Cosmic Vibrations: May…

So this post is most definitely a bit of a cheat because I just ripped off the best bits of the month from my side project, @sonicsprite, over on instagram. But I thought it might be nice to fill a little hole here on the mothership blog anyhow especially for any of you musical lovelies out there. So here we have my most favourite three album discoveries/releases of May…

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7 – Beach House

A pocket of mystery within the music world. At it again with that dream pop ambience, lulling vocals, synth play and world building. I adore this album. I’m not exactly top notch with producers and whatnot but I do know Peter Kember (Sonic Boom) and you can feel his experimentalism at it on this record.
Some highlights:
‘Lemon Glow’ – the melody and lyrics, especially in the chorus, allude to pop but drain any love song innocence away with deep drumbeats and the intoxication of Legrand’s dramatic tone.
‘L’lnconnue’ – simultaneously whimsical and haunting. Is Legrand a woman or a powerful faerie queen pulling on her mysticism to subdue us all? It seems so in the almost cryptic incantation that builds in the opening of the track. ‘Seven girls’ ‘Seven ways’ ‘Seventh girl’ maybe the albums title is an admission of the bands link to some otherworldly power rather than a straightforward count of albums. ‘Dive’ is a…dive. A slow descent at first, floating down gently but picking up momentum as you surge deeper. The guitars pick up mid way, nudging you out of the hypnotic calm of the first couple minutes.
The album feels very much at unity within itself, all of the levels drift into each other, making it impossible not to want to listen from beginning to end.
I could chat about this for hours. What’s everyone thinking about it?

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Daniel Blumberg – Minus (2018)
Was anyone else super into Cajun Dance Party and that one album they released way back in 2008? A decade later and this is the lead singer. What a bloody evolution.
Loved CDP for sure and I was also a fan of Yuck too but this is on a completely new level. It’s incredible.
It’s a little introspective and cynical lyrically, poetic and raw and honest. There is something in the repetitive phrases that stirs you, like Blumberg is tormenting himself in some songs and reassuring himself in others. In ‘Minus’ the opening lines are four rounds of ‘Minus the intent to feel, I’m here’. Throughout the whole song it’s like he’s giving up pieces of himself for ‘this love’. The music itself is hectic, lots of layers and genres and no real flow. For instance, the twanging of bluesy guitar on ‘The Fuse’, the soft lull of piano introing ‘The Bomb’ delicate shifts here and there to peak your interest throughout. Each track synchronises the elements of each instrument to the lyrics, echoing the feeling in words through sound and it’s both awesome and disconcerting. ‘The Bomb’ is simple three verses mostly encompassed by the repetition of lines but it’s backed by the inconsistent low jars of violin play and then a somber piano that provide a melancholy beyond just Blumberg and his careful vocals.
The album is just seven songs, but they are seven songs that exist entirely in their own separate universes as well as a collective. It’s a body of work that really announces itself, timeless and agonising but loud in its triumph.

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Hatchie – Sugar & Spice EP
A little dream pop baby with vibrant shoe gaze elements and catchy lyrics and one of them slinky pop voices that make you feel all nice. She’s ace. Definite Slowdive vibes with those scuzzy sounds and an inkling of Wolf Alice in there too, ‘Sleep’ could slot in on Visions Of A Life, maybe with a few more guitar riffs, and her voice has that familiar haze like Ellie Rowsell. Feisty feminine tones that chase the dominating instruments with a winning delicacy. Sugar and spice rounds up the sound quite fittingly. Just five songs and I’m smitten.

If you’re a music lover then please help me out by taking a look at my little side project over on instagram @sonicsprite. Or take a look at my Spotify for playlists and what not. I’m also always keen to write for other projects, so if you have a music blog and need writers, holla at me!

Light, love & cosmic vibrations, N x

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Moods, Rhythms, Prose…

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As always the pictures featured in my moodboard are collected over on Pinterest, Tumblr and instagram. I don’t know a lot of the origins but a couple are saved from Izobel over on instagram. I’ve followed her for a long while and adore her feed, honestly there are some stunning pictures and a very unique collection of style, music and reads.

You, a fiesty vessel between bloated suits on streets that crack under the pressure of the men that built them. You’re not weary from the shadows cast by vast pillars that crowd you in but you gnaw at the already broken skin at your fingertips in regards to a more cosmic anxiety. Limitless guitar riffs and lyrics echo in the chasm of dreary life surrounding you, a comfort against the otherwise hallow sirens and cacophony of morbid conversation. Heavy black boots clomp between the shoddy tap of designer stilettos and patter of a “gentleman’s” best brogues. That “gentleman” tosses you a sleazy quirk of withering lips, the stare you know he holds is hidden from view, sunglasses shielding the privilege of that male gaze. You sneer with red painted lips, no haste as you saunter past him.

You’re late for work…again. But the coffee’s will flow regardless, you’re sure. Your lack of enthusiasm already has you on the bosses blacklist anyways. It’s a matter of time before he tells you to “Do one” and you know in your heart of hearts you won’t be mad about it. Your very existence is an expletive in his well routined life. He forgot what youthful hunger was years ago, let that pressing control of an ordinary life seep in. You do well to hold onto your daydreams, reliving that acoustic set in a grotty bar in Camden a few evenings ago. The less than stellar turn out and your muck up on the first chorus smoothed out in your visions of music video’s and sell out arena shows, all on lock somewhere in your dreamers mind for when he tells you you’re useless for the third time. But work exists only in those four walls, when closing arrives you lock the door, with all it’s demeaning shut in behind you, and head into the still festering city streets for a while. Used record stores and the irony of more cafes, like the one you slave in, occupy the hours before “home” time.

‘Home’ is a small closet room, the closest to affordable you can get in this rich mans city. A single bed from childhood, a diy clothing rail and second hand chest of drawers overfill the space. But there’s a lock on the door and a huge window to let in the daylight, and a shabby little corner where your crosley lives, a magazine turned record stand beside it. You’ll plug in your headphones to appease your neighbour Benji and his complacency with the meagre sounds of drunk yells and busy clattering of pots and pans, you zone into the melodies and pick apart poetry well into the night. If the mood strikes you pluck your own riffs and settle your chaos into the scribbles of a song. Patience young thing, your struggle is your soundcheck and your encore is rising.

This mini mix features some of my most favourited artists (The Horrors, Slowdive, The Jesus and Mary Chain) and grazes over the shoegaze genre without being too overwhelming. Pretty sounds, dreamy sounds, resonating sounds. All of the sound play with beautiful lyrics to boot. A lot of the tracks remind me of my later teen years when I was never without my headphones, completely devoted to my record collection and writing god awful lyrics. 

Light and Love, N x

Obsessing Over: Ruins…

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Flashback to Latitude festival in the summer of 2012. Me and my mate are exhausted from the heat and all of that walking and dancing. The girls tented up next to us are an energetic bunch, the stench of weed and the instrumentals of glass bottles and tipsy laughter are in abundance for three days and three nights. It’s nice though, that sound of youthful living. What’s nicer is the album they play on repeat. It’s an album I’d not heard but the lulling, haunting, nymph like vocals are enchanting. I find out on the second evening that it’s a band called First Aid Kit, a band that had played earlier that day, whom I had completely skipped out on. Regrets.

Since then I’ve been continuously wooed by the mystical, folky tones of the Swedish sisters and this most recent release is stunning. STUNNING. Like, I want to live inside their voices. Is that really weird? It is, isn’t it. But how else can I explain it? Their sisterly bond is evident even in the harmonising pairing of their voices and the lyrics are so rich. There’s something very timeless in the way they reminisce in elements of the seventies but still manage to put a spin on the folk and grooviness to make their stuff relevant modern pop.

The lyrics are the “simple” sort, love and heartache. But every track is so individual, with little snaps of different genre’s, twisting harmonies and just raw talent to be real with you. Rebel Heart is haunting from the intro and that last verse is so tragic: ‘Nothing matters, all is futile’. I stopped the album half way through the track, it was midday, the sun was out and I was all optimism and light. This song needed twilight storms and an open heart to fully be felt.

Fireworks was the first track to really get my attention, it’s all building layers with the catchy lyrics and set up of a ballad. It’s got that ‘single’ kind of vibe, instantly likeable and full of the good stuff. But my favourite track is either Distant Star or Hem of her dress.

Distant Star holds some of my favourite lines, that second half of the first verse:

‘Your mother she’s an actress
And we’re all putting on a play
There’s some conviction, pretend it’s all real
Try to ignore how sad it all feels
Yes try not to break her heart if you can”

It’s maybe one of the bleakest on the album, so much longing and dwelling in the words. There’s something in the tone of their voices that just suits those emotions.

Hem of Her Dress, is partly up there simply for the unexpected ending. Like Distant Star it carries a bitterness through the lyrics ‘You say you’ve found yourself, Oh, in someone else, And she makes you forget about the rain’ but there isn’t a chorus or a traditional lyrical composition. I like that it kind of sounds like a massive outpouring, very unfiltered. Almost like they’ve gotten drunk, loosened their tongues, gotten all the shit out in the open and then distracted themselves with a drunken sing along at the end. It’s brilliant.

Post writing this, I came across a track by track analysis on a site called Consequence of Sound and thought I’d include it for all my fellow lyrical babes out there. It’s the girls themselves giving a run down, so super insightful. As for this post? Just accept it at this point. My blogs become a bit of a mess of stuff and I’ve resigned myself to just posting what matters to me in the moment. I thought this album was pretty and I wanted to talk about it.

Light and love, N x

Moods, Rhythms, Prose…

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Again all of these images are collected over on my Pinterest and Tumblr and what not. I’ve also featured one of my favourite instagram accounts @gabimulder which you should for sure check out. As well as beautiful summer scenes, she shoots some wistful feminine portraits too. 

Embrace that messy head and scribble your art on life. Tongue tied you may be but I will give you the ink to honour that explosive gift for written truths. Cursive and print, legible and cluttered. Give me the letters, the words, that common language that wraps itself around my daily deeds and string them together anew with mastery and imagination. Give me all you have in your heart, write me your desires, your secrets, your emotions. Let me in, write me a window, write me a passage through those whirlwind thoughts. I’m here for you, for all that you can design and create for me. I’m hungry for your foreign lines and lofty scripts. Give me verse and prose, novels, just a simple phrase. Give me the puzzle, that is you, prettily packaged on pages of type. Give me the grit and the horror of the world that surrounds us, on the back of a supermarket receipt. A poem on a napkin, the corner tarnished, used to wipe up your brew. Give me the racing action dancing in your eyes through the coffee shop window. Give me myself remastered by your divulging fingers. That elevation of observation you master so well. Give me spills of soul and the jagged, dragged out pain of your denial. Give me rhyme or bland simplicity but just give and give and give, despite that self doubt. I’ll smooth out the crinkles in that bunched up wad of a masterpiece and frame it for the world to see. What you have? It matters. So stop where you have to and write with the tools you grab, be flighty and blunt and dismissive of all that gets in your way.

My little mini mix here is a compilation of some of my favourite lyrics. It’s a bit mish mashy and I just grabbed at the ones that popped into my head first so I definitely left out some of my favourites but nevertheless I hope you enjoy!

Light and Love, N x

Moods, Rhythms, Prose…

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Oh, to be the colour yellow. Honey smiled, iridescent thing. A riot of personality. A loud, present, lively disposition. The ambiguity of her! So meek but ferocious, so calm but elated, so subtle but so effervescent. Oh, yellow, she’d be a demanding creature. Would you dare the lightning of an embrace? Or stumble back lest you wither in her sweetness? All of that golden giving is a wild woman’s prerogative. She’d be so busy being that she’d risk being stretched out on life’s palette, her vigour swept up by the brushes of the masses. No. Yellow, she’d have to be a sacred thing, reigned in lest the world’s murky vendors should ensnare her.

This mini mix is a a lot of dream pop and tinkering guitar riffs. I’m currently residing in a seaside town so the whole surfy, summer sound is sort of my soundtrack. 

Check out my Spotify for more musical goodness

Love and Light, N x

Moods, rhythms, prose…

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The last post like this was simply titled ‘inspiration’. It was a way for me to utilise the mood boards I make when I’m overwhelmed by everything leaving impressions on me. But I had an idea! I’m mesmerised by us women, our different quirks and how we, and the things we pour ourselves into, express who we are. So I thought why not create a character from what I collect, incorporate the ever changing facets of who I am and what’s interesting me and combine it with the scribbles I accumulate whilst people watching and the moods and scenes the images paint. It’s one of my most expressive tools as a writer, to look at an image and unravel it, paint the backstory and give the subject life. And seeing as it’s International Women’s Day (All the love to my fellow chica’s) I thought it was the perfect time to post one. Let me know what you think.

She is a solitary creature this one. A myriad of musings painted by her features, a whisper of a smirk, an appraisal in the subtle tilt of her brow, defeat in a minuscule hunch of her shoulders. With gentle grace she pours admirable patience into the life she so desperately needs to surround herself with. Potted palms in every corner, every room of her home a conservatory. Her existence is measured in shades of evergreen, sage, olive. In the yard she tends the soil with bare hands, dirt beneath the bitten nails, the glue to bound what anxiety unravels. This is her way of encouraging life from her breaking. A way to purge the loneliness, the doubt and in turn find budding shoots from this mangled suffering, the ugliness blooming into something to sooth, something she can nurture.

The seeming meekness is just an introverts protection though and if you were to spy, on a lazy Sunday afternoon, between the shutters of the bay windows, then you would see a damsel of independent certainty. The record player crackles out folk melodies, that she spins to, lulls the plants into a gentle sway with her lofty tones and fairytale whistles. She’s barefoot and grazing the carpet, in just a shirt, hair a mess atop her nymph like face. The smile is foreign, unleashed from its confines in the security of home.

The off balanced wooden bookcase behind her has life etched into it, with splits and cracks in the white overcoat. On it, the spines to manuals of varying botanical topics are visible in no particular order, interluded by vintage spray cans and a picture frame of pressed daisies. The walls are white, the carpet a light hazelnut, the only colour injected is from leaves that boast unique patterns and budding blooms of whites and muted pastels. There are no ornaments, no personal photographs or trinkets, everything is precisely there to benefit her work, her pleasure, her purpose. Around her, love thrives, her patience and maternal core a focused thing, a rare thing.

Love to all my green thumbed Goddesses, N x

 

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Inspiration…

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I’m such a visual person and I’m constantly making these daft little moodboards, I lot of it has to do with me living on a backpackers budget and having limited space for clothes. I love style but have to do what I can with a handful of pieces. This is my way of indulging in that side of my interests. I’ve included a wee mixtape too. There are a lotta old tunes on it, I’m not much into listening to new releases right now but instead I’m taking comfort in the familiar tracks I can belt out in the shower. Maybe you’ll find a few gems in there anyways or maybe rediscover an old favourite.

P.s. The new MGMT album though. Still not fully convinced but there are some refreshing as hell, interesting, sounds in there. Not that I’d expect anything less. Opinions? Anything I should be listening too?

All the love, N x