September ’17 Favourites

MUSIC: The musical loves of my life, The Horrors, finally released their new album, V. Every time they release a new album I get nervous because I have sky high expectations (I think this marks the 8th year I’ve been a hopeless fangirl for them) and luckily V did not disappoint. They’ve released yet another masterpiece so if you listen to literally any song you’ll be a happy camper, although I’m pretty sure “World Below” is my favourite. Fingers crossed they tour NZ with this album so I see them live a fourth time.

EXERCISE: I’m not someone who enjoys exercise at all and I’m pretty convinced that feel-good endorphins are a myth. But I like feeling like I’m making good choices for my health and body, and I’m stoked that this month I walked an average of 10,500 steps a day and started running again (thanks Steptember!). Considering it’s only just gone Spring, I’m hoping that the weather will encourage me to continue this health-burst I’m currently on.

SPRING: I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I start work most days at 6AM and I’ve been walking to work in the dark ever since I first started my job in May. The days are stretching out and I can tell now winter has truly melted away. Daylight savings kind of ruined a bit of that by making it dark again in the morning again but it’s light so much later now, and I know the mornings will lighten up again soon. I was treated to this sight before daylight savings kicked in, and I know it’ll only be a matter of weeks before it’s like this again:

THE FUTURE: I’m a bridesmaid in my friends’ wedding next month, I have tickets to see Lorde in November, my friend Erin is coming back to NZ in December, I’m going to Laneway in January, and The Killers are touring NZ next year. 2017 is shaping up to be a pretty stellar year and I am feeling so pumped about all the exciting things happening in the near-future.

Little life update

I have been neglecting not just this blog, but writing in general. I miss it and will find the time to dedicate to it, but in the meantime here is a tiny update of what’s going on in my life:

  • I’ve been at my job for a while now (2 whole months!) so I’m trusted with more which means that my workload has increased a lot. I like work being busy – nothing makes the day drag longer than being at work with nothing to do – but by the time I get home, I’ve got no energy left to do anything but laze in bed and rewatch the terrible perfect nostalgic 00s teen comedies of my childhood. I’m trying to convince myself to start running again but the temptation of watching old MK&A movies is sometimes too much…
  • We are properly into winter in NZ now and I can’t help but notice just how different it is from Canadian winter. The equivalent of this time in Canada, snowbanks were about 2m tall and I couldn’t go outside without gloves if I wanted to retain the use of my hands. In Wellington, I’m just slightly cold and slightly damp.
  • I haven’t eaten meat in an entire year now (in case you’re curious, my final non-vege meal included bacon and it wasn’t good enough to convince me to stay carnivorous). I miss Vancouver’s wicked vege restaurants and I dearly miss Gardein’s crispy tenders, but Wellington is a pretty vege-friendly city (I highly recommend Laundry’s vegan pulled pork burger) and I’ve discovered the joy of Quorn pieces so I’m still loving my diet – plus here I can get a spring roll and chips from the local fish and chips shop for $5, so maybe NZ is the real winner after all.
  • In the three months I’ve been back in NZ, I’m positive I’ve drunk more alcohol than the whole year I was in Canada. I’m not a big drinker by any means, but I can definitely see how drinking culture is wildly different in NZ. While it’s not great, it still doesn’t compare to the ridiculous drinking culture I witnessed on my exchange in England.
  • As I said in my last post, The Horrors finally released some new music and have now announced their upcoming album, V. I am so excited to hear all their new songs but I also feel like a bad fan because even though I love the new single, I hate the album art. I’ve bought every Horrors album (I have Skying and Luminous on vinyl as well in CD form) but I’m feeling like I might have to skip out on getting a physical copy of this one. I know art doesn’t have to be beautiful, but I am not deep or artistic enough to appreciate the art of V.
  • The bed in my not-so-new-anymore flat has a very pronounced bed frame which I keep walking into, so my legs are constantly covered in bruises and it makes me feel like I’m a clumsy 8 year old again.
  • I recently spent the weekend in Auckland and took this picture from the plane, and it reminded me how beautiful the world is in the quiet moments:

I had to wake up at 5 to catch my flight but the sky did this so it's all okay ✈️

A post shared by Clemmie (@seaalley) on

Favourite songs of right now (4)

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.

That time I met The Horrors

I’ve written a fair bit about The Horrors here. They’ve been my favourite band since I was 15 (I’m now 21) and I recall at that age daydreaming about meeting them. Pipe dreams, I thought. It’d never happen to me.

15 year old me would be so impressed with present-day me.

I was living in England (more posts on that later!*) when The Horrors released their fourth album, Luminous. At first I was stoked because it meant I could preorder a signed album without astronomical shipping fees. But then I saw a post from the band saying that they would be at the hmv on Oxford Street signing records. Which usually would result in a soft pang of sadness that I couldn’t go. It took me awhile to realise that I wasn’t in New Zealand – I was in London, which was where they would be!

There was a lot of kerfuffle in actually getting to hmv, but eventually we got into the room where the band was playing and had a short set. After the set, a table was set up and the crowd lined up to get their albums signed (there were less than 100 people, it’s astounding how few people went to an essentially free gig).

Rhys was first at the signing table. I was trying very hard to be normal and shook his hand (which probably wasn’t normal). He asked me my name, and then as he signed my record I actually made conversation with him. I told him that I was from NZ and that next time they go there they should go to Wellington instead of Auckland because Wellington is a lot better**. After hearing I was from NZ, he then invited me to Cave Club, a club night that he runs, because a kiwi band was playing.

I just want to reiterate that: a member of my favourite band personally invited me to his club.

Next up was Tom (who is my secret favourite) and I also awkwardly shook his hand and managed to have normal conversation with him. Unfortunately I kind of used up all of my coherent conversational skills on the first two and kind of word-vomited when I met Josh, Joe, and Faris. Faris ended up drawing a cat on my record and then said it was nice to meet me, so I can’t have seemed too insane.

Me & Rhys!

Me & Rhys!

So I went home with a personally signed LP of Luminous and felt like my life was almost complete. I finished completing it by actually attending Cave Club with Erin, a friend who is also super into the band. The club itself was fantastic, playing music we actually liked (a lot of 60s and 70s psychedelia). Around the middle of the night, we went outside for a quick breather, and happened upon Rhys. We ended up chatting with him and managed to take pictures with him. When we headed back in to keep dancing, Rhys would occasionally come out of the DJ area and dance with us.

After we decided to call it a night, we then also bumped into Tom, and had another chat with him. He recognised me from the signing which put me on cloud nine, and also agreed to take pictures with us***.

Me & Tom! He asked if he could shut his eyes during the photo. I didn't question it.

Me & Tom! He asked if he could shut his eyes during the photo. I didn’t question it.

This post was probably slightly rambly and incoherent, but I achieved a bucket list item five times over, and met the five people that have inspired me since I was an angsty teenager. Meeting my favourite band also succeeded in making me less of an obsessive fan. I obviously still love their music more than anything, but meeting them in person took them off the pedestal and made me properly realise that they’re just normal people. Normal people who make incredible music and made my life so much better.

*eventually they can be found under this tag.
**I’m slightly embarrassed I said that but I also stand by it: if you ever find yourself in NZ, Auckland is very overrated. Wellington is where it’s at.
***also I realise that this is the first time I’ve posted a picture of myself. This is what my face looks like.

“I feel crazy and powerful” songs

The title is fairly accurate. When you’re feeling awesome and a little mental. Maybe you sometimes feel like this, maybe you don’t. Regardless, these are good songs:

  • “I’m Mad” – The Dead Weather
  • “Kiss With A Fist” – Florence + the Machine
  • “New Ice Age” – The Horrors
  • “In The Shadows” – The Rasmus
  • “Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool” – Editors
  • “All These Things That I’ve Done” – The Killers
  • “Uprising” – Muse
  • “Hey Clown” – Firewater
  • “Dust Bowl Dance” – Mumford & Sons
  • “Cat Claw” – The Kills

Songs that make me happy

Music makes me feel better when I’m sad, stressed or when everything is going to shit. These are my favourites for turning me back into a functional human being through the power of song:

  • “Coin Laundry” – Lisa Mitchell
  • “Primary Colours” – The Horrors
  • “Move Along” – The All-American Rejects
  • “Bloom” – The Paper Kites
  • “Friday I’m In Love” – The Cure
  • “Shiver” – Coldplay
  • “60 Seconds” – The Atomic Square
  • “Marchin On” – OneRepublic
  • “I Feel Better” – Gotye
  • “Don’t Stop Me Now” – Queen
  • “Something Good Can Work” – Two Door Cinema Club
  • “Diplomat’s Son” – Vampire Weekend
  • “Everything’s Not Lost” – Coldplay

Favourite songs of right now

These are all very good songs and I totally recommend you check them out:

  • “Don’t Need Me” – Jonathan Jones
  • “Dive In” – The Horrors
  • “Michicant” – Bon Iver
  • “VCR” – The xx
  • “Thanks for Your Time” – Gotye
  • “Go” – Oceanship
  • “The Last Goodbye” – The Kills
  • “Anything But You” – Civalias
  • “Plans” – Birds of Tokyo
  • “Straight Lines” – Silverchair