09. talk too much

++ WE TALK ABOUT HOW TO DRESS LIKE A GROWN UP WITHOUT LOSING YOUR EMO-KID-EDGE

OH, do I have a song for you.

COIN

Guys, honestly, my roommates must be so sick of hearing COIN’s song Talk Too Much — like, over and over, on repeat.  It’s a bop!  Check it out here.

cropped-dots-red.jpgTHE VIBE: BABY PINK BALLOONS, DISCO BALLS, GIRLS IN SKATER SKIRTS, FERRIS WHEELS
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Tell me how much you love it in comments, k?  You’re welcome. Now, let’s talk FASHUN.

So lately I’ve been thinking a lot about “grown up Leah”.  Like, who is that? And, more importantly — what does she look like?  

For most of my life I worked really hard to be edgy.  I was desperate for the world to know I was “different”, though too scared to embrace full on scene hair and snake bites.  As a result, my wardrobe consisted mainly of band t shirts, various colours of skinny jeans, and a lot of scarves that, for some reason, I always wore indoors.

Getting older — not to mention moving to the city — has really inspired me to step up my look, but I don’t want to lose whatever small amount of badassery I was able to cultivate as an angsty sixteen year old.  Edgey rocker vibes are key, but so is looking like a grown up (and one who deserves a job).

The best fashion advice I ever received came from my lovely mother, who has always told me “whatever look you choose, make sure everyone knows it’s on purpose”.  So if you’re rocking blue hair, don’t let it look like you dyed it in your kitchen sink — even if you did. If your jeans are ripped up, make it high fashion, not like a kid who scraped their knee on the playground.  I-woke-up-like-this is a carefully constructed look, not an excuse to roll out of bed and into life — y’know?

So with this in mind, I’ve been compiling all my rules (er, guidelines) for dressing like a grown up… but, like, a cool grown up.  

🔴 Nails on fleek.  I love dark nails — and black nails (short + square are my fave) are a great way to add a bit of edge to your look… as long as they’re not a mess.  I do my best to keep my nails painted, because I think it really pulls things together.

🔴 When in doubt, stick with black and white.  I know it’s not the most exciting option in the world, but monochrome looks are so chic.  When I don’t know what to wear I love a baggy white blouse — tied at the bottom, of course, to give a bit of pin-up flair.

 

🔴 Best foot forward.  I love my converse and vans as much as anyone, but they’re not exactly the most polished look.  I like a cute loafer, anything point-toed, or chunky heeled booties; they can all convey your inner badass, but they’re also grown up.

🔴 Accessories are key.  If you think your outfit is a little bland, throw on a necklace (or 5), some cute hoops, or (my personal fave) some badass rings.  Throw a leopard print coat on over your all black outfit, or a cute colourful scarf. Lipstick is also an accessory, if you ask me.

 

🔴 When in doubt, Paris is always a good idea.  It’s just a fact: french girls do it better. They have effortlessness down to a fine art, and somehow they can make even the simplest outfit look badass.  So if you’re not sure where to start, might I recommend googling “Parisian fashion” or “how to dress like a french girl”.  Here’s a couple of french beauties to get you started:

 

And you? how do you step up your fashion game?

(notice that I wrote a post about a new subject — HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IT?  this has been a long time coming tbh, and I’m excited about it.)

08. unamused

++ ACTUAL NEW MUSIC (I’M ON THE CUTTING EDGE FOR ONCE)!  PLUS, WE DISCUSS MY TERRIBLE EATING HABITS.

it may still be freezing out, but at least the sun was shining today — and at least I got to hear some new songs from my boys in Made Violent.

Okay, hear me out — I know this particular song came out a while back as a single.  I loved it then!  and, now that their latest EP squeeze is out, I can officially say it’s my favourite track of the five.

That being said?  I’d recommend you listen to all 5 for yourself, because they’re all perfect.  Seriously — they have a very cool indie rock’n’roll vibe that reminds me of the Strokes.  Great for throwing on some big dark sunglasses and heading out for a stroll.

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THE VIBE: VINTAGE RAY BANS, BLUE AND YELLOW BEACH SHACKS, STEALING A KISS, GETTING CAUGHT SINGING INTO YOUR HAIRBRUSH.

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Anyway, that’s what I did this morning after ordering a fucking belgian waffle to my house because I have no groceries (as always) and everything was closed for Easter.  Then it was off to campus to work on a group project — but it wasn’t all bad news, because we ordered a pizza to the computer lab and had a lovely little easter feast.

 

 

The holidays are really about the food anyway, am I right?

 

 

04. peach

My boy Leo, new tunes from waterparks, and of course the superbowl halftime show (because I’m relevant…..right?)

Happy super bowl sunday, pals!

I have spent my entire day avoiding my responsibilities and watching confusing Leonardo Dicaprio movies (Shutter Island, which tbh I didn’t find that confusing but apparently the internet did, and now Inception, which let’s be real, doesn’t make any sense at all).  I’m taking a break from this epic marathon to watch the halftime show and eat some chicken wings, because that feels like the right thing to do.

During the approximately 10 minutes of studying I did today I threw on the new Waterparks album, Entertainment, and honestly I am in love.  Truthfully I’ve found these guys to be a little hit-or-miss in the past (I’m obsessed with the songs I like, but the songs I don’t… well, I just don’t).  So far though this album has me hooked; I’m into it.  And Peach (Lobotomy) is especially fun.

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They also just have such a strong aesthetic, and I can’t pretend I’m not a sucker for aesthetics.

ANYWAY, now that my love for Justin Timberlake has been officially reignited and the underdogs are #thriving (right?  I think that’s what’s happening?  I don’t understand football.) I think it’s time for me to throw on a face mask, make a cup of tea, and get down to business.

Please please please share any and all thoughts you may be having on the halftime show, the new waterparks album, or literally anything else!  I would love to hear from you.

 

angsty basement vibes from joyce manor.

I have discovered some of my favourite bands of all time by going to a show where I only know one or two bands in the line-up.  I always just assumed that was the point in having a thousand opening bands, ya know?  So when I headed to the Joyce Manor/Wavves joint headliner at the Danforth Music Hall here in Toronto, I had high hopes.

KROQ Coachella House 2015 - Joyce Manor
source: x

I’ve loved the California sun-drenched punk vibes of Wavves since high school, but even though their name came up more than once, I never really got around to checking out Joyce Manor.

It turns out that was a mistake.

As soon as the band took the stage I could just tell this was a band that meant something to its fans.  It wasn’t a guilty pleasure band, or the sort of music you put on in the background when your friends come over — this was poetry, and it was moving.  Emotionally and physically, tbh, because I also could not stand still for their whole set.

Reminiscent of Brand New (though I hate to say it what with the latest news about Jesse Lacey), these guys had all the fun emo vibes with just enough maturity to make you take it seriously.  So YES, it is confirmed, you need Joyce Manor in your life — like, yesterday.

my faves:
Constant Headache, Angel In The Snow, Over Before it Began, Catalina Fight Song

check their spotify here!

party on with party nails.

Truth be told I had a feeling I’d love Party Nails as soon as I read the name.  PARTY NAILS, guys.  It sounds so fun — and it is.

I love a good new female artist to obsess over, don’t you?

 

Party Nails is fuelled by a lot of electronic beats, but at its core I can hear the influence of old school rock’n’roll — even if it’s mainly in the form of a devil-may-care attitude and a badass vintage wardrobe.  The songs drip LA sass and demand that you dance along.  So what are you waiting for?

The song One by One will make you feel like you’re dancing along to the credits rolling over your own personal movie, while Come Again (the title track off her 2017 EP) is sexy and sweet.  My personal favourite, though, is still So Broke — “one day I’ll make it from the record I wrote // right now I’m so damn broke”.  Isn’t that the eternal artistic struggle?

If you’re into Charli XCX or Now, Now, then you need Party Nails in your life.

Like, yesterday.

check out her Spotify here.

xoxo

6 of my fave albums of 2017.

 

Well friends, they say in the blogging world authenticity is key, and it wouldn’t be authentically me if it weren’t a day late, am I right?
Technical difficulties abound, but IT’S OFFICIAL, I am HERE, and I am so excited about it.

I have tried a thousand times to write a “here is what my blog is about” transitional paragraph, but it’s… hard?  so why don’t we just start with this:

if you like winged eyeliner, sleeping in, and every emo band that was popular in 2009… then we’re going to get along just fine.  So grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and let’s chat about the best albums of the year.

 

paramore: after laughter after_laughter_paramore_album_cover

I’m not exactly an unbiased reviewer anyway, but when it comes to Paramore, they can do no wrong.  I have loved every phase since the angsty heavy rock of 2005’s All We Know Is Falling, right up to the synth-fuelled 80s inspired bubblegum sounds of this year.  There is officially something for everyone in the Paramore discography!

I think it’s safe to say they’ve been showing their “dark side” for years now (what is it about having a woman centre stage that makes everyone so shocked by angry songs?) but this record really shows the complicated interactions between emotions; no song (or person) is really just sad, or angry; it’s a good reminder, a valuable lesson, and an epic fifth release from my all time favourite band of all time ever.

harry styles: self titled 220px-harrystyles-albumcover

I’ve never felt any guilt over my abundant love for Harry Styles, and this album proved it was worth it all along; it’s dynamic, deep, and full of bops.  A vintage, indie vibe and lyrics that will leave you scouring tabloids for any mention of Styles (IS he having a baby?!) make Harry’s self titled album an incredibly strong debut.  Is it getting too wild to compare his to Fleetwood Mac, or even Neil Young’s Harvest Moon?  Yes?  Sorry, I’m doing it.

If you’ve been studiously ignoring this album on the premise of Harry’s association with One Direction (and your superior music taste — boy bands?  ick!), it’s time to get on board.

the maine: lovely little lonely 8f19652ce9eb91baaea98b5a7f677650

I’ve always respected the way the Maine can change their sound at the drop of a hat without losing what makes them so… special.  This album sounds totally different than any of their previous work, but somehow it’s still just distinctly… them.  I love love love the upbeat pop-y songs (Bad Behaviour, AM I RIGHT?), but I’m a sucker for a bit of melancholy too, and Taxi really delivers.

Oh, and those interludes???  I am here for the interlude trend.

you me at six: night people 220px-ymas-night_people

I distinctly remember the day this album came out, because I spent an hour wandering aimlessly through my neighbourhood listening to it.  It is intense.  I’ve loved ymas for years, but even I was starting to forget about them until Night People came out.  At the risk of sounding like my dad, it just… rocks.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  I swear Josh’s voice gets deeper and more.. growly?  with every album, and I am NOT complaining about it.  If you need a soundtrack to an epic party, or maybe just an angry stomp around the block, look no further.

 

the front bottoms: going grey front-500x500

If you follow me on instagram you may have already figured out how I feel about this album.  If not, I will tell you: I love it.
Putting this album on is like seeing a friend you haven’t seen in a long time.  It’s not exactly ground breaking, but it’s familiar, and sweet, and well put together, with just enough evolution to make things interesting.  Plus we all know the real beauty of the Front Bottoms is their oddly specific and yet somehow totally relatable lyrics, and Going Grey has no shortage of those.  My personal favourite song is Peace Sign.  

neck deep: the peace and the panic 600x600bf

Okay so we all know the generic pop-punk bands all sound the same.  I get it, you’re way too cool for that…  but, like, I’m not?  And this album has some great tracks on it — some of which even introduce a little something different.  This album mostly made the list because of the song In Bloom, tbh — I must have listened to it a thousand times this year, and I’m still not sick of it.  Between that and 19 Seventy Sumthin’, I think this record deserves to be on the list.

 

++ of course, a few honourable mentions:
all time low: last young renegades
halsey: hopeless fountain kingdom
sleep on it: overexposed

There was no shortage of bullshit this year, but 2017 did give us some pretty epic tunes, and this is in no way a comprehensive list.  Where were you jamming this year?  And who are you most looking forward to hearing from in 2018??