Monday, June 8, 2020

May Playlist | 2020

Another month behind us, another playlist post! May was a big blur, to be honest. Things started to look up here in Skopje, so it became a little bit more acceptable for us to see our friends, while still maintaining a distance and sticking to the protective measures. Personally, it was hard for me to "step back into the real world" because I'm a very weary person by nature, and I'm always cautious about what I do and how I act, especially in an extreme situation such as this one. Music was a big part of this month just like the previous one, I used it as a way to escape from reality. And it helped until everything went south, but I guess that's more on June's territory.
But anyway, here's what I've had on repeat for the month of May:

I put Benee's Glitter on my playlist for April, so you can imagine how excited I was when I found out Ta-ku released a new song, and it was none other than Glitter, but of course with his own twist! I swear, in moments like these I feel like the music I listen to was destined to reach me at the point that it did, because for example, if I hadn't listened to Glitter (practically to death) before Ta-ku released his rework of it, this song wouldn't have had so much more meaning to me - and that's beautiful to think about. Ta-ku's cover is just as magical as the original but evokes such different feelings. Benee's version is a feel-good-dance-around type of song, while this rework is dreamy and melancholic, so just two completely different states of mind. That's honestly why I love Ta-ku so much, he has a way of seeing things in a different way and proves that everything can be original and authentic, even when it's just a re-imagining of something that already exists. Ok, rant over haha. 

Lucky Daye is back on this playlist as well, I mean how can he not be since his music is literally sent down from heaven? Roll Some Mo is, of course, a song about what it entails, but it's so damn smooth and sexy! This song has so many layers to it, but the effortless transition from down-tempo to up-beat is my favourite. And then the last two minutes are just pure instrumental paradise. I highly recommend everyone go listen to it, it's amazing.  

A big part of this month was the realisation that Apple Music is free for 6 months (thanks Filip haha), so I jumped on that real quick. Somewhere between perfecting my playlists and scouring the web for the perfect photos to go with my playlist moods, I listened to a random Apple Music playlist called Alt-R&B and found two absolute gems: Rendezvous by Col3trane & Miraa May and Third Degree Love Crimes by Lili Kendall. Rendezvous is slower and bit more sensual, while Third Degree Love Crimes is more upbeat and pop-ish. 

I wasn't planning on putting Own It on the playlist because by this point it's old news and everybody and their mother has listened to it, BUT I wanted to pay it the respects it deserves because it truly, honestly, unconditionally SLAPS. Nothing more left to be said here. 

May was dedicated to my new favourite person - SG Lewis. Honestly, where have I been?? His music is so fun and fresh! I've been making my way through his discography, and so far Aura and Hurting are the chosen ones to be on repeat at all times. I read a comment that Hurting sounds like a mix between Disclosure and Kaytranada and I've never agreed with something more in my life. Highly recommend listening to his music if you're in a down mood and just want something that's very ~summer vibes~. 

This is another part where the whole "music coming back 360" thing is at play again. So basically, I follow Rickey Thompson on Instagram (because he's just the best human ever) and through him, I often find really cool music (more specifically through his dancing videos, which are EVERYTHING). And this is where the 360 moment happens, these two songs that really caught my attention were from artists that I absolutely love and adore but had no idea those songs were theirs, so Shazaming the songs and finding out who they're by was one big, happy coincidence. One of them was Elevate by Gorgon City and the other a Kaytranada remix of Beverlay's Typically Her.  BOTH ON MY PREVIOUS PLAYLIST, JUST LIKE BENEE! If you don't find this even the tiniest bit fascinating, Idk what to tell you...

That wraps up another monthly playlist! For the whole playlist on Youtube click HERE or click on each individual title above. Happy listening! 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

April Playlist | 2020

Another month in quarantine, who would have thought. And to top it off, I'm not in the best mood right now, and nothing turns out how I plan it to be, and I'm behind my schedule, and I think I've reached my breaking point, and I can't even let out my frustration because I don't want my parents to feel bad, and I'm overwhelmed. I *think* I'm out of "ands" by this point.
Objectively, this month has been an overall "meh". I've been trying to keep myself busy by setting daily goals and writing down my schedule. Workouts have become a regular thing (something I haven't done since elementary school...) and I've been doing a lot of reading. And then when I look deeper into these common, mundane things, I realize - I'm working out because I want to come out of this and feel better about how other people perceive me, for them to say Oooh look at her, she's been working out; I read because I have an essay to write and little to no clue on how to do it, so it takes the fun out of the act of reading; I plan my day hour by hour in hopes of doing something meaningful with my time and at the end of the day when I cross only 2 out of the 10 things I had to do that day, I feel like I've failed.
Music has been what's been keeping me sane. More specifically: upbeat, feel-good, dance party for one type of music. No dreamy ballads, no chill (borderline sad) songs, no heart-wrenching wallows. Just plain fun. And I hope you'll find something that keeps you sane here too.

"Glitter" by BENEE is the ULTIMATE feel-good song. My friends can testify when I say this because those were the reactions I got when I sent them this song, and that made me fall in love with the song even more. When I listen to it, I just imagine myself hanging out with my friends, possibly on a picnic under a tree, the sun is shining, a light summer breeze cools us off and it's ultimate bliss.

Up next is Kaytranada (surprise, surprise) and his collab with Syd on "You're The One". I'm most definitely 4 years late to the party with this one, but it kept popping up in my recommended, and even though I've listened to it before, it never stuck out - until now! It's a vibey, makes-you-wanna-dance type of song, which as we can see is a theme this month haha. P.S. His Boiler Room set from 2013 is hilarious (catch the people in the background and read the comments), if you have some spare time, I recommend it.

Don't you just love it when you randomly hear a snippet of a song somewhere and it immediately catches your attention, so you get your Shazam out and you're all excited about this cool new song you found? Yeah, that was the case with "Baby Girl" by Bryce Vine. Add this one to the "makes you want to dance, extra catchy" category as well. I can totally see this song being played at clubs, it's that dance-able.

If a song makes me say "Oh my god this is so groovy" then it's a very special type of song. So far, I've gotten that from Anderson .Paak and a couple of other artists as well, but now I'm adding Lucky Daye to that list. "Real Games" is my most favourite discovery this month, hands down! I just want everyone to listen and acknowledge how amazing this song is, nothing more haha. And to top it off, the video is just A+ aesthetics as well.

I'm not usually one to listen to a Selena Gomez song, but damn, this one is really REALLY catchy. "Boyfriend", in addition to an interesting music video, also has really good bass, and those are two things that, in my mind, make up an Elena-approved song. Shout out to Jane for unintentionally making me become obsessed with this song.

And now, switching things up a bit - language-wise. Sara Jo is one of my top 3 Serbian performers, I just love her pop/RnB sound and just hew overall energy. I think I mentioned this in a previous playlist, but I went to her concert last year and she was bouncing around the stage and was so energetic that it made me love her even more. "Kazi Mi" is her latest single, and it's has a really catchy, short-but-sweet pop sound with an unexpected twist at the end.

Another Serbian artist I truly respect is Klinac, and just when I was done listening through his latest album, he dropped "Pijun" out of nowhere. Although I was a bit shocked (I guess quarantine brings out the creative side in people?) I immediately had it on repeat. It has that distinctive angsty sound, while the back distorted vocals add just the right amount of dimension.

Flume is back, and this time with a song featuring Toro y Moi. I was really interested to see what their sounds would be like together - and it did not disappoint! "The Difference" has a slight drum'n'bass feel to it, but still quite relaxed which is what Toro y Moi is known for. An interesting listen, definitely recommend.

By now, it's probably safe to say I love Gorgon City. A couple of their songs are ones I keep going back to and have stood the test of time. I think that will be the case with "Nobody" as well. Deep house is probably in my top 3 music genres, just because I love how it affects my mind - it makes me just stop and appreciate the different sounds and levels that just one song can hold, plus it completely relaxes me and makes me want to dance. When I hear "Nobody" I immediately start nodding my head and it feels as if I'm not in my room for a second, and rather at a really cool underground party.

And that wraps up another playlist! To listen to the songs you can click on each individual title above or click HERE for the whole playlist on Youtube. I'm now gonna go watch 30-minute Zoella vlogs and daydream about it being 2014 again. Byeeeee!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

March Playlist | 2020

It's the end of March, and we've all been living in the twilight zone this month. I know the last thing you want to hear is yet another person on the internet talk about the pandemic, and what precautions we heed to take because let's be real - our minds are completely overtaken by all the news and changes happening hourly, and I want this to be an escape from all of that. I've had multiple conversations with my friends, I'm well aware of everything that's happening in the world right now, and I just want to take this time and focus on the things that made me smile this month because, honestly, I'd lose my mind otherwise. Music and TV Shows are the two most common forms of escapism right now, so I hope this playlist will make at least some of you happy for a couple of minutes.

Funnily enough, I've been listening to a lot of songs from this time last year, so the songs that have been on my spring playlists in 2019. I guess it's normal since I've spent most of my days reminiscing about how good life was to me then, and listening to those songs brought a smile to my face 9/10 times. But, not everything had a note of sadness this month, a lot of artists dropped albums so everybody had something to listen to (thank God!). Personally, I've been obsessed with Doja Cat and Childish Gambino, as well as the main man from the last playlist - Kaytranada. With that being said, here are my picks for the month of March:

Doja Cat has been my fave in March. I've had her music on my radar before, but this month it was all about Streets and Say So. Streets is my favourite of the two, maybe because I'll always prefer the slower, more tense songs over anything else. It has a really deep, rich beat that I'm completely in love with, and it really reminds me of old school R'n'B. Say So is the more fun, upbeat one of the two. This one is (not surprisingly) more popular but never the less, still really good. It just makes you want to dance and jump around, which is always welcomed in times like these.

The Kaytranada obsession continued into this month, this time with Glowed Up featuring Anderson .Paak. I read a comment that said "If aliens ever visit our planet we should receive them with this beat" and I cannot agree more. The synth beat in this track is out of this world (pun intended) and it makes this song stand out amongst the other songs on the album. And we all know I love a good beat switch (thank you Childish Gambino for that), soo it's safe to say that this song is a 10/10 from me.

And last but not least, Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino is back baby! I was so hyped when I saw that he dropped an album and it was probably the best moment so far in this quarantine. 03.15.20 is one of his coolest projects in my opinion, from the design (or should I say, lack thereof) to the whole vibe of the album. My personal favourites so far are Algorhythm and Time. Algorithm really gave me "Because the Internet" vibes and that theme continued into the start of the next track on the album which is Time. Time then slowly progresses into the tropical sound that became the foreshadowing of the album we got from his first release Feels Like Summer. Ariana Grande's subtle vocals just add a new dimension to the track which I love.

And that wraps up another playlist! To listen to the songs you can click on each individual title above or click HERE for the whole playlist on Youtube.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

February Playlist | 2020

Soo, the shortest month of the year is about to end, and boy oh boy was it something. Said a lot of goodbyes (and then hello again), met cool people, began with uni, started to develop a routine of some sort. I made a couple of New Year's resolutions and so far so good, I've been sticking to them and that truly makes me happy, even though at times I don't acknowledge it. However, these posts have begun to take on a spiritual role because when I write them I get to reflect and really think about what I spent my time doing. As for the music, this month it was either pop or electronic - no in-between. I gotta admit it's not my most innovative playlist I've ever put out, but I still loved every song I listened to this month so of course, I'm gonna pay them my respects.
So, here's my February playlist:

Khalid and Disclosure's latest collaboration is like my 2012 obsession collided with my 2017 obsession and I'm here for it. I'm completely biased towards Know Your Worth for obvious reasons, but it truly is a really good song. It's the perfect spring/summer tune and I love this direction for Disclosure. I have yet to listen through all of their latest releases, but I'm slowly getting to it!

I'm sorry but the best thing to ever happen to me in February was PCD's epic comeback! I'm sorry, but how have these women not aged a SINGLE.FREAKING.DAY! It's just unnatural how gorgeous they still look, I mean have you seen the video for React?! If not, it's the first thing you need to do after reading this - they look bomb! The song is some wholehearted, makes-you-wanna-become-a-stripper pop and oh how I missed it. PCD is just one major throwback to my childhood, they were my favourite girl group and I always thought that I would never get to see them perform their iconic songs, but now it might become a reality and that's the only reason I get up in the morning tbh.

Although JB's new album isn't my favourite thing he's ever put out (Purpose has my heart!) I'm completely vibing to Get Me feat. Kehlani. If you ask me, she's the perfect fit for this song, the beat just fits her style of music so good!

Got It Good is probably my most favourite discovery in February, and I've had it on repeat for days on end. Kaytranada is officially my newest music crush and I plan on listening to his whole music discography so don't be surprised if my March playlist is just his songs and one or two other random ones. I listened through his entire 99.9% album and I am just completely in love, WHERE HAS IT BEEN ALL MY LIFE?! My favourite thing in the world is discovering gems like this one, and I highly recommend this album to anyone who hasn't listened to it yet.

Moving onto Kaytranada's latest music, Need It feat. Masego from his 2019 album BUBBA has been on my radar for a while now, but since I was completely obsessed with Vex Oh last month, this time around it was Need It's turn. I mean, the fact that Masego is on this track is enough of a reason for you to listen to it.

The Weeknd blessed us with another song, and I am completely in love. I've stated before that his latest singles are like the perfect mix of his older Trilogy days and a bit of Starboy, and After Hours is yet another representation of that. The darkness of the song sets a very ominous mood (something he was very much known for back in the day) but the upbeat twist adds the more contemporary pop-ish The Weeknd that rose to fame. Overall, I'm really enjoying his newest music so far and I can't wait to hear the whole album.

And that wraps up another playlist! To listen to the songs you can click on each individual title above or click HERE for the whole playlist on Youtube.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

My Style Journey: 2012-2020

One cold January night, while I was trying to prepare for a seriously demanding exam but was in fact just scrolling through my Instagram profile, I started to notice the way I was dressing. As I got deeper and deeper into the horrible 2016 and under period, I realized that my style has drastically changed and I haven't really given it much notice. And then I remembered that I have a whole time capsule right here, specifically dedicated to fashion (and not the horrible flatlays I was trying so hard to make) and thought "Hmm, what if I went through my blog and did a little style overview?" And that is exactly what I am serving today, on a silver platter, to you all! Enjoy my cringy evolution starting from the beginning of my blog, 2012, up until today!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

January Playlist | 2020

First playlist for 2020 can I get a woot woot!
If you're seeing a playlist that means that it's the end of the month, so yes, January did, in fact, come to an end. I think that January works differently for students, like, we're all so caught up in exams that the month just flies by, or it goes by really slowly and we're super grateful because we feel as if there's more time to procrastinate. I'm almost done with my exams, two more to be precise, and I am sooo over it. I'm at the stage where I just feel so done with everything that I'm contemplating calling it quits, but then again I came this far, so I might as well suck it up for two more...
Anyway, when it came to music, January was all about throwbacks from older playlists, but also, about songs that just scream summer. Hmm, I wonder why most of this playlist sounds like a big seaside party, I really couldn't tell you. So, if you want to know more about the songs, keep on reading:

I started 2020 with this song on absolute repeat. Kaytranada's latest album is pure gold, and so far I haven't been able to get Vex Oh out of my head. The afrobeat and GoldLink's voice are a perfect match, and the upbeat tempo was just what I needed on a cold, gloomy January day. With this song in my headphones, I feel like I'm on a tropical beach somewhere far far away.

Speaking of afrobeat, my latest discovery Tay Iwar has been a new obsession, and I'm just now starting to go through his work. His latest collaboration with Le Mav for their album Gold is just what the title of the album says. Golden is the song that left the biggest impression on me upon first listening, and I've had it on repeat for the past couple of days. It's the perfect summer song that makes you want to dance your butt off, but since it's winter I'm just gonna vouch for the latter statement.

Lost In My Boots (funny title, I know) by Kwaye was one of those random Soundcloud finds that you don't really pay attention to at the start but then the chorus hits and you're like Oooh this is good! This one is significantly more chill and slow-tempo than the previous two, but just as good none the less.

Louis Mattrs is another artist I found through Soundcloud (and has already been featured on a playlist in 2019) so when his song Pink Lemonade came up in my recommended, I gave it a listen and was immediately hooked. It's another very summery song, it really reminds me of the type of music we would see from bands like D.N.C.E. for example. If you're looking for a chill, "pick me up" song, I recommend this one.

Macedonian band Duper is back with another song, and I gotta say, I was obsessed with Pak I Pak from the very first listen. If I described every song so far as having a strong summer vibe, then this is perfect for those winter blues. The atmosphere is a very dark and pensive one, with an upbeat tempo that still manages to keep the listeners on their toes. I loved the music video as well, A+ job!

The last song on this playlist is by far the strangest combination I have ever listened to. What would happen if you took a turbo-folk classic like Crno I Zlatno by Seka Aleksic and made it modern and vibey? Yep, that is just what Z++ created, and called it Crno + Zlatno because why not. I'm not a huge turbo-folk fan, so I know only the chorus of the most famous ones at best, so you can imagine my reaction when the chorus of this version came up and I was like Wait??? Is this??? I highly suggest everyone listen to it, I'm sure you'll find it interesting ;)

And that wraps up the first playlist for 2020! Click HERE for the whole (new) playlist on Youtube, or on each individual title above! Happy listening!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

5 things I learned in 2019

Happy New Year!

Firstly, I want to wish everyone the absolute best this year, I hope you had or will have peaceful holidays (no time nor energy for nosy aunts and uncles), and I hope you all accomplish great things!

Instead of making a list of things I wish to achieve in 2020 (that I most probably won't because the social pressure of having resolutions for 2020 is just too much to handle since everyone is hyping it up, ya know new decade and stuff) I decided to pay homage to 2019 and acknowledge the 5 things I learned during one of the best years of my life. Yeah, I know, unpopular opinion - 2019 didn't suck for me personally. I hope that statement doesn't jinx 2020 for me though. And on this positive note (to be read with a sarcastic tone), I leave you off with a list that just might inspire you for this year!

Photos: Angela Petrovska