Always blue.

  I've been appreciating this 3-day dose of colder weather. It's been in the late 20s in lieu of the usual high 30s. With that in mind, I'm appraising the usual heat. / Summer is dashing by quickly, and proving to be of felicity. This disposition is priceless; it's poetic justice. (I could never get enough.) Despite the involved idleness, my bad thoughts still hit. / Yet as it seems, being accepting of them - and letting them pass - has been much easier. I can only think to myself, 'These days are worth living for. I wouldn't want to be anything else but alive.'

  It's true. Adversity helps you better appreciate the brighter side.

***

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Musical Muses #10 // Music sounds better with you.


  With the start of another year, more new music is inevitable. I've therefore deemed it necessary to round up my favourites of the later half of 2015 - for your immediate enjoyment here, all at your fingertips! (Arranged in various streaming mediums; despite the order I love these all equally.) These songs have not only been dear to me, but also to the new people in my life. So chuck a listen, my friends!



SPOTIFY ALBUMS

Neon Indian // VEGA INTL. Night School Neon Indian takes to the stand this year, unveiling the true brainchild of a third album even having lost all initial progress. Amazingly, Vega Intl. Night school smashes any premonitions one might have whenever new music is released, and is no doubt a testament to Palomo's timelessness. This time, the newly adopted glitz and glamour is only befitting. What follows is only arrant longevity, oozing with goodness. Whilst it encroaches on disco territory, the album works in favour of delivering feverish techno tunes. Behind every maverick song title are more playful and chromatic sounds. But what is Neon Indian without plenty of packed substance? Vega Intl. Night school gives critics a run for their money, and grows on you as an original, refreshingly sensual oeuvre.
get ya groove on: Annie + The Glitzy Hive + Slumlord + C'est La Vie (Say The Casualties!) + Street Level + Smut! + Bozo


Moses Gunn Collective // Mercy Mountain Hailing from Brisbane is Moses Gunn Collective, whom infectiously present their brand of psychedelic glitter rock. Mercy Mountain is a surreal frenzy of a record, that encloses such hypnotic melancholy it permeates throughout. Spanning a little over a dozen tracks, each song overlaps in a cohesive buildup and allows oneself to be immersed in a soul-staggering continuum. Whilst many songs stay true to its garage rock roots, a pleasant hint of tropical dream pop is evident amongst denser guitar melodies. The resulting infusion of Mercy Mountain holds no mercy in contention, for it sets a league of its own.
viciously devouring: Shalala + Hot Mess + Mulberry + Back Into The Womb + Desdamona + Mercy Mountain + Neighbourhood

Slum Sociable // TQ There is something so tranquil about Slum Sociable that gets me giddy with delight. You may know my previous obsession with their debut track 'Anyway', and I've come to love some of their other stuff. I've been viciously listening to them on repeat, whatever the mood. pining after: All Night Not Everything Turns to Gold + Apartment + Luck So Far


Alpine // Yuck! Leisurely-paced, the album remains a tribute to Alpine's unconventional take on indie pop. Yuck is impeccably produced, and this is accredited to its blended instrumentals and gentle vocals. Amidst the dulcet vocals of Lou James and Phoebe Baker are the ambivalent convictions of being “a first world problem waiting to explode”, a modern reality that is brutally honest. There also appears the undertones of romantic dissatisfaction; the elusive promise of “love and safety” – a theme the album so boldly resounds. With every listen and its fair share of melodic fun, Yuck leaves you to savour line after line of candid introspection. heart throbs: Shot Fox + Damn Baby Crunches + Up For Air + Foolish + Jellyfish

BØRNS // Dopamine There's not a lot to be said about BØRNS (except that he's bold and beautiful, and I love his music.) le crown jewels: Electric Love + 10,000 Emerald Pools + The Emotion + Fools


Beirut // No No No Easy-listening, calming, pleasant. Beirut is deserving of the highest order of these adjectives. They're just plain good. (No bullshit there.) step along to: No No No + At Once + Gibraltar + So Allowed + Perth + August Holland


SOUNDCLOUD

Screaming Peaches // Regina Formerly known as MOVIE, the eccentric British 80's-inspired-pop trio released their Rough Music EP. Yet again I found myself mesmerized by their music - this time, by the stellar track 'Regina'. A must-listen (if you want to get to know me)!

Family Hahas // Hindsight What really got me was the concept of the exceptional track 'Hindsight', along with the band's outreach to their fans. They sent me a lovely message over Soundcloud to show their gratitude for the support. They do remind me of The Vaccines and Arctic Monkeys meshed together, in all their mellow goodness - which I totally vibe with. Safe to say, I love them already!

Some words from Family Hahas: "Well we're from Colorado originally but we moved to LA last year. We grew up together and have been writing music together in various bands since we were 12 years old. Our songs kind of embody us as people. We're part of the Denver-based label GROUPHUG and are huge fans of all the other bands on their roster. We've released our second EP on GROUPHUG and it includes a cassette release which we're super excited about! Outside of our music, our hobbies include eating unhealthy amounts of pad thai, watching anime and horror movies, and saving money for gas and coffee."



The Jensens // Ever since seeing them open at the Last Dinos' gig (recurring mentions, I know) I've been wildly into The Jensens. They pack a punch that is only unique and vivacious, thanks to their own sound. Every time one of their songs come on I'm taken back to a happy tplace where headbanging and loud murmuring are completely necessary. swimmingly: Fears + Shark Thunder + A New Hope





(Now! Time for some ambient electronic.)








Cosmo's Midnight // Having found them through Soundcloud, they've been an instant go-to for my electronic cravings. Waves of chill electronica are hard to find, but Cosmo's Midnight makes it all worth the ride. You'll see just why if you dare to listen. softcore faves: remix of Destroyer + Snare + Phantasm





YOUTUBE

Last Dinosaurs // Wellness DEMOS - a trip down memory lane, for sure. I remember hearing snippets of their Wellness demos beforehand, pre-tour. Listening to them now definitely encourages greater appreciation for the many good times they've brought me.

Panda People // The Usual Place is a deadly combination of everything I love. Killer instrumental, layered electronic, surreal sampling and vocals... And some good ole sax to top it all off. I'd have to declare this my theme song for 2015!

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME ON BLOGLOVIN // GFC // INSTAGRAM // SPOTIFY // YOUTUBE

Only ones who know.


Dear _________,


  This is my love letter to life, of sorts. It's that time of year to reflect in a grand manner. I have not properly written for a month now, and it seems I haven't had the overwhelming desire to. These days I've been occupied for hours on end, with every day offering nothing less than quality.

  See, the concept of another year seemed foreign. It had been fast encroaching and as much as I was aware, it's passed me by. I've been so caught up in enjoyment that it's crazy to think I've already spent a month out of school, and primarily in bliss. Ending the year on a a high note, the main agenda in this instance is to collate my thoughts. ('Cause that's just what I do, hey?) The last 2 months of 2015 have just been so wholesome and engaging. In no way would I have predicted this; day after day of diversion - more gigs, road trips, memorable nights, impromptu picnics, fam dinners... All of it has been of sheer brilliance.

  I've made it into 2016 with the most intricate, gorgeous souls. I don't think I could have done it without the rewarding company of both the old and new. I look at where I am today and marvel at the great unprecedented events leading up to this. It all started with unknowingly rekindling/forming friendships. Just with a dash of luck, I'd been gifted an infinite sum. It's funny to think back on how I may have made this all happen. I'd decided to do more things oriented to my interests, and gathered up my favourite people. We didn't know it at the time, but we'd all get along so well. We trooped to the Last Dinos' gig in search of a good time, and came out of it with new friends. These people have ended up being so involved in my prevalent state of happiness. And would you believe it? It sparked from a single shared love: music. We'd met up each following weekend and from thereon, we bloomed collectively. (As a group and individually.) I sure didn't realise it then but my life was taking a turn for the better. As a result of this, I've been able to be in the best place possible. I'm now centred, encircled by people who strive for the better for me. How fortunate am I to have secured some of the most solid friendships in existence.
  How did I deserve it all? Well (as I'm told), just by being myself. It's something I truly thank my lucky stars for. It's times like these where I can enjoy a comfortable silence - with others, and with myself. I have peace of mind, most of the time. (A state of higher order that seemed almost impossible to achieve with the way my 2015 had been going.) (Note that I am, in every aspect, genuine regarding what I am going to say. They say some things should be left unsaid but hey, I'm all about constant verbal expression.) For long, I had felt arrantly disconnected. The blood in my veins had begun to match the everyday blues, and colour had paled from my face. I was smiling but doing so with every piercing reservation. I'd been in limbo, sickly stifled and stuck in the void. I wasn't moving, nor living. The days were dull and unstimulating, and I owed my lack thereof to my own inadequacy. That's where it became fatal.
  I'd begun pulling myself apart. I hated feeling what I did. (How could I? It seemed I had no real problems.) The problem was ultimately me. They say you should always extract the problem, and I was so determined to to yank it by the root. I'd contemplated ending it all, and switching off to a quiet place forever. (Oh, an euphemism I'd thought so fondly of.) I was irrevocably helpless for a period of time because no matter what, I could not help myself. I was a hot mess. I couldn't find it within me, and as it seemed, others couldn't stick around either. I did have lifelines - yes, I did. I had many. I just didn't want to resort to them. I've succumbed to hopelessness and my self-convinced title as a burden. Yet with magical timing, the tables had turned. I don't know how, but I'm sure it began with me learning to stop suppressing.
  I am proud of being my own person. I am proud of who others are. I am proud to have them in my life, as I am in theirs. I am the epitome of sentience and I love it. I make a difference and I know damn well that I do. (Though I may spite myself, I need to realise I am human. We all second-guess ourselves. I just need to not let it get in the way.) Our adversities are unique but in some way, related. That's where we connect; the dots are traced and lined up seamlessly to create something unified. We're a beautiful, cluttered mess. In other words - we're all in this, together. Never should I allow myself to feel as I'm less or parallel to my tragedies. Never should I treat myself the way I wouldn't want others to treat me. I am alive and present. I need to be there for myself, so I can be there for all the significant people and moments in my life.


***

  What have I been doing these days? (The redundant question stands.)

  I've certainly been on my feet. Bare feet, running, sauntering, dancing. I've been writing letters - a rare medium I want to let others savour. I've shared words and opinions. I've shared kisses. I've shared drinks. I've shared tears (over the phone and in person). Most importantly, I've shared moments. It's been the real deal. Perhaps I was caught off guard when all this sharing became commonplace but, I can't imagine being my raw self any other way.

  You may know I have no qualms about being open. Absolutely none. I'm as open as can be. This, coupled with my own way of living and accepting, was well worth the risk of being vulnerable. I used to believe that I was too much of an open book. I now know I was quite wrong. If I hadn't experienced the lows, I wouldn't be able to appreciate the highs in such great depth. I wouldn't have been able to scale the heights I have now. 
  I never have New Year's resolutions. I don't end up abiding by them, since I feel that the turning over of a new leaf shouldn't necessarily rely on a brand new year. But I've thought of one simple, conclusive yet powerful resolution: Take my own adviceI am often told I give great advice, and it's about time I practise what I preach. (Oh, and get ample rest, too.)
  Someone dear once said to me: 'Your mind is one of the greatest Indra's nets I know.' It almost made me cry. I know the full weight of its meaning now. I am so glad I hung on for my own sake, and been dealt with strength. It's fact that I'm prone to have things weigh on my mind, and in 2015, I'd finally learnt to let go. I'd learnt so much about staying honest/true to myself. It's been the most endearing and relieving revelation. For once, it all feels right.

  I hope 2016 will be another golden year for us.

All my love,
Rachel x

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Shalala.


Baby I'm so blind / You're far too kind / I'm made of paper / Blankly waiting for someone to make their mark / Will that be me?
"A thousand kisses for the morning sun."
I can't stand this vertigo / This dual reality dealt to me / The cards lining up against me / The white noise kills.

I hate traffic / Especially when it escalates / Their paths collided momentarily / And all of them began to yell.
"I'll just stay inside until I make my own goodbye – I just wanna be whole."
I'm bored out of my mind / I feel sanity slowly slipping away / I want to let my eyes roll back / Into their sockets, limbs limp / And lips dry, glazed eyes / "I'm tired of this reality."
I'll turn you over in mind / Until I force myself to stop / It's a tedious task / To get this train to halt.
"It'll be okay kid, got your ticket for the new sensation."
I guess I thought a lot / About demise and worse / How the silence fills the / Room, but the blackness looms.
"I'll be fine, I'll see you waiting in the sunshine."

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME ON BLOGLOVIN // GFC // INSTAGRAM // SPOTIFY // YOUTUBE

A huge shoutout to my readers who acknowledge my efforts, and continue to spur me on. I can't thank you enough! The words I receive in turn are so heartwarming. To have come so far from a homemade blog back in 2011, to know that I have reached out to others - it fills me with mirth; say, a cause for my existence. I hope you enjoy paging through this blog, as much as I find repose from pouring myself into it. And don't be shy, I'd really like to hear from you!
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