Girl Put Your Records On: Volume 2

I spend approximately a total of four episodes of Master of None in my car when I commute to/from work. Not ideal, but I deal.

As an avid music consumer, music in my car is essential to drown out the bustle around my little 1997 getaway ride. 

It’s no secret I’ve been listening to the new MUNA album, About U, often. I’m constantly blasting it from my car with the windows down and you can find many tweets about them on my feed. I don’t really plan on shutting up about the band or their album any time soon because it’s a masterpiece. It’s healing. 

Of course I still listen to other artists. I’m not in THAT much of a MUNA trance. 

Here’s volume 2 of my Girl Put Your Records On playlist series, featuring TRACE, isle&fever, Frank Ocean, Thundercat, and more.

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

’15 Soundtrack: July

'15 soundtrack: cruise July turned out to be a great month for connecting with new people and going on an actual vacation; one that left me unplugged with no wi-fi or cell service. Pictured above is my mom on her birthday, enjoying the freedom of the sea.

Going on a cruise and living on a ship gave me ample time to step back, think, and ultimately go with the flow of the day, which is a rare thing. The ocean is mysterious, vast and a little terrifying, but it’s also gorgeous, exciting and can be peaceful. Sounds pretty similar to what life’s like.

Luckily, music helps me find a balance and I definitely listened to some fantastic songs in July. I celebrated and danced when the highly anticipated Years & Years album “Communion” was released. I often played Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange” in hopes of a new album that never came. Then I revisited old loves and came across some new favorites thanks to random playlists on Spotify. BTW, I’m still Team Spotify. Sorry Apple Music.

You can listen to ’15 Soundtrack: July on Spotify, or check out the video links below.

TRACKLISTING

Border” – Years & Years
Leave A Trace” – CHVRCHES
When I’m Away” – The Colourist
Steps” – Handsome Ghost
Lost” – Frank Ocean
Gorgeous” – X Ambassadors
Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” – Cage The Elephant
Got To My Head” – Waters
Days” – The Drums
Human” – Daughter
Take Care” – Tom Rosenthal
Eyes Shut” – Years & Years
Teenage Crime” – Adrian Lux
Leave You” – Sir Sly
Hang On” – X Ambassadors

What are you listening to? Tell me in the comments.

’15 Soundtrack: June

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Photo by Shab Ferdowsi

June was dominated by work, birthday celebrations, live music, Hours Lost, and the Vans Warped Tour. In addition to supporting Neck Deep and As It Is at Warped Tour, I was given the opportunity to have a tent for Hours Lost in Ventura, CA. I’m still feeling the good vibes from the experience! You can read the recap and watch a video for it here.

Now, let’s get to the music that occupied most of my listening time. You can listen to this month’s ’15 Soundtrack on Spotify, or check out the video links below. Cheers!

TRACKLISTING

Borderlines And Aliens” – Grouplove
Ride” – twenty one pilots
Contagious” – Night Riots
Pity Party” – Melanie Martinez
Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd
Classic Man – Remix” – Jidenna feat. Kendrick Lamar
coffee” – Miguel
Coming Home” – Leon Bridges
Money” – The Drums
Flashlight” – The Front Bottoms
All Time Low” – Jon Bellion
Still” – The Japanese House
Wild Ones” – Bahari
It’s Alright Now” – Bombay Bicycle Club
Things Happen” – Dawes

What are you currently listening to?

Stay Home Club and Sad Songs

sad songs

I love sad songs. I’m a fan of melancholic sounds and lyrics, not because I like to be unhappy, but because it’s necessary to experience sadness. We don’t just feel this emotion. We live through it, we learn from it, and we grow because of it. With themes varying from death, to a broken relationship, to the feeling of being lost, sad songs are there as a shoulder to cry on. They become soundtracks for our disappointments.

For a while, I’ve wanted to buy a print or shirt from Stay Home Club, a brand for the disgruntled, but could never decide on a favorite item. When they added a “Sad Songs” two-tone tee to its online store, I purchased it immediately. It was partially an impulse buy, but I’m happy (hah!) and in love with it.

You can’t have a sad songs blog without a sad songs playlist. Title inspired by Stay Home Club. Listen below or here.

The 1975 Are Kids At Heart

Heart OutThe first 40 seconds of The 1975’s video for “Heart Out” was puzzling, but OMG Bae was killin’ it. Am I right, or am I right?

On a serious note, the casting for the rest of the video was impressive. The adolescent version of The 1975 did an excellent job mimicking the band’s stage antics and overall presence.  The make or break of this video depended on the attention to detail, and the clothing, hairstyles and tattoos were completely on point. A part of me wishes these kids had their own band that could open for The 1975. Would be trippy.

Video for “Heart Out”: YAY or NAY
Let’s chat below.

11 Bands You Should Be Aware Of

Record Player

I like to surround myself with people who are passionate about something and most of them happen to be musicians. I’m also a musician, but I focus more on writing about and sharing music. When I believe in a friend’s project, I try to find a way to support, whether it’s verbally expressing my admiration, attending their shows, purchasing their music or posting about it.

Right now, it looks like everyone is hard at work creating and perfecting their current musical endeavors. As much as I want to donate funds or purchase items from everyone, I unfortunately have to have some self control to save for bills and other adult responsibilities I’ve recently acquired. So this is me showing support by generating awareness. I strongly suggest you take the time to listen to each of them.

Natalie Angiuli 

Natalie Angiuli

Photo by Shervin Lainez

When I met Natalie a few years ago, she was a girl with an acoustic guitar. Now she’s embracing synth and evolving into an electro-pop artist. I’m not going to babble on about her recent exploration and success in the EDM scene (you can read about it here). Instead, listen to her latest single, “Chaser.”

FEiN

FEiN

Photo by Sarah Oh

It’s going to be brilliant when these two introduce their band at a show by saying “We’re FEiN” (pronounced “fine”). Brandon and Luke have created this alternative rock band, infused it with electronic elements and produced an independent newspaper to accompany it. Smart guys.

RKCB

Baptize

I enjoy experimental music with interesting sounds that blend with the fundamental roots of whichever genre it originates from. R&B is one of those genres. It’s dreamy, sexy and full of soul. RKCB, the music soul child of Riley Knapp and Casey Barth, fits into the realm of contemporary R&B. Check out one of their most recent releases, “Baptize.”

AMAN

Aman

I was already a fan of Aman’s band House Fire. Then I discovered his solo track “Haunted.” I closed my eyes when I listened to it because the synth and his voice creates a dream-like atmosphere. It’s chilling.

Kid Astronavt

Kid Astronavt

When I was working Warped Tour, I met Jon from Air Dubai. Then he further sparked my curiosity after tweeting about his side project, kid astronavt.  While expressing themes of love and relationships, his tracks flow with sentimentalism.  Enjoy the slow jams over on his Soundcloud.

MUNA

Muna

MUNA is the type of band you want to play when you’re about to head out for a middle-of-the-night adventure in an urban city. These girls write pop hooks with dark, grungy tones. It’s “dark pop.” Head over to MUNA’s website for the jams.

brightener

brightener

Will Sturgeon, also known as brightener, and his music made me realize I needed to Make Real Friends. Now I’m patiently waiting for his first full-length album to be released. Interested in his work? Want to support? You have less than a day to donate to his Kickstarter. You can already watch his hilarious R. Kelly-inspired video he released after reaching his second goal. Two words to describe my mind while watching it: “I can’t.”

Oliver Riot

Oliver Riot

Ben and Alex Moore, together known as Oliver Riot, are a folk duo. They sing beautiful harmonies, have killer guitar riffs and showcase the vibrancy of the harmonica. I’m really excited for when they release a cover of “Riptide” by Vance Joy on Sept. 11. For now, here’s their original song “Tired & I’m Awake.”

dale

Dale

dale’s  video for “Tame” is still one of my favorites out of all the videos my friends have released. Fun fact: I’m in the video. Barely. That’s not the reason I love it though. The video is quirky, nostalgic and the track always gets stuck in my head. Take a listen to the band’s EP, love, dale.

Bad Heat

Bad Heat

Here’s some more rock for you. Bad Heat’s self-titled EP exceeded 1,000 plays on its first day and I’m hoping to see a video release from them soon. Or an announcement for a mini West Coast tour so I can finally see these kids in action. It’s tough when a friend is in a band on the opposite side of the country.

Together Apart

Together Apart

One of the most genuine and kind fellas I know happens to be the frontman for the hardcore punk band Together Apart. I listened to them for the first time yesterday and my eyes lit up. I don’t listen to hardcore music on a daily basis anymore (shout out to high school Jenay), but I do enjoy it when the band is melodic and the singer is still understandable. This is heavy in all the right ways. Listen here.

FYF Fest: I Was There. Where Were You?

Haim at FYF

“HAIM-ing around” – Ramon Smikle

FYF Fest was my chance to feast my ears and eyes on a couple bands I have fallen in love with this year. Not a bad way to end my summer. I watched some impressive sets, hung out with my pals Ramon and Max, reunited with some Warped Tour family, saw a friend from USC and managed to not get completely robbed by food / merch prices.

Day 1

We started our day with a #FYFVans photo op, sliders from Me So Hungry and observations of crowd management issues the festival was having (more about that later). Then we spent the day checking out vendors and bands.

Where Are You

Who I saw: Chet Faker, Little Dragon, Slowdive, Tycho and Phoenix

Chet Faker

Chet Faker and his rad light show in the Arena.

Tycho was the group we were most excited to see. Although strictly instrumental, they didn’t bore me at all. The band was incredible. Between the sounds they created and the visuals played during their set, it was mesmerizing.

Tycho 1

Tycho at FYF 2

Day 2

As I said above, FYF was having a lot of issues. It took hours for people to get through the entry line, the U shape of the festival made everything too spread out, the entry to the Arena and its stage was overcrowded and only the floor of the arena was open. Impressively, FYF recognized these issues and made changes for Day 2. Despite having my Keep A Breast Klean Kanteen thrown away by a security guard (which FYF is replacing for me – they just emailed me about it), the day was more pleasant.

I bought Tycho’s “Awake” record from Origami Vinyl and got a free tote and Epitaph Records mix tape. Isn’t it pretty?!

Origami Vinyl

I ate my first Donut Friend donut.

Donut Friend

We had some fun at the Air BNB booth by making a gif and playing some childhood games such as four square, corn hole and hop scotch.

Air BNB gif

Four Square

Four Square

Cornhole

Cornhole

Who I saw:

  • Balance and Composure
  • Ryan Hemsworth
  • Tanlines
  • Blood Orange
  • HAIM
  • The Strokes
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Balance and Composure

Blood Orange

Blood Orange at sunset

Show buddy

We’re just a couple of live music fans

The Strokes at FYF

The Strokes

Did you go to FYF Fest?
Who was your favorite act?
Leave your comments below.

 

Fences And Macklemore Video For “Arrows” Reminiscent of Wes Anderson Style

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I’ve only seen two Wes Anderson films (don’t worry, I plan on watching them all), but I believe I’m familiar enough to recognize his film style. The newly released music video for “Arrows” by Fences featuring Macklemore is visually similar to Anderson’s precise approach, especially in a Moonrise Kingdom kind of way. On top of having a rad concept, the video is pleasing to the eye.

Similar elements:

  • Well-thought-out and consistent color palette
  • Central perspective and symmetry
  • Flat space camera shots and moves
  • Obvious use of green screens
  • Tracking shots

Here’s the video for your viewing pleasure:

Any Wes Anderson fans out there? See any resemblances?
“Arrows” video: YAY or NAY?
Comment below.

All Of The Sam Smith Feels

In The Lonely Hour

“Too much of a good thing, won’t be good for long.”

Sam Smith’s album “In The Lonely Hour” is finally in my possession. I’ve been streaming it on Spotify since its online release, but I enjoy having a physical copy for my collection. You better believe I’ll own it on vinyl one day.

Every time I listen to this mid-tempo album, I experience what has become known as “the feels.” It’s the lyrics. It’s the swelling of his vocals. It’s the addition of a choir. It’s the string section. I feel a plethora of emotions when I’m listening. This crooner is the male version of Adele. Damn. Don’t even get me started about how much I miss Adele and that soul-wrenching voice and and songwriting.

Back to Sam.

“In The Lonely Hour” is a beautiful album. If you’ve ever been in love, have had your heart broken, and/ or hope to experience love, this album is for you.

Tell me your thoughts. Are you a fan?
Comment below.