It’s two thirds of the way through the month and I haven’t posted once! I’ve been having mad creative block, trying to think of something worth writing about. Due to said mad creative block, I’ve been listening to way more music than usual so I thought I should share the songs that have been running through my mind all month:
“Writer in the Dark” – Lorde
I’m in love with all of Melodrama to be honest, but for some reason, this song really stands out for me – probably because I’m a sucker for dramatic one-note piano parts (kind of related – here’s my cover of “Liability”). I bought tickets to her Wellington show later in the year and I’m so super pumped – I saw her in 2014 and she was amazing live.
“Stuck” – Noah Cyrus
I’ve been wrestling with my unexpected love of Noah Cyrus’ music, but I’ve come to accept that she has a damn good voice and sings some damn catchy songs – I’m now unashamed of my new obsession. I’ve been repeating the acoustic version of “Make Me (Cry)” since it came out but her new single “I’m Stuck” is unreasonably catchy and has such a cool rhythm, it’s definitely the best thing I’ve heard from her yet.
“Machine” – The Horrors
After three long years, The Horrors have finally released a new song. I’m loving the direction they’re heading in (but in all honesty, I’m such a fangirl that I’d be in love with anything they released). I can’t wait for the new album to come out (and with it, hopefully some NZ tour dates!). I’ve seen them live three times now (not to mention that time I actually met them) and it’ll never be enough.
“Sorry” – Halsey
I loved Halsey’s first album, partly because her songs are damn catchy and also because her songs are in the perfect place in my voice (here’s my cover of “Ghost”, if you’re interested). This song off her new album is really lovely and it’s definitely on my list of songs to cover when I’m next with my piano.
WELLINGTON: I’ve loved Wellington since I started university in 2012 but actually living here is a totally different experience. I love being able to walk to work, to my friends’ flats, to my weekly pub quiz, to anywhere I need to go. I’ve been to some amazing places, but I’m convinced that Wellington is the best place in the world. Plus the suburb where I live is filled with cats, so I meet a new cat nearly everyday when I’m walking to and from work. I am so in love with this city.
NZ MUSIC MONTH: It’s now the end of NZ Music Month 2017 and I’m really stoked with how it’s forced me to be more productive with my youtube channel – this month I’ve posted 3 new covers and listened to more kiwi music than I have all year.
COFFEE: Lox bought me a keepcup for my birthday last year because he knows I’m a fan of passively helping the environment. I’ve just started using it this month and I love thinking about all the coffee cups I’ve already saved since using it (my new job is right across the road from a wicked coffee shop so it’s good I’m saving the environment, because I’m definitely not saving money).
MAKEUP: As a relatively frugal 20-something, I often do surveys and enter competitions because I love the thought that I might win something. I’ve never actually won anything though, until this month! Miranda of Slashed Beauty ran a giveaway to celebrate reaching 10k subscribers and (bless her) made it an international giveaway so I could actually enter – and I won!!! I didn’t realise at first because the email went straight to my spam folder – I guess gmail thought it seemed too good to be true – but I found it just in time (literally, I had 2 hours left to respond). It arrived the other day and I am so excited to play with everything I won.
LIFE: I’m been at my new job for a whole month now, which I can hardly believe, and I’m really enjoying it – I’m doing work that I support in a field that I’ve wanted to be for a while. That also means it’s been a month since I moved into my new flat which I also love. I’m feeling really content & settled right now, which is a combination of feelings I haven’t had for a long time. For the past few years, everything I’ve done has been tinged with the taste of temporary – uni, living at home, part time work, travelling overseas. Now I have both job & a home that I have no plans to leave and I’m relishing the feeling of being in one place for a while.
My new flat doesn’t have space for a piano and I can’t afford a keyboard just yet, so I can only play the piano when I visit my parents. While I miss being able to play the piano every day, it’s kind of nice having to go to my parents’ house because it means that I visit them more often and still see my cat regularly (he has not forgiven me for going to Canada and is even more mad that I’ve moved out since coming back to NZ). Anyway, I mentioned in my last post that I was planning on covering Broods’ song “Heartlines” and when I went to my parents’ house yesterday I finally got the chance to record it (and to remind my cat that I still love him).
Luke Thompson: Luke Thompson is an incredible musician. I’ve seen him live twice now: once with Avalanche City and once when he opened for Passenger. This song is a few years old but is a particular favourite of mine – I love it when singers really go for it in one huge, emotional note and he nails it in this song.
The Naked and Famous: Everyone knows The Naked and Famous because of “Young Blood”, which is a fantastic song, but they have plenty of other wicked songs too. I’ve always loved “Girls Like You” off their debut but lately I’ve been loving their new album “Simple Forms”. It’s some parts dancey, some parts dreamy, all parts awesome.
Broods: I saw Broods live (funnily enough, not in NZ) when they opened for Ellie Goulding in Canada. They’re an awesome live act because they’re so high energy, but they can do chilled vibes equally well – I adore this stripped down version of “Heartlines” because it really shows off their versatility. I’m actually planning on covering this song in a week or so, so keep an eye out for that!
It’s May, which means it’s NZ Music Month! NZ Music Month is a celebration of the wicked homegrown talent of kiwis, with radio stations playing more local tunes and people focusing on how awesome kiwi musicians are.
Lorde is very probably NZ’s most famous musician, so I figured May would be the perfect opportunity to cover her new song (no, not the one about green lights, the other new song). I love it when big artists release songs with very simple instrumentation (especially when it’s piano-based) because it really shows off their vocals and also makes it super easy for solo acts like to me do a decent cover.
Throughout the month of May I’m going to do my utmost to record some more kiwi covers (maybe an original too?) because NZ truly does have some incredible talent that deserves more love.
Every month, a million different things seem to happen and April has been no different – I feel like I’ve fit an entire year into the past 30 days. As well as catching up with people I haven’t seen in forever, I’ve also managed to score both a flat (which I move into today!) and a job (which I start tomorrow!). This month was huge, and I get the feeling it won’t slow down any time soon.
EASTER: A couple of weeks ago, Lox and I drove up to Tauranga to spend Easter with his family. I was a little apprehensive about heading up because Cyclone Cook had recently hit NZ – there were extreme weather warnings throughout the North Island and lots of people were advocating for staying put. We ignored those warnings and I’m so please we did – the weather was absolutely beautiful and we had an amazing time. I’ve never really spent much time in Tauranga before and now I can definitely see why it’s such a summer hotspot. We spent Easter Sunday at the beach which felt like a wonderfully kiwi thing to do:
WELLINGTON: I have a confession to make – I’m not actually from Wellington. Most people have never heard of my hometown, Lower Hutt, so it’s easier to tell people I’m from the capital, plus I went to uni in Wellington and spend most of my time there anyway. But minus study abroad and my working holiday, I’ve actually lived in Lower Hutt my entire life. Ever since I started uni in 2012, I’ve wanted to move into town (I even wrote a blog post about it once), and today I finally am! I’m so excited to finally live in my favourite city in the world. Plus my new flat is a block away from one of my best friends, and I am so stoked at the thought of being a 2 minute walk to her house.
WORK: I was excited to return to NZ but I was also dreading the job hunting process. I don’t think anyone enjoys looking for a job and it didn’t help that everyone was saying that the job market in Wellington was pretty bleak. After countless interviews (really it was 10), a pretty cool company decided they liked me enough to hire me. I’m thrilled, but simultaneously I’m terrified. This is my first permanent, full-time job – I’ve had full-time jobs before but they were fixed-term, and my part-time jobs were during uni so they were never going to be forever. Despite my nerves, I’m so happy that I’ll be earning money again and actually working in the field that I want to be in. My coworkers seem very cool and the job itself is walking distance from the flat! Bless Wellington for being such a walkable city, and bless this month for giving me so many things to look forward to.
I want the world to be a better place but I also want to sleep in. That’s why I love doing things that let me feel like I’m making a difference without exerting myself.
I have a very beautiful friend who also wants the world to be a better place and actually puts in the effort to do so. She’s a great person to know because she finds out which organisations are worthy and then plans events so lazier people like myself can join her in saving the world. This month, she organised a clothing-swap fundraiser that resulted in everyone getting new outfits while also raising money to support peace in Syria (the organisation that received our donations is “Preemptive Love Coalition“, if you’re curious).
After having everyone clear out their wardrobes, she collected and organised the unwanted clothes and had everyone round to her house for a Pop-Up Op-Shop. We left a donation and then found new outfits from other people’s no-longer-favourites, so I got to spend an afternoon basically shopping and left feeling like I’d made a difference in the world. All the unclaimed clothing was donated to refugee families so I got to feel doubly warm inside.
We live in a beautiful world (yeah we do, yeah we do) but also there is a lot wrong with it that needs fixing. I also know that it’s a lot easier to take part in worthwhile causes when someone else actually does the bulk of the work for you. I hope you all have a friend like mine (if you are that friend, bless you), because people like her allow the multitudinous sleepy people like me to make a difference.