Music Moment: Bleachers

Music Moment: Bleachers

“Your hand forever’s all I want

Don’t take the money.”


After watching a super stellar, informative video about 80s music (my favorite genre ever), I came across an artist named Bleachers. With just a sample of his music in the video, I decided to look it up on Spotify, half-expecting a sad excuse for an indie artist. Instead I listened to his entire album twice in one night and bought the CD the very next day.

I have been absolutely gushing about this album for the past two weeks. With it’s totally 80s synth vibes, the album is artistically complex and catchy. Without further ado, here is my brief analysis and review of Gone Now.

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This is Jack Antonoff’s (aka Bleachers) sophomore album. It was released on June 2, 2017. There are 12 tracks. The greyscale album cover gives an ambiguous vintage feel to the album (as does the royal outfit he’s sporting).

 

The album itself is an absolute whirlwind of emotions. The opening track is a mix of strange voices that reappear throughout the album. In many songs the essential 80s drum beat is very noticeable (particularly in “Don’t Take the Money”). The mellow ballads, such as “Nothing Is U”, are very telling of the deep emotional strain Jack was experiencing while writing the album. “Everybody Lost Somebody” is a surprisingly sad song, despite the upbeat pop sound. He speaks of loss (specifically the loss of his sister at the age of 18) and how it is necessary to keep moving on in life. “All My Heroes” shows how Jack can take a cynical point of view and put a new spin on it. Each track is a very intricately composed song that carries the weight of a new discovery in his life.

I think much of the reason this album resonates so strongly with me is simply because it completely, whole-heartedly channels 80s music. I absolutely adore the synth beats, the sprinkling of electronic trumpets, and the intense drum reverb that is repeated throughout the album.

The themes also make it very compelling, especially with the repetition of lyrics. He continuously speaks of heartbreak, loss, anxiety, excitement, change, and depression. His tendencies toward extreme emotions are prevalent in his songs, and I love that he channels them in bizarre lyrics and funky beats.

 

Fave song: Don’t Take the Money or Goodmorning or Let’s Get Married (there’s just so many great ones I can’t really pick!)

Least fave song: Foreign Girls

 

Overall, I give this album a 8.1/10 for aesthetics, flow, and content. While the lyrics can be somewhat confusing and peculiar, the messages he conveys are strong. I applaud his ability to bring back the 80s with a modern, indie pop vibe. I think it will be interesting to see where his next album leads him.

Bleachers, you’ve earned yourself a new fan.

 

KV

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Fashion Flashback: ’90s Sitcom Edition

Fashion Flashback: ’90s Sitcom Edition

Happy Friday et joyeux 14 juillet à tous!!! 🇫🇷

The end of another week means the beginning of another fashion flashback post. Today we are exploring the wonderfully bizarre decade known as the 1990s.

Ahhh, the ’90s. Since the turn of the century, people have been reminiscing on the nostalgic beauty (and horror) of the 1990s.

The style of the ’90s is definitely in a category of its own. From Friends to Fresh Prince, the style encapsulated in the classic 90s sitcoms is enduring even today. While each one of these TV series could realistically have their own separate blog post, I am going to attempt to briefly show you a few of my favorite ’90s sitcom looks.

  1. Saved by the Bell
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    I am not even lying when I said I spent my entire freshman year of high school trying to be Kelly Kapowski. And I constantly crushed over Zack Morris (yes, I know it’s kind of weird if you think about it. I mean, he’s like 25 years older than me). When it comes to the crazy fashion of this even crazier TV series, all of them have a distinct yet somehow relatable style. Whether it’s Kelly’s matching floral pieces, Jessie doubling up on denim, or Slater’s muscle shirts, there is something everyone can enjoy.

  2. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
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    Just hearing the name of this show makes me want to sing the theme song. Not only is the show itself so amazing, but it also has some great fashion cameos. See: Carlton’s preppy cardigans and plaid shorts, Will’s patterned everything outfits, and Hillary’s blazers with absolutely gigantic shoulder pads.
  3. The Nanny
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    Even if you had never before watched this show (and I’ll admit, I hardly have), you will automatically recognize two things about The Nanny: Fran Drescher’s distinct voice and absurd outfits. Yet somehow I’m still insanely jealous of her wardrobe.
  4. Full House
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    What. A. Classic. This show has such a variety of stereotypical 90s looks! I mean, really, the list goes on and on. DJ and Stephanie Tanner kept up the trend of floral and denim everything. Kimmy Gibbler made sure that scrunchies didn’t go out of style. Uncle Jesse was the cool (and extremely good-looking) uncle. Danny Tanner is, like, the ultimate dad. He has the dad jeans, the dad hair, and the dad jokes. And, like all other ’90s babies, Michelle rocked those overalls.

  5. Seinfeld
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    By far one of the funniest/best sitcoms ever made, Seinfeld definitely has some iconic fashion moments, including Kramer’s weird button up shirts and Jerry sporting all the Nike merchandise. Truth be told, Elaine Benes is actually one of my style icons. Her persona is so business casual/cool (maybe it’s just wishful thinking that I can pull off blazers with shoulder pads).

  6. F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
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    It’s no secret that the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. craze has been vamped up yet again with all the ’00s babies now watching it on Netflix. I can’t deny that I’m super jealous of how well Rachel and Monica pull off those mom jeans. I pretty much want their wardrobes. Even Ross has some killer looks in this series! And don’t get me started on the weird matching cast photos. This show is honestly probably one of the most well-known sitcoms ever, and it’s style is just a reflection of how iconic it was.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite looks from such an interesting era in TV history. So tell me, what are YOUR favorite ’90s sitcom looks? Are there any that aren’t on this list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

KV

Music Moment: Harry Styles

Music Moment: Harry Styles

As I sit in Barnes & Noble writing this blog post, Harry Styles’s album is on repeat throughout the store, as if they knew I would be here today. The smell of coffee + a good album + being surrounded by books? I’m in my element.

 

Mes amis, it is long past time for another album review. And what better way to get back on track than with Harry Styles’s debut solo album? Warning: Be prepared for lots of cliché, fangirl comments. (I will, however, try to keep those to a minimum.)

I think I can speak for almost all One Direction fans when I say that we held our breaths in hesitant anticipation for this album. And it did not disappoint.

Let’s start with the basics.

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The album cover has a light pink color scheme, which was a bit surprising to many. Rolling Stone had the opportunity to ask Harry what made this particular color stand out to him. Styles responded by quoting the Clash’s Paul Simonon: “Pink is the only true rock & roll colour.”

As for the content, there are 10 songs: the golden number for an album (in my oh-so-humble opinion). Not only that, there are essentially 10 different genres jammed into this one album.

Upon listening to the album the first time through, I had the thoughts of a skeptic. But after the third time it played (my rule of thumb), I fell more and more in love with Styles’ solo work.

Each songs carries a different atmosphere or energy. However, it all seems to revolve around a certain raw, vintage vibe. Whether it’s Beatles or Bowie inspired, not many up-and-coming solo artists can make an album filled with different genres of music. From the psychedelic opening track “Meet Me in the Hallway” to the alternative rock vibe of “Only Angel” to the acoustic, dark Jack Johnson feel of “From the Dining Table”, Harry has definitely not shied away from experimenting with his musical talents.

I think the reason this album works so well is partially because he is being completely open with his audience. As Styles says in his Rolling Stone interview, “I didn’t want to write stories. I wanted to write my stories, things that happened to me. The number-one thing was I wanted to be honest. I hadn’t done that before.”

And one could say he is being honest almost to the point of recklessness. His lyrics are a 180 degree difference from the One Direction days. Forget the happy, feel-good songs about puppy love. More risqué than ever, Harry is jumping onto the current music scene with a classic twist. He opens up about his personal experiences and life, discussing women, drugs, and relationships. From the sexy sound of “Kiwi” to the more subdued folk twang of “Two Ghosts”, each song is diverse and creative.

Favorite song: Kiwi or Woman

Least favorite song: Ever Since New York

Overall I give this album a 8.5/10 for aesthetics, content, and originality. I truly applaud Harry for his efforts in creating a style that is all his own. I love that he branched out and played around with his music. While I don’t think he has necessarily found his niche yet, I truly believe Harry is well on his way to becoming a future music legend. I cannot wait to his what he continues to do. And to those who are condescending or doubtful of this new persona… I don’t think this is the “new” Harry Styles. I just think it’s Harry Styles as he has always wanted to be.

Love you, H. x

 

-KV

Fashion Flashback: La Nouvelle Vague.

Fashion Flashback: La Nouvelle Vague.

Welcome to a new segment of my blog called Fashion Flashback! Considering how much I appreciate the art of alliteration, I think it only appropriate that these posts are to be published on Fridays.

Today I’m talking about a wonderful era still freshly imprinted upon my mind: The French New Wave. Known as La Nouvelle Vague, The French New Wave was a 60s cinematic revolution that continues to inspire and intrigue audiences today. Its influence can be seen in many modern movies, in the realms of both cinema and style. As a fashion fanatic, the style of the French New Wave is absolutely impeccable. And it is perfect for a summer look book.

Without further ado, here are some signature French New Wave looks.

  1. Black Turtleneck, Black Pants (Les Quatre Cent Coups, 1959.)
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    I know, I know. It might seem unrealistic to wear this in the summer (even though this is my go-to outfit in every season), but it’s time to take some style advice from a pre-teen. This kid is ridiculously cool, even with his one outfit throughout the entire film.P.S. Check out his style evolution that came with the usage of technicolor film! Still super rad.

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  2. Stripes. (À Bout de Souffle, 1960.)
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    165f8b2e40586176bfb127f90f5572eeJean Seberg captures the essence of vintage chic in this stunning dress. It is perfectly shaped and fitted. (And her adorable pixie cut only adds to the luxe of this look!)

    Seberg wasn’t the only French kitten (actually, she’s American..) to sport a nice striped something. Check out this trio in Jules et Jim (1962).

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  3. Effortless Cool. (À Bout de Souffle, 1960.)
    d51750f6048169d567e175daa1306d23cf0a538f4041dac3ca4d13e17f385ff8I would be completely amiss if I didn’t also credit Jean-Paul Belmondo for his trop stylé attire in this film. Attempting to mimic American actor Humphrey Bogart, Belmondo seems to put an irresistible French twist on an American classic.
  4. Rouge et Bleu. (Pierrot Le Fou, 1961.)f5f44d9582b1e0fff96694b56eb5cf311682753e3acbbd418b07700e2256c3ea36457db7cbe2ed47267db4a9097abb6fLet’s just take a moment and appreciate the costume designer for this film because all of their outfits are absolutely sublime. Karina and Belmondo compliment each other so well in these gorgeous nautical colors. (Not to mention the essential French colors!) The poppy reds and baby blues blend perfectly together for the spring/summer season.

 

While these outfits are decades old, they still hold with strong resonance today. Hopefully these 60s babes could inspire you to stylistically stretch yourself this summer. If you have any cute summer outfits, send them my way! I want to see what you come up with.

P.S. Stay tuned for next week’s exciting post. (Hint: Apocalyptic signs.)

 

À bientôt!

KV

 

Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking.

Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking.

Although autumn and winter are my favorite seasons, I cannot help but get spring fever as I walk outside on a beautifully sunny day. I figured I would share my fashion inspiration for this season. It might not be what you expect for such a bright season, but I am working on branching out. (This is something that is stylistically different from my typical all black outfits.)

 

1. Minimal.

I know that’s such a hip catchphrase nowadays, hence the reason I’m using it. This season is all about keeping it minimal! My personal look this spring is going to be grey + white (and black accents, of course).

2. Denim.

I can already tell denim is going to be HUGE this spring and summer! 1970s inspired jumpsuits are everywhere, and I can’t say I’m complaining. (Actually, the only thing I am complaining about is not being tall enough to wear them.)

3. Pastels

Light pinks, baby blues, and soft yellows. What a perfect way to welcome spring. Wes Anderson must be so proud.

 

I cannot wait for this season’s fashion! Let me know what YOUR favorite (or least favorite!) style trends for Spring ’16 are!

Until next time,

KV

 

P.S. All pictures are from Pinterest. Credit where credit is due.

Très chic!

Since I aspire to be a fashion journalist, I thought it only appropriate to write about my five most influential style inspirations. This is by no means my list of the most influential fashion figures of all time. (However, I would be interested in making that list if you are so inclined to read it.)

Disclaimer: My sense of style is highly volatile, meaning that my mood determines the vibes I channel with my outfit. So many of these icons are extremely opposite each other. However, my darlings, that is what makes fashion so fun. Enjoy!

  1. Posh Spice
    Posh Spice
    Sleek and stylish. Posh was always my favorite spice girl (and her style is still impeccable!) She was typically seen with a cropped cut, both with her hair and tops. She was also frequently seen wearing all black, making Posh Spice one of my style icons.
  2. Rachel Green
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    It is quite honestly embarrassing how many times I have watched an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. in order to draw daily fashion inspiration from Rachel. She puts 90s fashion in a good light, and I love it.
  3. Grace Kelly
    Grace Kelly
    Although quite different than the previous, Grace Kelly has given me so much fashion inspiration. Her elegance is uncanny, and I could only hope to be half as beautiful as her. She portrays the exact definition of her name. From her role in Hitchcock’s Rear Window (pictured above) to her crowning as Princess Grace, she has changed the way I view fashion.
  4. Jean Seberg
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    Her style is so simple yet so beautiful. I love her classic, basic looks. Also, this chunky turtleneck looks like one I own.
  5. Audrey Hepburn
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    I would be quite amiss if I did not state that I drew inspiration from my dear Audrey Hepburn. From her darling ’50s looks to her more mature ’60s fashion, Hepburn has done it all. Her love for lipstick and all things proper have propelled my love for fashion throughout the years. Thank you, Audrey, for being such a classy and lovely style icon.