Friday, 21 August 2015

On Song: Alessia Cara 'Here'

"Since my friends are here, I just came to kick it/ But really I would rather be at home all by myself/ Not in this room with people who don't even care about my well being/I don't dance, don't ask, I don't need a boyfriend/ So you can, go back, please enjoy your party/ I'll be here"

Being a 20-something millenial is hard. Bombarded by celebrity culture, FOMO and social media pressure, it's a constant battle to live a live that makes you happy without feeling like you're somehow doing it wrong. Like you're somehow not giving enough. Couple this with the pressure to instagram our every walking minute, climb the ladder of a stellar career while maintaing an exciting social life but of course be mindful of our ticking fertility clocks, and it's no wonder that instances of major depression and anxiety appears to be so rife amongst our generation. We simply cannot have it all.

We're expected to have stable partners to share our pinterest-worthy homes, and yet we're also frowned upon for not going out and 'enjoying our young years'. We're told to open savings accounts and get proper jobs, and yet travel and spontaneity is imperative. 'Nobody ever remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep' they say, or so goes the tumblr witticism. By why are the youth of today so widely criticised for having the sort of fun that doesn't require the cover of darkness?

It's a conflict so perfectly explored by 'Here', the debut single by Toronto's Alessia Cara. Sprawling over a classic Portishead sample, her wordly-wise approach to making music strongly echoes that of how it felt to discover Lorde and 'Royals', written at just 15 but with the celebrity culture completely tapped. At 19 years of age, Cara defy the stereotypical norms of what it means to be young, and the fact that there's a lot more to life than bad house parties. 

For everyone who enjoys a good drink but draw the line at drugs, for all those whose social anxiety forces them to be aware of their own limits at all times, for those who know to leave when the lights come on...heck, even for those who prefer bars and conversation to clubs and grinding sessions - 'Here' is a badge of validity. It's not a song that preaches or tells others that what they're doing is wrong; Cara has no problem with people living their lives, she simply asks for there to be enough room for people to be themselves: 

'And I know you mean only the best and your intentions aren't to bother me/ but honestly I'd rather be somewhere with my people/ we can kick it and just listen to some music with a message...So pardon my manners, I hope you'll understand that I'll be here'

'Here' is a song I wished I'd had in my University years - smart, incisive and a whole lot cooler than half the shit being played at these so-called 'hip' parties that 'went off' last night. It's the antidote to EDM, the cure for crunk, and it's gloriously badass for it. Nobody may remember the nights they got plenty of sleep, but nobody wants to remember every hangover either.

Monday, 27 July 2015

On Song: Drake 'You & The 6'

"Don't ever take advice\ that was great advice' You and the six raised me right/ That shit saved my life"

Drake has long been the man responsible for putting the heart into hip-hop, but nothing has struck me quite like 'You & The 6'. Taken from the 'If You're Reading This, It's Probably Too Late' mixtape, Drizzy is at his introspective best, penning an open letter to his mother that will resonate with anybody who overcame tough times growing up.

My own childhood was very lucky. I grew up with two loving parents, and didn't want for much. Still, I have seen single parent families be some of the strongest around and I love how Drake orchestrates that bond - the anecdote about her trying to set him up on a date with her Personal Trainer instead of all the celebrities he's used to is something most 20-somethings can relate to somewhere along the line. It's dismissed in typical Drake long-suffering fashion - "I know you wanna arrange it, you told me she's free Thursday/ And I'm sure that she's an angel, but she don't want this life"

I love this about Drake. At times, he's almost Shakespearean in his desire to stand in the way of his own happiness, revelling in his own frustrations while simultaneously believing himself to be the greatest thing in the world. It's the same dichotomy that makes Kanye such a fascinating artist - the complex battle between vulnerability and peacock-confidence in the face of the worlds media. By painting such an endearing portrait of his childhood, Drake displays the importance of both family and forgiveness - welcoming his father back into the fold, despite his mistakes: 'look how we're living/ I'm content with this story/ who are we not to forgive him?" Indebting himself to his city as much as to his mother, he contrasts the then-and-now perfectly for someone at his point in their career - one foot in the past with eyes firmly planted on the future.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Safety in Sound: Edit Radio Takeover

This week we've mixed things up at SIS towers by popping in on our good friends Edit Radio for a podcast takeover. Expect 40 minutes of editor Jenessa chatting about Made In Chelsea, american teen culture and selling cardigans to forgotten popstars on eBay.

The playlist was as follows:

Wolf Alice “Freazy” [My Love Is Cool]
Lapsley “Falling Short” [Understudy]
Julio Bashmore featuring Sam Dew “Holding On” [Single]
Brand New “Mene” [Single]
Misty Miller “Happy” [Single]
LA Priest “Oino” [Inji]
The Maccabees “Marks to Prove It” [Marks To Prove It]
Summer Camp “House Party” [Beyond Clueless OST]
Billie Marten “Heavy Weather” [Single]
Mini Mansions feat. Alex Turner “Vertigo” [The Great Pretenders]

To listen to or download the podcast, check the link here -