human-behavior

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Björk - Human Behavior (dir. Michel Gondry)

OCEAN - The Big Five personality traits

• O - Openness to experience: inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious.

• C - Conscientiousness: efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless.

• E - Extraversion: outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved. 

• A - Agreeableness: friendly/compassionate vs. analytical/detached.

• N - Neuroticism: sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident.

Hey! I’m Georgie, I’m 19 from Brighton and Emma Blackery and her music have helped me and taught me things in so many ways. At midnight, Emma released her new single ‘Nothing Without You’ and is soon to release her new EP ‘Magnetised’ next month. 

As someone who’s been following Emma’s journey since 2012, it’s been a honour and delight to watch her music style grow and change over the years. As a musician about to start BIMM in September to study songwriting, I’ve always wondered where my place in music stood. I listen to pop, pop punk, rock, alternative, indie and more; and so much of that comes through in my songwriting and inspires me in so many ways. Emma shows that you don’t need to stick to one particular style of music. 

She started off with Human Behaviour, an EP that showed off Emma’s singer/songwriter acoustic side. She released her early demos which whenever I have writers block, I love to listen to to inspire myself. Her singer/songwriter acoustic/pop style stayed with her with the release of Distance EP and with the production quality up, her vocals improving and a killer music video for Go The Distance, she was absolutely killing the music game. 

In August 2014, Emma released her music video for The Promise, probably Emma’s most loved song at the time and definitely most heart-wrenching. Despite the music already speaking so many powerful words, the video touched my life in so many more ways. When that music video came out I was three months free of self harm and despite the song having helped me in so many ways before, it really gave my life purpose. I haven’t self harmed since. 

In November 2014 Emma released Perfect EP. I was so excited for this EP as I’d heard her play the single ‘Perfect’ (then titled ‘Perfect The Way You Are’) at Upload tour in May. I remember sitting in the front row, in that shitty little room in that shitty little hotel in Eastbourne, not even thinking about my History GCSE tomorrow because I was there, I was able to watch Emma perform for the first time after watching her for two years. She was so lovely and sweet to me and my friends and I felt extremely thankful to meet the musician who inspires me so much.

Me and Emma at that gig! ^

I also had the delight of meeting Emma at Summer in the City that August, a hour or so before she shaved her head on stage. That day still feels absolutely surreal. I remember Emma using my blue hair as a counter in the line to see how far she had left and thanking my blue hair. Yet again, it was wonderful to meet the woman who inspires myself and my music so much. 

When Emma shaved her head it was truly like I was in a dream, we all started singing the chorus of her song The Promise while she shaved it. She was crying, we were crying it was a room so full of love and support and it was wonderful. That was the second time I got to see Emma perform live and damn, it was so different seeing her on that stage with all those people with so much energy, it was absolutely brilliant. 

When Emma released Perfect EP she continued with her singer/songwriter style yet with the combination of the better production (everything Emma’s released the production has gotten better and better) and the addition of Arthur Walwin’s vocals in Next To You, Perfect EP became my go to listen on my way to and from college. I think my favourite thing about the EP is the ability to listen to both Perfect with its electric guitars, drums and full production and the acoustic of Perfect, taking me back to that shitty hotel function room where I heard Emma live for the first time. 

In 2015 Emma went on tour with Charlie Simpson, I was fucking pissed, my best friend bought tickets for us for my birthday but I ended up being ill the day of the concert. I continued to follow her journey on youtube and got ready for new music. When Emma released Sucks To Be You in 2016 I was ready as fuck. I was down. I was living. My best friend got us tickets to see Emma in London and I was so ready. The EP blew my mind, the short 3 song pop punk EP was a whole new side of Emma Blackery. Her bad ass pop punk music video for Sucks To Be You had Emma fucking shit up and getting angry and Emma’s “fuck this shit” attitude was just the thing that got me through the shitty year that was 2016. Seeing Emma headline O2 Academy Islington was one of the best things that happened to me in all of 2016. I made friends with some awesome Irish people that had flown all the way over to see Emma. The setlist was perfect, my voice was absolutely dead when I came out of that venue. Despite the change in Emma’s music over the years, the setlist fit together perfectly, including songs not even properly released like Instead. The highlight of my night was Emma playing Human Behaviour. One of my favourite songs Emma has ever written. When Emma said “I’m going to play an old song now, not many of you probably will have heard it”  and she started to play Human Behaviour, my new Irish friends and I went crazy in the middle of the crowd. We sung our hearts out to every word in that song and it felt so intimate with you playing that song and under half the audience singing that song back to you. That night was fucking amazing and I’m so happy knowing I’ll be able to hear Human Behaviour redone for Magnetised. 

I was so excited for what was next, a new EP? A debut album? What will happen? It was all so up in the air then Emma announced she was writing a new EP. That EP is coming out next month and last night Emma released a single off of that EP called ‘Nothing Without You’. It was brand new Emma. She said it was going to be more pop based music and I was slightly worried it would be too pop for my taste but no. Emma’s music keeps getting better and better. Nothing without you provides the basis of old Emma’s music mixed with the fantastic production of Sucks To Be You except without the pop punk and just the pop. 

It’s been so amazing to see Emma come this far in so many years. My best friend and I are going to see her again this year in London except this time Shepherd’s Bush Empire; the place where I went to my first concert back in 2012. Every time Emma releases more music it gives me hope. It gives me the hope that my songwriting will get better and I will grow, my vocals will improve and I’ll finally find my sound, even if that sound changes every so often. Emma Blackery is a true inspiration to me as a musician and I hope one day she gets to listen to my music like I’ve got to listen to hers. Thank you Emma. 

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Here’s why people keep going to psychics and fortunetellers

15% of Americans  have admitted to visiting a fortuneteller or psychic. In spite of the fact that claiming to commune with the supernatural realm is widely dismissed as a sham — and is also a class B misdemeanor in New York City that could cost a fortune teller up to $500 in fines — palmists and Tarot card readers occupy storefronts throughout the city and advertise online. And people continue to seek them out: according to a 2016 survey of paranormal beliefs conducted by Chapman University, 14.1% of those surveyed believe astrologers, fortune tellers and psychics can foresee the future and nearly half (46.6%) believe that places can be haunted by spirits. Read more

In collaboration with Shut Eye on @hulu

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Hidden Brain is a new podcast from NPR about human behavior. In the latest episode, host Shankar Vedantam points out that sometimes having a back-up plan can actually be bad for you. And if you listen to the end of the episode, you can hear me singing a song about these concepts in the stye of a 90s-era pop-punk band.

Check out the podcast here.