#Playlist: Ghosts

Hi everyone!

I wasn’t sure whether to do this or not, but I’m worried that my content is suffering these days and I’m not putting out the quality I want. So I want to be sure I’m taking time to work on them properly and making sure I am including all the information I want to. I know I finally got some photos and all, but along with uni work I’m struggling to get my words up to the standard I want.

So you probably won’t see another post this week and might just see less posting from me for a while depending on how these next few weeks go. I have a few events lined up to fill the week before the term ends, so that’s also quite exciting. It’s wild that I’m over halfway through my first year at university.

Anyway, I’ve been feeling like my music needs a bit more shaking up again whilst I work on this assignment for university. Before you ask… Did I dive down into a pit of music recommendations from YouTube that I actually liked? Yes, the answer is yes.

It’s inspired this playlist of recent discoveries with a dash of songs I felt just fit right in here. It’s not too upbeat. As much as I love my pop music, I have a soft spot for music that’s kind of whimsical and dreamy but there are also some very specific things I like. Sort of deep and mildly depressing and perhaps a soundtrack for the non-existent aimless midnight wander.

Today’s playlist is a mix of English language and Korean language tracks.

Ashmute (Korean)Ghost, Scenery, Inferno – I really like the dreamy feel coming from this trio, and how they play around with the pace of their songs. My favourite of these is Ghost but Scenery has really grown on me. K-Indie tends to be kind of hit-and-miss for me as I focus on sound rather than lyrics and a lot of K-Indie can sound similar to me, but this is really nice.

Kailee MorgueGhost of Mine, Medusa – I initially got some Melanie Martinez vibes from Morgue’s vocals on Ghost of Mine. I really like this kind of music – the kind that’s just really strange and haunting but not too deep like Ruelle’s Madness – I like that sound too but not all the time.

Bipolar SunshineDaydreamer – Well… This playlist could do with some happy. I’m definitely up for listening to more Bipolar Sunshine now that I have discovered them, this is a jam.

DJ SnakeMiddle (ft. Bipolar Sunshine) – It’s funny, I do love the odd DJ Snake track I come across but I always forget to dive into their discography. This is the most upbeat track on the playlist.

MothicaOut of It – In doing a little bit of research on Mothica I saw the words ‘gloom pop’. At last, a word for the genre of music I like. I’ll go searching later for songs under this umbrella, haha.

Sojung of Ladies’ Code (Korean)Crystal Clear – Sojung has one of the most distinctive voices in the mainstream K-Pop scene and I really miss Ladies’ Code and love their newer songs so it is lovely to hear her singing again. I want to hear her in a long with Lee Hi one day. I think their voices would resonate well together.

Heize (Korean) – Jenga – There’s something odd about the end of the hook that I really like. What is it, dissonance? It was odd but now I really like it. I first watched Heize on Unpretty Rapstar 2 for a bit and really liked her as well as Kitti B and Yubin.

Heyne (Korean) – Insomnia (Unofficial, included to omit the snoring in the official MV)|Official MV – Heyne’s unusual voice is what stopped this from being too boring for me. That and perhaps the fact that she’s actually 26-ish and looks (and sounds) younger than me!

Tei ShiNevermind The End (unofficial)|Official MV, Say You Do (unofficial)| Official MV – I’ve been listening a lot to these two tracks recently. They’re just really nice to loop.

FazerdazeLucky Girl – I’m hoping this is a nice choice to tie off the playlist as well as leading back to the beginning when I feel like it.

I hope you’ve discovered something that you like today. I’ll get back to writing my uni assignment now!

Until next time,

X

Some Songs and an Attempt To Sum Up My Month

Hi everyone!

It’s the last day of February now. Compared to January, this month really flew by and lots of things happened. I didn’t just want to write about my month, so I tried to find the best songs in my music library to express the things that happened.

Since I listen to a lot of Korean Pop, I had to google a lot of the lyrics for the first time, haha. I was surprised to find that a lot of the sweeter love songs didn’t quite match the meaning I wanted for this song selection.

Galantis – In My Head | I actually don’t have much to say about this one, it’s sort of self-explanatory, lyric-wise.

Namie Amuro – Birthday | Also moderately self-explanatory, seeing as it was my birthday this month AND this year it’s also unintentionally been a case of “new year, slightly-better me”.

Melanie Martinez – Soap (Sailors Remix)| I am working on a sort-of filter for when I say things. I say stupid things, get annoyed myself for staying stuff and then take it out on someone else and what the heck, Swanna? PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER. Also, I’ve started letting out the occasional swear word at work, which isn’t good when I am working with kids. Luckily, it’s all been out of earshot but that needs work, too.

Carly Rae Jepsen – Warm Blood | For the longest time, as much as I adore this song to bits, I didn’t really get it. It sounds like a love song that is borderline creepy due to the blood imagery. But I was daydreaming up a music video for this recently and something just clicked.
I recently went out to the pub to hang out with some friends. My alcohol tolerance is really low, everyone. I felt my heart pounding after one glass of wine, and I stood up and my head spun and my hearing went muffled which was quite scary until I was outside for a bit. But anyway, that was the experience that made this song make sense, and what inspired me to write this entire blog post. It’s just a dreamy, muffled feeling of drunk happy.

Red Velvet – My Second Date | Okay, so I’m not quite at Date #2 yet. Did I tell you about how I had a Valentine’s blog post all ready, about being single and stuff? Yeah, you didn’t see it, because it wasn’t really relevant to me anymore. Yeah… Suddenly I wasn’t exactly single. As the song says, “from A to Z, it’s all so awkward”.
Dates are really weird, everyone.

Kisses are even weirder. I was tempted to include 3OH!3’s “My First Kiss” (which, to reference the lyrics, didn’t go ANYTHING like this) but no. Not that my expectations were high, but my YA fantasies have been proper shattered, LOL.

LOONA / Yves & Chuu – Girls’ Talk | Typically, all my close friends got almost-live updates as all this dating stuff happened, so despite me saying ‘oh my lawd guys don’t tell anyone’ they all know anyway. All the recent happenings were just so bizarre. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are moments with this guy that are really sweet and sappy and stuff and I do like messaging him (and also my friends) in the dead of night. That’s part of the reason this song is on this playlist.

But, on the other hand, it’s this gossipy part of the experience that makes it feel sort of like… a game. I won’t lie when I say I tell my friends things just to seek reactions, and that those reactions are entertaining. So, it’s not that I particularly care if people find out, but I don’t want certain people to tease me into oblivion. ANYWAY. Am I even making sense?


That was something just a little random for a mid-week, end-of-month post. I hope you enjoyed that!

Until next time,

X

Year-End Media Editorial 2017

I actually really enjoy doing this type of post and the only thing that ever puts me off writing these is knowing I have to add a billion hyperlinks at the end. Anyhow, that means I have a lot to chat about since like, March (!!), so let’s get started! This is what I’ve been enjoying since I started Uni.

Anime

Amagi Brilliant Park – I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I joined the anime society at uni. We gather to watch stuff on Friday nights which is so much fun and this was one of the series we watched. It’s my pick of the four we got through this term (not counting My Hero Academia… wait, have I not written about it here??). ABP is about a high school student called in to help manage a fun theme park until it hits a target visitor count or else all its fairy inhabitants will be made homeless (and die). Surprisingly enjoyable, and if you manage to get to the end, the OVA is totally worth it and made me split my sides with laughter.

Boku no Hero Academia – I am rectifying that I’ve never mentioned it, immediately. It’s about a superhero high school and… I just love a lot of things about it. I’m currently reading the manga although the anime adaptation is nothing to laugh at, either, as it captures the greatness of the manga very well.

Perfect Blue – My favourite movie of the Friday nights (not including Ghibli movies and Your Name), it was an intense psychological thriller and it made me grateful for the giant umbrella I carried with me on the way home… It’s about a pop star who quits her group and turns to acting, but obviously, with the way I’ve described it, that’s clearly not all there is to it.

X-Story – My favourite of the short movie night and probably because I am excited for the Incredibles 2, seeing as it gave me the same vibes. It’s totally worth the 13 minutes and the whole thing is on youtube.

Gaming

I’ve been playing The World Ends With You emulated on my phone since April (although you can buy a phone adapted version on app stores now, for about £18.00) and it’s nothing short of fantastic. Even post-storyline there’s plenty of bonuses and collectables to keep you occupied for months. It has a really unique setting and gameplay method with lots of adjustable difficulty levels for everyone, even a noob like me.

As a side note, I and many other have been obsessed with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp recently. I feel like it still needs some expansion to really match the DS games but that hasn’t stopped me from playing it all the time, anyhow.

Music

As usual, all linked into one playlist as well as separate links in the song names down below.

LOONA’s Odd Eye Circle – Girl Front, LOONATIC (English Ver.) A predebut group who have been revealing a new member every month for the last year or so (their name is from the first hangul characters of the phrase ‘Girl of the Month’ in Korean), I didn’t really get into the first sub-unit but Odd Eye Circle has really caught my eye and no doubt will the next as well. JinSoul’s Singing in the Rain is what got me following the group and Kim Lip’s Eclipse is also a total bop. Also, there’s Yves starting off the next subunit of girls, and Chuu who is the most recently revealed member and whose MV isn’t even out yet!

Rita Ora – Anywhere  – Simple and catchy, and totally a big mood for me right now!

Polkadot Stingray – Synchronishica – As you can tell from the next few entries, I have been scouring Youtube for Japanese bands again. I love the bridge of this song and the change of pace right there.

Indigo La End –  Misekake no Love Song – Think a cold evening, on the commute home, thinking about a love story that never happened, or just being sad for no reason. This isn’t a big mood but damn if it’s not my everyday mood. I also like Omoikiri for something upbeat but also just as desolate.

Kavka Shishido – Love Corrida –  A drumming soloist. I love her poker straight long hair and this is a total pop-rock jam. I also like ‘Dame Kashira‘ (more pop) and ‘Music‘ (more rock).

Red Velvet – I Just, Look – The fact that we got three promo cycles from RV this year is nothing short of amazing. The new album, ‘Perfect Velvet’, isn’t quite the masterpiece that ‘The Red’ was, but these are real standout tracks for me.

Sheena Ringo – Life is Full of Dreams (or something like that)- How about a jazzy number to really get your blood pumping and your spirit all lifted and motivated? Something about Sheena Ringo’s voice in this song brings a real life to it. On top of it, this album, Reimport, is taken from the fact that all the tracks are covers of songs she wrote for other artists, hence ‘re-importing’ them. Isn’t that a cool concept? I’d love to see more of this sort of thing from anyone.


That’s what I’ve been enjoying recently! All the best for the New Year. Much love,

X

 

My Experience at G-Dragon’s ‘Act III: MOTTE’ Tour in Birmingham

I may have recounted this story a number of times, but I got into K-pop because a family friend spent her gap year in Korea and came back with a K-pop mix on a CD, full of Bigbang and SHINee’s old hits and Lee Hyori’s U Go Girl. We played it when her mom picked us up from school all the time, and Haru Haru was my favourite song for an age and a half.
That was like, ten years ago. I listen to K-pop like I listen to just about everything else – casually and not as obsessively as I used to, but if you strike a K-pop conversation with me I’m not going to stop talking. Where do I even get all these trivia from? I don’t even know. I joined the K-Soc at my uni so hopefully, I will make friends who I can be just as chatty with.
Anyway. G-Dragon held a concert in Birmingham recently, and I knew whatever it cost, I would end up going. It was very pricey for a concert so I settled for a seat that was still £120+. GD was my first love of K-pop but I don’t love him as much now to pay £200+ for the VIP Silver Soundcheck package like a certain relative of mine… (You don’t even get to meet him for that money…)
It was my first concert at Genting so I was quite excited! I ended up there many hours early since I was tagging along with VIPers but that meant I could grab food and still be in my seat an hour and a half before the show started. It also meant the wait for the show to start was pretty much unbearable.
The Genting Arena doesn’t allow fancy cameras like my DSLR (darn it!!) so I am still stuck with the phone camera I used last year, sadly, which is why my photos are less than impressive. I spent the rest of my time jamming along to everything he performed.
The show was all bright lights and dark visuals. MOTTE, for G-Dragon himself, is a show exploring himself- his identity as GD and as Kwon Ji Yong, and it did feel quite personal, also including video interviews with his friends and family. The setlist started from his old hits and ended with almost all the songs from his most recent EP, Kwon Ji Yong. It was separated into three acts this way.
I noticed people were more hyped towards the second act when he performed more recent and well-known songs (and especially CROOKED in the encore because we UK fans have a soft spot for it – he filmed the video in London). It was a shame people weren’t as excited for A-YO and Obsession as I was, though! They are two of my favourite songs by GD.
I met some wonderful fellow concert-goers whilst there. From the pair of girls waiting for food to the girl I sat next to as we both went to the concert alone, to the girls who helped me charge my phone and find my relative after the battery died, and also got me the poster that is now on my wall. I’ve met so many wonderful people through my casual listening of K-pop and this night was no different.
I am so happy that there have been more K-pop concerts in the UK recently (Crush, ZICO, Dean, GD and KARD all in the last year and Hyukoh next month) so I get to indulge in live music I love. I am putting my bets on BTS being the next big act to hit the UK, seeing as they are doing fabulously internationally.
Who are you waiting on to hold a concert?
Until next time,
X

The Saving Goddesses of K-Pop (This month, anyway.)

Since the mock exams and reports and self assessments as such, I’ve been on a hiatus in more ways than one. I didn’t go to Archery, or knit, or draw, or anything at all. I did turn 18 though, which is something. Wow, guys, I’m an adult now – she says with a serious deadpan face and unparalleled un-enthusiasm.

Slowly I’ve been picking things up again and today, the weather was so nice and the light was nice too, so I’ve just had a photo-taking session so that photos won’t hold me back from reviewing products and posting those.

Anyhow. Back to the topic of this post at hand. I went through a cringey phase, back when I was about 10-11 years old, where I was utterly convinced that Japanese things were better than Korean things, and later on, I became obsessed with Kpop. Then I became obsessed with everything, absolutely everything at once that was not ‘Western’. I guess now I hold an interest in everything whether it’s Western or not, but all that is far muted compared to how it was before. I do feel that partly, new music releases haven’t given me too much to be excited about, but that has changed.

Let me introduce you to some female artists who, I believe, really are fresh in K-Pop right now who have all released exciting new stuff quite recently.

Lee Hi
– My k-pop bae. It’s been three or four years since her last comeback, and since then, she and I both grew up and are adults now. Her sound has matured to match, as well, from ‘First Love’ to ‘Seoulite’. Even just by the names of those releases, you can see the growth from lovely teenager to cool young city adult, right?
Her voice has changed, too. It’s smoother and less husky, but still very distinctly her. Tablo and his independent label, HIGHGRND basically took the reins for producing this album and I hope y’all know I love his stuff, so I knew this album would impress me.

This entire Seoulite EP shines, by the way. It was decided to promote ‘Hold Your Hand’ because of its consistency with her previous, fun MVs like ‘1,2,3,4’ and ‘It’s Over’, and ‘Breathe’ was written by Jonghyun of SHINee and reminds us all why we love this voice so goddamn much. I hate generic ballads, usually, but this one isn’t generic and it sticks.

The other three tracks, ‘World Tour’ with MINO from WINNER, ‘Official’, and ‘Fxxk WIT US’ are, how shall I say, very underground (and very Tablo) in comparison. Whilst the two promoted tracks are true to her fan-loved style, the other three bring out a new style for her and really solidify this modern and mature concept that surrounds this EP.

SeouliteTL
Lee Hi makes pink cool.

Whoops, this turned into a fan burst. I guess you can tell – I really, really, love Lee Hi and Seoulite. I also love Tablo for making this album a reality because honestly? We were not expecting to see her have a comeback any time soon.

Mamamoo
– I started keeping track of these girls starting with ‘Aah-Oop’, and then their new album, ‘Melting’ fixed them onto my radar.

I don’t even have words. Like damn, they can sing.

I mean, these girls released a song that’s 100% themselves dissing each other’s heights.

Ladies’ Code
– Some of you might have heard of the big news concerning Ladies’ Code last year. They had five members, two of whom died in a really bad car accident. Despite this, they are back as a trio. Have you noticed that there are five seats at the table? I’m all emotional. There’s something sentimental and hopeful about the song, as well as a vibe that tells you that, y’know, these girls are moving forward with EunBi and Rise in their hearts.

Yezi of Fiestar
– Yes, I am aware that Fiestar have just had a group comeback. But I think this particular solo debut still blows that out of the water. Yezi rose to popularity on the 2nd season of Unpretty Rapstar, an all-female, badly edited rapping show, from the ‘Crazy Dog’ performance (the song made it into her mini album, too) to her general badassery, she was definitely one to watch. Unfortunately, I don’t really like the video to Cider because she just seems a little bratty there, but they released a video for ‘Sse Sse Sse’! It features three more rappers from the series, all of whom I like.

I’d like to include ‘Someone Like U’ by Dalshabet and ‘Sting’ by Stellar as notables that didn’t make it, because I liked the songs by themselves and didn’t have much to say besides that they are catchy as hell. I hope you liked my sudden return and these new music recommendations!

Until next time,

X

Newton’s Apple – Album by Nell (Packaging and Lots of Fangirling)

I mentioned that I got a really exciting delivery in the post yesterday. I also took photos right away because I was so excited.

It’s a physical copy of Nell’s album, Newton’s Apple! I came across someone on Facebook who was destashing her collection at really good prices. I had my eye on some other albums but they were popular and were gone long before I looked at the post. I am still very happy to have been able to buy this, though. I find that foreign albums can be quite pricey at times especially including shipping, so I’ve never bought one myself. I also own One of a Kind by G-Dragon and that was a gift.

Anyway, back to this gorgeous album. I guess you could say this is my introduction to Nell even though they’ve been around quite a while. White Night (CD2, Track 2) was the first song I ever heard from them, and I have never looked back.

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The album was packaged so nicely! This is what it looked like after I got rid of all the bubble wrap and outer wrapping. I will be keeping that Thank You card and putting it on my wall.

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The lovely lady I bought this from also included an extra little gift in the form of an Etude House Olive Sheet Mask! I look forward to using it, and will probably be saving it for a rainy day, since I still have a bunch of Malie Green Tea Masks to go through.

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As you can see, the packaging is stunning. As well as the lyric booklet which you can see on the right, above the CDs, there was a black envelope included with contained stunning artworks for certain tracks on the album. They capture the essence of the music perfectly. The actual album is quite big as well – bigger than my face. Just means more to love.

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My favourite tracks from this album? You really want to make me answer such a hard question?? Sunshine (CD1) and Haven (CD2) are very chill tracks that will always find a way onto a themed playlist. Sunshine, in particular, is hopeful, but just gets sadder as the lyrics are told from the perspective of the person who wants you to be ‘brighter than sunshine.’ The change in tone turns the atmosphere from supportive to sacrificial, and it gives me such emotion every time.

But seriously, Newton’s apple is one of those few albums in which I think every single track is a stand-out track and you can tell there has been so much thought and love put into every note. I am so happy to own this album and I seriously recommend that you have a listen too.

X

Ice Cream, Ice Cream, Vanilla

(I’m referencing one of f(x)s early album tracks for their Nu ABO EP.)

I’m actually usually cautious when opening up something from the Birthday Box, because sometimes they have packaging that can’t be resealed or something. I opened these sooner than I would have because I had the sneaking suspicion that they were individually wrapped, and therefore I wouldn’t eat them all in one go anyway. They were. The big text in Japanese katakana on the outer packet reads ‘mini soft cream (mini sofuto kuri-mu)’. This is misleading, as they’re hard candies shaped like ice-cream and taste like the classic neapolitan three flavours of Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry. I hoped that, at the very least, they would be gummy candies.   A part of me rejects the idea of chocolate-flavoured hard candy, after having found so much comfort in soft, melty, regular chocolate.      I prefer the word ‘candy’ to sweets. I guess you could say the word ‘candy’ sounds ‘sweeter’ to me! (Sorry, but not sorry.) As you can see, I’m still trying to improve the blog photography. I have no white surface besides the windowsill, which means shoving all of my skincare and makeup products to one side whilst trying to get a nice angled shot.

In the entire packet I got only one strawberry flavoured candy, and I opened it up for the sake of photography. It tasted good.

To finish off, here is more Ice Cream themed K-pop… ‘Ice Cream Cake’ by Red Velvet, from the same label as f(x).

X