I moved into my new home over a month ago now. I live with three of my dearest mates; two from Lyric Deep Ltd. The musical atmosphere has got me inspired, in both my own creativities but also in devouring others’. I want to use this newsletter to talk about some music I’ve been loving recently, as I’ve been listening to a lot of it.
We decided not to get Wi-Fi at our new gaff, for sake of saving pennies, and finding it pointless as we all have mobile data and good signal. Since I don’t have that connection, I’ve been much less inclined to put on the telly or watch anything. I haven’t used streaming sites nearly at all. I have attempted to get through an hour and a half true crime documentary for about three weeks now.
So this all means my Spotify has been showered with attention, my speaker has had a permanent companion in my phone, and my room has been filled with the eclectic mishmash I’ve been dawn-till-dusking. Here’s a few artists, bands and songs that have been keeping me going.
Britney Spears. As always. This woman was my queen through childhood, and I’ve always had this deep rooted love for her. It was hardcore re-sparked in recent months and I’ve had her on repeat. Blackout was always my favourite album, but it’s been replaced by Britney. I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman has always been a piece I turn to in moments of wobble, yet every tune on this album offers legend. Bombastic Love, Lonely, What It’s Like To Be Me. From her junior album Deep In My Heart gets me bouncing, Thinkin’ About You shows off her true vocal talents. The list goes on, but I often chuck my playlist with Britney’s whole discography on and go about my day. She feels like a friend and inspires me a lot as a woman.
Uncle Chris’ self titled album gets slipped on when I’m feeling in a less diva-like mood, with songs like Green Eyes and Lavender finding themselves repeating. Dance Fever by Florence + The Machine has blown my bloody mind in recent discovery. I really rejected this band and their music for years, caught up in a petty rage that people my age thought Miss Welch sang You Got The Love without crediting another of my queens Candi Staton. How naive I was. Florence is awesome. Dance Fever is one of the best albums ever. Love, love, love. Back in Town, Girls Against God, The Bomb, Morning Elvis; all my favourites. But every song ticks a box. Really a work of art and passion and vulnerability. Billie Eilish’s song TV has me by a choke hold. So does Hozier’s Shrike and Harry Styles’ Adore You. Pop does do it right sometimes.
One of my favourite genres ever is country music. I realised recently that it offers me a healthy escapism due to its total juxtaposition in parallel to my lived experience. I also adore the die-hard dedication country fans have to their music. They go so hard for it. They want to protect and preserve it. I think that’s beautiful. Chris Stapleton I just adore. I remember his Traveller album being one of my favourites when I was around sixteen. Now I’m crazy about Starting Over. You Should Probably Leave, Whiskey Sunrise, Watch You Burn and When I’m With You are all great songs from it. Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You by Brooks and Dunn slaps, so does their Boot Scootin’ Boogie and Play Something Country. I love My Heart by Ronnie Milsap; the lyricism is divine. Why Don’t We Just Dance by Josh Turner makes me fall in love. I Can Help and Look What You Done by Charley Crockett are so good. My mate showed me Langhorne Slim and he has some amazing songs, particularly on his Lost At Last Vol. 1 album. And so many more, but these are some new country songs and artists I’ve been really enjoying.
Living in London means I get the honour of meeting so many talented people. Serena Kaos and her song Shout, Rhyan Jordan and his song WONDER WOMAN, Lucy Lane and her song I’m Not Coming. Pressed by Tianna. Obelos’ EP Green Giant. Neyya’s Sunsets. Gabriela Eva (her song Hey is still one of my favourites ever). Cosmic Arcade are awesome. Ni Maxine! Her song Strange Love is gorgeous. Knowing these are people I’ve just chatted to outside pubs, in my yard, at jams, and they are all so talented and just fucking doing it, feels like a privilege that’s easy to let slip by. But it means everything. So does being in communities that inspire and encourage effort, opportunity and success. Not everyone gets that and I’m grateful I do.
There’s also changes in regard to what I don’t listen to. I used to have rap on repeat, but recently I’m not reaching for it that often. The same applies to Kae Tempest. They are still my number one but I don’t feel this pull to their music right now like I used to. Alice In Chains was all I would play last year and I haven’t listened to them for ages. I’ve been through every phase, genre, style, scene… I love music. My tastes in it are fluid. I see artists like friends; some are old mates who are always there but don’t need constant reassurance of favour, others are new on the scene and require a more steady stream of attention. Others come and go. A few are permanently blocked off the playlist forever. All served a huge purpose in making me who I am. A lot transcended just being noise to me, like all the emo and scene bands when I was twelve which really got me passionate about the music I listened to (I’d like to name a certain figure but if you know anything about these crowds, you know you have to be a super fan of every bloody band in Kerrang to qualify). Or like Marilyn Manson when I was thirteen and his influence on how I viewed oddity and embraced my own. Like Amy Winehouse when I was fourteen and how she blew my heart and brain to pieces. Like Dolly Parton when I was fifteen and her unabashed glory in glamour and creativity. Like Frank Sinatra when I was sixteen and how I was transported to another time, with another perspective on music and another outlook to explore. Like Kae Tempest, when I was seventeen, for fucking everything. Like Kae Tempest and the power they had to be my eighteen’s figure as well (I probably bought their house for them the amount of streams I’ve given). Like Seeed when I was nineteen, for allowing me to explore my German half with pure zeal and excitement that a band this good shared my two components: English language and also German roots. For the eclecticism that started to spread again at twenty, with shuffle dominating. Like Alice In Chains who suddenly made me obsess over one band again for months on end at twenty one, like I hadn’t done for ages. I have a million and ten different musical inspirations, but these stand out as they fundamentally impacted me outside of my headphones. And they couldn’t be more different from each other. I’m turning twenty two next month, and the music that is most exciting me at the moment, is my own.
Living in a house with my band mates, which means fellow musicians, is refreshing. There’s a constant atmosphere of artistry. Music is always playing, either from our own fingers or from speakers (even if it’s just me playing Britney on repeat for hours). Other creatives are in and out all the time. It’s loving and open.
We played a gig on the 11th September at The Moustache Bar in Dalston. Even though the band was split, with just me on vocals, Meg on bass, Jack on guitar and Alfie on a last minute Cajun addition, we played the headlining spot in the line up and put together a thirty minute set. We started with a new song, That Poet Is Forever, then ran through the EP half-acoustically, adding music to The Brain’s Strangeness also to serve the gig. All our fucking amazing friends come along and I can’t explain how good it felt to look out into the crowd and see the people that mean everything to me looking back. I can’t thank them all enough. That wasn’t just thirty minutes of my life; that is an experience that will carry me through the whole of it. I’m still buzzing off of it and it’s nearly been a week ago. I am really proud of what we make together. It’s art that I have no shame in sharing. On that stage, I felt so confident. Afterwards I watched some of the videos back that people took, and couldn’t look at them, however. I thought I looked fat and ugly, thought I spoilt the whole thing with my flesh. Ridiculous, init? This amazing experience squashed by vanity. It’s taken me the week to get over these feelings and just say Fuck It. But the overwhelming rush of insecurity that came after a huge milestone in my life just reminded me what really matters. What is important are the things people said to me after the performance – about my ability, not my body. I even got compared to Shakespeare! One friend hugged me and said I’m going to be famous. Another said how proud she is of me. Two said it’s even better in person than it is on the record. Someone said what we’re doing is so unique and new. A few cried. I opened up to my dear friend about my insecurities recently and he said, If everyone says you’re beautiful why do you think literally every single one of them is lying? It’s a great point he raises. I want my focus to be purely on who I am as a person not what I look like. Being able to share videos and photos of this gig is the start. I don’t need to be stick thin in order to be worthy. My poetry isn’t better if I’m five kilograms lighter. My voice won’t change. My friends won’t suddenly prefer me. I’m working on a thirty-minute video of the gig to share on YouTube. I won’t let this bullshit hold me back anymore.
We have another gig booked for the 29th September, which I will share on Instagram when I have more information on it. The on the 27th October 2022. It’s at Roadtrip and The Workshop in Old Street. I can’t wait to get on stage again. I can’t wait to share what matters most to me, even if my insecurities try to rival this! The link for the tickets is on my home page.
Being able to play my On Repeat playlist on Spotify and have my own songs be in that means the world. We have nearly 1000 streams for the EP and that is just crazy. I hope one day Lyric Deep Ltd is included in someone’s list when they are discussing their musical inspirations like all of those incredible artists are in mine. Music heals. It changes the world. It is so important. And I am so grateful I’m part of it.
WIAEA (What I Am Excited About):
Song: You Don’t Have To Worry by Doris, Kelly – My friend showed me this song and I am just so in love with it. It has this retro feel to the sound of it; this simultaneously 60’s and 90’s merging that is wicked. The lyrics are so tender and honest. Everyone I’ve played it around since has loved it. You know it’s a good one when they bypass Shasam and go straight to “what’s this?”.
Book: No Modernism Without Lesbians by Diana Souhami – I love non-fiction, historical/factual and biographic books the most. This one explores four lesbians that had a huge impact on the arts during the twentieth century. The writer has fun writing it; you can just tell. She is so slick in her wit and retelling. The stories she is sharing as well are so important.