issue 07 - to love, and be loved back
where the responsibility of love lies, new summer grooves, the anticipation of unreleased music, mac'n Cheetos, the calm in chaos and more
welcome back to FRESH! find us on insta @freshbywing ♡ give yourself a pat on the back for how far you’ve come.
we’d like to give you a housekeeping update first: we have just launched our paid subscription tiers, and our first paid issue will be going live this Friday!
going forward, paid issues will arrive on Fridays and will have a short preview of content if you are on a free subscription. free issues will continue to arrive on Sundays, though they will be shortened in content and length.
what will you gain from a paid subscription? on paid-only posts, we will delve deeper into the current FRESH areas you know and love, and explore topics we might not usually cover in a regular issue. you will also have access to exclusive discussion threads on the site. with a FRESH founding member subscription, you will also have a personal shoutout on every FRESH issue, and the option to request themes or topics for future issues!
why a paid subscription? simply put, i’d like to be able to put food on the table, and continue creating for you. like any other creative endeavour, writing takes an immense amount of time and effort. in the long term, i will only be able to realistically continue FRESH if it is a source of income, and i really hope to be able to do so. this newsletter is very dear to me, and i hope it has become special to you too.
our paid subscriptions start from USD$5 a month: we’d like to keep writing as accessible as the price of a coffee ☕
you can manage and upgrade your subscription right here - thank you so much for considering a paid subscription, and we appreciate your support.
last issue we did a bit of digging into our reasons to love, so let’s expand that self-reflection thread a little further. this post from Margeaux aka @softcore_trauma came up on my explore page the other day, and it was quite enlightening about the notion of self love:
the post proposes shifting the responsibility of love from the individual to the collective, to focus on changing cultural patterns and cultivating a society where being loved is the norm, not a privilege or a coveted rare experience. in essence, to love, and to be loved back - regardless of our ability to or progress on loving ourselves. i’m fascinated by this concept, and it’s such a breath of fresh air from the sometimes overwhelming expectation from society to make sure we love ourselves first before loving others. though self love still is incredibly important, it is but one part of the problem. there is a wider systemic issue of us not feeling loved by one another, so how are we supposed to be able to cultivate healthy patterns of self love when we don’t know what that looks or feels like? i don’t have the answer to that question, but one way i hope makes a small difference is sharing my love, and making that known, when and where i can - like i do here on FRESH.
FRESH: new electronic
Love You Back - Madeon
speaking of love, this one has been a very long time coming! Love You Back was first teased as an unreleased, unfinished, live only track as part of the Good Faith Live tour for the Good Faith album back in late 2019 - in the time since then, Madeon has teased the track in DJ sets, and it has grown to having a full stand-alone portion in the live show complete with visuals. its official release was finally (sneakily) announced at the end of Madeon’s Coachella set two weekends ago, with a QR code that flashed briefly on screen, and here we are now with the full, complete song!
(i love the anticipation and experience around unreleased music - the end result is so much more special and satisfying when you finally listen to it in clear studio quality, it feels like something you’ve patiently earned the right to do.)
it’s been such a wonderful journey to witness and hear the song’s growth over the past few years, and grow alongside it myself. from the moment i first heard it at Good Faith Live, the track gave me that unexplainable, touched-something-in-your-soul feeling, and the final version definitely still does the same. i’m revelling over the fact that the song is a little reminiscent of old Madeon circa his 2010s era (i’m thinking specifically of Shuriken from 2011), has a touch of the enthusiastic spirit of 2015’s Adventure album, but is still firmly rooted in the sonic style and themes of the Good Faith era.
what gives Love You Back that magical touch and sparkly glint in its eye, is a feeling of retaining its youthful innocence in tandem with a sense of wise, frank wisdom. the lyrical verses in Love You Back are parts of the song that have never been teased before, and they are a pure delight - i really wasn’t expecting to love them this much, but they’re possibly my favorite parts of the song now. they do feel like the integral, missing puzzle pieces between the initial unfinished version and the now complete song. subject-wise, the song explores the concept of star-crossed lovers who were once, yet no longer can be together. despite this, the song champions a rose-colored view of their past, a gentle acceptance of their present reality, and an optimistic outlook of their future to come. it is a perspective of someone who has experienced past hurt and sorrow, yet has chosen to not let it harden their heart and make them spiteful; to instead stay in a space of hope and faith, and look back on the past with fondness. and really, that is the crux of the philosophy i aspire to approach my life with - yet another reason why i love this song back.
Slow Wave - Ben Böhmer, Gordi (The Blaze Remix)
i know i’m sounding like a broken record by this point about Anjunadeep, so get used to it because as long as they keep releasing great music, i won’t stop talking about them!! the remixes are slowly rolling out for Ben Böhmer’s 2021 album Begin Again, and this one welcomes French duo The Blaze for their first Anjunadeep release - super exciting, they’ve been creating wonderful downtempo electronic for quite a while now, and seeing them team up with Böhmer just musically feels so right.
The Blaze brings Slow Wave into a slightly more upbeat, charismatic territory than the original. it sounds like that one scene in every coming-of-age film: windows down, wind whipping through your hair, cruising down the coastal highway at sunset, feeling like it’s the most alive and freest you’ve felt in a long time.
Out of Time - The Weeknd (KAYTRANADA Remix)
one of my favorite tracks off Dawn FM gets a mellow, groovy spin from no other than KAYTRANADA, just in time for all your summer memories! special mention to that cover art and typography, it’s so so sleek and oh so retro-wonderful. it went straight into this playlist of mine - i practically have this on shuffle all summer long, feel free to blast this for your own summery purposes! and of course: happy early start of summer, from your resident summer baby!!!
FRESH: live sets
Madeon DJ set @ Sacré, Paris
it’s no secret that Madeon throws down one of the best DJ sets in the electronic scene time and time again. i recently worked my way through this particular set that he played in Paris late last year - it notably doesn’t have his usual accompanying visuals during the set, though with an immaculate setlist like it has, it really doesn’t need anything else. enjoy the front row view from this recording!
Cheetos Mac’N Cheese - Bold & Cheesy flavor
every now and then, i make the trip to a little store in the basement of a shopping centre on the other side of town, which i’ve dubbed in my head for the longest time as “the American supermarket”. i go to stock up on American comfort food and snacks that you can’t commonly find in Hong Kong, but i always find something new and interesting there that i haven’t tried before. this time around, it was this:
i had no idea Cheetos produced other things besides Cheetos puffs, and i LOVE any kind of mac and cheese, so this was a no brainer to try. the verdict: a solid rating of Interesting, the Cheetos cheese flavor packet adds an unexpected tanginess to your usual mac and cheese. the suggested recipe was to add crushed up Cheetos puffs as garnish on top, though i’m not sure i would enjoy that combo…
Ah, Yes, Drilling
these past few days, an upstairs neighbour has started renovation work on their apartment. it sounds like they’re doing a full bottom-up transformation - there has been full-on drilling, smashing and banging. under usual circumstances i would’ve been quite annoyed at the constant noise distraction, yet this time around i found it oddly soothing. there’s that concept of needing your external reality around you to match your internal reality in order to feel balanced, and this works both ways i’ve found - when my surroundings are quiet and peaceful but it’s loud and unsettled inside myself, i don’t feel comforted or at peace. it was fascinating how i had that “ah, yes” reaction to hearing the drilling, it felt like having external validation and concrete evidence for the way i felt inside. sometimes there is peace in silence, but sometimes there is also peace in chaos.
i also came across this Instagram post that has been helpful as a grounding practice, to get back into the feeling of your body, instead of being up in your head. maybe you’ll find it useful too!
i’ve still been feeling a little uninspired to create new jewelry lately. and that’s okay, there is ebb and flow in the creation process and with your creative juices. there’s been some technical hiccups too with blingbywing.com having a security issue and being unaccessible that i haven’t figured out how to fix yet, it’s been frustrating and adding to my lack of motivation to keep working on bling 😣 though i know it is nothing i can’t handle and work through, and thank you for your patience about this also if you’ve been unable to access the site - here’s an alternate link for the meantime.
that said, here is a custom piece i made recently for a trade with Marissa - chunky beads and charms make me really happy when working with them to construct things.
with all this talk about love, i’m trying to lend myself a little of that too about being “behind on schedule” with this issue. it’s the first time i’ve needed to last minute finish writing the issue on a Sunday right before sending it off to you all, and i’ve felt anxious thoughts swirl up around it, though i know it won’t be the end of the world even if an issue isn’t finished up in time. maybe we’ll go into a little about putting pressure on yourself next issue.
take care and feel the love around you,