issue 22 - the art of giving (yourself) grace
self updates, dealing with critical thoughts, that new SG Lewis album, scenic sunset DJ sets, a history of NYC subway architecture and more
welcome back to FRESH! find us on insta @freshbywing ♡ have you looked up at the sky today?
housekeeping update! we had some interest for both keeping GUESTFRESH in-issue and as its own separate post, so we’ll try switching things up soon - stay tuned.
this section has been notably missing from the last handful of issues - truthfully, i haven’t been very sure what to write about the self. it’s a difficult topic to tackle, and even more difficult to put words and meaning to. there has been a lot of introspection and internal processing going on at FRESH HQ, which has been leaving me feeling vulnerable and wanting to cocoon away from the world.
i’ve also been having a hard time keeping up our posting schedule - i’ve been scrambling these past few Sundays a few hours before publishing to finish writing and polishing up issues. i really hope to be able to keep this up weekly, yet some weeks it requires overextending my limits and i don’t want to be hitting burnout on something i love creating. i’ll keep you all updated, if i do feel there needs to be a change in our regular Sundays. which brings me to one of our main themes today:
The Art of Giving (Yourself) Grace
namely, learning to give myself the same grace that i extend to others. it takes a very conscious effort to not be hard on myself or critical when i don’t meet my own expectations, like not keeping up with writing weekly. it doesn’t mean i didn’t try hard enough, just that i’m human and not a machine - i can’t expect myself to churn out the exact same level of output every week, when there are sometimes factors out of my control. some days, i need the feeling of proper, dedicated rest more so than i need the satisfaction of completing a creation, and i really should respect and tend to my needs when they start being very vocal. this has especially rung true this week - i’m writing this issue in bed because of muscle fatigue and body aches, and it’s been a big reminder to not take my physical health for granted.
this grace also applies to my choices; when i feel like i’ve done something i “shouldn’t” have, or done something that feels more aligned with a past version of self than that of my current one. there is no ultimate right or wrong decision in any situation, and what i’ve found more constructive than putting a value judgement of right or wrong on a choice (and beating myself up about said judgement after), is to simply see how i truly feel about it after. do i feel at peace with my choice? is the outcome something i can live with? even if i feel like i’ve “regressed”, does this satisfy a need of mine at this given moment? if yes, then it’s a justified choice.
FRESH: new music
AudioLust & HigherLove - SG Lewis
oh happy day, it’s time for a new SG Lewis album! AudioLust & HigherLove makes for SG’s sophomore album, after his debut release times back in 2021. the primary thought i had throughout my first listen was, “this is what i wanted an SG album to sound like”. with times, i found myself wanting to hear more of the indie and experimental touch that SG has with much of his discography - AL & HL quite makes up for that though, and i’m a very satisfied listener. for casual listeners, SG definitely throws in a few musical curveballs in here, which make for a very fun listening experience.
i’m currently bumping the non-single tracks off the album (as i’ve quite replayed the singles too much already and need to give those a rest), namely Holding On, Epiphany, Plain Sailing and Honest. that said, i knew from the moment it was released that Something About Your Love would be my all-time favorite SG song, and it remains so even after the other wonderful pickings off this album.
Baby Lay Your Head Down - Aly & AJ
Aly & AJ are back with their first offering of the year, the mellow and nostalgic Baby Lay Your Head Down! it’s giving a little throwback to the pop-rock sounds of Rush, and it’s the kind of tune you’d hear playing over a film-grain montage of burning down highways in a drop top car, hair blowing dramatically in the wind.
FRESH: live sets
i rediscovered this live album when i spotted a friend listening to a track from it on Spotify - truly baffles me how i haven’t fully processed its existence in the years since it was released in 2017, as this happens to just be my dream setlist. i happened to be in London the night this was recorded, and somehow didn’t attend… that won’t happen next time!
James Grant Bali Sunset DJ Mix
one of two fathers of progressive label Anjunadeep, James Grant returns with a scenic DJ set from the Balangan Cliffs of Bali, complete with stunning sunset backdrop. unusually, this set is chock-full of unreleased IDs from Anjunadeep - i’m already very partial to the ones at 18:50 and 1:10:50. also discovered this gem i missed out on from last September!
this is a quick 10 minute crash course on the architectural history of the New York City subway - lots of fascinating tidbits of info and visual design in there, plus eye-opening to see the original IRT map from the 1910s compared to the modern subway map of today. next time i’m back in NYC i’ll be giving even more visual appreciation to the mosaic designs on the walls of many (older) stations - i didn’t realize they were over a century old!
i’m off to get some more rest now - take care of yourself, and find a way, however small, to give yourself a little more grace today.
love in all languages,
alright, over to you now - hit up the comments section, or reply to this email with your thoughts! if you enjoy a little prompting:
what are you most critical of yourself about, if at all?
what routines do you have in place to keep up your physical health?
what does rest look like for you?
do you have a favorite live album?