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+. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJaWImBAeRJ/?taken-by=laurenaquilina

 

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) 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJp6FMvgdl2/?taken-by=laurenaquilina

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. 

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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

Welcoming In The New Era Of Aquilina {collab review}

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A couple of weeks ago, the lovely Eve (who blogs over at Twist In The Taile and is a fellow Lauren Aquilina fangirl, yay) and I got together (well, opened a shared Google Doc) to discuss/flail over newish Lauren Aquilina songs in the name of reviewing them. Yay. We both love Lauren’s old and new stuff (or as we christened them, Old Aquilina and New Aquilina) and so just listening to her music and talking about it together was basically a dream come true. Our fangirling skills were so great that they even extended to technology (“*FLAILS* *REALISES IS FANGIRLING OVER COMPUTER* *REALISES FORGOT TO TAKE CAPS LOCK OFF*” is just one example).
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 And now, amazingly not even that much later given how distracted we got by her other, non-sufficiently-new songs and thinking up questions for her Kicks Twitter Q&A and then flailing wildly when she replied, here are the results of our many hours of hard fangirling…

Ocean

OK, first up was Ocean, which was released way back in October last year. Here are our thoughts on the video…(I’m just gonna copy and paste this pretty much direct so you can get the full effect so sorry if it’s a lil’ jumbled up…)

ME: So…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 as like loads more instruments come in a massive wave comes in (1:51 if you’re interested). YASS THAT TIMING! Also, as usual, I have a massive style crush on her hair. But yeah, generally kinda ethereal vibes and I like the ocean reflection in the mirror near the end. It’s also nice that it links to the lyrics but gives you space to appreciate the song.

EVE: a+ ocean aesthetic. (aah okay wait excitement about fools SAME I just literally love all her songs so much????)  I mean, mostly Lauren’s videos don’t have like massive stories? BUT I LIKE IT LETS ME FOCUS ON THE SONG. And I like the ocean layering, although at the start I thought it was just terrible graphic effects. Like, trying to actually look like they were filling the room with water.

And now song thoughts…

EVE: At first I was a bit worried about WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO LAUREN?? Electronic wow? And I thought it was a bit repetitive. But NOW. Well. *coughs* I loove Ocean; it’s one of my favs! It’s a different style to her old music for sure — like, there’s less of a clearly defined structure I feel? But OCEAN IMAGERY and ‘i lost my head/somewhere between teh surface and the seabed’ eep. It’s super catchy aah.

ME: 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. Like you said, it’s very different to her other stuff. BUT NOW, after listening to it again, I like it! JUST LIKE YOU SAID I love “i lost my head somewhere between the surface and the seabed” and also “they call it freedom but how can it be when I live in a time zone unsuited to me”. I feel kinda attached to that lyric because I think she shared it before the whole song??

Anyway I also really like how it kinda starts bare and then the texture builds up and then fades out again? (sorry that’s like classic GCSE music stuff ahaha) but YES NOW I LIKE IT!

EVE: Ah yes that is an excellent point! And one more thing from me ahaha: like I feel like it’s more abstract than such a clear storyline? But yeah more an emotion of the song idek what I’m trying to say haha. And YES  like it

Our rating: 4/5 (but A* for awesome metaphorical lyrics)

Low (also released October 2015)

EVE: 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? I just didn’t really like the production that much haha. But, having said that: STILL MEANS I LIKE IT BECAUSE Y’KNOW IT’S COOL And the lyrics are amaazing.I think I agree the video was a bit abstract tho. (Although one take woah.) YES that is a great line eep.

ME: Asdfghjjkl i forgot how much i love this song i haven’t listened to it in too long…I LOVE the like double vocals? Idk 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 though?

Our rating: 4/5

Out Of Our Depth (released in, you guessed it, October 2o15)

ME: OK writing as i think i like the is it guitar? Different instrumentation anyway…I like the chorus but feel like its maybe a bit anticlimactic?  I also like that this is about a relationship but feels like it could also be applied to other stuff (same with kicks tbh).

EVE: I actually love this one so much! I mean it’s not like a ‘main’ single but asdfjkl I think it’s gorgeous okay I need to stop with the superlatives for a bit. OKAY but yeah I think it is less of a big chorus? Hmm I don’t know I do like it though. And yeah, the lyrics are awesome + I think there are a lot of interpretations! I particularly like the kinda echoey piano thing?? Idk what instrument it actually is but yeah. And the drums at the chorus mmm EXCELLENT (oh yes I see what you mean by the guitar! I AM HEARING THAT.) yeah I think that’s it — this is probably like…more of a favourite for me? I mean, I’m saying that but realising I don’t actually know how I’d rate them in terms of fav-> least fav.

Our rating: 4.5/5

Echoes (released December 2015)

(first off we just fangirled excitedly over the bit at the start)

IDK THE INSTRUMENT BUT THE BIT AT THE START

THE LITTLE LIKE UP AND DOWN BIT?

YESSS YES SO GOOD AHHH

I LOVE THAT SO MUCH (*switches onto caps lock*) & I love how it continues throughout + slightly changes!

And then the rest…

Argh I do love echoes soo much. Probably the song I had the best first impression of + then continued to love! Overall I just love echoes a LOT and I think it’s v strong asdfjkl (although like it is upbeat and it took me a while to realise the lyrics haha) same basically haha. I mean I think some songs rely more on lyrics + some on melody? I think Old Aquilina was maybe more lyrics based but I am loving the new era if it’s like echoes asdfjkl.

5/5??? I literally can’t find any faults ahaha i haven’t even thought that much about the lyrics…I think new era is kinda more abstract and metaphorical lyrics?? 

Our rating: 5/5

And then the Tate x Elle session:

I just love that its at the Tate and this version seems to be more focus on the vocals?? I like it it feels kinda calmer…and I love the aesthetics. 

Ooh this version has more audible piano. Yeah I think so too, it’s lovely to hear vocals live. And I feel like maybe less of the ‘background’ vocals if you get me? Very fitting with the black + white Tate aesthetic is what I’m getting haha.

Echoes {Edeema remix}

My thoughts: loving the instrument at the beginning. I mean, it slightly makes me laugh but yeah. & also I like how there isn’t as a much of a buildup to the chorus I guess? It’s just a bit more chill + relaxed. I do kinda miss the little electronic-y bit at the start? But it’s DIFFERENT and COOL. and yeah overall an excellent remix.

I love this, I love the slightly different instrumentation and generally the laid back vibe. I just love it! Yeah I feel like the instrument thing at the start is kinda a nod to that but you’re right, it’s not the same!

Kicks (released April 2016)

[after watching video] *flails* I FEEL SO PUMPED NOW. yesss upbeat video and awesome song. Kicks is definitely more pop-y & the lyrics are less kinda…lyrical ahaha from old aquilina but IT’S POP PERFECTION. Arghhh amazingness. I liked it less on first try (haha sorry I’m just rambling here) but like NOW YAY & THE VIDEOOOOOO

Okay right I love this! YES THE VIDEO IS GREAT and I love that she included fans, 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…also the Asian girl with the plaits is like ultimate hair goals. Yeah this feels really different to all her other music, way more poppy and upbeat…in terms of lyrics i get what you mean but i do love the line i’m done being down about this…positivity yeah!

Idk yeah that was basically my thing. But I guess it’s a girl power message? Oh my god yeah. AMAZING PLAITS. She was very awesome. Yeah there are some awesome lyrics! It’s just like more succinct rather than poetic I suppose?

Yeah I also like the opening instrumental bit but i wasn’t so sure about the slow bit to start with, I think because all the teasers focused on the upbeat chorussy bit?? But overall me gusta mucho, including the vid and album artwork! And i like (this sounds so geeky omg) the perfect videography (idek if that’s the right word) with the timing of some of the punches haha. And I just realised this is one of the first songs that doesn’t have ocean-y artwork! Yep I feel like this is a hint for how some of her new style stuff is gonna be…

I…can’t actually remember if I listened to the teasers? I think I might have got 1 but I don’t have snapchat haha. YES THE ALBUM ARTWORK IS AWEESOME I’m loving the transition from usual kinda face + name + song title ugh helvetica-y fonts yess. & agreed the timing of some of those shots were great!! Oh that’s true — a lot of her previous kinda header singles have had very oceany stuff as well. Overall I think it’s definitely a transition + more upbeat, but it’s an AWESOME upbeat empowerment song.

Our rating: 4.5 or 5/5 with the video

And so I guess that’s it! Big thanks to Eve for joining me for this, it was so much fun 🙂 – you can read her review on her blog here!

Are you a Lauren Aquilina fan? What are your thoughts on our thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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The Potential Last Time I Freak Out About My Future (ha, nope)

As I’ve mentioned before on here, I’m *strongly considering* leaving school next year to go to the local college. This isn’t a definite decision (and won’t be until after GCSE results, woop *eye roll*) but I am Very Strongly Considering leaving and to put that frankly, it’s terrifying. Unless, of course, I stay at school, in which case all my freaking out will have been for nothing. But y’know. There’s only two weeks (today!) until my first exam, and only about three weeks until study leave starts. AKA THE POTENTIAL END OF ALL MY LESSONS AT SCHOOL FLIPPIDY FLIP FLOP THAT’S SCARY. So yeah. freaking out just a teensy bit.

I keep thinking of the potential last evers.

Potential last ever Founders’ Day. (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but I do actually quite like getting to play the fanfare)

Potential last (and first) ever Jazz Concert

Only about 12 more maths lessons.

Only about 3 more composition lessons (and I’m not doing music next year so that really is last ever)

Max three more assemblies. (I’VE HAD MY *POTENTIAL* LAST FINAL ASSEMBLY GUYS)

Potential last CCF (not that I’ll miss that much)

x many chapel services left

x many brass ensemble rehearsals left (potentially) (it’s like two and that’s seriously freaking me out because I’ve been doing that for like six years eek)

x many orchestra rehearsals left (though this all depends on how many I skive tbh)

Potential last field day.

Potential last mufti day.

Potential last lunchtime trip to buy a second lunch because well my friend forgot her lunch anyway and sorry but that ham and cheese pastry thing is too good not to buy and half.

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sticking this in here because nature, calmness, relaxation, yep can always do with a bit of that

IT’S ALL SCARY AND I HATE IT OK. I mean, if I go to college then that’ll be a really good experience of its own, but it’s going to take a while to get used to going from being a big fish in a relatively small pond to a very small fish in a lake, and I’m gonna have to do the whole making friends thing pretty much from scratch, apart from out of school friends I have at the college. And I’m definitely going to try and keep in touch with my school friends but it’s different, y’know? And what about the people I don’t really class as friends but are just used to seeing? Or the people I’ve kinda started being friends with this year but aren’t really good friends with yet? I’m kinda scared to lose the friendships which, yeah, aren’t three, five, seven, years old but which I value anyway. I’m sometimes an awkward person and not always that great at making plans to keep in touch with people or whatever, especially if I’m not really good friends with them, so God knows what’s going to happen in terms of that.

Of course, that won’t be an issue if I stay at school.

(It’s just so bloody typical that the song playing at the moment is Time To Say Goodbye by Lauren Aquilina, isn’t it? Must be a sign…)

Soz about that outburst but ngl this post felt quite cathartic and guess what, I hadn’t even realised I needed the catharsis. Blogging is great.

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Instagram // Twitter // Facebook // Bloglovin’

If you liked this, you may like these…

 

Feeling Happy

Thinking Ahead

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October: A Monthly Wrap-Up

MONTHLY WRAPUP april

Hello! I’ve decided to bring back the monthly wrap up (not that I ever got rid of it, I just forgot, whoops…), to talk about my October…

On The Blog:

  • I kicked off the month with an extract from my Autumn/Winter Spotify playlist…click here for lots of autumnal, leafy vibes!
  • Next, I blogged about HALF TERM WOOP WOOP plus some of my thoughts about admitting to people that I’m a blogger.
  • I was full of the half term happy vibes so blogged about it, and to reduce the smugness slightly by giving you some reasons you should be happy too!
  • I did Top Ten Tuesday, this time appealing to O Mighty Book Genie.
  • Tracklisting Thursday happened again (wow, twice in a month, go me…), talking about my new addiction to instrumental music and the magic of the Vitamin String Quartet.
  • I announced my December song challenge, a reworking of my February Overthinking Song Challenge…click here to join in!
  • Something REALLY EMBARRASSING but also kinda funny happened at work, so obviously I had to blog about it…I’m all about embarrassing myself for public benefit!
  • I wrapped up my week for the 11th time.
  • I shared a second volume of a few of my favourite things.
  • And last but not least, I wrote about a few body confidence issues I’ve had lately.

Woo, ten posts…that’s a heck of a lot more than I thought I’d written, so yay me! 🙂

Reading

I’ve not read an awful lot this/last month, but here’s what I can remember reading…

BOOKS

Ding! Finished!

{via Goodreads}

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares // Rachel Cohn & David Levithan.

This got me into such a Christmassy mood, and gave me MAJOR New York wanderlust!

{via kieracass.com}

The Selection // Kiera Cass

This is the first in the series, and I can’t wait to read the rest! It’s set in the future, which was a slight surprise, but I loved so much about it. I can’t wait to read the rest in the series!

~ Reading Ongoing ~

{via HPMOR.com}

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality // Eliezer Yudkowsky

This is a Harry Potter fanfic which a friend recommended to me, and which I’ve already mentioned multiple times on here…I’m not that far in yet and haven’t read much recently, but hopefully I’ll pick it up again this month!

The DUFF // Kody Keplinger

I picked this up in the library and, similar to HPMOR, I’m still relatively near the beginning, but liking/not minding it so far…

{via tower.com}

1984 // George Orwell

Pretty much the same story so far (though not literally, haha!) as The DUFF, but I picked this up from the library as I’ve been meaning to read it ever since we looked at the opening in English at school last year. I’m interested to see how the plot pans out, and whether or not I’ll like it…

BLOGS

Here are a few of my favourite posts from this month…

  • Mia’s 2015 Gift Guide for Odd & Quirky People
  • Hannah’s awesome post on why yes, we may be addicted to Instagram but also yes, there is a good side to that. (You may have seen this on my Twitter, at some point, I really do love it!)
  • Sophie’s list of 21 Things All Bloggers Know To Be True…if you’re a blogger, READ THIS! (And even if you’re not, get a funny and accurate insight into our lives!)
  • Kate’s review of Schwarzkopf’s got2b hairspray…she’s so enthusiastic about this product that I’m pretty tempted to try it out myself!
  • Another gem from Kate…a 5-step guide to Instagram!
  • Amber’s guest post on LaurenConrad.com, a tutorial for the “Double Dutch Braid Bun”, which I have yet to try but have bookmarked for further notice!
  • Eve’s HAPPYHAPPYHAPPY post on why she’s happy to be alive right now. (btw, LOVE your new header!!! Serious #bloggergoals right there, amiright?)
  • Kelsey’s beautiful snapshots of Exeter.
  • Hayley’s suggestions for where to get awesome (free!) photos for your blog.

These posts were all off of my Bloglovin’ saved posts archive, and there are SO MANY MORE I’ve missed off…but here’s a flavour at least! Have your read any of these posts, or got any other suggestions for me?

Me, My Life & Everything Else You Never Needed To Know

As I’ve already mentioned, this was the month of half term and my music residential! I also had a Halloween sleepover and went trick or treating as one of the 101 Dalmatians (one of the friends I went with is half American, and her enthusiasm was just hilarious ahaha), getting SO MANY SWEETS. We (well, my friend’s dad) also set off fireworks in their back garden, followed by pizza and Lilo & Stitch, which was all awesome. I also saw the new James Bond with my family which was really fun (though technically on the 1st November). In half term I did a bunch of stuff, including seeing Lauren Aquilina live (yayyy!), going on a Primark jewellery-and-homewares spree with my friends, visiting a local art gallery, getting my trumpet repaired and a bunch of other stuff. Now I’m back at school and snowed under with work, but surviving! I did self-defence in CCF yesterday (yeah, not October, whatevs), which was…interesting, and next week I have my Spanish oral (gulp) – on Friday 13th! I also have a gig with my jazz orchestra then though, and am doing a solo, so yay! Ooh, and I also saw Snarky Puppy live way back at the start of the month! 🙂

I’m gonna leave it there for October then…it was a busy month! How was it for you? Did you do anything special for Halloween?

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A/W ’15: An Extract {TRACKLISTING TUESDAY}

Hey hey heyyy, guys! Today I’ve decided to do something slightly different to usual (not that I really have a usual, let’s be honest) and share with you one of my Spotify playlists, for Autumn/Winter 2015. However, as that playlist is currently, hmm, over 100 songs and 7 hours long, I’m just going to link to it down below, and share ten of my favourite tracks/ones I want to highlight most/ones that feel most autumnal. So, here goes…

  1. Electric Love // BORNS I just love the layered, fun feel of this, so much so I wrote a whole post about the artist. 
  2. Better Love // Foxes This was co-written by and features vocals from Dan Smith (lead singer of Bastille) and though I wasn’t particularly keen to start with, I absolutely LOVE it now! 
  3. Runnin’ (Lose It All) // Naughty Boy, Beyonce, Arrow Benjamin 100% creds goes to my best friend who introduced me to this…it’s incredible! Listen! 
  4. Low // Lauren Aquilina The chorus is just so wonderful and catchy. I love it. AND I’M GOING TO SEE HER LIVE (ON A BOAT) not that I’m excited (20 DAYS) or counting down or anything. 
  5. Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better) // Felix Jaehn, Jasmine Thompson This has got firmly lodged into my mental mp3 player, and I can’t say I have much inclination to get rid of it…it’s an especially fitting choice as Jasmine Thompson is one of the support acts when I go and see Ella Eyre live next month! 
  6. Telescope // Cage The Elephant A friend introduced me to this and it’s just got that perfect autumnal, relaxed, laid-back kinda vibe. I highly recommend! 
  7. Nothing Left // Kygo, Will Heard Kygo works his magic yet again, this is well worth a listen in my opinion! 
  8. Pompeii – Live With Film Orchestra // Bastille Bringing back an old favourite, this is almost better than the original…and those strings! *swoons* 
  9. Lay It All On Me // Rudimental ft. Ed Sheeran Ugh why did I wait so long (at least three days) after this came back to listen to it?!? IT’S SO GOOD! 
  10. Drag Me Down // One Direction Yup, One Direction made it on here, sorrynotsorry. DMD feels quite different to their previous stuff, more mature and maybe a little bit darker? I recommend you listen to it, even if you’re not really a 1D fan – or if you don’t want to admit to listening to them directly, try Doddleoddle’s ukulele cover. It’s magical, promise. 

And here’s my full playlist

What are your favourite autumnal songs?

An Overthinking Teenager

50 Things I Can’t Wait For This Autumn

We’re just on the cusp of October, and despite being sad to leave the summer behind, I am so ready for the next few months. Here are a few things I’m looking forward to…
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  1. Wearing scarves to school (secretly hoping it’ll be cold enough to wear one tomorrow…).
  2. That feeling when the sky’s blue and it’s kinda warm but there’s a crisp autumnal edge to the air.
  3. Leaf crunching (I’m an obsessive).
  4. Being able to curl up on the sofa with a blanket without getting weird looks.
  5. Wearing big, fluffy, snuggly hoodies.
  6. My onesie.
  7. The Great British Bake Off.
  8. Sherlock Christmas special. (YES PLEASE).
  9. Seeing Snarky Puppy live. (in a week and a day, eek!)
  10. Seeing Lauren Aquilina live (and hopefully meeting her!).
  11. Seeing Ella Eyre live for the second time.
  12. Listening to lovely autumnal music like Banks and Bastille (not technically a season-restricted activity, but Banks just has that Octobery-Novembery edge to it, y’know?)
  13. Hot chocolate and marshmallows.
  14. Cracking handwarmers on the way round to school.
  15. Leaning against radiators until the heat gets too much.
  16. Reading against radiators until I get a crick in my back.
  17. Having blankets on my bed.
  18. I would say endless cups of tea, but I have them anyway.
  19. Pulling my hoodie sleeves over my hands as I clasp aforementioned mug of tea.
  20. Christmas jumpers.
  21. Christmas!
  22. The excitement leading up to Christmas.
  23. Wearing my knitted beanie hat with a pom pom.
  24. Seeing my breath on the air.
  25. Appreciating warm days so much more.
  26. The (highly unlikely) possibility of snow!
  27. Christmas concerts at school.
  28. Evenings sat on the sofa, feeling all warm and cosy in the light and warmth.
  29. Curling up inside, safe from the inevitable rain that’s battering the windows.
  30. More fairy light usage, if I remember to turn them on.
  31. Christmas parties.
  32. Seeing all my family who live in London just after Christmas.
  33. Wearing thick checked shirts.
  34. By big wintery black boots.
  35. My slightly slimmer tan boots.
  36. My new, warm, fluffy winter coat from H&M.
  37. The satisfaction of running when the air has got that cold tang to it.
  38. Burrowing into the warmth of hoodies, trackies and a hot drink after a hockey match.
  39. Hot squash to soothe the almost inevitable colds and sore throats.
  40. Soup – especially homemade butternut squash at school and Heinz cream of tomato after a hockey training session.
  41. Hot water bottles YES.
  42. Bonfire night! (When I’m actually going to see Ella Eyre. Ah, well.)
  43. An extra hour of reading time when the clocks go back.
  44. Comfy and classic legging-and-checked-shirt combos.
  45. Mince pies.
  46. Appreciating a hot shower or bath that bit more than in summertime.
  47. Long sleeve tops to cover your fingers.
  48. Snoods.
  49. Cosy slipper socks.
  50. finally succumbing and turning the heating on.

What do you like best about autumn?

An Overthinking Teenager

A Few of My Favourite Things

Hey! I thought that today I’d do something a bit new, and list ten of my favourite things/stuff that’s happened from the last week. This is partly inspired by numerous “favourites” lists, but two in particular are written by Sophie Cliff and Bella @ Ciao Bella! Anyway, I’ve now been back at school for over a week, so it’s time I thought about something a bit more cheerful than mitosis, Spanish careers vocab and solving trigonometry equations. Well, here goes!

  1. Finishing my music composition. Last Thursday, I was delighted (ecstatic, literally) to find out my first GCSE music composition is fairly well finished. YAY. This pop song has been the source of much stress, so it feels SO GOOD to know it’s nearly done. It’ll be even better in a few weeks when the Composers’ Concert, where we have to sing our own compositions. In front of our fellow pupils. EEK MUCH?!? Regardless, it’s good for it to be (pretty much) done.
  2. Namaste – Swim Deep. This song…makes me feel really happy. That’s about it. I first heard it on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show, and I hope you like it as much as me! 
  3. Feline – Ella Eyre. Ella’s debut album has been long-awaited by me, so I’m so happy it’s finally here and I’ve got it! I think my favourite song at th e moment has got to be ‘Two’ – I just love it. 
  4. Free music. For anyone who may be interested, Sia’s album 1000 Forms Of Fear is free on Google Play for a limited time only – get it here!
  5. The Mortal Instruments! I’ve heard so much good stuff about Cassandra Clare on the blogosphere and from my school friends, so I don’t know why it took me so long to read the Mortal Instruments, but they are INCREDIBLE. I’ve now finished the whole series and the Infernal Devices prequel trilogy, and I LOVED it. There was a helluva lot of form time fangirling going on with my friends, I can tell you! Now I just need to try and find the Bane Chronicles and I also eagerly await next year’s The Dark Artifices companion trilogy. AND THERE’S GONNA BE A TV SERIES. AND THERE ARE ALREADY A LOAD OF SPINOFF EBOOKS AND STUFF. Be still, my beating heart. For now, though, CASSANDRA CLARE IS OFFICIALLY BAE

SHADOWHUNTERS- (1)7. To Kill A Mockingbird. So just how do you follow the work of a goddess that is TMI? Well, I chose Harper Lee. So far, I’m liking TKAM – it feels really readable, and I just really like the style of writing, and reading about Scout and Jem’s life. Also, how beautiful is the 50th anniversary special edition cover?!? (Spoiler: VERY) I’ll try and keep you posted on my thoughts…

via Amazon

8. I’M GOING TO SEE LAUREN AQUILINA LIVE ON TOUR AT BRISTOL THEKLA WITH TWO OF MY BEST FRIENDS HELL YEAH. Just a little excited, as you can see…is anyone else going, or going to see Ella Eyre at Bristol in November or Snarky Puppy in October? (I’m going to a lot of concerts in the next two months…not that I’m complaining!) 

9. Galantis – Peanut Butter Jelly. Back to music, I am LOVING this song. It’s just so happy and mad and wonderful and the video is fab. Instant pick-up vibes! 

10. This T-shirt. 

11. The Fifa 16 soundtrack. GUYS GUYS GUYS IT’S OUT NEXT FRIDAY AND A NEW BASTILLE SINGLE HANGIN’ IS ON IT YES I KNOW EEEKKKKKK. (I’m done now.)

What’s been a favourite of yours this week?

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An Overthinking Interview: Lauren Aquilina

Background Image from Lauren's Facebook page

            Background Image from Lauren’s Facebook page

*EXCITING THINGS WARNING KLAXON*

Today I have something VERY EXCITING (shush, calm down, me) and a bit different…it’s an interview with one of my favourite singers, the wonderful Lauren Aquilina. (I apologise in advance for my cringy fangirling behavious that will undoubtedly occur during the course of this post!).

                                     Source: gifhell.com, via giphy.com

Those of you who have followed my blog from its early stages may know of my love for her music (she was the focus of one of my very first Tracklisting Tuesdays posts, and I also featured her as part of TT here) Lauren is 19 and from Bristol, and recently signed to Island Records in the UK  (home of such incredible artists as Jack Johnson, Drake, Leona Lewis, Ariana Grande, Annie Lennox, Hozier and even U2) and Republic Records in the USA (think James Bay, Angel Haze, Lorde and Sigma). According to her Island Records artist page, Lauren’s been songwriting since the age of five and playing piano since the age of seven, and says “It’s such a cliché but music literally is everything to me”. She’s sold over 100,000 EPs in total, and is also a big fan of the Bourbon biscuit and “in a deep emotional relationship with biscuits”, which gives her an automatic thumbs-up from me. Oh, also Perez Hilton and Taylor Swift are both fans. Yep, she’s that good!

Career goals or what?

                   Career goals or what?

I got in touch with Lauren by Twitter and email, and she kindly agreed to answer a few questions…so, here are the answers from my very first interview, with Lauren Aquilina!

foolssinnersliars

Each image links to the EP’s Amazon page

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An Overthinking Song Challenge: THE BIG FINALE!

Yep, this is the post for the 28th of February, plus the bonuses…

30 Day Song Challenge- Books, Tea and a (1)

OK, lets deal with the 28th’s prompt first: a song you discovered through a book. OK, I admit I just Googled ‘songs in Eleanor and Park’. But I think my pick for today is going to be ‘Asleep’ by The Smiths. I’m listening to it now, and although I don’t know the song as such, it popped into my head because I remember it being mentioned in The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I won’t say I think it’s going to become a favourite – right now it’s making me feel like I’m about to cry – but it feels really soothing and calming. I can definitely see why it’s called Asleep (aside from the lyrics, of course!).

Right, now onto the bonuses. These were added in because I screwed up the original picture but still liked the prompts, so if anyone does this not for February then feel free to use them as the 29th and 30th prompts!

1. – A song which has lyrics that mean something to you. My thoughts for this are very similar to those as for the 27th’s prompt, a song you like the lyrics to – my picks then were King by Lauren Aquilina and Flaws by Bastille. I think King means a lot, because it’s about making the best of what you’ve got – I try to keep the lyrics in mind, especially ‘glass half empty/glass half full/well either way you won’t be going thirsty/count your blessings not your flaws’. I actually have ‘Count your blessings not your flaws’ as a wristband, I love it! Overall, I just think the song has a really important message that people should try to listen to and remember. I also like Flaws for similar reasons – it’s about accepting your flaws and making the most of who you are.

2. – A song which would be the theme tune to your life. Um, although I hate to be repetitive, I would say the same as above – at least, that’s what I try to live my life by. However, for the title, I think ‘Chocolate’ by The 1975 wouldn’t be a bad pick! Also, any song about procrastination and being late…There’s also ‘Tuning Out’ by Bastille, which is less of a song as such and that I don’t actually like that much, but I do think that tuning out in the sense of negative things people say and society’s expectations is important. ‘Figure It Out’ by Royal Blood could also be another contender…although a) the song is about love and b) it isn’t one of my favourites, I guess I am just a teenager with a lot of thoughts trying to figure stuff out. Unfortunately, I don’t always succeed…

For the final time, what would your thoughts for these prompts be? And if you really love this challenge and want to hear more about it (in which case, virtual high five and thanks for being awesome!), then Elly over at A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts is doing the challenge this month, so go check her answers out. And of course, feel free to do the challenge yourself! 🙂

Thanks for reading, whether it’s just this post or you’ve followed the whole challenge…I hope you’ve enjoyed it, hopefully I can do it again next year! (Gosh, this feels like the end of an era, I’m getting emotional…)

*mentally sobbing as she waves goodbye to desperately trying to come up with songs for prompts*

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An Overthinking Song Challenge: February 26th and 27th

30 Day Song Challenge- Books, Tea and a (1)

Day 26: A Song You Liked When You Were Younger

Er, I have no clue. I was obsessed with Dynamite by Taio Cruz for a short while, which I’ve already mentioned, but for a long time my music taste revolved entirely around my parents’ iPods…Status Quo, Abba, a bit of Neil Diamond and Queen here and there…

Day 27: A Song That You Like The Lyrics To

This would have to be either Lauren Aquilina’s ‘King’ or Bastille’s ‘Flaws’. They’re both about accepting who you are…Flaws puts the emphasis on loving your flaws for making you human, and King is all about making the best of what you have. They’re both really motivational, and I try to apply some of the messages in them to my daily life.

What would your picks be?

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