopeful and the new version as slightly more sad, knowing what i do now and how the relationship i was writing about ended up. i hope you're all enjoying the new version of it 💙 congrats to @dodieisnotsexy for winning today's #IsntItStrangeArt competition! loved the simplicity of this. when i chose a 'key' as the symbol for the song, i had no idea how many doors that song would go on to open in my life!

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Suddenly Strangers

Ahh this is just WAY TOO GOOD (wink wink nudge nudge). One reason I really love this song  is because just before the album announcement she put on facebook etc a thing about how people can go from so close to completely separate so fast…I also love the ‘isn’t it strange’ line. And ‘from talking every waking hour to not knowing where you are now’ line…and it also feels very relatable because of the fear of how a relationship is going to eventually end. 

isnt-it-strange

Eve: Ah love the start to this, feels a bit water-y idk. It works v well as the album title too, and once again with the specific/relatable thing — I mean I relate to this a lot  Suddenly Strangers is also such a fab line on its own, tbh. (sibilance! knowledge!) I also liked the combination of slightly electronic but also minimal production? (If that makes sense. The whole thing just feels very smooth to me.) Just hearing a little drum beat thing-y in the pre-chorus and IT IS VERY NICE. also the drum beat on the chorus is pretty nice *nods* 

Thinking About

This feels very pared down, there aren’t many lines or backing but it still feels quite powerful…side note is it me or has the album got more pared down and simplistic and almost darker the further down the tracklist you go? It’s like it follows a relationship’s journey or something, and at the end it’s like the problems are more serious & unavoidable. Overall, I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite song  but “all i’m thinking about is not thinking about you” is one of my fave lines on the album i think. 

Eve: I was so excited to listen to this one because I remember I watched a youtube clip of her performing this live a while ago? And all the time I was waiting for the album I remembered the lyric ‘all I’m thinking about is not thinking about you’ haha. I feel like it gets more…like, serious and reflective? Bc wicked games & midnight mouths ARE the slightly more kinda tunes with more instruments & dance-y production. But also there are some quite dark lyrics throughout the whole album tbh. But I like that it does seem to follow a slightly linear thing…? OKAY just listening to that awesome piano bridge bit thing and WOW. Again getting slightly water-y vibes. The one piano note that gets played is also very cool…? And the verse has such like argh idk it just seems like a great start to the song for me. Mm yes I don’t think it’s one of my absolute favourites overall but definitely another strong song (and reminds me a little more of like kinda liars-y production? Idk yeah with all those floaty piano things and stuff.) 

Ocean

Eve: This is SUCH a great ending tbh. (& sure! Maybe we can touch a little more on like general stuff as well, haha we discussed it a bit above but. Let me know when you have to go!) Yeah so I think this is a great ending, I love the kinda catharsis & freedom of it. It feels a lot more abstract than the others & I think it’s good contrast…? (<— I 100% agree with all of this)

Overall Thoughts

I definitely think it was an album worth waiting for, you can tell its not the first collection of songs she’s released and i really like it. It’s honestly amazing in my humble opinion. 10/10 methinks.

Eve: One random thing I noticed about the whole album in general is that there are a lot more like specific third person pronouns used? I mean, not a LOT more. But there’s also like more than just ‘you’ n stuff which I found interesting. I feel like lyrically it’s less abstract; like still absolutely stunning lyrics but more cutting to the point and less vague imagery if you get me…? Honestly…tbh I adore every song on this. I think I do enjoy it more than the Ocean EP? Although Echoes was fab. 10/10 one of my fav recent albums i will be dying over this forever.


And there you have it, a track-by-track, vaguely incoherent review/fangirl session of Lauren Aquilina’s debut album, Midnight Mouths!

Have you heard the album? What were your thoughts, and which tracks do you especially like?

– n.b. all images via Lauren’s Facebook/Instagram accounts