What Is My Happy Place?

happy

Howdy!

As promised in my post of Alison Wonderland’s album review, I’m talking about my happy place.

I actually had some issues when it came to putting a title together, I kept second guessing myself with saying either “what” or “where” is my happy place, because for many people out there, that exact place may not even exist. Maybe at one point of time, but it’s not there anymore.

So what is mine? It’s kind of like asking what my ideal day would be, it’s a hard question to answer. For most people, they’d probably say it would either be outside with the cats or sitting in front of my laptop, blogging, tweeting on end and I can’t blame them for automatically assuming those statuses, but it’s far from the truth.

As you may know, I love both history and music a lot. I do a massive amount of research for both topics on a weekly basis, because I am so interested in them, but not a lot of people know the back stories of them though and why I won’t exactly go to school for either subject, and that’s what I’m going to be discussing in today’s post.


First off, history. I’ve always been into various areas of history since elementary school. I remember learning about Pompeii while I was in third grade, we were given these little magazines and our teacher allowed us to look through and it had dinosaurs in it – this was before scientists were brave enough to tell us kids that they are more related to birds, and so had feathers! Anywho, it also had a section about the burnt bodies of both Pompeii and Herculean. I wasn’t allowed to watch too much gore-y stuff on TV at this time, but something about this was fascinating to me! I cannot tell you how many documentaries I’ve watched over the years about this one event.

I’ve never really been interested in learning American history. In my defense, having to take history classes every year was a little annoying! It was forced down your throat and it never became fun until I hit both of my sophomore and junior years of high school. I had World History and U.S. History, and even though we only had two weeks to learn one section at a time, I actually had pretty good grades in both of those classes!

Now you’re probably wondering how did my obsession for the British royals come about? Well, I like to throw the blame at my mom because she loved Lady Diana Spencer and still hates Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall! Honestly though, I wasn’t really interested in the royals as a kid. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I watched The Other Boleyn Girl and I was really curious about these early royals. At the end of the film, it gives you little pieces of information of what happened next and discusses Queen Elizabeth and it placed an “I” after her name and I did not what that meant and I kind of got curious about who was the second Queen Elizabeth and that’s how it happened!

Now let’s talk about the music part.

I had different family members trying to influence me in some way, but I don’t think anybody wiggled their way through the maze better than my mother! Since she was a teenager in the 1980’s, she was into the early days of hip hop and so I was given N.W.A., The Notorious B.I.G., and Salt n Pepa at a very young age. I was very much into West Coast rap music  because of her. She also got me into Mariah Carey and Prince too. So it was a whole array of different music coming and going whenever I was around her.

The runner up of the pack would have been my papaw. I have a lot memories of him listening to his fairly large stereo system in the living room. My nana hated it because he would have the volume up pretty loud, Christmas at my grandparent’s was interesting from time to time because it was sort of a tradition to have a Stan Kenton holiday album playing as everybody was unwrapping their gifts, but towards the early 00’s, his stereo suddenly stopped working altogether. He always said something was broken. He used to have a LOT of records, mostly of Stan Kenton, but he also had some Nat King Cole in there too, which I’ve always found interesting but in his defense, my papaw liked playing the piano so he generally wanted to learn to anybody who was good at that specific instrument.

Once I was in school, I was always influenced by what my friends were listening to, which is probably how I got into the boy bands. I actually don’t remember how I came about the Backstreet Boys. And I usually remember everybody’s origin story if you will, so the fact that I cannot figure it out is weird to me. Anyways, once I hit the end of high school and discovered the joy of rock music, I really dived into the genre as a whole and since I had nobody else, that was really telling me to check these bands out, I really got to do the learning all by myself and in those five years, I can safely say that I respect the pioneers but enjoy the modern rockers and different subgenres.

So these are my happy places, discovering new music for not only myself but for other people, which is one of the reasons why I was so into the idea of adding “music” to my normal routine on here! As for learning and speaking about different parts of history, especially the royal department, I am getting more comfortable about discussing it online but not exactly on here yet. That’s why I enjoy creating different themes with History Of Royal Women, because it’s a place where I can truly be out in the open with myself. They both have ways to keep me happy and distracted at times too!

What is your happy place?

snowflake

Album Review: “Awake” by Alison Wonderland

27867580_10157216706016562_560513093906138311_nI found today’s artist back in the summer of 2016, I really wanted to find more female DJs, as I was getting to the bottom of Krewella’s music library on Spotify and I basically made it my mission to find more female based music, and with that I found Jes, Brooklyn, Helena, NERVO, Anna Lunoe, Magda, Gina Turner and finally Alison Wonderland. Apparently Australia has a fairly large selection of female DJs because half of that list above, is made up of Australian women!

Alison Wonderland, whose real name is Alex, released her debut album “Run” back in 2015. I’ve been loving the crap out of it since I discovered it, truth be told, out of all the albums I put into my female DJs playlist on Spotify, it’s the most played and no, I’m not joking! So when I found out that she was releasing a new album, I was so excited! It’s hard to describe her music in general. I’d say it’s trap mixed in with some chill music too. It’s been a nice balance so hopefully this album, titled “Awake” will be somewhat of the same of her last record, but I’m also hoping for something different too.

We start off with “Good Enough” and already we have this like circus-y type of sound in the introduction, and then we have this very orchestral element added on top of it. If you didn’t know, she was trained playing the cello, so this could very well be her in these moments. I actually love it, because for one it’s short and sweet, but it keeps you entertained and wondering else is coming. Second is “No” and something else you’ll notice with her music is that these are sung by her unless told otherwise. This song is very different, besides sounding like a regular EDM song, I kind of get this vibe that it’s ideal for the summer that’s fast approaching here! It’s fairly mellow and surprisingly, I really like it too.

“Okay” is the third track and we have a totally different sound, it has this out of the box quality that I’m always looking for, but it’s also quiet in a way. The beat and lyrics don’t sound too crazy, you still get a nice groove and it’s well-balanced. It’s good. We move onto “Easy” and without playing into the actual word too much, it’s a nice easy going type of song. I like the fact that you can actually hear the lyrics in this song, because the beat itself is very laid back, more like pop oriented. I’d consider that a good thing to all of my hardcore EDM fans out there! If it’s released as a single, it could do well on mainstream radio stations. Next we have “High” and it features Trippie Redd. I vaguely remember listening to this once when it first came out, but I quickly turned it off because I wanted to save it for this review! This is a little cukoo, and I say that in the nicest way possible! It’s very chill, synthpop-ish too. It’s very bass-y though and I really enjoy that, everybody loves a good bass drop and this has it, but the entire track has this ominous vibe that adds an edger element that I also love too.

Next we move on to our first of a matchup with another fellow DJ, this one is “Here 4 U” and it has BLESSUS in it. Honestly, I thought it was “High” because in the beginning of this track, it continues that same chill beat, so I thought we were still going but then I noticed that the male vocals had changed and I realized we had really moved onto another track entirely! I really like this one, it’s more upbeat and has this trance-like sound to it, which is interesting because this isn’t her style at all, so maybe this is BLESSUS added twist to it. It’s really good though. We now have the song that signaled that she was releasing new music, “Church” and at first, I didn’t like it because of the light sound she was going for with this track, but as I’ve been listening to the others, I actually like it a little bit more. Since the beat is so dimmed, you can really hear the lyrics and possibly the meaning behind it, so I’m glad I’ve changed my mind about it.

The eigth track is “Cry” and again, I am loving the lyrics and I have to say there’s nothing wrong with men crying! Anyways, this has summer-y based vibe, at least when we entered the choruses, it was the first thing that popped into my head. I don’t usually like music that is released close to or in the middle of summer that sounds like the season, that was one of the reasons why I didn’t really like Imagine Dragons’s new album! Since this is like the second track that is giving me that type of vibe, I don’t necessarily hate it too much! Now we go into one of my favorite tracks ever! “Happy Place” is next and weirdly enough, I’ve been listening to it so much that I think it’s inspiring me to write about my happy place on here. This track is everything that got me interested in Alison Wonderland in the first place. The bass, air-y vocals, and just fun atmosphere while listening to it. It’s awesome!

Tenth is “Good Girls Bad Boys” and when I saw this title, I was very intrigued on what this would sound like, especially after such a banger like the last one. I actually like the pop-y beginning and the slow build to the actual beat itself. It kind of has this urban feel to it, with the usage of record scratches, to be quite honest, it just brought me back to what dance music used to sound like, which was a little weird at first, because it actually starts off sort of modern, and then ends in this backspin of elements of hip hop and techno. I thought it was cool! Next we have “Dreamy Dragon” – I love how DJs title their songs. You can never really know what you’re getting after reading something like that, but this features rapper Chief Keef in it. Again, we have a very modern, light take to this track. I had a hard time not dancing to it, that’s all I can say about it!

We’re almost done, we’ve entered the last three songs, while one being an interlude called “Hope” and the best way I can explain interludes is that they can be an extra introduction to the next song or a short track in general; they’re usually under a minute long. Next we have another matchup track called, “Sometimes Love” this has SLUMBERJACK on it. This one is kind of milder compared to the other one. The bass drops are nice and it keeps me dancing and in a good mood all throughout, so that’s a plus! I didn’t really mesh with it the first time I heard it, but the second time around was better! Lastly, there’s “Awake” and this starts off very chill and I thought this would be a good idea to end the album like this, but then I started to realize in a way I was eating my words in a way because usually I enjoy bangers in the beginning and ending, but maybe my tastes are changing the longer I do this? I don’t know, but I really liked the gentleness of this song.

So now that we’re finished, I have to say I was fairly surprised with this record. It wasn’t anything that I thought it would, but honestly I liked being proved wrong. I like surprises when it comes to some of my favorite artists and bands. I will admit though, I actually haven’t listened to “Run” all the way through, I’ve always made plans of doing it, but something was there to distract me so thankfully I decided to put it on review list so I can finally say I’ve listened to an Alison Wonderland album! I know I’m a sad individual, but it’s a proud moment for me!

Have you listened to Alison Wonderland’s new album “Awake” yet? What did you initially think about the record as a whole? If you enjoyed it, do you have any favorite songs yet?

snowflake

Tune Tuesday | Australia 2016

tunetues2016

Hey guys!

We’re back with another week and we’re talking about Australia!

I love my Aussies! You guys have some good music! I honestly had two acts that I was going to talk about, but I changed my mind and switched them with two others that I’ve been listening to lately! Maybe you’ll get the previous two for next summer? Who knows!

Australia is starting to climb up my music list, which is sort of difficult considering I’ve got like three other countries that have been doing the same. I’ve been finding a lot of electronica music coming out of Australia, like it is insane, but in a good way! One of the DJs I want to talk about is Alison Wonderland. My memory is a little fuzzy on how I exactly found her music, but I think it was after the announcement for Diplo’s Mad Decent Block Parties dates came out last year (she’s on the line up again!) and the she was the first one listed. I thought it was two guys trying to mock the whole Alice In Wonderland concept and then I found out it was a girl, named Alex and it totally threw me off! At this time it was late March or mid-April and I decided to check out her music and instantly fell in love with it. If I didn’t know any better, I think she’s the one who turned me onto trap music!

Back in 2014, I was starting to break away from rock phase, I had spent five years just basically finding and educating myself on every rock and heavy metal band I could. I think it was July of that year that I literally tried to find new stuff to get myself to stay into it all, and the band Parkway Drive was one of the last acts to get onto my list before the end. They’re a really good band! I started listening to them while I was using my sister’s Pandora account. I was hooked! Last year, they released their new album Ire and I’ve love the song “Crushed” a lot. It seriously makes me so freaking happy!

Do you know any more Australian music I need to check out? Let me know!