My Favorite Albums

favorite albums

I’ve only really been into music for the last two or three years. Before that, I basically just listened to whatever popular music was on the radio – and then I had a (really pathetic) epiphany and realized that I kind of hated most of it. All those overly-catchy melodies, the trite lyrics – it all started to sound the same, and I was sick of it. So I set out to find music that I really loved (my discovery of Spotify helped with that), and it’s a project that I’m still working on (one of the artists featured in this post I found just two weeks ago). I’ve discovered that I really don’t have a definable taste in music, since there are some pretty crazy outliers, but most of it veers toward alternative, some folk-ish, some more electronic. And since I love music so much, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite albums, and a handy Spotify playlist corralling a few of my favorite tracks from each. (Also, I don’t listen to playlists, I just listen to albums on repeat, so this made sense. And if this were a list of my favorite songs, it would be very, very long and you would get bored,)

Mondo by Electric Guest // I think Electric Guest will always be one of my favorite bands, and that’s partially because they were really the first group I found when I started looking for music I liked. Now years have passed and my favorite song off the album, Waves, has been on a bunch of commercials (that only sort of drives me crazy) – and I still turn to their songs when I crave familiar sounds.

My Rocks are Dreams by Psychic Friend // I think this album is so cool – it’s not really weird or crazy, but the vocals and piano on every track are unexpected. It’s soothing without being boring, and over the years it’s become my soundtrack for fall – so come September, you can expect I’ll be listening to this on repeat.

Beneath the Skin by Of Monsters and Men // I realize these guys are pretty popular, but I only started listening to them this year, and I was seriously missing out before then. Both of their albums are so, so good, and I’ll often just keep their latest one playing as background music.

San Fermin by San Fermin // I just discovered this group a few weeks ago and I’m a little obsessed. I’ve listened to Sonsick easily a few hundred times, and I’ve yet to get tired of it. The whole album is sort of perfect – it’s kind of folk-ish but not so rustic. And I love the album art (I’m guilty of judging an album by its cover).

Sylvan Esso by Sylvan Esso // I first heard Coffee on the radio late one night and instantly fell in love (thanks NPR!). I listened to the full album soon after and there isn’t a song on it that I don’t love. Listen to it now, and thank me later.

Racine Carée by Stromae // Everyone listens to Stromae, yes, but I’ve heard a ridiculous number of interviews with him and I think he’s such a cool person and a great artist. There are songs you can dance to and then some less happy ones – Tous les mêmes and Formidable will always be my favorites for their lyrics, and if you haven’t seen the music video for the latter – go check it out.

Shrines by Purity Ring // This music is pretty different from just about anything else I’ve heard – it’s heavily electronic, modern and cool. The lyrics are strange but poetic – Fineshrine is my favorite.

St. Vincent by St. Vincent // So everyone listens to St. Vincent, and if you don’t, you should. Her songs and lyrics are just so good and unique. There are upbeat, catchy tunes like Birth in Reverse and Digital Witness, and then Prince Johnny, which is beautiful and a little heartbreaking.

San Cisco by San Cisco // I discovered this band about a year ago after hearing their delightfully creepy song Awkward, but only recently thought to check out their other songs. Their first album is full of bright, summery tunes, and I’ve been listening non-stop.

Here’s the link to the Spotify playlist.

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Best of the Web

best of the web

1. Dino Love // Public service announcement: I’ve found what is perhaps the cutest statement clutch, ever. (And it’s black so it goes with everything.)

2. C’est Français // I totally love these cute (and timely!) French news cartoons – they’re for children so the language and topics are simple enough. I’m going to start watching them regularly to keep my French strong (use it or lose it, right?) – won’t you join me?

3. Wanderlust // I’ve had an especially strong desire to travel lately, and Bri Emery’s snaps from all over Europe are definitely not helping. Dreaming about a trip to the Netherlands right about now…

4. Thug Kitchen // This has been my go-to website/cookbook for a while now – besides their hysterically profuse cursing, all of their recipes are vegan, simple and (almost always) totally delicious.

5. Weekday Carnival // This one I’m most excited about – Weekday Carnival has long been among my favorite blogs (it’s my favorite interior design/decor blog, no question), and Riikka is back to blogging after a year-long hiatus! Go over and check it out now.

6. On Repeat // Have you listened to Of Monsters and Men’s new album yet? If your answer is anything other than yes, I’ll give you a minute to pull it up on Spotify. Listen to it now. I’ve listened to it on repeat for about 4 hours every day since last Monday (is that crazy?). It’s that good. Every song is perfect. (Be sure to give their equally fantastic first album a listen too if you haven’t already.)

7. // Following through with one of my summer to-dos, I’ve started meditating using this app – and I don’t think I can recommend it highly enough. 10 minutes of guided meditation has become my favorite way to start the day, and something I look forward to.

8. What’s in a Name? // I got sort of lost in this rabbit hole of a website one day, and found this post particularly fascinating – it actually gets cooler the further you read. (And I’m sure you’ve seen this already, but it reminded me a lot of this Time interactive, which, admittedly, I spent way too much time playing with.)

9. Inspiring Notebooks // I kind of hoard notebooks, and I definitely don’t need any more (I have enough unused ones as it is), but I’m totally in love with these that I saw on Instagram. Not sure what I’d do with them, but they make me happy!

10. Kaftan Crush // If I had room in my closet for a kaftan, I’d probably pick this one – maybe because it’s my favorite shade of yellow, maybe because it has such delicate and beautiful embroidery…or maybe because it’s the same colors as the Swedish flag.

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Summer To Do List

summer to do list 2

I always have really high expectations for the summer months – and they’re always at least mostly met. Last summer, though, was probably my favorite to date (with the 2 week trip overseas), which makes it pretty hard to top. So, since June is here and the start of summer is right around the corner, I came up with a little list of things I hope to do this summer – some chores I’ve been avoiding, others are more fun – to make sure that I get the most out of the season.

1. Read 15 books.(read 10) 2. Binge watch a new series.(Game of Thrones!) 3. Clean and organize my office. (finally did this!) 4. Start meditating. (it’s not yet a habit, but I’m getting better at it) 5. Actually start a little scrapbook-journal-photo album. (nope) 6. Gather inspiration in one place. (how is it that I couldn’t do the easiest ones?!) 7. Exercise at least 3 times a week. (I got up to 4-5 times a week!) 8. Find an awesome new dessert to make. (coconut cornmeal cake – recipe here9. See a play and go somewhere for live music. (saw two Shakespeare plays and went to a small picnic + concert while on vacation) 10. Learn conversational Swedish. (well, I knew I wouldn’t be as far along as I’d like, but I’m getting better! still trying to make studying a daily habit)

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