issue 02 - out with the new, in with the old
musings about slow-cooked soup, the return of the queen of hyperpop, a blast from televisions past, the taste of blueberry nights and more
i’d like to start this issue off with something i mentioned in our previous issue:
Our Obsession with New Newness
we live in a society that loves, and values new things. new things to put into our eyeballs, into our eardrums, on our body. new places to go, new friends to meet, new trends to follow. if it’s not new, it’s yesterday’s news, deemed irrelevant and unimportant. while such consumerist culture seemingly allows us to live and experience more in a lifetime, is more New Newness what we really need? when you weigh the consequences of environmental impact, perpetual workaholic culture, content creation (and consumption) burnout, something about it just doesn’t feel entirely right.
though, there is a more sustainable way of thought and of consumption emerging, highlighting the concept of making the old anew. thrift-flip videos showing the process of DIY alterations breathe life back into old thrifted clothes, turning them into on-trend new pieces akin to those in the storefronts of fast fashion stores. instead of single-use plastic, large corporations are pivoting to using foodware made of post-consumer materials, or ones that are biodegradable.
just because something has been used before, exposed to the eyes of viewers, thought of by philosophers past, said by someone famous once - doesn’t automatically make something useless in the context of today. newness is all in the perspective of the beholder - of whether you choose to regard yesterday’s happenings as old news, or whether you revisit them with fresh eyes and discover something entirely new in the process.
i love the idea of Old Newness. these days, i find myself more and more inspired by, and more engrossed in my experience of ‘old content’, than newly released ones. as a very overarching generalisation, i’ve found old content to feel more authentic and soulful, where you can sense that it was crafted over time from a genuine place of wanting to create, not rushed (nor bothered) in its making to keep up with changing trends. it feels like tasting a family-recipe, simmered-for-6-hours-over-low-heat soup, rather than one straight out of a can. that is not to say there haven’t been any good releases recently that feel authentic and soulful as well - you’ll find some fantastic ones right below. (also not to say that trends are inherently terrible and not worth being inspired by - a discussion for a future issue again i think.)
to celebrate Old Newness, this issue will include objectively old content and old news that i have recently found anew, deemed FRESH-worthy and entirely relevant!
FRESH: new electronic
Love Letter - ODESZA (feat. The Knocks)
something good is in the air this week, because this track is the best of both worlds! over the last five to ten or so years, both ODESZA and The Knocks have each respectively been carving out names for themselves on the modern electronic hall of fame, and to see them team up finally is a dream come true. both duos teased their collaboration earlier this week, and the result is a wonderfully blended track incorporating each of their distinct sound styles. breakbeats keep the track very on-trend as a 2022 release, and the glitchy-electro drop is very reminiscent of Summer’s Gone-era ODESZA with a touch of classic The Knocks funk - a spot on mix of new and old inspirations!
Love Letter is the third single off ODESZA’s upcoming fourth solo album The Last Goodbye, which they have been steadily drip feeding details about - and finally revealed its release date as July 22nd, mark your calendars! what a gorgeous cover art it is indeed (i’d expect no less from them!). you already know FRESH will be doing a feature/review/excitement-ramble of this when it’s out.
Renegade (Oliver Remix) - Kavinsky, Cautious Clay
speaking of best of both worlds scenarios, this remix is another one for sure! Oliver have been very quiet on the releases ever since they transitioned from being a duo to a one-man-band back in 2019 (and i have been mentally willing them to make a comeback ever since). remixing the synthwave legend himself Kavinsky, Oliver puts their signature funk-electro twist on Renegade to create a surefire banger that will make you groove in your seat. (look out for a more in-depth run-down of Kavinsky’s new album next issue!!)
FRESH: new music
CRASH - Charli XCX
Queen of Hyperpop Charli XCX is back with another album! in very true Charli fashion, the collaborations and features on tracks are once again of stellar choice, including fantastic vocal features from Rina Sawayama, Christine and the Queens and Caroline Polachek. on the production side, A.G. Cook’s breadth of production style shines on Crash and Every Rule, and Digital Farm Animals shapes Beg For You into an instantly catchy anthem.
tracks off Crash that i was pleasantly surprised by:
Yuck - just the type of synth-heavy, bouncy summer groove that i love! objectively, this track sounds like it should belong more in Dua Lipa’s 80’s-inspired Future Nostalgia or Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1 than in the more experimental sounds of Crash, though this style of track does feel experimental in terms of Charli standards and her signature hyperpop sound.
Used To Know Me - it feels a little surreal to have Charli as vocals on a track with a classic UK house sound (crafted by Dopamine). also a best of both worlds scenario in my book!
(edit: the four extra songs on the deluxe edition of CRASH, so fresh they could be in their own separate EP!!)
Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen it All) - Lorde
Lorde was kind enough to drop a mid-week music video for Secrets from a Girl in time for this week’s issue! this track was and is still one of my favorites from Solar Power, and i’m very stoked to see it get the visual treatment. nearly all the music videos from Solar Power have featured either beaches or nature as a scenic backdrop (fitting for the album’s organic quality and themes), and this one is no different. present day, Solar Power-era Gardener!Lorde dressed in a chill-day hat and sunflower t-shirt, takes a stroll along the beach with her sidekicks - Pure Heroine-era Child!Lorde in a dainty white ensemble and signature purple lipstick, and Melodrama-era Lover!Lorde in a feisty fire engine red pants and top combo.
they take turns singing verses of the song, before launching into a perfectly co-ordinated dance routine and topping the fun day off by chilling on the couch together.
as a long time listener, it’s quite gratifying to see all three album eras personified visually together - as i’m sure it is for Lorde herself. over nearly the past decade or so, i have grown and experienced so much alongside Lorde’s music. maybe it’s also time for me to pay a visit to Child!Wing listening to Team on the bus home, getting tired of getting told to throw her hands up in the air; or to Lover!Wing at the Barclays Center in the middle of a heartbreak, hearing Lorde sing live for the first time, shouting the words in time to Supercut. after that, i think i’ll get back to current Gardener!Wing, tending to my plantlings with California playing in the background, and holding my past selves in my heart with fondness.
Lorde’s personal email newsletter, The Solar Power Institute Bulletin, is also a very fun read - you can subscribe to it here.
Talk - beabadoobee
saw this track on my friend Joey’s story earlier in the week and had to give it a listen! beabadoobee’s newest musical offering is a ton of fun - Talk is the first single off her upcoming album beatopia, and sounds straight out of 2000s-era pop-rock. such a satisfying hit of nostalgia! excited to see how the rest of this album shapes up after a very promising start.
check out the music video also for bea’s super sparkly silver dress, big fan of the style choice 💯
for the springtime
for those of us in the northern hemisphere, spring has officially sprung! i have been enjoying the not-hot-enough-to-be-warm weather more than i usually do this year, it feels very appropriate vibe-wise for a transitionary period. to celebrate the season, i dug this playlist out from my archives and have been putting it on whenever i have the urge to really feel that Spring Fever.
for even more fresh musical picks, check in with this playlist - updated at least weekly!
FRESH: events and happenings
this year’s EDCLV lineup, is simply, stacked. if you’re undecided on going, just go. if you’re going, p l e a s e enjoy Air2Earth under the electric sky for me.
FRESH: film and tv
My 80s TV!
on a wee corner of the internet lies My 80s TV!, an initially unassuming setup of a 80s-era television on a black background. but just wait until you turn it on! It functions as close as you can probably now get to one back in the day, randomly selecting different ‘channels’ (Youtube videos of actual broadcasted footage) for you to watch. want a specific genre of 80s? you can customise your channel selection on the right sidebar, and also select your year of choice on the bottom navigation. i’ve been having a blast ticking ‘Music’ and ‘Gameshows’, jamming out to gems i’ve missed out on and getting overly engrossed in contestants doing a 5-minute mad dash around a supermarket with a trolley picking up as many gigantic frozen turkeys as they can.
created by Joey Cato, the site also boasts working televisions from other eras, one for each decade from the 60s up until the 2000s. take your pick of nostalgia and enjoy the show!
My Blueberry Nights (2007)
one late night, whilst in my feelings and stuck on which film to put on (and temporarily escape reality), i did a quick Google search of Wong Kar Wai’s filmography to try and find something i hadn’t yet sampled, and came across this gem named My Blueberry Nights. i’ll let you discover the plot yourself, but the impressive star-studded cast includes Jude Law as a perky NYC cafe owner who bakes delicious blueberry pies, Nora Jones as a lovelorn waitress by day, bartender by night, searching for her place in the world (who also happens to sing on the soundtrack!). Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman also make an appearance in captivating roles along the way.
though eclipsed in the film sphere by the critical success and popularity of Wong Kar Wai’s other more well-known films, such as In The Mood For Love and Chungking Express, this romance-drama has earned itself a special place in my heart. i am a sucker for any romantic flick with a little angst, beautiful cinematography, set to a tasteful soundtrack with a happy ending - this one certainly ticks all the boxes.
while it took a little adjusting to see Wong Kar Wai characters hopping around coast-to-coast in the US instead of around Hong Kong, and speaking English instead of Cantonese as they usually do, the essence of Wong’s directorial style completely shines through, no matter the narrative setting. i feel a particular kinship to the film because of this, as a Hong Konger who has also lived her own stories in the US.
safe to say, i am ever more fond of blueberry pie after watching this, than i already was before. i can already smell it and feel the ~blueberry vibes~ just by putting the soundtrack on and reminiscing on the film. *sighs contently*
if you’re craving some light-hearted, pie-related romance on the small screen, give Pushing Daisies a watch.
Oodle Doodle Beads
speaking of reinventing the old anew, i’ve been adding a little personalisation to some old beads, which i otherwise wouldn’t have used in my pieces. i am very particular about the types of beads i use - i usually don’t use pure, plain black beads, nor any other color of bead if it doesn’t give off the right feeling.
i’ve had a bunch of these black gems stored in a zip-lock at the very back of my crafting drawer for a good while now, after specifically sifting them out of a mixed grab bag of gems, with the intention to never use them. then, along came a silver metallic permanent marker, and my doodle-prone hands could not help themselves. each gem only has so much space to draw on, but having added silver detail makes enough of a difference that they end up passing the bead selection test.
here’s one of the end results of my bead-flipping, the WAKANDA FOREVER earrings! these are each made from three of these doodle gems, with the swirl motif on both sides. perfect for you and Shuri to wear to Coachella (or any other fun event of choice).
[a picture of Mad-Eye Moody should go here, yet i have written so much in this issue that i would be going over email length limit if i put one more picture in, alas.]
learning to not personalise and internalise others’ thoughts, views, actions and behaviours has proved to be a very challenging part of my self-development journey. i have these recurring patterns of spiralling thoughts in response to (seemingly negative) reactions from others, they go a little like “did i do something wrong? was it something i said? now i am a bad person. maybe i should do this thing to fix it.” it feels like being in a state of hyperawareness and constant vigilance (a la Mad-Eye Moody).
the process of unpacking these thoughts has involved delving into my past experiences, of where i initially started to form these thought patterns in response to situations i was in. after being able to identify a place where they came from, it becomes (slightly) easier to objectively separate such thought patterns as they occur in relation to present-day situations, and to reassess whether there is truth to those thoughts.
very often, it turns out the fault is on neither side - others’ behaviour towards you is often not a direct result of something you did or said. in the moment, it’s easy to loose sight of the fact that others also have intensely complex internal worlds and learned patterns of behaviour and responses from their past. it’s been very freeing for me to acknowledge that it really isn’t always about me, to keep empathy in mind about each of our histories, and to lend some grace to others, but also ourselves, about thoughts and behaviours we might not be proud of having.
Rich White Men Dancing To EDM
i can’t stop watching this clip of Elon Musk (in Berlin at a Tesla factory opening celebration) dancing to a song i never imagined he would dance to, Walking On Water by The Knocks and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (a fab collab track from earlier this year by The Knocks again, with another of my electronic favorites TEED). something about it is so amusing and jarring, to see worlds you wouldn’t expect to collide, meet in the middle. what would you rate Elon’s dance moves out of 10?
seeing this reminded me of this other (fictional) Rich White Man, also vibing to EDM with questionable dance moves. maybe Baron Elon and Baron Zemo should meet for a dance-off sometime in Madripoor. (credit goes to my friend Jon for giving Baron Elon his lovely name)
ever since this entered my eyeballs last year, i have not been able to listen to Came For The Low without immediately thinking about this, and i don’t think i ever will. and i’m perfectly okay with that fact.
hope you enjoyed this trip through some oldies but still goodies, let me know in the comments what oldies you have also been enjoying!
love in all its forms,