Saturday, June 8, 2019

April and May Monthly Playlist | 2019

Okay, I know I've been bad at this "monthly playlist" thing, but I promise I'm back on track this time! Of course, I'm not just going to disregard April as a month filled with good music, so this post is a double playlist! I'm in exams right now (more specifically, 3 down, 2 more to go) so what better time to go through my fave songs these past two months! If I'm procrastinating, I can at least procrastinate by doing something I love, amirite?! Anyhow, here are my top picks for April and May:

I love Ella Mai's vibes, especially in Shot Clock. It's a very chill R'n'B song that I think everyone would like. I adore the chorus, it's so catchy and vibey, and I just adore listening to her in general when I want to relax/or pretend I'm at a concert in my room. 

I'm sorry but why is every song from Zayn THAT? I swear that guy can't do wrong in my eyes... Okay maybe that duet with Taylor Swift was not my cup of tea, but the rest is just A++. Fingers has been on repeat for two months straight and it's still so.damn.good. 

I think everyone on the internet has stumbled up this remix at least once in their lifetime. Kučka - Honey (Medasin Remix) is the poster song of Majestic Casual, and people get obsessed and over this song in waves. I'm currently in the "obsessed" category. It's just such a vibe. So good. 

I know I've been sleeping on this song and everyone is probably over it by now, but James Blake's collaboration with Travis Scott and Metro Boomin for Mile High iS SUCH A VIBE! I remember my friend Angela told me about this song and how unusual it was that James Blake made a song with Travis Scott (which it is, but also genius???) and I just thought Oh cool, look at James go, listened to it once but it didn't really catch my attention. And here I am 5 months later, shamelessly jamming out to this dope song.

I'm going to watch 6LACK perform live this summer at Sziget (super excited!!!) but I actually haven't listened to many of his songs so far. My plan is to learn every song of his until August because so far I adore his sound. First on my list of favourites is In Between featuring my queen BANKS. Again, I don't know why I've been sleeping on this song, it's sooo goood!! Their voices together in the chorus, it's like bread and butter and I'm not even exaggerating.

Speaking of BANKS, this woman is back and better than ever. Gimme is truly a masterpiece of a song. It's just so powerful, I don't know how to describe it. I just listen to the chorus and I'm like YES I WANT EVERYTHING I DESERVE EVERYTHING GIMME! I think that was the effect she was going for with this song, or if not, that's how I interpret it haha. Plus that video, oh my, oh my.

Tame Impala, we meet again. Or should I say Kevin Parker finally decided to make a new song and I don't have to listen to The Less I Know The Better on repeat anymore... Just kidding, that's never going to happen, BUT it's great that now I have a new song to switch to from time to time. Borderline is your typical Tame Impala song - catchy, amazing, the best possible trip you'll ever have.  

New Order. Blue Monday. Yeah, I'm just as confused as you are. I mean, it's an amazing song and even though I don't usually share songs that are classics because everyone knows them and my point is to use these playlists as a platform for discovering new music - I had to include it. I just remember trying to fall asleep one night, but it just wasn't happening, and all of a sudden the Blue Monday melody appeared in my head. So, normally, I put it on and jammed out at 3 AM with my headphones on in the pitch black in my room. Aaand I haven't stopped listening to it since. 

And that rounds it up! As always, click HERE for the whole playlist on YT or on each individual title above! Happy listening!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Sorolla | A Life Update

The situation: It's 2.14 AM, I just downed a Latte Espresso from the supermarket in hopes it would keep me awake enough to study, Mura Masa is playing in the background. I've had a really unproductive day which in my opinion is a wasted day. This is something I came to realize during my stay here (I'm still in Madrid for those who have no idea what the heck is going on haha). Before, if I spent my day just chilling, watching a tv show or something similar, I'd just brush it off as "Oh it's just one of those days". Now, I feel like a proper failure if I don't do something productive, or at least try to. So, that's why I'm here today, in hopes to clear my conscience of both not being active on the blog and not doing anything worth while today. Between trying to figure out what my life is right now and writing essay after essay, I haven't had much free time to dedicate to this blog, and I'm sad it came to this point. I've missed it, truly.

 Generalife, Granada by Sorolla

In hopes of not sounding too cliche I'll try to sum up my experience here so far with a metaphor. Yes, I'm using a metaphor and no, it's not because I've been studying mostly about Shakespeare's works for the past three months (okay, maybe a little bit).

This is Museo Sorolla. More precisely, this is the home and studio of Joaquín Sorolla, famed Spanish Impressionism painter. (Fun fact, his daughter was named Elena, which is actually not that fun now that I say it, but for me, it's like a sign haha). He created this place for it to be his personal oasis, his escape from the city and his sanctuary. He was a passionate traveller, he adored the seaside and would often go there with his family and would carry on to paint some of his most famous works inspired by these sights. He loved the south, therefore his house really does feel as if you are in an Andalusian patio. His works to me are like a photo, he captures movement and temporary moments in such a manner that makes you think that he was a photographer rather than a painter. He adored portraits, mostly painting his beloved family.

This place was one of the first things I discovered before coming to Madrid when I still wasn't sure if I would come here at all. I imagined myself sitting here, with my diary in my hand, enjoying the peace and quiet. I kept telling myself, "Oh come on, stop daydreaming about something that might not happen, you'll just hype yourself up and get let down, once again." Fast forward, if I could somehow transfer the feeling when I was actually in the garden, with my diary, writing, while the birds were chirping and the water fountain beside me was making the loveliest white noise, I would. This place became my sanctuary too. I wanted to be there forever, to never face the reality of not calling Madrid my home. I never thought I'd be able to enjoy my time somewhere with such immense passion and hope for it to last forever. And I know that might sound a bit too over the top, but I really thought I'd have a harder time adapting to this new situation, not to mention the fact that I was doing so many things on my own for the first time in my life. And I feel so grateful that I can say that I did that. If I could bring my family and closest friends here too, I'd do it in a heartbeat because I know they would love it as much as I do.  

I became independent here. I came to the conclusion that cooking relaxes me, that I love just walking around on my own, without headphones on, or just sitting in a cafe with a book. I also discovered a great passion. Much like Sorolla, I love taking portraits with my analogue camera, and capturing moments that tell a story. I did so many things that took me out of my shell, that made me more confident and believe that I have something to offer to the world. I never saw myself as an outgoing person, but I kept proving myself wrong with every passing day. And most importantly, I realized that it's not bad that I'm praising myself for a job well done, for moving forward instead of being at a standstill and acknowledging that. I need more, I want more. And if you too feel like this, and people around you are telling you that "you're changing", don't take it as an insult. For me, that's the greatest compliment a person can receive.

Women Walking on the Beach (1909)

 Sewing the Sail (1896)

 Bathtime (1909)

Saturday, April 6, 2019

March Playlist | 2019

Another month has passed and that means one thing - exams are slowly but surely creeping up. But, how can I think about exams when I'm living in beautiful Madrid? I've been a busy bee this past month, took a couple of day trips outside of Madrid, or just simply explore the city even more. The weather has been gorgeous, and I've been taking more photos on my analogue camera so there might be a photo post coming soon! Meanwhile, here are the songs I've been listening to on repeat for March:

Spanish alternative is my new fave genre of music, and I have Miss Caffeina to thank for that. Since being in Spain I've been exposed to so many new music artists that are not as famous internationally but have a huge fan base in Spain. Miss Caffeina is one of them, I tried to get a ticket to their concert and it was sold out two months before the show, so you can imagine they have quite a following. One of the first songs I heard from them was Merli, and I immediately fell in love with the synth-pop sound. 

Italian music never sounded cooler, trust me. Mahmood's Soldi will be part of Eurovision this year, BUT that doesn't mean that the song sucks. Actually, it sounds totally different and modern, and I just can't get over the darkness of it. Highly recommended!

I discovered Sampha's Blood On Me through a Netflix show called On My Block (if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it!) and it immediately caught my attention. I knew of Sampha as an artist from before, but this song is just next level. I love the different levels it has, it just sounds so fresh and new.

A playlist can go without at least one indie, take-me-on-a-road trip type of song. Affection by BETWEEN FRIENDS is just that song. Highly recommended if you just want to put your thoughts on mute and daydream.

I have periods when Brockhampton is all I listen to. The month of March has been one of those periods. I've had their songs on repeat, especially Bleach. I just love how mellow the vibe of the song is, but at the same time, it goes soo hard!

Wait, how is this the same Doja Cat we all know about by this point? I randomly found So High on Soundcloud and can I just say, wow. The chill vibes are strong here, but also her vocals sound so calming here. It reminds me of 90s R'n'B/hip hop but with a modern twist.

I think I found the most sensual song in the world. And that title goes to All To You by Sabrina Claudio. I randomly found a deep house remix of this song on Soundcloud and I was originally going to share that version here because it's really good, but the original...OH MY GOD. It's just so slow and beautiful and damn sexy. Ladies, definitely give this one a listen if you want to be in a "feeling myself" type of mood.

If you want to listen to the songs, you can click on the titles above individually, or just click HERE for the whole playlist on Youtube. 
Thursday, February 28, 2019

February Playlist | 2019

I can't believe February is over. This officially means I've been in Madrid for a month and time is flying by so quickly! Somebody tell me how to stop time, please. Adjusting to this new environment has been a pleasure, and I'm slowly feeling like I'm home. I had a dream the other day that 5 months had flown by and I had to leave and I was legit crying and saying how I haven't seen everything I wanted to see yet and haven't done anything I planned. So, I think I'm going to do everything in my power to not make that dream a reality.
Anyways, this month has a short selection as everything I've been listening to is 2000s R'n'B and the same 3 Macedonian songs on repeat, but I somehow managed to slide 5 songs that you probably haven't heard before (read: not all 5).

Out of all of the songs, this one...stands say the least. BUT IT'S FIRE!! I don't usually listen to trap music, but the beat in Beyblade is addictive. Plus, the video is soo cool haha. Bennet is a Swedish brother-rap-duo and I got Julia from the Youtube channel The Line Up to thank about discovering their music. Those Scandinavian countries hit yet again with dope music. The vibe of this song reminds me of Amine, so if you like him you'll definitely like Bennett too.

Wrong is such a vibe. Zayn's music is honestly so good and underappreciated, there, I said it! Plus, Kehlani is the perfect addition to the song, it's just a perfect duet in my opinion. 10/10 

This remix to Ciara's Dance Like We're Making Love is soooo good. I got obsessed with it at the end of January and I still have it on repeat. I love the distortion of the voice, as well as the different layers it has, so i definitely recommend listening to this one (with headphones on for full effect).

Years & Years are back with a collaboration with MNEK for a super catchy Valentine's song called "Valentino". It sounds so typically them, a bit more on the pop side but as always I can never dislike a Y&Y song.

Just like the rest of Macedonia, I too got addicted to Nie Sme 2 by DUPER. And I can definitely say that I've been gravitating more towards Macedonian bands this past month, gotta keep the language alive when all I do is speak English most of the time here in Madrid (or Spanish, with English as a back up).

As always, you can click HERE for the whole playlist on Youtube, or on each individual title above. Happy listening!
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

New beginnings

If you were to ask 16-year-old Elena where she sees herself in 5 years time, she would definitely not say studying in Madrid, completely on her own. When I think about it if you were to tell me that even a year ago, I wouldn't have believed you. Although I'm here for 5 months, this time of my life presents a huge challenge, something unimaginable. But, I'm here. And I'm making it work. Every day brings a different challenge and every day I do something new for the first time. And I'm very aware of it because I know that the first time is the hardest, but also the most interesting. 

Photos: Irina Krstevska

Да ја прашавте 16-годишна Елена каде се гледа за 5 години, дефинитивно немаше да ви каже дека студира во Мадрид, тотално сама. Кога ќе подразмислам, да ми го кажевте ова и пред една година, не верувам дека ќе ви поверував. Иако сум тука на 5 месеци, за мене ова претставува огромен предизвик, нешто незамисливо. Но, тука сум. Успевам. Секој ден ми носи различен предизвик, и секој ден правам нешто ново за првпат. И многу сум свесна за тоа, бидејќи знам дека првиот пат е секогаш најтешкиот, но исто така и најинтересниот.

Фотографии: Ирина Крстевска

Monday, January 28, 2019

January Playlist | 2019

First off, happy new year!
I've been a bit MIA this month, and it's all due to not having time/energy/inspiration to put out anything. I tried to write one post, that I will eventually get to, but I've been so overwhelmed recently that nothing creative comes out of my brain. Hello writer's block, I've been expecting you. 
Either way, I know I can't miss a monthly playlist, especially the first one of the year. So, here are some of my top picks for the neverending month of January:

Finally jumped on the Rosalia bandwagon and boy am I glad I did. She is sooo good! Maybe it was the fact that I'm going to Spain and suddenly I feel the urge to listen and watch everything Spanish, but either way, I'm not losing. "Malamente" is such a badass song, a bit more upbeat than the rest of the songs on this playlist, but I just had to include it.

I've been listening to this song on and off for about two months now, so it finally deserved a spot on the playlist. Tinashe's cover of Drake's "Days in the West", later remixed by Ekali is such a cool song, with so many different layers to it. There is one particular part when she goes "Who you think you're talking to?", I just feel so badass when it gets to that point of the song.

Portuguese sounds so relaxing to the ear, especially in "Te vi na rua ontem" by Konai (which translated to "Yesterday I saw you on the street". As the title suggests, this sweet song talks about remembering a past lover. The calming melody is out of this world, I highly suggest listening to this song!

James Blake is my latest discovery, but I'm not talking about his newest album which I am yet to listen through. I started from the distant 2011, with "Retrograde" and "The Wilhelm Scream". Both have a hauntingly amazing sound, both sound dark and mysterious. As the years go past I see my tendency to stick to music that I either describe as very chill and relaxing, or dark and haunting. I guess I find those types of songs to have more emotion than others.

Speaking of chill songs, "Roslyn" by Bon Iver & St. Vincent is just an absolute dream of a song. When I listen to this song I imagine myself 50 years in the future, in a little, secluded village, in my own little cottage, drinking hot tea with rum and reminiscing on my life. I adore when songs can transport you like this, to a scenario in your head that feels so familiar.

And that's about it for the month of January! Special shoutout to Claude Debussy, Chopin and the W.E. soundtrack for being the background music to my sleepless nights of studying for finals. Click HERE for the whole playlist, or on each individual title above. Happy listening!
Rosalia - Malamente
Tinashe - Days In The West (Ekali Remix)
Konai - Te vi na rua ontem
James Blake - Retrograde
James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream
Bon Iver & St. Vincent - Roslyn

Friday, December 28, 2018

December Playlist | 2018

And just like that, 2018 has come to an end. It's weird because I don't feel like it's the 28th of December but at the same time, I keep on putting 2019 everywhere I need to write down the date. I don't feel sad this year is over, it's been one hell of a ride. In my previous post, I said this was my most challenging year yet, but I think next year is going to top this one.

In 2019 I'm relocating to Madrid, Spain for 5 months to study abroad for a semester. Even writing these words out doesn't seem real. I've literally been waiting for this moment since I first started college, so to finally make my dreams a reality is beyond exciting and surreal. But, as happy as I am about this new chapter in my life, I'm also uncertain about how to maintain the blog in this period. One option is to post photos from my phone (which goes against the perfectly curated aesthetic I have going on here haha), so let me know if that's something you'd even bother scrolling through. I know I'll be posting tons of photos on my Instagram, bus as far as the blog goes, I guess time will tell.

All I know for sure is that 2019 will be all about change, and I'm ready for that. But, since we're still in 2018, it's time to share my December music faves:

If I were told I had the change to go to one more concert for the rest of my life, it would definitely be a Daughter concert. I am just in awe of how gorgeous, mature and resonating their songs are. Somebody explain to me how am I feeling such empathy towards the lyrics in "Love" when I've never been cheated on in my life?! I listen to this beautiful song and I'm connecting to the words in such an understanding manner that it leaves me baffled. I guess you don't have to necessarily go through something to understand it, even some of the lines themselves, when taken out of context can resonate with everybody. Just...listen to this one. You will adore it.

"Losing Interest" just sounds so damn dreamy. Shiloh has a very distinct sound and his songs always have a certain dreamy mood to them. Although the whole song is just like 6 lines on repeat, it still has progression and depth to it. Shiloh plays around with different frequencies with this one, with makes the whole song sound even cooler.

This song, oh my god. "Tadow" was made as improvisation and was completely unrehearsed when it was filmed, which makes it even more magical. 8 minutes of something magical, to be precise. Fkj & Masego are super talented people, big props to them for having such a sharp sense of fluidity.

Khalid is back on my playlist with "Suncity". This song is such a bop, I love it. He can't do wrong in my book. The Spanish parts just add that little touch of something special this song needs. 

"Don't" by Catila has been my go-to dance along song. It's not overly hype, so the head nodding is real with this one. It just makes me feel so damn sassy haha. I guess this month I've had songs that put me in extremely opposite moods.

And that concludes another monthly playlist! Click HERE for the whole playlist on YT or on each individual title above. Happy New Year and happy holidays everyone!