issue 14 - (dreaming of a) white christmas
a new FRESH regular segment, thoughts about the festive season, travel reflections, very special albums, rowdy thrift finds and more
welcome back to FRESH! find us on insta @freshbywing ♡ grab yourself a mug of your favorite drink to enjoy with this issue - it’s once again, a long one!
the FRESH five
it’s about time for a new regular FRESH segment - today we introduce ‘the FRESH five’! this little intro segment will be for short lists of five things, to kick things off before we get into the usual, juicy, in-depth FRESH categories that you know and love. we may or may not skip this segment in future issues, it shall be a special surprise to open each issue and look forward to!
5 small things that have been sparking joy:
the first sip of morning coffee
watching purple flowers bloom day by day on the mimosa plants in the garden
soft, cozy plushie home slippers for the winter
starting the day with a clean desktop
finding a candle that smells like home
5 most played songs of 2022, according to Spotify Wrapped:
Your Love - Tourist
Love You Back - Madeon
Your Love (Jordin Post & Qrion Remix) - Qrion, Jordin Post
Return To A Place Called Heaven - Warung
(Don’t) Wake Me Up - Braxton
FRESH: playlists + self
it’s December and That Time of The Year again. the holiday season has quite the polarizing effect - some people dread it, some wait for it all year. i think it’s beautiful that it can mean something different to you and to me - whatever kind of month you’re bracing yourself for, i hope you find room between everything to breathe, take it all in, and check that you’re doing alright.
ever since my first white Christmas in New York, the holiday seasons haven’t felt the same without snow. i remember trekking to see the Rockerfeller tree in person for the first time so vividly, snow magically starting to fall around me as i took in the lights and the crowds. this year, i’ll be dreaming of a white Christmas - but i’ll never forget them.
Christmas for me has always been less about the presents and fanfare, and more about taking the time to celebrate, take stock of and reflect on the year past. doing a psychological wind-down at the end of the year feels fitting for the cold, and leads me into a new year with an optimistic mindset. that said, i’m still a sucker for Toffee Nut Lattes, seeing the glowing trees up around town, and wearing my festive tinsel hairband everywhere.
i have a deep, unironic love for Christmas carols and songs - the first play of Last Christmas every year is a very important moment, a tradition i’ve kept up for years now. i relish in all the iconic classics by the greats, but recently i’ve been expanding my festive musical palette. these bossa nova versions are perfect for Christmas on the beach, and i recently rediscovered this gorgeous album of relaxed jazz versions.
for the full Wing Christmas experience, enjoy this playlist with a pine candle burning and your fairy lights on.
Full Send Fall 2.0
i have a very difficult time summing up what certain experiences felt like, and meant to me - my travels certainly fall under that category. this Fall season, i was back in the US for the second year in a row - hence the honorary name. was it good? yes. was it bad? also yes. but i would hardly describe it as either.
what i can describe it in, is what it sounded like. i had the chance to dance, love, cry, drive, scream with these songs, with the best of company. i record such meticulous audio diaries in an attempt to preserve fleeting time, to make the small moments amount to something bigger. these 27 hours and 10 minutes are for me to share with you now - i hope you find something in there to remember, and to make new memories with.
FRESH: new music
Actual Life 3 (January 1 - September 9 2022) - Fred again..
Fred again.. has been a FRESH staple all year - no better way to close it off than with the release of his third album, and his magnum opus in my book - Actual Life 3. it’s very rare for an album to pop up, where i immediately resonate with every single song, thought and feeling (perhaps unpopular opinion: i still don’t have the same feeling about its predecessors, Actual Life and Actual Life 2).
this was the album i needed this year, to narrate my days and soothe my soul. with Fred having played so many tracks from the album as IDs before its release, it made the experience of hearing the album come together bit by bit so special. i was in tears all the way through my first top-to-bottom listen of the album - i think that about says it all.
i’m usually able to pick favorite tracks off albums, but it feels impossible to off Actual Life 3, when each song has genuinely already become a favorite of mine. i find myself gravitating towards particular songs at particular times, when each somehow becomes ever the more relevant and poignant. the only reasons these tracks aren’t all on my Spotify Wrapped are how late in the year the album dropped, and the fact that i’m very intentional about each time i play each song - they’re not put-on-repeat earworm songs, rather, let-every-note-move-through-your-body songs.
TLDR: this is a very special album, that has become incredibly important to me. please give it a listen if you haven’t already!
Warehouse Summer - i_o, Lights
speaking of special albums, here is another - Warehouse Summer is a posthumous release from progressive producer i_o, in collaboration with singer-songwriter Lights. this marks perhaps the last new music we will ever hear from the i_o project, a bittersweet sentiment that permeates this album.
a signature touch of i_o’s work has consistently been its unabashed exploration of mental health, which continues through Warehouse Summer, in tracks like Fever and Prayers. this is an album that doesn’t shy away from the bad and the ugly parts of our human psyche, when we begin to think and feel in complicated, contradictory ways. for that, Warehouse Summer holds great power in its truth.
currently, SuperMelt, Leave It and t9 are getting lots of airplay from myself.
FRESH: live sets
Air2Earth at Electric Forest 2022: full of progressive goodness as usual - peep that Myon and Shane 54 Summer of Love Mix in there!
RÜFÜS DU SOL x Beatport DJ Set - Live From Sydney Harbour 2022: caught this set live on Beatport’s Twitch stream earlier, excellent sunset cruise vibes from the boys here! also discovered this gem from the set.
FRESH: events and happenings
Printworks just announced the event lineup for its closing SS23 season next year, before its major multi-year renovation set to commence right after - will i be seeing you there back in London perhaps?
that initial Sunday Electric Forest lineup is looking exciting!
The Ugly Christmas Sweater/Jumper
i’ve never had much of a Christmas sweater collection, thought i would up my game this year with this rowdy, thrifted piece from Salvation Army. it’s a little scratchy on the inside, but still 10/10 on the cozy factor.
all my Brits - wink wink, if you’ve seen a Tesco/Poundland/Sainsburys/Iceland ugly Christmas jumper, please do send a picture my way. (for context, Lidl is a big supermarket chain in the UK and Europe that i have an affinity for from my days in London.) all my Americans - waiting for the Duane Reade/CVS/Target/Walmart version of this. and to my HKers - same thing with ParknShop/Wellcome.
hope you’re all jolly-fied after that issue! i’m very grateful that you are still here, to read and to listen. there was so much drafted for this issue that i couldn’t fit it all in - some of it will be in the next issue, so keep an eye out!
love and a merriest of festive seasons to you,
alright, over to you now! hit up the comments section with your thoughts, or if you enjoy a little prompting:
what does the holiday season mean to you? what feelings does it evoke?
how do you document and preserve your experiences and memories, if at all?
what album has been most resonant with your experiences this year?
which is your most powerful ugly Christmas sweater?
head over to freshbywing.com to catch up on past issues of FRESH, and find us on instagram!
Because the holidays coincide with the end of year it always feels like 'things' are wrapping up. The annual reboot is coming; the chance to revisit the past year, learn from it, and start planning how to make the next one better!
I love the tradition of making Wham! that first song--Last Christmas is a fave of mine, too!
Holidays for me is about my grown kids coming home for a couple of days (if I'm lucky!). It's about decorating the tree with all their childhood ornaments and being thankful for all the memories they hold. It's sitting quietly each morning and spiritually reflecting on Advent. It's wonderful candles and Christmas movies and music. It's a time to slow down.