Review: Bonobo- ‘Kerala’

‘Kerala’ is Bonobo’s latest masterpiece and a bite sized taste of his upcoming LP Migration, sampling R&B artist Brandy’s smooth and soothing vocals mid way through the record. This track begins with a stunning simplicity, notes appearing to melt into one another.  There’s something intensely comforting about the easy on the ears repetition which slowly grows throughout this song.

The music video, directed by Bison and starring St Trinian’s star Gemma Arterton is a piece

bonobo
Image via Ninja Tune

of artistry in its own right. This video is fascinating but also baffling,  and is reminiscent of an intense and disconcerting nos trip. The repetition mutates from something peaceful into something which confuses the eye and puts the mind on edge. You focus so intensely on Arterton that you might miss all the other subtle oddities, such as the rock rising at 1:13 or the man at 2:42 stuck in the same loop. This video gives the song a new unsettling edge, and I almost wish I’d never seen it as it’s what interrupts my peace when I listen to the song now.

This song is a mesmerising work of art in more ways than one, and well worth a listen. Baffle your mind with the video below. Out now via Ninja Tune

Review: Betsy- ‘Wanted More’

Review: Betsy- ‘Wanted More’

‘Wanted More’ is the latest record from Welsh vocal powerhouse Betsy, who released her first EP Fair  in March. When Betsy first popped into my ears with ‘Lost and Found’ I was mesmerised. Her voice was a godsend, come back to revive the 90s, sultry and soulful. This single unfortunately, does not live up to its predecessor, frankly I just wanted more. The sharpness and clarity in her initial track is not evident in ‘Wanted More’, which resembles a butter knife after the wonder that was ‘Lost and Found’.

Though this track has lost the ferocity which initially mesmerised me, it remains a great song in its own right, but runs the risk of becoming musical wallpaper over time rather than being a centrepiece due to its repetitive nature. This is a great euphoric song, and the music video comes with great aesthetic too, I just feel unfortunately this song will only have a temporal place in my Spotify library.

For more on music see my track recommendation for Frances, or check out my playlist of powerful women!

Image via Warner Brothers Records

Portion 140

Here we stand

140 in numbers

but this means so little

when it comes to expression

compression

what can we say that has validity

in those three numbers

1

4

0

the art of language lost to us

brb

wtf

do all these expressions mean

compression

condensing

push me into a box

while I watch a blue bird fly away

language has no flavour

what is a meal when you stuff it in a blender?

baby food

tasteless

140 portions of grey matter

Are you doing it right?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of asking yourself if you’re doing it right at university. I find myself constantly asking myself how other people  appear to do so much. How everyone found the time to read the book this week plus the secondary research, and you see on Facebook they’ve been to the pub too? I can’t seem to find the time to do my shopping these days. Personally, I’m convinced some of these people are taking a leaf out of Hermione Granger’s book and have managed to obtain a time turner, and I want to know where the hell I can get one too.

I think if we’re all honest everyone has this paranoia sometimes. We’re told to work hard and play hard, but what about all the other bits? You can’t live without sleep, we’re all supposed to be little gym bunnies hopping away on treadmills attempting to get into shape, and somehow we have to find the extra time to do all the boring bits of life, like cooking and laundry and washing your hair. We all try to find the balance, but the frank Orange PNG image, free downloadtruth is, you can’t hold twenty oranges in two hands. Something that’s essential to remember is that people only show you what they want to present to the world. Someone’s Instagram doesn’t truly represent their life, its simply an imitation of it, seen through rose tinted glasses. They won’t show you the arguments, they won’t show you puffy eyes in the morning, or their pile of washing. We’re taught that our humanity, our inability to be on top of every item on our to do list, isn’t something to be shared. So we don’t share it. It’s important not to forget that when it looks like someone’s holding all 20 oranges in their hands, there’s probably several fallen to the floor that you can’t see in the picture.

Sometimes you have to realise it’s okay to take it slow. That’s what we need sometimes, just to close our eyes and breathe and forget about the rest of the world for a couple of minutes. Let everything fall away. Realise that the world will not implode if you don’t manage to read every last word of Marco Polo’s rather dull account of his travels. Realise that it’s okay if you stay up an extra hour tonight, because you’re laughing with your friends, you might have to have an extra cup of coffee in the morning, but it’ll be worth it cause you’re making memories. Realise that you can just put your hair in plaits tomorrow if standing in the shower for an extra ten minutes really isn’t worth the effort. Sometimes you have to be kind to yourself. The important thing to remember in these moments of paranoia is that, if you’re doing the thing that will make you happy in the long run, then it’s okay. Let’s rethink the work hard, play hard model, and reconsider that not one shoe fits all. Let’s just take a moment to breathe, and figure out what’s right for ourselves, as individuals.

Some thoughts on ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and Orlando

I’ll begin with a caution, if you’re looking for a lighthearted book which will make you giggle and send you on an escapist journey, then this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a book which will not only tug on your heartstrings, but rather rip them out through your throat, then make you eat them, then this is certainly the book for you.

This book has made me truly reflect on life. It’s a story I will carry with me through my day to day life. It just so happens that the most terrible tragedies in this book occurred just after the Orlando shootings. I was locked in two worlds of tragedy. I felt like a child re-discovering just how terrible and how utterly cruel this world can be. When you’re young, you believe the world can do you no wrongs, and the worst that can happen is that you’ll get shouted at if your sibling tattles on you. I found myself questioning if ignorance is truly bliss. If the knowledge of these terrible happenings is worth the cruel realisation that this seemingly beautiful world, whose winds gently kiss your face on balmy summer nights, is infested by parasites that mar this paradise and commit unforgivable crimesP1140032.JPG against one another.

I found myself feeling guilty that I have ended up in this body, in this privileged life. That for some reason, this soul, my soul had found its way to this shell that transports me from A to B in a country that is not ravaged by injustice.

When the Orlando shootings happened last weekend I was dumbfounded. This didn’t seem like something that happened in my world. There are no words to say how awful these ‘crimes’ are. I put the word crimes in inverted commas, because this act seems so much more than just a crime. When you abstract what has happened, it seems to be a far fetched idea out of some horrific storybook. Some evil plan created by a villain which will eventually be thwarted. However, in this story, as of yet, there is no complete resolution.

A Thousand Splendid Suns speaks for the women of Afghanistan, who endure and persevere despite continuous adversity. Though this book is undoubtedly devastating, it also sends a powerful message, that even ‘Hovels shall turn to rose gardens, greive not’. No matter how many times the world seems like an ugly place, flowers and life will persevere and will be found even in the darkest and most quiet corners of this earth. Life is not bad forever. There will always be a smile even on the darkest day.

This book has touched my heart, and has made me put my life into perspective.Despite small daily grievances, my life is good. My life is happy and fulfilling. I battle day to day with small demons which can be squashed with my big toe. I don’t climb mountains each day simply to survive. I am one of those lucky few. Though I am lucky, it is not my job to feel guilt. Reading this book has made reflect on and appreciate my life. In my reality, I can go where I wish, wear what I wish, I can stop and smell the sweet summer air. I can hear the song of the birds outside my window, rather than the whistle of rockets. I haven’t simply survived, or endured like some. I live. This is a book that forces you to reassess your life, and to find the beauty in a sometimes ugly world. Now and then everyone needs to read a book like this which grounds you, and makes you appreciate the warmth of the sun on your back, or the way the one you love laughs. Time and what you do with it are precious. Don’t let it pass you by, but savour the moments life sends your way.

Track recommendation

This track has a stunning simplicity to it. Frances’ voice has a gorgeous purity to it, that rings out clear like the light of day. My favourite part of this song is the initial minute, with no backing, just showing off the minimalistic beauty of her voice. This song feels like it’s over all too soon. This is a wonderful song about unity and the virtues of sacrifice. Listening to it gave me those tingly warming goosebumps that only grace your skin once in a blue moon. I also love the simple watercolour aesthetic of the video, but I’ll let the track do the talking, I hope you like this as much as I did.

Still looking for more great music? Check out my playlist of my favourite female artists and why you should listen to them!

Gym grumbles

Going to the gym is a painful enough experience in itself, but it is in no way aided by those who make it an even more traumatic experience than it has to be. There is one thing alone that really gets my blood boiling when I go to the gym. I’m talking about the people who though they might appear to be gym fanatics on social media, but in reality sit at the gym on the exercise bikes, doing little other than posing for selfies and browsing Facebook. If you’re more interested in watching Hollyoaks than working out then, please, stop hogging the machine and return to your couch at home and do what you are doing there. Instead of using up oxygen I am trying desperately to catch as I puff away on the treadmill.

Now, I want to make it very very clear that I am in no way slating people who are slow. I applaud you, going to the gym is hard work, and anyone who actually gives it a go is a hero in my eyes. I’m talking about the kind of people who when using that thigh machine that makes you feel like you’re in Dante’s 7th circle of hell, do one rep on the lowest weight, sit there for 3 minutes, do another, then give up, but instead of getting off and going home, use the machine as you might a bench in a park. They park themselves on it for a good 10 minutes which watching TV on their phone.

Another thing that gets on my nerves is when I see people wearing FLEECES in the gym. Firstly, the gym is air conditioned, it’s a normal temperature to wear just a t-shirt in, and secondly if you are doing any kind of exercise, then you definitely shouldn’t need to wear one. Like me, you should look as red as a postbox, and like your head should look like it might explode like an overripe tomato any second. If you go to the gym, then make the commitment, rather than using the place as a somewhere to carry out your own amateur photo shoot.