’16 Soundtrack : August


Liberated by new beginnings, new challenges. Liberated by the desire to focus on my growth. Liberated by thriving.

There were a couple low points in August. They were times that forced me to hit the brakes in multiple areas of my life to process exactly what I was feeling, why I was feeling it and how to shatter the glass ceiling to move beyond it all. It worked.

I realized I was living in a cycle and it’s impossible to thrive when you’re looped back into the same situations and mindset. Life had become a subpar circus ring, and now it’s the right time to mosey/skip/leap down an unbeaten path.

In short, #liveyourbestlife.

After leaving you with that vague account of my life, here are the jams that soundtracked the very complex, eye-opening month of August. Enjoy, and please comment with any music suggestions! You know I’m always on the hunt for the new good-good.




’16 Soundtrack: July


Photo by Priscilla Hernandez

I like stability, and I’ve finally regained it. After a rocky June ended and July began, I exhaled the biggest sigh of relief. I’ve spent the majority of this month settling into my new apartment and turning my room into a personal haven. Let me tell you how good it feels to sleep in my own bed again. REAL GOOD. And it’s brand new and not twin size. I guess this is growing up. 

Aside from reveling in the simple, yet glorious, situation of having a home again, I’ve spent my days working on Create & Cultivate, sorting out my feelings (you know ya girl has a lot of them) and celebrating birthdays. I’ve gathered a pretty great collection of memories from July.

Forewarning, my ’16 Soundtrack for this month is kind of heavy (with the feels) and admittedly a reflection of what’s going on in my noggin. But these tunes are class A, so listen up and just let whatever you feel happen. Your ears and soul will thank you.

I want to add – please go see Mitski at some point in your life because I watched her perform this month at the Echoplex and she blew me away. In addition to her being an absolute treat to listen to, it was refreshing to be a part of an attentive crowd that didn’t fill the room with chatter or spend the entire set filming shaky videos.

Now dive into the playlist below and enjoy! Please post some artists and/or tunes in the comments section as well because I’m eager to listen to something new.

Keep well.


’16 Soundtrack : May and June


Photo by Ramon Smikle

I’ve experienced the worst month of my life, but I am here and moving forward. I’ll save the details for a much more in-depth blog post about how I came to be homeless (don’t worry, I’m crashing at a pal’s place). Long story short:

+ I had an apartment, then I didn’t. My belongings are currently scattered between three locations. I’ve cried in public. Multiple times (ugh). I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about California tenant laws. My friends and I fought to get our money back from a slumlord. I receive daily invites from so many incredible friends and acquaintances in Los Angeles, offering their couch for me to sleep on. I’ve lived in three different places within the last two weeks, and my mind, body and soul is completely exhausted by this. But, let’s end this short story on a high note – I started a dope new job at Create & Cultivate.

Now that you probably have a bunch of questions that I won’t answer at this time, it’s time for the music. Since life has been so messy lately, I couldn’t put together a soundtrack at the end of May, so here is a joint soundtrack for May and June!

It’s kind of a moody playlist, but nonetheless, there are  jams. Enjoy, and keep well.

’16 Soundtrack: April


Photo by Shab Ferdowsi

Dear April,

I am exhausted by you, but I had fun. You had a lot of house shows. You brought several of my favorite bands, The 1975, Years & Years and more, into town at the right moments for me. You lit a fire in my soul with Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.” You filled my heart with friendship, confidence and understanding. You showed me that bad timing doesn’t make a good thing any less good. Thank you, April.

The songs I’ve included in my soundtrack for last month accompanied adventures to new destinations, party planning, the hours spent at my work desk, and late night research (note to self: stop going to bed at 2am every night).

After you listen to the playlist below, you can follow it on Spotify, and you should also check out the new albums by Gallant, Bear Hands and Sales. If you’re in the Los Angeles area and interested in local bands, don’t hesitate to ask me to suggest a few! Lately, I’ve been jamming to King Shelter, a self-proclaimed “salad rock” band that plays a tossed blend of indie alternative rock with rich, dreamy tones.

Enjoy the jams, and happy May! Show Mercury in retrograde who’s the boss.

PLAYLIST: Something Good Can Work

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Photo by Ramon Smikle

Channel the positive energy in your life, and something good can work. Navigating the complexities of life is taxing. But no matter how exhausting that may be, the ability to work through it and move forward helps us learn, break old habits and thrive. Maybe there’s even a chance this purposefulness can heal parts of us that were once transfixed on the distress of the past. This is the mindset I try to maintain to keep that smile on my face, and my mind and heart open. I know everyone’s circumstance is different.

Wake up and choose to see/do/be better.

Here’s a playlist I put together for a backyard show in Burbank I co-presented with Beating Lights, but we never got around to playing it. It’s been my go-to mix for the last week and I want you to enjoy it with me. Hit shuffle and play it loud.

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Photo by Ramon Smikle


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Photo by Ramon Smikle

’16 Soundtrack: March


Don’t let my tired eyes fool you. I’m really happy.

One of my main focuses for 2016 is to surround myself with people who make an effort to develop genuine connections. Knowing where someone works, what they did last week and which neighborhood they live in (all info probably made known by way of short-lived small talk and a peek at Instagram) is fine and dandy, but also boring. I often feel like I don’t actually know who people are, and vice versa, no matter how much time I spend with them. I’d like to give and take more, and this isn’t a novel thought. I see plenty of other millennials discussing social interaction.

Back to why I’m happy. The people who are currently in my life bring me joy. The girl gang. My other close pals. Family. Twitter and Instagram followers who are becoming real life friends. And even a boy. I have a badass support system made up of some of the most motivated and creative people I know, and I’m thankful to be a part of a community that lifts each other up. As an added bonus, most of these folks are always game to throw it down on the dance floor, so I’ve pretty much reached my personal squad goals.

My soundtrack for this month is a collection that has resonated with me during the last couple of weeks. I could have just listed  The 1975’s new album, “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it” because it’s fantastic, but the other songs I’ve fallen in love with deserve some attention too. There’s one thing I want to point out before we get to the music. Until I watched the music video for “Bloodsport ’15” last week, I had no clue Raleigh Ritchie is Jacob Anderson, aka Grey Worm from Game of Thrones. *babe alert*

You can listen to and follow the ’16 Soundtrack: March playlist on Spotify, or click through the links below. Enjoy, and keep well, pals.


Cheap Thrills” – Sia
Like The Earth” – Bedbugs
Hard To Read” – Day Wave
Somebody Else” – The 1975
Weathered” – Jack Garratt
sHe” – ZAYN
Bloodsport ’15” – Raleigh Ritchie
In My Veins” – BASECAMP (feat. Del The Funky Homosapien and Billie Black)
Woke The F*ck Up” – Jon Bellion
Settle Down” – The 1975
I Wear Glasses” – Mating Ritual
Pressure” – Milk & Bone
Your Bones – Intermission” – Mura Masa
If I Believe You” – The 1975
Even Great Things” – Elliot Moss
Mirrors” – Emma Louise
Keeping Your Head Up” – Birdy

What songs are you in love with right now? Let’s chat in the comments.

’16 Soundtrack: February


Time should be a system as open and free as we can try to make it. But I feel like I haven’t quite grasped how to navigate time in the same way I suggest on the brand mentality page for Hours Lost. I’m working on it.

February was an incredibly busy and stressful month. I won’t burden you with the details because being busy and stressed out is definitely not an original lifestyle, and there’s no need for me to drag on about it. I’d rather use this little post to say “Hey! That really sucked, but we made it through and accomplished a lot.”

Aside from some rough days (maybe weeks), I did find a lot of joy in February. Between fantastic live music, some solid new connections, time well spent with friends and family, and reunions with old pals, my social life has been at an all-time high. If you had any part in the above, my sanity thanks you. Seriously, I’m never shy to tell the world “I LOVE MY FRIENDS,” because you rule.

Here is my ’16 Soundtrack for February. You can listen to the playlist via Spotify, or try to find each track on whichever service you use to listen to music. These songs were mostly played as I roamed around LA in my hatchback, listened through my headphones at work, and danced around my apartment because I’ve had the place to myself for almost two weeks.


“Luxury Child” – Strange Names
“Clap Your Hands”  – Whilk & Misky
“Midway” – Bad Bad Hats
“Adult Diversion” – Alvvays
“Dissolve” – Hibou
“Sophie So” – Hippo Campus
“Happy Accident” – Family Hahas
“Anthony” – Run River North
“Back To School” – A Great Big Pile of Leaves
“Do Ya Thang” – Rihanna
“Geri” – Superhumanoids
“Winterbreak” – MUNA
“We Try But We Don’t Fit In” – Day Wave
“Weathered” – Jack Garratt
“Same Ol’ Mistakes” – Rihanna (Tame Impala cover)

What have you been listening to? Share with me in the comments section!

’16 Soundtrack: January

Candi Pop

Photo by Say Cheese and Die at the launch of Candi Pop in Los Angeles.

I was probably dancing to either Spice Girls, *NSYNC or maybe S Club 7 in the above photo at Candi Pop, The Satellite‘s new monthly bubblegum pop dance party. That’s a far cry from what I listen to on a regular basis. Although, shout out to yung j for attending about eight *NSYNC concerts while in elementary school (thanks mom).

My music taste is diverse, but according to my Spotify Year In Music for 2015, these are my top genres:

Spotify Year In Music - Genres

Looks about right. I’m the type of person who falls in love with music that was probably first recorded in a garage and performed in a sweaty club in the UK by boys in tight jeans and short-sleeve collared shirts. Leather or denim jacket optional.

For the first month of 2016, my personal soundtrack includes a lot of music I discovered by falling down Spotify’s rabbit hole of related artists pages and recommendations from friends. Please enjoy and listen via my Spotify playlist, or by exploring the YouTube links below.


I Wear Glasses” – Mating Ritual
Blanket” – Oh, Be Clever
You Are The Right One” – Sports
Beat Of My Drum” – Powers
Feels” – Swimm
UGH!” – The 1975
Foulbrood” – Two Inch Astronaut
It Hurts Until It Doesn’t” – Mothers
New In Town” – Little Boots
I Think I Like You” – sirenXX
Manufactured Love” – Michael Blume
BITE” – Troye Sivan
Good For You (MOONZz Redo) – MOONZz
Be Apart” – Porches
Blue Bucket Of Gold” – Gallant and Sufjan Stevens

I hope your ears are happy (the 1:25 section of “Manufactured Love” is dreamy, am I right?) If you have some tracks you’re eager to share, please tell me about them in the comments section.

Make Good Choices


“Make good choices,” I told myself on the first day of 2016. It was a stern and understanding resolution. Like most people, I evolve all year and make mini resolutions along the way as I recognize more about myself and my intentions. The start of each year is the most obvious time to feel more motivated to make changes. With the New Year comes a mindset that a person’s messy past will be tidied in order to march forward with a fresh hope for better things to come.

I welcome change every day. It’s daunting and can be frustrating when the process is slow, but it’s also undoubtedly worth it. I try my best to keep my positive mental attitude (PMA) in check. When life has its insufferable times, attempting to have a PMA helps me work through them.

Hello 2016. It’s me. I will continue to figure out how to make good choices when I:

~Rediscover and learn more skills
~Keep well (mentally and physically)
~Save those dolla dolla bills, y’all
~Let ghosts of my past free

Here’s a Pinterest board to visualize what I want my year to look like, and this wouldn’t be a “Jenay” post without some tunes.

Listen to my 2016 Vibes playlist on Spotify, or check it out below.

“Lessons” – SOHN
“begin again” – Purity Ring
“Bury It” – CHVRCHES
“Loudspeaker” – MUNA
“Ride” – twenty one pilots
“Eros” – Young The Giant
“Waves” – Kid Cadaver
“Days” – The Drums
“Adult Diversion” – Alvvays
“THE QUIET” – Troye Sivan
“Desire” – Years & Years
“U” – Mikky Ekko
“Two Way Street” – Kimbra
“What If” – Bombay Bicycle Club
“Love Me” – The 1975
“Do Better” – Say Anything
Golden Coast” – Allison Weiss
“Let’s Dance To Joy Division” – The Wombats
“Rebel Yell” – Waters
“Roses” – Angus & Julia Stone
“Can You Hear Me” – Dan Croll
“Resolution” – Matt Corby
“See Me” – Tei Shi
“Wait” -M83

15 Favorite Albums of 2015

Music impressed me this year. New Music Monday turned New Music Friday became a day I anticipated more than ever, and I was rarely let down. By April, I knew choosing my favorite albums of 2015 would be much more difficult than the previous year.

I’m not here to tell you the “best” albums of 2015, because in my opinion, there’s no such thing as making an objective decision on art that’s so deeply rooted in human emotion and interpretations. Plus I probably missed some brilliant, indie release that never really surfaced. So I will share my favorites out of the albums I looped repeatedly. These songs bookmark some significant moments, both good and bad, I had this year. I most definitely danced, had an epiphany, laughed, and cried while listening to them.

My list is alphabetized (by artist) below because I’m incapable of choosing an absolute favorite, and here’s a Spotify playlist for easy listening. Which albums did you cling to in 2015? Please share in the comments section!

25 – Adele


California Nights – Best Coast


Every Open Eye – CHVRCHES


 Chaos And The Calm – James Bay


You Should Be Here – Kehlani


To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar


Crybaby – Melanie Martinez


Time – Mikky Ekko


Sponge Fingerz – New Beat Fund


another eternity – Purity Ring


Carrie & Lowell – Sufjan Stevens


Glitterbug – The Wombats


 Blurryface  – twenty one pilots


VHS – X Ambassadors


Communion – Years & Years


I added an EP to this list as a bonus, because my friends in Kid Cadaver put out a great one this year. After being introduced to them and experiencing their live show, I quickly understood the appeal and became a supporter. These guys are a part of some great 2015 memories, including this music video I was a part of for their single “Keep Well.” I root for them and I hope you will too.

Roam – Kid Cadaver