one of the better albums ever made by one of the better bands to ever make music

Lovely Little Lonely: Track by Track


1. “Don’t Come Down”
You’re getting on board. The train is leaving for a new place, and it looks amazing. You are being invited to what is about to begin. The journey starts sweet, but exciting. It’s a song that prepares you for what’s to come and puts you in a good mood. You can’t forget the beat of the song, and I know you’re moving your feet or your head from side to side. “Don’t Come Down” really lives up to the name and won’t let you go. You just want more and more… But don’t worry, you will get it!

2. “Bad Behavior”
The first single. The taste of how the album would be. You already know this song, and even after listening to it so many times you still sing “yeah yeah yeah” like it’s the first time. After listening to the entire album there is no doubt that “Bad Behavior” was the best choice to be the preview of what would become the album. It’s a song that puts you up, that anybody can identify and when you realize you want to go out to a show or a party, just have fun like “English Girls” made us feel, remember?

3. “Lovely”
There isn’t much to say about this song, but its purpose is clear: to create the perfect experience for the listener. After hearing “Bad Behavior” an upbeat song, you go through “Lovely” that calms you down for a few seconds and then The Maine introduces you to “Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu”.

4. “Black Butterflies and Déjà Vu”
There is no other way to say except: this is the best song on the album. From the second the song starts you’re stuck (in the most perfect way). There is no time to breathe. The verses “What would you say if you could say everything you needed to to the one you needed to?” instantly take your breath away. The song is the junction of the best qualities of The Maine’s sound: the upbeat and the melancholic. Every detail is thought perfectly. The changes from high to low (and vice versa) in countless moments… Then in the end you can hear John’s voice and the instruments louder and with (even) more truth. It’s the best thing The Maine has ever done.

5. “Taxi”
“Taxi” follows the quiet and sweet beat of “Don’t Come Down”, but yet they’re very different. It’s a song that starts slowly, but it will gradually gain your heart. It makes you want to meet a stranger in the back of a taxi and fall in love. The Maine has this power to make you feel something you never thought you would feel (or wanted to feel). From the chorus this has already become one of the best songs on the album. And before the song even finishes you’re already hooked. Definitely this is the song that will accompany you to the great moments of your life. “Taxi” is the song that could be the theme song of a romantic comedy when the guy is running to catch a cab to find the girl at the airport and stop her from leaving.

6. “Do You Remember? (The Other Half of 23)”
If you follow The Maine’s work you know how important 8123 is to them. So in each album they try to express it in at least one song that turns to be the "8123 anthem”. “Do You Remember?” is this song in LLL just like “Another Night on Mars” was in the AC. This song takes you to your best memories, the feeling of youth, the friendships that you had along the way and the ones you still have. It’s about remembering the path you’ve gone through to get where you are now. It’s a fun journey about growth and knowing who you are. About the people around you. It’s the song you hear while taking a trip miles away with your best friends!

7. “Little”
“Little” starts with Pat’s drumming that takes over the heart of the song. Then John starts talking directly to you. That’s right: you. His words make you feel special and complete: “It hit me today if it weren’t for you, always just where you are (…) wherever you are in the world, I want you to be there, and only there. Since life would be shitty (…) I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for…” in a few seconds these words enter your ears and warm your heart. You feel embraced.

8. “The Sound of Reverie”
Well, “The Sound of Reverie” sounds like a masterpiece. As if angels had made this in heaven. And the best of all is that you don’t expect to be THIS good. So when the chorus comes in, you’re already dancing in your underwear as if no one is watching or singing out loud in the shower. This song will build relationships and mark important moments. The Maine, thank you very much for not leaving this song off the album. It will definitely be one of the favorites to listen live!

9. “Lost in Nostalgia”
This is the most different song on the album. The outcast of the group. It has its own rhythm, a beat as if you were in a 80’s nightclub with colored lights and the DJ was playing slow songs for couples to dance together with their sparkly outfits (too crazy? haha). The name of the song already says, “Don’t get lost in nostalgia”. And maybe that’s exactly why the song takes less than two minutes. There’s no time to get lost in the past.

10. “I Only Wanna Talk to You”
As soon as I heard this song the first thing that came to my head was: California. Maybe it’s the vibe, the beat, the lyrics… As the music starts I picture a road with the sea and hills in the background, a red convertible and hair in the wind. "I Only Wanna Talk to You” would definitely be part of the soundtrack of “The O.C.” (how cool would that be?!) if the show still existed.

11. “Lonely”
“Lonely” is a calm and melancholic song. Which by its name is to be expected. The song doesn’t have big lyrics, but it says a lot: “I remember feeling weightless in the deeper end and drowning in the fear again. And the lovely little loneliness would hold me down under the sound of being found. But then it all turned around,” the moment you hear the words being repeated “But then it all turned around,” you know he wants you to know that loneliness is not something that lasts forever. Things change, and change for the better. You overcome what you thought you would never overcome and draw strength from places you never thought you knew how.

12. “How Do You Feel?”
After this roller coaster of feelings, they ask you, “How do you feel?” “You’re alive, but are you living?” It’s as if the album were a journey in which you know different places, people and cultures. Each song teaches you and touches you in a different way. And the journey is now ending… So, how are you feeling after this experience? The most important thing is to be a different person from the one you were when you started. This song closes the perfectly cycle that is “Lovely Little Lonely” and didn’t disappoint in any moment. It only gets better with each song. So I’m feeling proud, excited and overjoyed.

by The Maine All Around The World

“Lovely Little Lonely” is in my opinion the best album The Maine has ever created. The album has the heart, but also the lively beat, the will to live, to discover who you are and where you’re going. It has the perfect sound and the perfect lyrics. Is the perfect match of everything The Maine has done, has been and has transformed into in the last ten years.

20 Questions for Ed Sheeran, January 25, 2017.
  • Interviewer: What's the most exciting thing in life right now?
  • Ed: Uh, the new album. Coming out third of March.
  • Interviewer: What are you completely tired of right now?
  • Ed: Uhh... I dunno. Walking Dead. I can't seem to get into it. I'm on season four and it's just, I haven't-
  • Interviewer: I'm there as well! Which episode are you on right now?
  • Ed: I'm on like episode five? They're all ill and they're coughing up blood, and-
  • Interviewer: Oh, yeah. It gets better though. Keep on watching it bro.
  • Ed: See, everyone's been saying that, but I've watched like sixty episodes now, and I'm like, I can't quite... so yeah, I'm trying to get through it.
  • Interviewer: What song took you the least amount of time to write?
  • Ed: Thinking Out Loud.
  • Interviewer: What's the first thing that you do when you get an idea for a song?
  • Ed: Uhh, I shut the doors and go away from people.
  • Interviewer: If you could teach one subject at a school, what would it be?
  • Ed: Music. I'm actually going back to teach music at my old school soon.
  • Interviewer: Beautiful, I like that. Did you ever have detention during growing up and going to school?
  • Ed: 'Course, all the time.
  • Interviewer: All the time? Every day?
  • Ed: All the time.
  • Interviewer: What's your favorite drink?
  • Ed: Uhhh... beer. Ale. Like ale. Good, good English ale. Does Finland do good ale?
  • Interviewer: I don't know about that. Not so good. It's okay, but I think it's better in England.
  • Ed: Yeah. You can't drink too much of it though 'cause it's so heavy, it just, I just fall asleep. So I have three and I fall asleep. But the first one is like... glorious.
  • Interviewer: What's your favorite food?
  • Ed: ...Fish and chips? I reckon. Fish and chips. If you give me a fish and chips and an ale, pfft, game over. That's my day.
  • Interviewer: That's perfect. That's heaven. What's one thing you need to have in your fridge always? No matter what-
  • Ed: Ketchup.
  • Interviewer: Ketchup? With fish and chips.
  • Ed: I've actually refused to eat fish and chips when there wasn't any ketchup. I just think it's a travesty.
  • Interviewer: I get that. What's your favorite movie of all time?
  • Ed: Goodfellas.
  • Interviewer: Oh that's a good one. Classic. Favorite TV show?
  • Ed: A show called Love/Hate actually. It's an Irish TV show, like Gangland Dublin. It's amazing.
  • Interviewer: What's the funniest thing you've ever read about yourself on the internet?
  • Ed: That I introduced Adele and her husband Simon. Um, 'cause I do - I now - know them, but like when that came out I, well I'd met Adele, but I'd never met Simon. So I don't know how I could've introduced them.
  • Interviewer: Would you love to work with Adele?
  • Ed: Yeah. I don't think anyone's going to work with Adele. I think Adele kind of doesn't want to work with anyone. I think she does her own thing. So yeah, I think I'd say yes but I don't think it would ever happen.
  • Interviewer: What's the best way to relax for Ed Sheeran?
  • Ed: Sleep. Always a good way, yeah.
  • Interviewer: That's what I do as well. Name one thing you can't live without.
  • Ed: Um. My cats.
  • Interviewer: How many cats do you have?
  • Ed: Two. And they're GREAT.
  • Interviewer: Are you thinking about getting a third one?
  • Ed: I think it'd be unfair. They're sisters, so if you add another cat into the mix it might get weird.
  • Interviewer: What scares you the most?
  • Ed: Uh, heights. Yeah.
  • Interviewer: Me too, I'm afraid of heights. Have you ever done a bungee jump?
  • Ed: I did, yeah. I hated it. Have you done it?
  • Interviewer: Really, you did it?! So you've probably beat that then.
  • Ed: No, no it's made it even worse. Even worse, yeah. Never do it.
  • Interviewer: Really? Okay, I'm not gonna do it then. Thanks for the tip man.
  • Ed: Oh god, I'm just remembering falling down that, like oh god, it was horrible.
  • Interviewer: What was your first job?
  • Ed: My first job, I worked in a pub. I washed, I did the washing up in a pub.
  • Interviewer: If you could travel to any place in the whole world, where would you go?
  • Ed: ...Iceland. Iceland again. I love, I love, I love Iceland.
  • Interviewer: So you've been there, like-?
  • Ed: Once. But it was one of the best places I've ever been to.
  • Interviewer: Have you ever been to Finland?
  • Ed: Yeah. I've been to Finland, yeah. I think I played a small show in Finland once.
  • Interviewer: If you were in a boyband, what would the band's name be?
  • Ed: Wrong Direction.
  • Interviewer: [Laughs] Wrong Direction, I love that. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
  • Ed: Always be nice to people.
  • Interviewer: That's cool. It works out every time. If you could work with any artist in the world, who would it be?
  • Ed: Beyonce. Beyonce. I have worked with her before, but not on an original song.
  • Interviewer: Could you name three things that make you happy right now? This Wednesday.
  • Ed: Uh, my cats. Pictures of my cats. And hearing about my cats. I like my cats. Three things.
  • Interviewer: [Laughs] What's the biggest no-no purchase you've ever bought?
  • Ed: No-no? Astin Martin. Astin Martin, yeah. I only drove it a couple of times.
  • Interviewer: Really?! How much was it?
  • Ed: It wasn't cheap. I feel like, I felt... I got it, and I felt cool. And then I felt like an idiot. I don't think sports cars are for me.
  • Interviewer: Do you still have it?
  • Ed: I do still have it, yeah. I let my manager's wife drive it. She uses it.
BASS & BUBBLEGUM (POPSTAR!Y/N AU) - PART TWO

+masterlist +mobile masterlist +b&b masterpost

parts; (one)



summary: you’re a world-famous pop star which everyone learned to either love or hate. when a video of you making out with 5 seconds of summer’s bassist leaks, your management decides to make it seem like you’re dating calum.

word count: 988

warnings: none?? idk!11!!

author’s note: this is just a filler honestly lmao school is stressing me out!!1! the next part will be better than this ok + thank u for reading this even though its definitely not my best haha


Today was Thursday. And today, you were being driven to a radio station that you forgot the name of for an interview that will probably bring up the video-make-out-scandal. You were going to make your relationship public today and that made you nervous than anything else. Nervous, because one, it was live, which meant thousands were going to hear you say, ‘Yeah, totally, he’s my boyfriend but we’re keeping it low-key since, you know, he’s an asshole.’ Okay, maybe you weren’t going to say that, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t true (the asshole part). And two, you were ultimately going to get hate from his fans. You knew they weren’t fond of you since the video leaked. You were famous (God, you hated describing yourself that) and getting hate was inevitable, but the death threats were probably the worst things anyone has ever said to you.

Keep reading

25 Things I Learned by 25

1. Ask yourself, “Do I like this person for who they are, or do I like the attention they give me?” There is a difference. Learn it. 

2. Getting over true heart break is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do, but you will do it. Take all the time you need no matter what anyone else says, because you’re the one living it for a love only you experienced. Cry. Be angry. Scream. Write it out. Put everything in a box. Spend a week in your PJ’s binge watching Netflix. Do whatever you need to do. And realize there is a difference between being over someone and letting go of someone and what you had with them. Not only do you have to be over wanting them back, you then have to reach a point where you realize you have to tell yourself to let them and what you had together go, and to open yourself back up to being vulnerable. This is the hardest part. The moment of realization will hit you like a freight train, but once it does, you’ll feel more alive and free than you’ve ever felt. I promise.

3. Fairy tales are not instructions on how to live our life. Your hair will not always be perfect, especially while swimming or in the wind. Ariel and Pocahontas lied. No man is the end all be all, and you don’t always live happily ever after with Prince Charming. Fairy tales are just that…fairy tales. They end when they do for a reason. Sometimes, the greatest love stories and purest loves end. The truth is some of the deepest and most rare loves, even though extraordinary, don’t have a happily ever after ending. Those loves do exist, trust me they do. The “once in a lifetime” loves that most people only experience through books or movies. If you’re lucky enough to have a love like that, even if it’s not the person you spend forever with, cherish it. Also, woodland creatures won’t do your chores. You can’t have a pet tiger, and poisoning people via fruit is highly frowned upon.  

4. Music fixes everything. I’ll say it again for the people in the back. Music. Fixes. Everything. No matter what is wrong, there’s a band, an album, or just a song that completely describes what you’re going through. Music is constant. It never changes while the rest of the world does. The lyrics will always be the same, the beat will always be the same, and the escape from reality will always be the same. I have music playing any time I possibly can. As long as you have music, you’re never alone. Let music save you when nothing else can. 

5. Travel. As far and as often as you can. See the world you were blessed to be born into. If we weren’t meant to travel, everyone and everything would look the same. Immerse yourself into the cultures of the places you visit. Speak to locals. Eat their food. Be respectful of their customs. You’ll learn far more about the world by seeing it than you will by reading a text book. 

6. It’s okay to be selfish, and you should be. Maybe not all the time, but it is important. You cannot live to please everyone in the world. If you do that, you’re wasting away the precious life that you’ve been given. It’s okay to put yourself first, because at the end of your life when you’re taking your last breaths, you’re the one who has to be able to look back and say you lived with no regrets. 

7. Learn to love the little things and appreciate details. Not everything has to be a grand, over the top, extravagant event or scenario. Notice when people remember the small things. Thank people for their small acts of kindness and compliments. Appreciate how much work and effort goes into the day to day things we take for granted. Don’t rush through life so much that you miss the small parts that make up the whole. 

8. Sometimes you just have to cut negative people out of your life. You can’t fix those who don’t want to be fixed and you can’t help those who don’t want to be helped. Breaking yourself trying to fix others is no way to live. Negative energy doesn’t do you any good whatsoever. If someone isn’t bettering you and your life as a whole, you need to leave them behind. 

9. There are going to be some very dark days, but there will also be some inexplicably beautiful days that will stick with you forever. Cherish those good days. Live for those days. And know that when times are darkest, it will and does always get better. 

10. Nothing and no one in life are permanent, but tattoos are. Think them through. Spell check them. Then spell check them ten more times. Make sure they mean something to you now and that they will forever. 

11. Your mom is right. Just trust me, she’s right. 


12. You are not obligated to forgive people. You do not have to tell them that what they did to hurt you was okay just because they said they were sorry. There is a difference between accepting an apology and moving past an issue, and forgiving what someone did. You can accept their apology, but you do not have to forgive or forget what they did to hurt you. 

13. Experiences > Material Things. Every single time. When you die, it’s the memories you’ll take with you and the experiences that’ll flash before your eyes. Having the latest and greatest is fun until something else comes out and sucks your money or it breaks. That designer bag that will be out of style in six months could pay for a plane ticket to some place you’ve never been before. Prioritize. 

14. You’re going to change your mind. Your interests will change. Make sure that they’re changing for you and not to please someone else. 

15. Stop spending your money on fast food. If you have food at home, eat it. Those couple bucks here and there add up. If you get the urge to eat out when you know you shouldn’t, put those couple bucks in a jar instead to save up for a trip or a concert. 

16. You’re going to royally fuck up at some point in life. You’re going to say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. You may even hurt some people or lose some friends in the process. That’s called being human. Own up to your mistakes. Do your best to make them right. Learn from them. Better yourself because of them. 

17. Focus on the good. Spending all of your time focusing on the negative aspects in life and being angry is a miserable way to live. 

18. You do not know anyone’s story. Even your closest friends and relatives have their demons that no one but them knows about, just like you have your hidden demons. You see the version of people that they want you to see. Do not judge anyone. Do not belittle people. Be kind always. 

19. Take as many photographs as you possibly can. Even when the people and places change, the photographs and the memories won’t. Looking back on memories made will never get old. Someday, when you’re old and gray, you may not be able to recollect things as well. Pictures will not only help you remember your life, but they will create stories for your children and their children. 

20. Take your makeup off before bed. Always. Even when it’s two a.m. and you just got in from that wild college party and you are completely exhausted. Get up and take off your makeup. You’ll thank yourself in the morning. 

21. Scholarships are your friends, apply for them all. Student loans don’t pay themselves back and they suck! That being said, do not break yourself over your grades and over school. Your mental health is far more important than your grades. 

22. Quality > Quantity. Whether it is food, clothes, or friends. This applies to everything in life except for money. 

23. Stop caring so much about what other people will think. If you like the dress, wear it. If you want to wear bright blue lipstick, do it. If you want to post ten Instagram pictures in a row on the same day, post them. Over thinking will kill you slowly but surely. Quit thinking about how many licks it takes to get to the center of a lollipop and just eat the damn lollipop!

24. Being happy is a choice. Choose it whenever possible. 

25. Know your worth. Never let anyone tell you that you don’t deserve the absolute best. Never settle for anything in life. You set the bar. 

- A 

anonymous asked:

Can you recommend some Daft Punk songs?

Aye, that I can. Bolded songs are my favourites.

Homework

  • ‘Da Funk’.
    It’s like watching a bustling Parisian morning in instrumental form. Believe me.
  • ‘Around the World’.
    I specifically do mean the full 7+ minute version in Homework - the short edit (which is what the video is set to) is okay, but the full version has the most impact. It’s exactly what it says on the tin in the most amazing way. Around the world!
  • ‘Phoenix’.
    Elated and very lighthearted, good to listen on a walk.

Honourable mention: ‘Revolution 909′, for its rebellious streak specifically targeted towards the French police. The police force at the time actively suppressed people at raves - it was that kind of scene DP first began their work in, so it’s a rare bit of social commentary by them.

Discovery

  • ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’.
    This is the single most memetic thing they put out imo. Need I say more?
  • ‘Aerodynamic’.
    Pulse-pounding without being overly aggressive or otherwise ‘hard’. Watch in Interstella 5555 for extra effect.
  • ‘Veridis Quo’.
    If you like a slower, more mesmerizing sound than everything above, this might be more your thing. I personally like it because of the montage sequence it goes with in Interstella 5555, but as it says in the title - it’s a straightforward light disco. They went back to a sound kind of like this in RAM.

Honourable mention: ‘Something About Us’. I don’t tend to rank Daft Punk love ballads very highly, the only reason being that they are full of sap (that’s what I get for being used to a different band whose songs about love are all horrible, depressing, or horribly depressing), but this one is an exception. It’s brief and touching and exactly to the point.

Human After All

  • ‘Robot Rock’.
    Reviews for this, when it first came out, were not that promising or positive. But if nothing else, this is incredibly danceable and ties in well with the titular song ‘Human After All’ (which I did not include on here, because DP explored the themes of that even better with Electroma).
  • ‘Steam Machine’.
    Excellent workout music. Aggressive and heavy but without feeling like Thomas is beating you over the head repeatedly, if that makes sense? Because some songs in this album really do sound like that. It might even be kind of sensual if you like whispery vocals.
  • Technologic’.
    Written very quickly but catchy as hell, and in a way I think it’s a song that synthesizes DP’s state(s) of mind when they made this album with their robot personas even better than ‘Human After All’ does. Look at the lyrics - save for a couple, does any of the ‘do x to it’ suggestions sound like what you could do to a human being?
    It also takes place fairly late in the album, too. It’s a maybe-prideful and maybe-depressing conclusion to the human-robot divide: technology and the essence of humanity cannot be made equal. Good song, this one.

Honourable mention: ‘Make Love’. HAA is a very Thomas-heavy album. ‘Make Love’ is almost definitely Guy’s contribution, though, and it stands out as a very soft, tentative song amidst what is a very difficult album. Almost worried. It’s a nice change from the pace of the others.

Random Access Memories

  • Instant Crush’.
    I love this one purely for writing potential. So many fics could be based around this. Beautiful song, this one.
  • ‘Doin’ It Right’.
    Catchy as hell. You won’t be able to get this one out of your head. Also see honourable mention below.
  • ‘Touch’.
    I said above that I’m not a fan of DP love songs, and this is generally true. (’The Game of Love’ is unintentionally hilarious to me instead of conveying any gravitas, for example.) But this is a love song done right, I think, though it might stretch the definition of ‘love’ a little. It’s theatrical and very powerful, give this a listen.

Honourable mention: ‘Giorgio by Moroder’. This probably won’t sit well with some people because it’s for most part a very long song consisting of a constant disco beat and with some dude rambling in the background. Thing is that this dude is not just any old dude, and that there is a method to this apparent, maddening ostinato - I wrote about this song a few months ago, and described it as a perfect biography in music form. I stand by it. As for what ‘Doin’ It Right’ has got to do with this, the exact clicks that Giorgio Moroder speaks of in the narration of this later become the backbone of that song!

Tron: Legacy Soundtrack

  • ‘Disc Wars’.
    Slow-rising, kind of grim and perfectly suited for the ritual the Disc Wars have become by the time of Tron: Legacy. It’s beautiful.
  • ‘Rinzler’.
    If you didn’t think Rinzler was terrifying before, you sure will when you hear this one. It’s only a short piece but it ends in such a booming, threatening way that you really get the sense that Rinzler is dangerous as fuck. ‘Derezzed’ is the expected conflict/evildoer theme in this soundtrack, maybe, but I prefer something that is more slowly and steadily intimidating like this one.
  • ‘End of Line’.
    Remember ‘Veridis Quo’? Kind of like that but 10x better. Lethargically sensual in a kind of bad guy way.

Honourable mention: ‘Adagio for TRON’. I actually like it because it is sad and grand. It’s orchestral for most part, but listen out for when the electronic bass comes in. It’s great. The solo violin really hammers in the tragedy.

Alive 2007

  • ‘Touch It/Technologic’.
    fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it
  • ‘Around the World/Harder Better Faster Stronger’.
    Oh look two of my absolute favourites mashed into one. This is beautifully done, and if you don’t mind me saying so, I think this is a mashup that perfectly synthesizes Thomas and Guy’s styles. Peak Daft Punk, this one.
  • ‘Da Funk/Daftendirekt’.
    Listen out for when ‘Daftendirekt’ comes in and everyone starts cheering.

Honourable mention: ‘The Prime Time of Your Life/The Brainwasher/Rollin’ & Scratchin’/Alive’. Daft Punk’s most aggressive and brutal songs all mixed into one - I hope you like the heavy stuff!


Bonus:

Roulé

  • ‘Spinal Scratch’/’Spinal Beats’.
    Not so much a song as it is one full record, with two songs that segue effortlessly together. But you really ought to listen to both. I prefer the former, but this is a lot of fun, I promise.
  • ‘Club Soda’.
    It will actually make you thirsty. Also great casino music.
  • ‘Ventura’.
    After three or so minutes some familiar samples begin to come in and the song becomes quite something else. If you like ‘Phoenix’ you’ll like this one.

Honourable mention: ‘Roulé-Boulé’. Not actually a favourite of mine, but by virtue of its complete and utter whimsy alone it might be worth listening to this…

Crydamoure

  • ‘Holiday on Ice’.
    Absolute favourite from Crydamoure. It’s so beautiful. Kind of ethereal, but without ever losing that ever-danceable vibe. It sounds so clean.
  • ‘Nymphae Song’.
    I remember this one quite fondly because it’s the first Crydamoure anything I listened to. But listen to the one that was issued on its own, not the Waves II release - that one’s been sped up. Sweet and playful, I’ve based multiple characters off this song.
  • ‘Spaced Out’.
    Play Paul’s contribution. It is really good, a lot more energetic and less actively sensual than a lot of Crydamoure releases, but it’s a song where you can… hear the wonder, if that makes sense? That’s very alive in ‘Spaced Out’ and its multiple continuations.

Honourable mention: ‘Doggystyle’. It sounds exactly like what it would feel like doing said act, without ever being in the slightest bit porny or whatever. Also kind of hilarious because of the sampled lyrics, though I’m not sure how much of that’s me and how much of that was intentional.

some words about ‘life in real time.’

intro.
recorded in 2015.

i’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the shortened, anticipatory instrumental intro. cole made this track; with jordan & michael’s help. it’s swirling & vibey, it sounds for a moment like something is going to happen but then it doesn’t; it’s etherial & pleasant, which we thought was a cool contrast to the biting sarcasm of…

where to begin.
written in early 2014.
recorded in early 2015.

my favorite song on the album; written while listening to a bunch of the killers & ben folds five.
michael made the track over a year ago & within 6 hours of having it in my inbox, the whole song was finished. it wrote itself; it’s weird how when you’re fighting to understand your artistic blocks, they tend to reveal themselves to you through the art itself: the frustration of not being able to write a song ends up being the part of you that writes the song.

as feels painfully apparent, this one came at a time when we were being pulled in a lot of directions over what we were supposed to do next; 2014 was a hard year to make sense of being in a pop rock band, because a lot of our tour-mates & favorite bands were either breaking up (which we didn’t want to do), chasing to the much more hardcore / modern pop punk side of the spectrum (which is an awesome genre, but felt wasn’t us), or, worst of all, trying to squeeze themselves into the cookie-cutter of hyper-generic commercial musack— for instance, we did a session with a few writers where we were told “less words, less specific, more general, just say happy things, now B HOOK WITH OHS OR AHS OR BAHS OR DAHS OR NAHS!”

what was even more frustrating was that the songs turned out pretty good. they definitely sounded like the kind of thing that might have played behind a target commercial. if they’d have sucked, it would have been easy to ignore them. but instead, it resulted in a lot of internal struggle.
ultimately, we decided they weren’t us, & my frustration with those songs & that struggle led to a grand piece of satire— where to begin. i’m happy with it. i think it’s pretty aggressively honest. originally, before the big band explosion & ba-de-das, i’d planned to answer the “where do we go next?” question— with a verbal, spoken, “i don’t know, some vapid & meaningless B hook?”

but of course, the vapid & meaningless B hook is the part of the song that i most look forward to. music, ain’t it a thing?

back to life.
written in 2014.
recorded in 2015.

i’m intrigued by how obsessed artists are with the freedom of youth. there’s something about the period of time after learning to drive & before being sucked into the real-world vacuum of taxes & monotony that is constantly, obsessively heralded as the time of ultimate freedom. i don’t know about other people, but my youth wasn’t like that; my youth was a time of learning to dwell within & experiment with the bounds that were set for me. my youth was about trying to win debate tournaments & stay out of the way of people in high school who didn’t like me.

the only real freedom that was involved was emotional freedom, & that was something i had to allow myself— i loved a lot harder & cared a lot more back then, before i learned not to, & started to develop this thick skin of adulthood. & i think that’s why we romanticize it. the freedom of youth is in it’s stupidity— bold, reckless, vulnerable stupidity.

i wanted to write a song with characters that embodied that innocent, emotional freedom; idealized characters that sound like they could be protagonists of a young adult novel, who genuinely believe that youth isn’t a time in your life but a way of viewing it, & that ‘people only grow up when they’ve got nothing better to do.’

i reference a lot of my favorite art from that era of my life— ‘I’ve got a $20 bill…’ is from a Brand New song. ‘The only thing that matters is how well you can walk through the fire’ is Bukowski. ‘Stay Golden’ is so oft-referenced that it out-shines the book it comes from (i had to alter the syntax for the sake of rhyme, by the way).

who we were with.
written in 2013.
recorded in 2014.

i’ve written about this one at length, & talked about it often, so i’m afraid my analysis of the song has over-shadowed my feelings about the song itself. but i guess that makes sense, because the song is itself is probably over-thinking relationships anyway.

it was written over a track that cole, lucas, jordan, marcus & michael made while i was out of town. evidently the track had some structural errors, but i wrote over it anyway, which is why some of the verse lengths are weird & feel random.

it was written after seeing after watching several relationships, my friend’s & my friend’s parent’s, that fell apart because the expectation of the relationship, the desire to just ‘have someone,’ the words used to describe the relationship, overshadowed the important parts. it’s a pretty basic theory— for better or worse, settling for less or creating more, we learn to love who the people who are around us.

talk about it.
written in 2015.
recorded in 2015.

jordan made this track, which is why so much of the instrumental bed is crazy guitar. he gave it to me a year ago & it had so much vibe that i spent 6 months trying to write to it, but every time, i’d fail the tone. then one day, one line made it all make sense, & the rest of the song happened.

every relationship i’ve ever been in has reached this moment, the point where it’s bursting forth with feelings & hang-ups & hold-ons, all things worth talking about, & it’s so overwhelmed by them that the only rational response is to talk about none of them. one in particular that i think was my main reference for writing was one of those back-and-forth, 2-am-text kind of relationships, & i can remember thinking very distinctly one morning, “she likes how i make her feel, i like how she makes me feel, & we don’t give a shit about each other.” & neither of us really wanted to talk about it.

you to believe in.
written in 2013.
recorded in early 2014.

‘if i ever lose my faith in you, there’d be nothing left for me to lose.’ - sting.

there’s a lot of shitty things; & i spend a lot of time thinking about those things. i’m generally disappointed by politics, & the media, & celebrity culture. there’s a tremendous amount of hurt in the world & we ignore most of it. people are starving, the Earth is on its way to being completely broken, & if you let yourself be fully empathetic to all of that suffering, you’re never going to keep your head above the water. so what, in this vacuous wasteland of a planet, is there to care about? what’s left to believe in?

you.

guard.
written in 2015.
recorded in 2015.

cole made this track & wrote this chorus & sent it to me. other than tacking on some verses, it’s end-to-end his creation, & one of my favorite pieces of music on the album. the way it makes me feel— completely swallowed by the sound— perfectly captures the lyric. he’s written a lot of phenomenal songs; i think this might be my favorite.

sentiment.
written in early 2015.
recorded in 2015.

i think this song is about cinnamon….

cole wrote the chorus of this song, & i think found a very cool way to speak directly to the questions that everyone asks themselves in every relationship: am i really into this person, or am i into the idea of them? are we great, or does it just sound great in my head? do i love them, or do i love the story i’ve written for us in my head?

i hope i was able to honor that. in the social media age, where we can observe air-brushed versions of everyone’s lives, i think it’s easy to create a picture perfect narrative of how your relationship story is going to go before it actually happens (i do this all the time; i’m a serial first-date wedding planner). the problem with that, of course, is that it’s not going to go the way you want it to, regardless of how well it goes, & when the story in real life doesn’t match up with the story in your head, there’s bound to be friction. but alas, i can’t stop myself from doing it. i’m a slave to the sentiment.

next to me.
written in 2014.
recorded in 2015.

it was my soft, simple, sappy comedy ode to the 2 am walk home from the bar with the girl who’s impossibly out of reach.

because i think it always goes like this: everyone looks so big, so out of reach, too good for you from up close, so you disappear into self-consciousness & ignore the human parts of them. then, past 2 am, people start to unravel & become who they really are, & you realize that all of the impossibility of them was in your own head— just like you, they’re afraid of the future & afraid of what the world has in store for them & afraid of being alone. & you realize you were close the whole time, you just weren’t letting yourself be.

sleep.
written in 2015.
recorded in 2015.

when i heard this track, i think i saw the song before i wrote it. the instrumentation sounded to me like the 2 am, dark blue moment where the thing you’re most afraid of keeps you awake, so you stare out the window with your head on the pillow & wonder what the point of any of this is. the age & gender & struggle of every character in the song is different, but they’re united by that moment, the sky they’re looking at, & their desperate need for sleep to find them.

i hesitate to write too much about it; to explain the position of each character is to over-complicate it, so i’ll just leave it at this: i very carefully considered every line in the song, how the characters felt, & how the world felt about them. it’s one of my favorite songs that’s ever found me, & i hope it finds you too.
also, jordan’s guitar solo is incredibly tasteful.

say my name.
written in 2015.
recorded in 2015.

cole wrote this song; it’s a fantastic love song, but i can’t speak much to it!

reunion.
written in 2013.
recorded in 2014.

for reunion, i had the unique experience of being somewhere (a bar in our home town in south dakota) & feeling a song write itself in a single moment, like a different me was sitting in a room with a piano above me sending words down. i talked about the idea for it quite a bit here:

https://youtu.be/mIUi8McaMOM?t=4m37s

but the basic gist is this: everyone’s lonely, especially in their early 20’s. we go places like bars to feel like we’re not, but what we end up doing is comparing our lives to the people around us & feeling even more lonely. but at least we don’t have to be alone.

that’s the kind of thing that gets better, right?

right? anybody?

Querencia - Luke Hemmings

In which Luke has a hidden secret, that [y/n] wants to know.

5.8kish words

Warning: Slight pain kink, smut.


◇◇◇◇◇◇


Querencia - (n.) A place from which one’s strenth is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you are your most authentic self.

Throughout the years, I’ve always had people question my relationship with Luke. It’s understandable, I guess – but it doesn’t make it any less annoying for either of us.


We are best friends’ first, roommates second. Our parents were best friends since high school, so it was only natural for Luke and me to become so close since our parents were constantly in each other’s houses. Our parents always hoped that we would become more than best friends, but it would be too weird for us to even kiss at this stage.


Since we grew up together, a lot of my earlier memories have Luke in them. We even got first-hand view of all the prepubescent stages in each other’s lives. From holding hands when we started school at four – both of us being terribly nervous and not knowing anyone else but each other meant that we had to rely on each other for that added bit of comfort. We spent Christmases together growing up, alternating between whose house the Christmas feast would be ate at, spending birthdays with each other, having sleepovers every weekend too. Even up to when we had hit puberty, both our bodies changing rapidly and the other not knowing what to do or how to act. I started filling out and my body started taking shape and Luke’s voice dropped significantly while his body went through its own change. It has always been Luke and I. Although in saying that, we did have relationships. We had crushes on other people and they would blossom into relationships over time. Luke had girlfriends and I had boyfriends – but all of that would naturally end in subsequential heartbreaks that the other would be the shoulder to cry on and the confidant.


What surprised most people was Luke’s musical ability. From a young age, Luke would upload videos onto YouTube and I would sit in the room with him while he recorded because according to Luke, I ‘calmed him’ and made him ‘feel less nervous.’ He gained popularity from this and became more of the Luke that only I was privy to knowing, and this made me happier than I could ever imagine.


A few months into Luke starting up on YouTube, he and two friends decided to make a band and upload covers together instead of just Luke doing it. At first the two boys, Calum and Michael, didn’t take too well to me but after a few weeks of hanging around with each other we started getting on like a house on fire. I was never excluded from anything and often sat in the background of the videos.


The boys started getting more and more recognised and decided to get a permanent drummer by the name of Ashton. With this small action, they created a band that could now go play full gigs because they had a full band. Thus, 5 Seconds of Summer was born.


Fast forward 3 years and the boys are now selling out gigs all across the country. They are by no means famous but they had a steady fan base who were really devoted towards them.


It was late August when Luke and I decided to move in together and out of our childhood homes. It made perfect sense to us as we have always been with each other. Luke and [y/n]. The dynamic duo. Luke was either recording for the album, touring, or doing promotional work so he was hardly at his home with his parents as it was far away from the city, so he would have to suffice with hotels constantly. Whereas I was starting university and wanted to be closer to campus with the added freedom of not having parents looking over my shoulders. With it being revealed that Luke and I were moving in together, this sparked even more rumours about our ‘relationship’ which he would brush off with explaining about our parents being best friends so it was inevitable for us to form a close bond to each other.


Moving in with Luke is one of my favourite memories and I think it always will be. We managed to get our parents to help so we could just move all our belongings in one trip. The problem with this was that we moved in on a Monday, and our furniture wasn’t due to come until Thursday morning which meant that for three nights, we slept on the hardwood floor of our sitting room covered in blankets. We would stay up till the early hours just talking about our hopes and dreams, and how we were going to decorate our new home.


Two months after moving in (and finally getting our furniture), Luke had to leave for a three month tour without any breaks and he was more than a little apprehensive about leaving me alone in the apartment for that long. The night before he was to leave, he brought up the subject of me going with him.
“Angel… Come on. Take a break from Uni and just tour with us. You know you want to. I’d feel loads better if you came along too” Luke stated, using the nickname I had earned at the tender age of five when I dressed up as an angel to go trick or treating with Luke and his older brother, Jack. He has called me angel ever since.
“Luke please… You know how important Uni is to me. Not everyone gets accepted into their dream course and Uni. I don’t want to jeopardise anything by taking time off. I’m sorry” I responded dejectedly, turning away from the dishes I was washing in our sink to face Luke who was leaning against our breakfast counter. He looked hopeless and a little lost. His eyebrows were furrowed and a creased was formed between them that I wanted to smooth out and take his worries and troubles away. But I couldn’t because I was feeling a bit dismayed and dejected.
“I’ve always supported you, Luke. No matter what. I’ve always been your biggest fan and had your back despite if I agreed with you or not. Please let me do this, please just support me.” I mumbled.
Luke sauntered around the counter and pulled me into a tight embrace, resting his chin on my head.
“[y/n], I didn’t mean it like that. Angel, I swear it. We have never been separated for more than a week and I don’t want to be away from you for that long. You’re my good luck charm. I always play better when you are around… But I understand, I get it. Uni is your dream, just like the band is mine. But you have to call me every day and text me all the time so I know your happy and safe, okay?” Luke quaked.
He pressed a soft kiss to my forehead and smiled down at me. “You come before anything, angel. That’s what best friends do. Go to bed now, yeah? We’re up early to say goodbye before I leave.” Luke whispered endearingly.
I nodded and placed a kiss upon his cheek and went to my bedroom.
Sleep didn’t come easy to me that night. I was constantly trying to turn off the nagging feeling in my heart that I was making a big mistake in not going with him. Of course I was going to miss him, more than humanly possible that it might be considered to miss a person. Luke and I rely on each other. We are best friends and nothing could ever change that. We bring out the best in each other and compliment the others faults perfectly. I was going to lose my other half for three months and that scared me more than I would ever admit to him. I know we would speak every day and text all the time – but it wouldn’t be the same as having him home. I would have no one to go to when I had a bad day, no one to console me after I had a nightmare, no one to laugh with in the early hours – and this made me feel terribly lonely.


Morning came, as did a lot of tears on my part. Saying goodbye to my best friend, even though it was only for three months was a lot harder than I anticipated. Luke remained strong and full of spirits, reminding me that I started Uni in a few days and would make tonnes of friends and I wouldn’t even have time to miss him. He left on a good note and promised to call as soon as he got to the hotel. I gave the other three boys hugs and made them promise me that they would look after him since I wouldn’t be around to do so.


The first two weeks were the worst. Luke would call me every morning when I woke up and every night before I went to sleep. I didn’t want to tell him that I was missing him as I didn’t want him to feel guilty and that he needed to come back. Like he said, I was living my dream and he was living his. It was considerably worse come night time. When the day was done and I was left to my thoughts in bed, the apartment would settle and make noises. When Luke was here, he would always be the brave one and search the apartment when I got scared in case anybody had gotten in. Now that responsibility was on me. I would only forget sometimes over the three months that he wasn’t here. If something great had happened at work or at Uni that I wanted to tell him about, I would come rushing home and burst through the door and beckon for him, only to be greeted my silence and the crushing reality that my best friend was off living his life without me.


The day Luke was due back was the first day I skipped Uni and called in sick to work. I knew that Ash, Michael, and Calum would be coming back to ours as well so I wanted to be well prepared for their arrival.


They all piled through the door earlier than expected. I had been texting Luke on and off for the day and he had told me to expect them at 7pm, it being only 5 I decided to have a shower and freshen myself up a little. I was in the shower when I heard the door slam shut and voices coming from the hall way. Naturally, I thought it was an intruder so I grabbed the nearest towel to wrap around myself and the nearest weapon I could find, which in my luck was a hairdryer.
‘Great’ I thought ‘I’m going to die and I’m in a towel holding a hairdryer to protect myself.’
I walked out of the bathroom and down the hall to go towards the sitting room where I could hear the voices. Clutching the towel (and the hairdryer) close to my chest. I crept into the sitting room where I was met with three smiling faces and the back of my best friend.


“Guys, she isn’t even here. I told you trying to surprise her was a bad idea. She’s probably off with all of her new friends from Uni” Luke grunted. I smiled to myself and dropped the hairdryer to the ground. Luke turned around to see what had made such a clatter and instantly smiled when he saw me. “Angel, you’re here!” He exclaimed. I ran towards him and jumped so I could hug him close to me. After he caught me we stayed like that for what seemed like hours but was merely minutes. Just holding each other and trying to show how much we missed each other by the simple gesture. It wasn’t until we heard someone cough in the background that we realised that we weren’t alone.
“Guys, really, come on.” Ashton smirked. The other boys laughed while Luke’s cheeks burned a vibrant shade of pink. “[y/n]… eh… not trying to sound rude, or that I’m not enjoying the view or anything, but why are you just in a towel?” Michael inquired with a grin upon his face.
Luke turned his focus back to me and realised, just like I did, that I was still in a towel and it was bunched up in all the wrong places. Luke’s cheeks flushed even more as he set me down so I could readjust myself to look as presentable as one could in a towel. “Guys, I’m gonna go and put some clothes on.. I didn’t expect you lot to be home so early and I thought I was getting robbed so I came out and I saw you and yeah. I’m gonna go change now” I rambled hurriedly, my own cheeks flushing scarlet. “There is pizza in the freezer and beer in the fridge guys” I said before departing to the safety of my room.


After getting changed, I was sat on my bed trying to get over the embarrassment that occurred twenty minutes earlier when I heard a soft knock on my door. “Come in” I yelled. Luke walked in with a shy smile on his face and a beer in his hand. “Why you not coming out, angel? I told the guys not to say anything about earlier… thought you might be a bit embarrassed over what happened you know?” he said quietly taking a seat beside me. I put my head on his shoulder and hummed. “Missed you lots Lukey. Like oodles. House was real lonely without you lot in it annoying me” I replied with a sad smile. Luke wrapped his arm around my shoulder to pull me closer to him. “Missed you too, angel. But we gotta go out and make sure they aren’t ruining the apartment.” Luke laughed and pulled us out of my bedroom to see what damage the boys had done to our house.


Four hours later, and we were all currently in between the stage of being drunk and being tipsy. The pizza was long gone and the empty beer bottles littered around the sitting room made it look like you were all alcoholics.
“We should play a game of truth or dare” Calum slurred. “Mate… we played that so much on tour. It’s boring now. I don’t want to see you naked any more than I have done” Michael laughed. “Man… no, like I agree with Cal, we have [y/] now, she hasn’t played it with us yet” Ash spoke between hiccups. I gazed at the expectant glares from the 3 boys and let my eyes go to Luke. “Guys, I don’t really want to… You know, seems a bit childish to play and I’m severely outnumbered.” I mumbled. Luke took my hand in his and ran his thumb across my knuckles. It was soothing, and felt nice in my hazy state of mind. “Come on babe, it will be fun I promise” Michael sang. “Okay, fine I guess” I gulped knowing full well that this was not going to end good for any of us.


An hour later, Calum was naked (Like Michael claimed he would be) holding a cushion so we wouldn’t see anything, Michael had make up on, and Ashton was in one of my dresses. Luke and I went unscathed throughout the process because as Michael grumbled at one stage they were ‘going easy on me because I’m a girl and Luke would kill them. “[y/n]” Ash dragged out, the alcohol evident because his words were becoming more and more slurred.
“Truth or dare?” he questioned. The choice was easy. “Truth” I smiled at him. I had noticed that they were going easy on me, not that it bothered me, but it did make me apprehensive over what they were actually capable of. Everyone was quiet for a few minutes while Ashton thought of what to ask me. “I’ve got one!” Michael yelled while leaning over and whispering it to Ash. “Mate, we already know that. It’s a bit obvious.” Ashton scoffed. “Ask anyway just to check. Come on Ash! I wanna know for definite.” Michael pleaded. “[y/n], have you ever had a crush on Luke?”


I sat there for a few minutes, trying my best to figure out how to answer the question. I didn’t want to lie, but I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.
“Yeah I did have a crush on Luke a few years ago, yeah” I mumbled looking at the ground refusing to look at any of them.

It was inevitable, I guess. As cliché as it sounded, having a huge crush on my best friend when we were 15. Obviously I didn’t act upon it or let Luke know in anyway because I didn’t want to jeopardise our friendship and this would have changed it completely. I wasn’t going to risk our friendship for a silly crush.

Everything was quiet. All you could hear was the steady breathing of everyone. “Wow.. Wasn’t expecting that answer, to be honest.” Ashton said with a laugh trying to lighten the mood a bit. “Yeah, me either” Luke muttered. I could feel the atmosphere in the room slightly drop and I’m almost certain that everyone else felt it too. “Moving on swiftly…” Michael dragged out.


The game lasted another twenty minutes before it got to Luke, and he picked truth after all the horrid dares he was asked to do prior to the question that fell from Calum’s knowing lips “Mate, have you ever fancied [y/n]?” If I thought things went quiet when I was asked, I don’t know what you would call the lack of sound in the room now. No one was even breathing. I peaked at Luke and from what I saw he looked angry that Cal had brought this up. “No mate, I’ve always seen her as a sister or a best friend. Nothing more than that.” Luke sneered


I didn’t know why but that made me feel sad. Almost heartbroken in a way. That all the feelings I had towards him were unrequited and he only saw me as a friend. The feeling was slowly crawling at my chest, telling me that I needed to go and be by myself to get over the fact that I admitted into crushing on him but he obviously never felt the same way and that made me sad. Really sad.


The whole game changed after that and after fifteen minutes of playing, I decided it was time for bed. “Guys, I’m a bit sleepy, yeah? Too much beer I think. I’m just gonna call it a night.” I said with as much happiness I could muster. “Oh… okay… If you’re sure [y/n]” Calum mumbled, looking at me with new found guilt in his eyes. “Yeah positive. Night boys. See you tomorrow.” I replied waving at them all before turning down to my room. I closed the door softly before going to get into my pyjamas.


When Luke was away, I’d sleep in one of his ratty t-shirts and a pair of shorts. Tonight though, tonight was different and I didn’t feel comfortable in his clothes so I grabbed a sweatshirt from Uni instead.


After about an hour of tossing and turning I gave up on sleep and headed for the kitchen to get a drink of water before trying to sleep again. I heard voices coming from behind the closed door of the kitchen and decided to listen into what was being said before I interrupted anything.

“Mate you seriously fucked up. Did you see her? Did you see how sad [y/n] looked? Seriously, Luke, she looked like she was gonna break down and start crying” Ashton scolded Luke. “Yeah man… I’ve never seen [y/n] look that unhappy. Even when her and whats-his-name broke up. She looked devastated, mate. You gotta fix this.” Michael chimed in. “What I really want to know is why did you lie?” Calum lashed out at Luke. I flinched at his harsh tone, never hearing it come from him even when he was angry. “Didn’t lie Cal. You should know that by –” Luke was cut off by a fist against the table “Don’t you dare tell me you didn’t lie! I know you lied, Luke. Stop being such a dick and just admit it! You wrote those two songs for her! I was there with you!” Calum bellowed “Man, keep your voice down you’ll wake her up and I’m done talking about this” Luke hissed. “Wait.. Luke. You and Calum only wrote two songs when we were touring. Did you write them? Did you write them about [y/n]? Michael asked quietly.


Luke told me that he didn’t write any songs this tour. That the other boys did and he sent me recordings of parts of them. What were they talking about? Luke told me he didn’t write anything.


“What songs?” I whispered as I walked into the kitchen. Four heads snapped in my direction. Eight eyes widening and six of those eight eyes looked like they would rather be in hell then here. “Guys we need to leave them be, come on” Ashton murmured while dragging Cal and Michael out of the kitchen and out of the apartment completely.
“What songs, Luke?” I asked with more aggression in my tone but still making my voice soft. “Please don’t lie to me.. Please, Lukey” I whispered. Willing myself not to cry. “The ones I sent you three weeks ago. Close as Strangers and Beside You.” He said through gritted teeth. “What?… Why?” I asked, none of this making sense. He was my best friend and these are love songs. Why is he writing them about me. “Leave it [y/n], it doesn’t matter.” He sighed leaving the kitchen to go to his room. That’s when it all hit me at once and it felt like I had a hand constricting my heart. All the moments that I thought was Luke just being an affectionate best friend was really him trying to show me he saw me more than that. I stumbled through the kitchen to get to him before he went to his room. It looks like I caught him in time as he had one hand on his doorknob.


“How long?” My voice quivered. Luke turned around, his eyes rimmed red with tears that won’t fall. He just stared at me. Trying to figure out what to tell me. “How long?” I demanded, my voice getting louder. Luke flinched and balanced on the balls of his feet. “[y/n] leave it, yeah? You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Luke dictated “How long have you been in love with me Luke?!” I screamed at him. My voice echoing of our empty hallway. Luke at one end, me at the other. “I..I..-” Luke stammered “Since you cleaned up the nasty gash on my leg when I fell of my bike” He said in a breath. I wasn’t expecting that. That was over fifteen years ago. We hadn’t even started school at that stage. Luke was in love with me. Luke was in love with me. My best friend was in love with me. “Why didn’t you ever tell me?” I whispered, not trusting my voice anymore. Luke watched me, my reactions and how I was processing this. I could see it in his eyes that he was weighing up weather or not to tell me why he hadn’t told me about his secret. After a few minutes of silence, I took it as he was not going to answer me. I turned to walk towards my room, feeling more rejected than I have ever done. Just as I was about to reach for my doorknob I heard him speak “I couldn’t risk it. I couldn’t lose you. Its crazy [y/n], seriously. I can’t even put it into words for you. I can’t stand another guy touching you and loving you knowing that I could do it better. All the times you would cry over some asshole that broke your heart and left. I was there thinking that if maybe, just maybe, if I had asked you out that it might save you from the heartbreak. It killed me. It honestly killed me. I couldn’t risk losing our friendship over what I felt. I don’t know who I am without you and that hurts more than you can imagine because I know I should. But I don’t. It’s crazy and irrational. But yeah [y/n] I am hopelessly in love with you that I can’t even be away from you for three months. The guys had to pull me back from coming home to you. I couldn’t stand it [y/n] I can’t stand it.” Luke exclaimed. His face was bright red, either from the lack of breath that he took or the confession and I’m pretty sure that I had tears streaming down my face.


This was it. In the next moment I could do something that would drastically change our friendship forever. Without even thinking of the consequences, I ran to him. I ran to the boy that just poured his heart out to me. As soon as I got close enough I jumped, knowing that he would catch me. Like he always has done and always will do. Before I could even comprehend what I was about to do, I kissed him.


Most first kisses are magical and tender. Ours wasn’t. Teeth clashing against each other, trying to get as much passion as possible into the kiss that altered our lives. His lips were smooth against mine, tugging at my bottom lip then smoothing it back with his tongue. His tongue fought for dominance with mine as we stood in the hallway with my legs wrapped around his waist and his hands cupping my ass. He pulled back from my lips to look into my eyes. Seeking reassurance I presume. That this was okay. That I was okay. He peppered little kisses all over my face whilst reaching behind him to open his bedroom door.


He brought me into his room, tugging on my hand to bring me close to his bed. Luke brought his hand to tuck a strand of hair behind my ear, “my beautiful angel, so so so beautiful” he whispered, forehead resting on mine as he leaned in for what was the sweetest kiss I had ever received in my life. It was full of lust, love, admiration, and longing.


His hands started gripping at my sweatshirt; he tugged once to ask permission to remove it from my body. I nodded against his lips and moved back so he could take it off me. As soon as it was off, his eyes glanced down to see I had taken my bra off and was now standing in front of him topless. His eyes lit up like he had just opened the best present ever. His lips smashed against my own, his needy hands groping at me, pinching and twisting my nipples. He lowered his mouth to my neck and started sucking harshly on the skin there. Biting and licking over it a few times until he was certain that he had left his mark on me. His hands were still at my chest and still working their magic against my aching flesh.
I reached up to the buttons on his shirt to undo them so we would be even but my hands were full of shakes that I couldn’t even get the first one undone. “Relax, angel, it’s just me. It’s just me” he whispered in my ear. Luke’s hands left my breasts and made work of his own shirt. When it was off we stood there gazing at each other, at each other’s bodies. He undid his belt and the zipper on his jeans. Luke looked at me to see if I was okay with all of this. Since my voice was gone, I simply nodded. In a matter of seconds, his jeans were no longer on him and he was standing in a very very tight pair of boxers. I could see the tip of his cock at the band of his boxers. It was flushed a pretty shade of red. I licked my lips while I stared at him. I heard a slight awkward cough and return my gaze to meet his. Luke had a cocky grin on his face and gestured to my shorts. “Oh” I squeaked. I ran my hand down my body, as I watched Luke’s gaze follow it. I grabbed my shorts and pushed them down my legs. I stood back up and let my eyes meet Luke’s. An unspoken agreement between us as to what was going to happen. He grabbed my hand for a second time and sat down on the side of the bed, pulling me atop to straddle him.


Our lips met each other’s necks. Sucking, biting, licking. Alternating them occasionally. Little gasps were coming out of our mouths as my hips started to move and grind upon his. Luke’s hands fell to my waist as he tried to steady my hurried movements. I could feel him growing harder and harder at each movement. My own excitement evident in my panties. I didn’t notice when one of his hands dropped from my waist to inch my panties to the side. Luke’s thumb started rubbing against my clit, as I kept a fast pace grinding on him. The friction causing us both more pleasure then we expected. His other hand dropped to my hips to move me faster upon his clothed cock. Profanities slipping from his perfect lips. “Luke please..” I moaned into his neck. His thumb started rubbing my clit faster, harsher than before. His hand on my hip gripped me and started moving me at a speed I wouldn’t have conceived was possible. I felt a knot form in my lower tummy and whispered into his ear “ ‘m close Lukey, real close.” I lowered my head and mouth back to his collarbone and started kissing it. He brought in another finger and started lightly pinching my clit. This was all it took for me come undone, I bit into his collarbone and let out a moan that would make porn actresses jealous. Luke moaned along with me, still guiding my hips, just at a slower rate. I was breathing harshly at his neck when I decided to return the favour.


I dropped to my knees in front of him, palming his already hardened cock. I pulled at his boxers to get them down a bit so I could start making him feel good. Luke was oddly quiet when I pulled his cock out of his boxers and started kitten licking his shaft. I placed his tip at my mouth and lowered my mouth around him. Luke let out a sigh of relief and pushed my hair away from my face. I hummed against his cock to say thank you. Luke really enjoyed this as he bucked his hips towards me, making me take more of him than I expected. My mouth clenched around him, and my teeth grazed against his cock gently. “Oh god… Angel.. Please, please do that again” He stuttered. Taking his advice on board, I took more and more of him into my mouth, licking and sucking until I reached the base. When I got to the base, I bit down as gently as I could, Luke let out an animalistic moan and gripped my hair tighter. I worked my way back up to the tip, biting every so often and earning further groans of approval from Luke in return. When I got to the tip, I licked over his tip as pre-come was oozing out of it, I bit down gently again to have Luke pull me back by my hair. “Sorry, [y/n].. feels so good. Need to be with you. Want to be in you” He softly spoke. He lifted me up and placed me under him, taking off my panties and his boxers quickly.


One of Luke’s arms rested by my head and the other drawing shapes into my hip. He looked positively nervous “[y/n], angel, you sure? This is gonna change everything.. Don’t wanna.. Don’t want you to feel you have to. Want you to want this. Want you to want me.” He spoke in hushed tones. I lifted my hand to rest upon his cheek. “Want you. Want this, Lukey.” I smiled at him. When he smiled back and leaned into kiss me ever so softly. He took his hand away from my hip and guided himself towards my entrance. Both of us nervous and apprehensive of taking this step. His lips held mine unmoving as he pushed himself in me. Stretching me out and filling me up completely. A gasp from me and a moan from him. As weird as it was, I have never felt more complete in my life than I was in that moment. “You good, angel?” He groaned in my ear. Self-restraint was clear in his voice. “Mmhm, move please.” I asked.


Luke drew his hips back and pushed into me Moans filling up the room and the sounds of our bodies connecting echoing off the walls surrounding us. Each trust filled with promises of our future, of the love we shared, all our hopes and dreams combining into one. “Lu, I need more. Harder please” I mewled. Luke picked up the pace, headboard crashing against the wall. I raked my nails down his back which seemed to spur him on further. Luke reached down and took hold of one of my legs and threw it on to his shoulder, doing the same with my other leg. He pulled back and started pounding into me. I was clenching like crazy around him as this position made everything feel better. “Angel, need you to come now yeah? Need you to come around my cock” Luke whispered pushing his hips into mine at such a fast pace. Loud moans coming from both of us was going to give the neighbours a lot to think about. “[y/n], come on. Come for me, angel.” Luke’s words were all I needed to clench one last time around his cock and release all over him. Luke started bucking furiously into me as I ran my nails down his back, already raw from my nails earlier. He followed shortly after with a yell of my name and one final harsh trust into me.


Hours or minutes late, we were still wrapped up in each other in Luke’s bed. Luke lying on his back drawing shapes onto my back, me lying on his chest drawing shapes onto it in return. After what seemed like forever when we were on the brink of sleep. Luke whispered to me words I never thought I’d hear him say.

“[y/n].. What does this make us?”


◇◇◇◇◇◇


luna xo

Ross Imagine: For Jasmine

You let a few tears slip your eyes as you read yet another magazine page about your boyfriend, Ross. Every one is the same; “Ross Lynch hanging with a new girl?” “Is Ross cheating on Jasmine for his co-star?” “Ross Lynch snuggles up with a new girl”. You know they are all rumors that the stupid tabloids make up but you can’t help but feel upset about it. You trust Ross and he’s told you a million times that you’re the only one, but a part of you just keeps worrying. He’s a musician in a band traveling all around the world with a million girls falling all over him. Girls who you are sure are much prettier than you, funnier than you, girls who Ross would totally be better off with. 

As you close the magazine and throw it on your bed you let out a groan. You walk over to your bookshelf and pull out the photo album Ross gave you before he left for tour 4 months ago. You take it and sit on your bed once again, setting your eyes on the lyrics written on the front of it in Ross’ sloppy handwriting:

“Where our eyes are never closing, hearts are never broken, times forever frozen still.”

You run your fingers across the words before opening to the first page of pictures. The first one you notice is of you and Ross, almost in mid-air, just about to fall into the pool.

“Ross I swear if you push me in I will never speak to you again!” you yell as he is chasing you with a huge cheesy smile on his face. 

“Oh come on, babe,” he starts before grabbing your waist, “you could never do that, you love me too much.” Before you could even respond he has picked you up and jumped in the pool with you in his arms.

You both come up for air and you immediately splash Ross in the face. “Well I do still love you,” you say with a smile, “just slightly less now that you threw me in the pool you jerk.” He just laughs and keeps his arms around you as he places a kiss to your forehead.

You smile at the memory and let your eyes glance to a picture on the next page. Your face is covered in chocolate ice cream and you are mid-way smashing your vanilla cone in Ross’ face.

“Okay hold up your ice-creams and smile!” says Stormie as she holds up her camera to you and Ross. You smile but then feel something cold on your nose and realize that Ross just put his ice cream all over your face.

He starts to try and get away but before he can you grab hold of his wrist, “Oh no, Lynch,” you say, “you’re not getting off that easy!” And in the blink of an eye your vanilla ice cream is all over his face.

“Well I wanted a smile but this picture is way cuter,” Stormie says smiling at the camera. And you just playfully push Ross as ya’ll continue walking down the boardwalk.

You flip through a couple pages and another picture specifically catches your eye. You’re sitting on Ross’ shoulders at a music festival, both of you smiling and looking up at the stage.

“Ugh Ross we got here too late I can’t see a thing!” you whine as you try and look over the huge crowd of people in front of you.

“What do you mean, I can see fine,” he says and you just look at him with the sassiest look you have ever put on your face.

“Well, mister, not all of us are 6′2 now are we?” you say and he playfully rolls his eyes.

“Alright, babe,” he says bending down, “get on my shoulders.” You smile and happily oblige as you climb on his shoulders.

“Is that better?” he says over the loud music.

You bend over so you’re closer to his ears, “Much!”

You continue to flip through the book until you get to the last and final picture. It’s of you and Ross in front of the tour bus, kissing goodbye before he left for tour.

“Do you have to go,” you whine jokingly, knowing that there is no possible way on earth that he isn’t going on this tour.

“I wish you could go with me, Jasmine,” he says pulling you into a tight hug, “I’m going to miss you so much.” 

The tears start to fall at this point and you mumble out the best you can, “I’ll miss you more,” and he hugs you tighter, knowing you’re crying. You didn’t see it with your face buried in his chest but he’s let a few tears fall as well.

You both stay there, soaking in the moment before it’s gone. After a couple very short minutes your pull away from the hug but the distance between you hardly changes.

“I don’t want to be alone,” you whisper quietly and you can see the heartbroken look on his face.

He wipes away the leftover tears on your face with his thumb and cups your face in both his hands. Your forehead leans against his and he quickly pulls you into a kiss. A kiss that, even though you’ve done it a thousand times, never loses it’s magic. The kiss that you both know won’t happen again for another 6 months. All too soon you two pull away and before he gets on the bus he takes your hands in his.

“You won’t be alone,” he starts, “We will facetime and call and you have all our pictures. Never forget that.” He places one last kiss on your forehead and gets on the bus, the moment you have dreaded ever since he left.

Smiling from ear to ear at all the memories in the book you look underneath that last picture. Once again in Ross’ handwriting it says more lyrics that bring tears of happiness back to your eyes.

“We keep this love in a photograph, we made these memories for ourselves.”

And on the very back of the book you see the last words:

“Just wait for me to come home.”

-Madz <3

(Okay so this one was a bit different so let me know what you think of it! It’s based off the song Photograph by Ed Sheeran because I am obsessed with it right now! <3)

Feeling Nostalgic.

I made a playlist of my favorite albums of all time and each album means so much to me so I’m gonna list them and say a little about each. They’re in order. Top is my favorite and then on.

  •  The Menzingers - On The Impossible Past

This is by far my favorite. I’ve never heard such a masterpiece. Every song is an emotional roller coaster for me. Favorite tracks: Casey, Mexican Guitars, Sun Hotel.

  • All Get Out - The Season

I didn’t hear this until 2 years after it’s release. The raw power behind Nathan’s voice gives me chills. The guitars on this album drive me crazy. It brings me back to 2013 and my ex and inevitably losing her. Favorite Tracks: Let Me Go, My Friends, Come and Gone.

  • Jack’s Mannequin - Everything In Transit

I’ll be short and sweet. I’ve on;y ever wanted to kill myself at one point in my life. This album helped get me past that stage. Favorite Tracks: I’m Ready, La La Lie, Bruised.

  • City and Colour - Sometimes

This album got me through every loss ive ever experienced. Losing a friend, girlfriend, or the death of my grandpa. This album helped every time. It inspired my first tattoo. Favorite Tracks: Hello I’m In Delaware, Off By Heart, Day Old Hate.

  • I Am The Avalanche - Self Titled

Vinnie is my favorite vocalist of all time, this is my favorite of his work. The B-side to this album is so dark and twisted. Listening to it makes me feel the pain he must have went through while writing this. I also have a tattoo from a theme on this album. Favorite Tracks: Green Eyes, Symphony, Clean Up.

  • Rage Against The Machine - Self Titled

The energy, anger, and musicianship on this album are unmatched to this day. Every song on this is recognizable. Another true masterpiece and timeless classic. Favorite Tracks: Bullet In The Head, Killing In The Name, Wake Up.

  • The Killers - Sam’s Town

Hot Fuss may have had better singles but this is a better, more complete album. Start to finish this album was made to be played really loud to drown out my bad singing along. Favorite Tracks: For Reasons Unknown, Why Do I Keep Counting?, When You Were Young.

  • Brand New - The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me

Words can’t express how I feel about this album very well. It ruins me emotionally. Favorite Tracks: Degausser, You Won’t Know, The Archers Bows Have Broken.

  • Two Humans - Institute Of Living

If you told a young version of me one of my favorite bands would be made of guys I went to high school with I’d laugh in your face. These guys are full of energy and riffs. This album specifically flows one song into the next so perfectly. I’ve never heard an album do that so well. Favorite Tracks: Beaux, Spine, Homestead.

  • The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River

The first time I listened to this album I cried twice. Once of pure excitement and happiness and once because the song It’s Alright, I Understand hit me like a ton of bricks. Favorite Tracks: Surrey Dive, The Arrogance Of The Drunk Pedestrian, It’s Alright I Understand.

  • Make Do And Mend - End Measured Mile

This band has my favorite sound. It’s just exactly what my ears want to hear. Some subtle lyrics in a few songs describe exactly how I am and I connect to it so easily. Favorite Tracks: Oak Square, Thanks, Transparent Seas. 

  • The Hotelier - Home, Like Noplace is There

What can I say about this album? Too much. I guess this album came at the perfect time for me. It’s exactly what I needed to hear at the time it was released. I think I connect to this band so much because how much they talk about other peoples depression and suicidal feelings a lot and that’s what ive experienced most. Favorite Tracks: Dendron, Housebroken, An Introduction To The Album.

  • Hostage Calm - Please Remain Calm

The best 8 months of my life were spent listening to this album and seeing this band perform these songs 12 times in that span across 6 different states. This album brought me the best memories and best friends I’ve ever had. Favorite Tracks: Woke Up Next To A Body, Don’t Die On Me Now, Patriot. 

  • Defeater - Empty Days & Sleepless Nights

This band got me into hardcore. This album is my favorite concept album of all time. Every time I listen I find new connections. Not to mention the lyrics are fucking crazy. Favorite Tracks: Dear Father, Empty Glass, White Oak Doors.

  • Weezer - S/T (Blue Album)

Every single song on this album is a classic. It’s impossible not to love it. Favorite Tracks: Buddy Holly, Say It Ain’t So, No One Else (even though it’s kind of problematic)

  • The Hotelier - It Never Goes Out

The first band to have multiple albums on my list. These songs are straight up inspiring and depressing and everything in between. This album deserves as much love as Home, Like NoPlace Is There but not enough people know it exists. Favorite Tracks: An Ode To The Night Ratz Club, Weathered, Still Water Spectacle.

  • Have Mercy - The Earth Pushed Back

I remember I heard 45 seconds of the first single to the album and instantly pre-ordered this album. I’d never heard them before then. I Instantly fell in love with this album. Favorite Tracks: Weak At The Knees, This Old Ark, Hell.

  • The Wonder Years - Suburbia,I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing

This album brings me back to Sophomore year of high school and snapping out of my depression. This is the easiest album to connect to. This album can cure cancer. Favorite Tracks: Local Man Ruins Everything, I Won’t Say The Lords Prayer, Hoodie Weather.

  • The Menzingers - Rented World

The follow up album to my favorite record of all time. Expectations were high, somehow they surpassed them. This album is a little less emotional and a little more in your face. Another perfect album, I can’t wait to see what they do next. Favorite Tracks: Nothing Feels Good Anymore, I Don’t Want To Be And Asshole Anymore, Rodent.

  • blink-182 - Take Off Your Pants and Jacket

Anybody else remember 5th grade and trying to understand the world and yourself? Me neither really but this album definitely helped make me who am today. Favorite Tracks: Roller Coaster, Stay Together For The Kids, Shut Up.

  • Pentimento - Self Titled

This band is so genuine and in touch with who they are. Best people in the world and deserve everything they will ever get and more. All their music ismy favorite but this is their lone album. Favorite Tracks: Subtle Words, Unless, On Summer.

  • The Smith Street Band - Sunshine & Technology 

This album reflects a lot on growing up and looking at where you came from. That idea makes me think a lot. It also makes me think about the future and that makes me so excited. Favorite Tracks: Why I Can’t Draw, Young Drunk, What’s Changed.

  • Joyce Manor - Self Titled

The day my grandpa died I went to see these guys play that night. I was so sad and care free I got a concussion stage diving onto nobody during my favorite song from this album. Favorite Tracks: Leather Jacket, Famous Friend, Constant Headache. 

  • Mansions - Dig Up The Dead

Do you like being sad? crying? Me too. Listen to this. Favorite Tracks: Dig Up The Dead, Seven Years, Not My Blood.

  • Man Overboard - Real Talk

POP PUNK!!!!! DEFENDING IT!!!!! PIZZA!!!1

This album is still so fun. I’ll never get sick of it no matter how bad or dumb I think this is. Favorite Tracks: She’s Got Her Own Man Now, World Favorite, Montrose

  • Childish Gambino - CAMP

This album brought me back to rap that wasn’t released by Kanye. Such a refreshing and catchy album.Favorite Tracks: Outside, Heartbeat, L.E.S.

1st Entry "Lzzy 2.0"

I’ve always admired musicians who err on the side of honesty. These artists give little clues to let you know that they are still human. It always gives me hope and comfort knowing that my idols also make mistakes, struggle to find themselves, and are imperfect. 

In that same spirit I’ve decided to start writing publicly about my personal journeys. It’s therapeutic for me to get my thoughts out. This is why I’ve always written songs and performed music. I always feel better when I get my emotions down on paper…or into someone else’s ear. And hopefully, by doing this, I can provide some insight into my world and inspire some of you through my personal experiences. 

So, lets start with my current vocal adventure, which I’m affectionately calling Lzzy 2.0

Some of you may have noticed that over the past year I’ve been struggling with vocal issues. I fatigue a lot easier, I’ve been reaching for high notes that used to be no problem for me to hit, and for the first time ever (as San Francisco, Reno, Spokane and Vancouver know) I had to cancel the end of our last North American tour because I couldn’t even speak. To make matters more confusing, I also gained this weird “squeak” register that had become nearly impossible to control or avoid. This was extremely scary for me, because since the beginning of Halestorm, I’ve never had vocal problems. I have always been able to sing with great ease and flexibility and I have always been very proud of taking good care of my voice. I stay well hydrated, eat well, do warm ups and cool downs etc. I took lessons from Steve Whiteman of KIX when I was a teen, and had remained true and unwavering to everything I was taught since then! So, it was like these problems came out of nowhere, and for no reason! 

I went to more than a few vocal doctors who all put a camera down my throat to check me out. The diagnosis was always the same: I’m healthy, there’s nothing wrong. I have no nodes, polyps, scar tissue, hemorrhaging, bruising; I have nothing wrong with me! So, why am I having problems? This sent me into a rabbit hole of depression. I cried over letting people down, I was scared that I was broken, and I was ashamed and embarrassed of my shortcomings. I’m a fucking professional for christ’s sake! I just put out a new record, I’m at the top of my game…and my voice is not working!!! FUCK! My confidence that I’ve always prided myself on was shot. I used to walk into situations, like guesting with a friend on stage, or studio time, with no doubt in my mind that I could slay. But I was now hesitant and unsure of my abilities. I vented endlessly to my band mates, who know me better than anyone. This was the first time they had ever seen me like this. I felt really lost, and alone; like I had forgotten how to be me.

I know this all might sound dramatic to some of you, but imagine that the ONE THING that defines you (and happens to pay your bills and everyone else’s bills who works with and around you), your VOICE, all of a sudden felt foreign to you and no one could tell you what the problem is! It drove me quite literally out of my mind to the point where I was dreading going on tour, something I LOVE, for fear I couldn’t make it through a set. Yes, yes, playing with back tracks/ lip-syncing is always an option, but that’s just NOT how I roll! A personal decision I made long ago is that I will never mime in front of you guys. I’d rather suck on stage than fake it! So, as a last resort, I decided to start taking vocal lessons again. I thought that maybe if I refresh on some of the basics it’d be kind of like a hard reset for my voice. Enter Ron Anderson. 

Ron is the best vocal coach there is right now. He’s worked with all kinds vocalists for over 25 years, and has been the personal coach of Myles Kennedy, M Shadows, Tom Keifer, Chris Cornell, Lenny Kravitz, Axl Rose, Anthony Kiedis, Haley Williams, and Christina Perri to name a few! 

Into my first week of lessons, Ron asks me how old I am. I tell him I’m 31. He replies, “oh, well that explains a lot”. And went on to tell me something that no vocal coach or doctor ever mentioned before. He said that I’m going through my second vocal “thickening” it’s called. Which is basically like a second “puberty.” I’m experiencing changes in my vocal composition. This is why all the doctors said there was nothing wrong with me, because there isn’t anything wrong with me! I’m not broken; I’m just going through a natural change. Finally, a diagnosis! 

This is something I never knew happened to female vocalists, everyone always talks about boys going through vocal changes, but not girls…but we go through it too. And on a personal level, apparently, my body does this in a fairly short amount of time. Even during my pre-teen years… I remember getting taller and my body changing very rapidly over one summer…I still have the stretch marks to prove it! I wanted to let you guys in on this because I feel like this “vocal thickening” is a subject that should be addressed more and that female vocalists should be informed that, yes, you will go through this in the beginning of your 30s, and most likely again later on in life. Don’t freak out! Its normal…a pain in the ass, but normal. I’ll go into a bit of anatomy now to better explain to you what all this means. A vocalist depends on good vocal balance, flexibility and larynx memory to do what we do. Balance is achieved by keeping your vocal folds and surrounding muscles neutral, it should feel like you are doing no hard work to resonate. Flexibility is the agility and freedom of your voice while singing. Larynx memory is basically like singing by “feel” instead of just making sound and aiming for a note. It’s knowing, through practice, all the notes in your range, and how they feel on the inside. So you can literally, sing anything you can think of, on key, even without a musical reference. It’s important to know your voice very well. For 18 years of Halestorm, this is how I’ve always sung. Also, remember, your vocal cords are just two delicate bands inside your throat that run on air pressure. It takes a balance of air pressure and those vocal folds meeting and communicating with each other for everything to work. When that balance is disrupted, it’s like a domino effect; everything starts breaking down. 

When my voice started to change, my larynx memory shifted due to the thickening of my vocal folds. My balance was thrown off and to compensate for the lack of ease and flexibility, I was pushing more air than needed in order to get sound and tiring myself out quicker. And singing on a tired voice leads to swelling and singing on a swollen voice (because there’s still a gazillion days of tour left) leads to total hoarseness…you get the picture. Ron also told me that the effect this change is having on me is more noticeable because I actually USE my entire range. But you know what, I’m proud of using my entire range on all these albums and eps. I have built a vocal empire of “fuck yes” and I would rather be dealing with these changes now than have played it safe all those years ago. After all, I’ve never been a woman who included the phrases “just in case” and “what if” in her vocabulary. But there is a little positive bonus that came with my second “thickening”… remember that squeaky register that I talked about earlier? Ron and I found out that it is a whole other resonance in the top of my head voice resonance that has expanded my range an octave! Woo hoo! Rob Halford high notes here I come! Speaking of whom, here’s a fun fact for you: if any of you watch some live videos of us playing “Dissident Aggressor” by Judas Priest in the past year or so, I occasionally would tap into this register at the beginning and end note…before I even knew what it was. 

So, “how is it going” you ask?? Well, it’s the beginning of a journey. I am currently still working with Ron Anderson, and slowly getting to know my “new voice.” He is like a spirit guide for my vocals, helping me get re-balanced and back to basics, all the while getting me fully in control of this new high register I’ve achieved. This is not going to be fixed over night; I’m breaking some old habits and developing new ones. I am in the middle of a metamorphosis, but I am dedicated and I’m going to do whatever it takes because, honestly, this is not a choice. I want to sing forever. In addition to my lessons, I’ve also been taking my lifestyle changes a bit further to better my vocal health. I’ve revamped my diet and my rules of the road, and I’m also trying not to get so stressed and “inside my own head” about everything. My manager, Bill McGathy, whom I saw in London last week, told me I seem happier than he’s seen me in while. Good to know it’s showing! 

The bottom line here is that Change is really terrifying and also very exciting. It’s hard to let go of who you were and embrace who you are, but I guess that’s part of growing up. It’s about breaking the habits and instead of continually mourning the loss of the old you…have a funeral for your past, and move on. And today, I think I’m finally ready for Lzzy 2.0.

Disenchanted | Hemmings

Originally posted by hemmo-butt

A/n: Okay so this was a fic, then I made it into a story for my english class. but i ended turning in a different one. but here this is. feedback is appreciated.

_

Grey clouds loomed above me as mellow winds picked up, prickling my skin with the bitter cold. I let out a soft breath and pulled a smile at all the cameras around my band and I. The echo of shouts and demands to look one way and another drowned out those of the devoted fans.

We’ve done it time and time again, but each time gets harder. You’ve done one thing one performance, you can’t do the same because people will come at you for your lack of originality amongst other awful and irrelevant things.

It was my dream to live this life. It was my dream to do what I love most for the rest of my life. I wanted this. I wanted to tour the world, meet new people, fans, friends. I wanted to perform at sold out arena shows with my band. I wanted it all. Though it’s funny how quick a dream can show the ugly reality behind the scenes. From a different perspective, you look at these artists and think ‘Wow, what a great life they must live. So carefree, but that is not the case. Being constantly watched and criticized by people can have quite the toll on you.

I don’t complain about how much this life is taking a toll on me. I’m aware it does me no good. It’s all I can do for now until I figure out how to come across all this. It’s just all so difficult to do so. I pretty much asked for this.You wake up thinking that this rockstar life would be perfect. People will adore you, you’ll earn a lot of money. That’s not the case. 

You’re expected to live up to such impossible standards. To be a perfect role model for people out there and not make any mistakes. I honestly don’t know how I came to this point. I guess one day I just woke up from my dream and realized it’s turned into something so ugly. It’s like something just died inside of me. It’s made me lose all hope for things, it’s made me want to give up.

Once we finished with the red carpet portion of the night, we entered the arena and to the backstage areas. Crew members and managers were running around everywhere, trying to get their signed celebrities what they needed. I looked all around me and saw very recognizable faces. If the knew me? That’s not a question. My band and I might be well known, but we’re not A-list like half of the celebrities here who’ve been through it all and can manage to keep their composure.

Walking towards the main area where all seats were, I had bumped into a tall, broad man. My phone was knocked from my hand which gave me no time to look at who I had caused trouble to.  

“Listen, I’m so sorry. I didn’t look where I was going.” I mumbled as I grabbed a hold of my phone. When I looked up, I was met by the genuine smile of yet another familiar face

Lucas Hemmings from  worldwide famous band 5 Seconds of Summer was right in front of me. His tousled blonde hair stay a mess on top of his head as he ran his hand through it and his blue eyes looked straight into mine.

“It’s okay, Liza.”

“You know me?” My eyebrows furrow as I asked the question. “Of course. My bandmates and I are really into your band. Your music is amazing.”

A smile settled onto my face as I let his words sink in. I’ve only really ever seen him and his band on the red carpets at awards shows and at their concerts, we’d never really had contact with each other. Of course since both of our bands are performing at the award show, it’s no question that we would all eventually bump into each other, quite literally.

“That’s awesome. I am really into your band as well. So are my other band mates.” His smile grew wider at my words and I couldn’t help but do the same. It was contagious. “Well, are you nervous for your performance?”

I felt myself give him a short nod and I looked out through a crack in the curtain at all the celebrities, media outlets, and fans seated. Nerves and fear ran through my body once again at the thought of screwing up in front of all of them.

“Might’ve done it a bunch of times, but each time gets harder. Knowing people will have something to say afterwards, doesn’t make it any better.” I mumbled. I looked back up at him and all I could see was the concern in his eyes. It’s not my intention to make him feel bad for me, for how miserable and pessimistic I can be about these things. Especially now more than ever, but the sadness seems to seep through no matter how hard I’ll try to disguise it.

“I get the feeling, but I’m sure you’ll do fine. You’re an amazing performer and I can’t wait to see what you have in store.” He responded, his genuine smile was once again plastered on his face. Before I could respond, I felt my tour manager pull me aside and to the seats.

“Liza, you in there?” I heard the all too familiar accent come through the door along with a knock.

I quickly wiped the tears from my cheeks and turned on the faucet to wash my tear streaked face with water. When I placed the towel on the rack, I faced the hotel bathroom’s mirror once again. Every word I had read, every comment made, every joke; it all ran through my head once again.

I held back another sob and opened the door to find Lucas standing against the threshold.

Ever since we met that night at the award show, we’ve began talking which soon led to hanging out, which then led to us being in a relationship. It’s nice having someone who understands what you’re going through knowing they go through it as well, but the downside to it is one gets it worse than the other. That one being me.

Since going public, more hate has been spewed my way than ever. I’m now seen as a PR stunt, gold digger, and my all time favorite, fame whore. Though I am happy in my relationship, no one’s amount of love can shield me from the awful words of the public. They can’t make it go away.

“Have you been crying again?” He asked in a soft voice. I looked down and brushed past him to enter to room. I walked towards the big window which outlooked the traffic of the freeways and the busy street life down below. Luke must’ve took my silence as a response because he walked towards me and engulfed me in a hug from behind.  I leaned my head back against his shoulder, but my eyes never left the scenery.

“You have to stop reading those comments, Liza. It does you no good. Rise above it all. You’re better than this and you know it.”

I pulled away and looked him in the eye. “It’s easy for you to say, Luke. You don’t get half as much shit as I do. You’re praised half the time while I’m being knocked down half the time. These comments are always there and I can’t always avoid them. Even with no intention, I still read them because they’re always there.”

Tears were threatening to spill, but I held them back. I wasn’t going to cry again. I’ve done it enough the past hour, the past year. I’ve grown tired of doing it, but I never really seemed to stop.

“I’m sorry.” Was all he said. I shrugged and walked towards my suitcase which sat on top of the bed.  “It’s whatever. Let’s get ready. We have an album launch party to go to.”

Lucas’s band had just finished their brand new album a couple of days ago. In celebration of its release, their management and label had thrown them an album launch party. Being the girlfriend and all, my band and I were invited, as well as other celebrities. Although I might’ve had my little freak out moment, I wasn’t all that ready to face the public yet, but I knew I had to.

“Liza, Lucas, over here!”  

“Congrats, Lucas!”

Shouts were heard all over the place. I held tightly to Luke’s hand and held my head down, not wanting to be blinded by the flashing lights of the cameras. I followed behind Luke, who was on his way to greet the fans along with the rest of his bandmates.

As I stood behind, I heard a lot of murmurs. Veronica, who was the bassist of the band and my best friend, looked back at me. She heard them too. She stood two people in front of me, but the words had grown louder and she heard all the horrible words people were saying about me.

“She looks like trash.”

“When doesn’t she?”

“My god, I can’t believe she’s still leeching off of him.”

“Now more than ever, he’s getting a lot of press from this album, just makes it better for her.”

Amongst all those, were way worse. My head was spinning, a deep hard pressure was put on my chest, I couldn’t properly breathe. Everything just seemed to close in on me. The shouts and loud talks of people were drowning out and all I heard was a faint buzzing.

          Soon enough, I dropped down to the ground. My body was shaking and tears fell down my face at a rapid pace. I grabbed at my hair, pulling and tugging while I tried breathing, but it all came out in short breaths.

I heard laughing. All the fans were laughing while I sat and suffered.

“Just shut up! Shut up! Leave me alone! For once in my life, leave me alone! Don’t you all get tired of coming after my?! After my band?! Do you all ever get tired of criticizing us?! We’re human beings, we have feelings and your words hurt us! I’m sick and tired of being your guy’s target when I’ve done nothing at all to you! Leave me alone!”

My voice cracked at the end and I began to sob uncontrollably as well as shaking more than before. Two people had dropped down at my side while others held onto me. I looked and saw the blurry figures of Luke and Veronica. They picked me up and took me to the car that brought us here, placing me inside and shutting the door.

After what felt like forever, my tears had ceased and my breathing was at a somewhat regular pattern. The front door had opened and shut, Luke had entered. My eyelids were getting heavy, my entire body was drained.

“It’s okay, baby. We’re going home.”

“And how are you feeling now, Liza?” The therapist asked.

I was sat on a reclining chair, looking at the ceiling above. It’s been two months since my breakdown. After it had happened, news outlets went wild and so had all social medias. I had received apologies, but even that wasn’t enough to help me.

        “I’m feeling okay. Much better than before.” I looked over at her, a tiny smile plastered on my face. I wasn’t lying.

I was given news a week after that Luke and Veronica had gotten me help. They contacted a therapist and since, I’ve been going to every appointment. It has helped, the slump I was in didn’t really have me fazed all that much anymore. Despite still getting awful words thrown my way, I’ve been helped to rise above it and pay no mind to it. If I believed I was strong enough to get through it then I knew I would.

“That’s great. I’m glad you’re doing better.” I nod. “I am as well.

After talking for a while more, I was released. I walked towards the waiting area and I found Luke sat at one of the seats, reading a magazine. At my approach, he looked up at me with a smile.

“You ready to go?”

I looked out the window. The sky was clear, the sun was shining. Lots of families were walking outside in the warm air. It all looked peaceful and serene. It made me feel better. I looked back at Luke and gave him a smile and a slight nod.

“I’m ready.”

“I’ll Tell Her To Back Off”

“22 Cal??”

“I’ll tell her to back off.”

———-

With the music bumping you could barely think let alone find you boyfriend, Calum. It wasn’t unusual for him to just disappear at these parties, especially when the party is for him and his band, releasing their latest album, ‘Sounds Good Feels Good.’ You never had to worry about him with other women because whenever you made eye contact he always shot you a wink and that, weirdly enough, was more than enough to make you feel better.

“Isn’t he such a babe,” A girl with beautiful blonde hair and the deepest blue eyes said to you.

“Um, who?” You questioned, giggling. Of course their were lots of handsome guys at this party, most of them were celebrities anyway. And you were sure this girl could catch the eye of any of them, so the one she was thinking of better watch out, you thought to yourself.

“The one with the tanned skin and the dark hair with the little curls. Oh the things I would do to him tonight,” She said smirking. “What’s your name, love?”

“My name is y/n. And just so you know, that tanned god over there? Yeah, he’s my boyfriend, has been for 8 months.”

“Oh wow, well he’s a babe and tell him if he’s ever in the mood for a better time, to call me. I’m always available.” She winked and waved you off, walking in the opposite direction.

After that encounter with that woman, you decided it was time for a drink. Not too strong but something that would make you feel less.. Pissed off. As you started walking to the drink table, you noticed the blonde standing next to your boyfriend. She was holding on to his bicep and that in itself was enough to make you more than angry.

“Calum,” You mumbled marching over to him. Once he caught a glimpse of you he knew something was up.

“What is it baby?”

“That girl you were just talking to, talked to me 5 minutes ago and asked to give you this,” You fumed, handing him the slip with her number. “Said that if you were ever in the mood to hit her up for a quote better time unquote. Calum I swear to God, you know I don’t get jealous easily but if you don’t tell her to get the fuck away, I will.”

“Okay babe, don’t worry. I’ll tell her to back off.” Calum said kissing you on the mouth to wash away your worries.

Grimes: 'In my life, I'm a lot more weird than this'

Claire Boucher wants to play it cool, but as her alter ego she just can’t help standing out. Meet the woman making the most exciting pop on the planet.

Published:  31 October 2015, text: Rachel Aroesti.


Claire Boucher sighs. It’s the sort of sigh that comes with an eye-roll and exasperated sub-vocal muttering. A sigh that, despite her best efforts, she can’t quite seem to suppress. She does it the first time when she hears which songs I’ve been allowed to listen to on her closely guarded fourth album Art Angels, a hyperactively eclectic record that piles up pop and dance tropes into gratifyingly alien forms.


“Oh, whatever, it’s fine,” she smiles, when I ask why she groaned at the mention of California, a faux-saccharine, addictively syncopated country-meets-K-pop track about the media’s treatment of female musicians. “It’s kind of a shitty song. It’s not a shitty song. OK, I’m already doing it.” Moments later, when I ask if the PR spiel was correct in its claim that the album title is a reference to archangels, she sighs again.“Sort of… The label has all these weird ideas. They wanted to put this corporate graffiti in Paris,” she winces. “They were like, ‘‘It could be graffiti but it could be Grimes graffiti.’ I was like, ‘No!’” She mimes despair. “Stop!”With Grimes, 27-year-old Claire Boucher has never made any secret of the fact that what you see is not what you get. When she released her last album Visions in 2012 – a collection of phantasmal, banging electropop that sounded as if it had been fed through both a rasping old desktop and the prism of a dream – its rapturous reception took the Vancouver native from cult concern to internet darling (Oblivion, the album’s best known song, was last year named Pitchfork’s track of the decade so far). At the time, Boucher spoke of Grimes as a business venture – a sort of Svengali-meets-singer deal in which she played both parts, exploiting her own self for her own ends. It was an idea that highlighted her creative clout, but it was also a coping mechanism, forming a pop-star proxy to deal with the invasiveness of fame.

“There are things I would never say in interviews that are my opinions. I’m way more political than I am publicly – significantly more extreme,” Boucher tells me when I ask how the Grimes persona manifests itself on occasions such as this (that is, being asked questions by a stranger while perched on the bed of a London hotel room). “There’s lots of people I hate,” she says. But Boucher is struggling to keep up anodyne appearances.And it’s not just the sighing. See also: her views on bombastic live shows (her upcoming Ac!d Reign tour will apparently be a pared-down affair). “I’m like, ‘Do you understand how fucking bad it is for the environment for everyone to be having 20,000 lbs of lights and this giant fucking fake set of New York?’ U2 had that giant crab – that’s fucked up.” She pauses. “I’m not shitting on U2.”Of PC Music, the London collective whose uncanny valley take on the top 40 of their childhoods provides a contextual touchstone for Art Angels, she says, “It’s really fucked up to call yourself Sophie and pretend you’re a girl when you’re a male producer [and] there are so few female producers,” she begins, before trailing off again. “I think it’s really good music. I probably shouldn’t have said that…”As an enterprise, Grimes has always seemed like a scuffle between creative abandon and calculated moves: what happens when a highly inventive mind attempts to construct a consumer product. The Grimes aesthetic – discordantly multi-coloured hair, not-quite-trendy clothes, album art that looks as if it was done on the inside of a ringbinder during double maths – I’d already describe as pretty unselfconscious-seeming. But Boucher insists her visuals are designed to appease the public.

“In my life, I’m a lot more weird than this,” she explains. “Grimes is more palatable for humans. If it was up to me maybe I’d wear a moustache or something,” she continues, as I start seeing her less as a hipster making bleeding-edge pop, more a kindred spirit of Vic Reeves.“I try to make it digestible to a degree.” Why? “That’s what I’m interested in seeing. I create a thing that I wish existed in the world, versus my own full unabashed creative expression.

In Art Angels, Boucher has produced something that manages to be both more jarringly bizarre and viscerally accessible than Visions ever was: wild ideas and incongruous references distilled into layered and irresistibly danceable pop songs.Visions was a record Boucher has said was born from a panicked, sleep-deprived fortnight. “My management was really crappy at the time and he’d set a release date before I’d even recorded the album. He was like, ‘The album will be coming out at this date,’ and I was like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me? I have no album!’ And he was like, ‘Well, you better get to it!’”.Art Angels, meanwhile, was made in controlled and leisurely conditions. “This time I made tons and tons of music and handpicked what I liked. I need unlimited time to make as much crazy shit as I want and then work backwards.” The album sounds like something that has had time lavished upon it, too, not least because of its mind-bending range.

Boucher has always claimed to be “post-internet” – of a generation whose fluid genre-identity was made possible by free web downloads – but has also claimed that Grimes was a more traditional pop project. I’m curtly informed that is no longer the case: “Pop is just another genre. Some of my songs are influenced by pop music. Some of them are not.” Now, she says, “the whole purpose of Grimes is that it’s genreless. Trying to constantly put a genre label on it makes no sense and then you are always eating your words two months later. So, why bother?”

She says the thread that binds her work together is not genre but her own authorship. “People keep trying to be like, ‘We’re trying to pin down the Grimes style.’ If you haven’t realised by now, you’re never going to be able to.”Still, I’m tempted to categorise Art Angels as belonging to my favourite genre: music that makes your eyes water, your heart beat faster, and prompts feelings of mild concern for everyone involved. “I like music that might make me feel uncomfortable the first time I listen to it,” she agrees. “I think that’s good, that’s important; sometimes it never gets better but sometimes it gets great.”Nowadays, when music has begun to imitate fashion’s tendency to reconstruct itself out of a relentlessly remembered past – dredging up the most hideously uncool trends, those being the ones that feel most refreshing (and Art Angels contains more than a hint of the Eurodance aped by the aforementioned PC Music) – how do you go about genuinely disconcerting people? “There’s no fully new sound, I think,” she says. “All music right now is seeing how crazy you can get with the genres. I feel like so many people are focused on the 70s to now. I’m curious about music in the year 1100. I think that’s really interesting – combining that with electronic stuff.” That might sound like a pursuit worthy enough to warrant a government grant, but with Grimes you imagine it would genuinely be great.


Boucher has other means of locating roads never travelled, too. One tactic is to transform dance music’s parasitic tendencies themselves. “In the early days I was like, ‘I love Burial – what if it was an intentional vocal instead of samples?’” she says. “I’ll hear some totally fucking crazy remix and I’m like, ‘But what if it wasn’t a remix? What if there were people actually making music like that and it wasn’t a Mariah Carey vocal being sampled?’” For Art Angels, Boucher blocked out all popular music for a year. “I just don’t want to sound current. If I sound current, it’s because I made the new current.”Boucher’s oblique approach to songwriting is partly a result of her coming to the world of music from the sidelines. She attended a school that specialised in creative subjects, but studied art and avoided music completely. “My mom had me do a violin lesson, and the lady told her, ‘Claire will never be able to play the violin, she’s too bad.’” It wasn’t until university in Montreal, when she was hanging out with friends – they were in bands, and one coerced her into singing backing vocals – that she began to suspect her music teacher might be wrong. “It was much easier than I thought to hit the notes. Later on I got one of my friends to show me how to use Garageband so I could start recording myself.” Out of those sessions came her 2010 Dune-referencing cassette-only debut Geidi Primes, released via Arbutus Records, the label that formed a cornerstone of the Montreal synthpop scene in which Boucher had been socialising. By 2011 she had released a second album and toured with Swedish singer Lykke Li, before signing to British indie 4AD in 2012 and releasing Visions.

Despite being managed by Jay Z’s entertainment corporation Roc Nation since 2013, Boucher did pretty much everything on Art Angels herself. It was a decision partially motivated by the treatment she receives in the male-dominated world of recording studios, but she also wants to draw attention to a more insidious male influence in the music industry.


“It’s of interest that we never hear anything where no men were involved,” she says. “But we hear things where no women were involved. [My album] was mixed and mastered by a man. There’s one mastering engineer who is a female, Emily Lazar. I don’t know any female mixers,” she says.“The whole record was produced, engineered, written, performed by a woman, which is pretty rare. I don’t know if I ever heard a record like that, fully, with vocals on and stuff.”Even so, Art Angels doesn’t need all-female production to qualify as one of the most innovative and interesting records of the decade so far: it looks as though Grimes will be among the most brilliant musicians of her generation regardless. Sigh.Art Angels is released on 6 November on 4AD



STORIES FOR MONDAY: The Album That Almost Wasn’t

It’s MONDAY morning right now.

I’m drinking coffee on my rooftop, overlooking downtown Los Angeles, and I’ve finally had a moment to catch my breath and take in the whirlwind of the last week.

First things first, I just want to say THANK YOU from all of us for the response to Figure Me Out. It is absolutely frightening to be that honest, and that vulnerable, and have people open their arms and embrace it fully. I was speechless. This song means more to me than you will ever know. It’s no secret we took a long time to put some new music out, and I completely forgot what it’s like to get gratification for something you made. There’s no feeling like that in the world, and I can’t believe I almost never let it happen again. Here’s to a new year.

If you haven’t heard yet, our new album STORIES FOR MONDAY, is coming out on April 1st. About time, right? We’re really proud of this one, and truly believe its our best album yet by a mile.

It’s also “The Album That Almost Wasn’t.”

The last thing I remember, we were finishing up Warped Tour 2014, and had been on the road for the better part of 16 straight months. We were exhausted, but there was a new album to be made, and the rest of the band was getting ready to move out of Arizona and come join me in LA. We were gonna be closer together, but we somehow grew further apart. I started writing new songs, and I got completely lost in my own head. Nothing felt genuine, I had nothing honest to say, and I had no idea how to grow as a band, as a business, and as a songwriter. With Legendary, we were given a small taste of the" big leagues,” the finer things, and the radio, and then bad timing led to the radio pulling the rug out from under us. Nothing we could do, but I knew I wanted more, so I put so much pressure on myself to write a bigger, better song. I felt trapped, and started avoiding making a new album by running away from it entirely. I think I went to Mexico three times over the course of seven months. I spent more days on an agave farm outside of Puerto Vallarta learning how to make tequila than I did actually writing songs. It was amazing, irresponsible and absolutely terrifying.

Fortunately for us, while I was traveling the world and hoping a song was gonna come to me, Jess was continuing to grow publicly by pursuing side projects and speaking tours, while John and Stephen were making a new home in LA and getting exceptionally good at learning how to make records themselves. I look back now and realized that saved our band. This album would be nothing without them.

Anyway, over the course of the next year a handful of songs did get written. Some in New York, some in Nashville, only one in Mexico (too drunk), a few in London, and a few at home in Los Angeles as well. Unfortunately I wasn’t sure what to make of any of them, because they all felt disjointed. Nothing seemed cohesive and exciting. I had been told we were missing “a hit,” so I would go back to the drawing board time and time again. I wouldn’t talk to anyone. I distanced myself from everyone. I got so discouraged I called my mom, told her I didn’t want to make music anymore, and went back to Arizona to hide for a few weeks. I didn’t want to make a sound or write a single word.

That’s when I wrote “Figure Me Out,” and all the other songs started to make sense.

It was an accident. I was deliberately trying to not write a song ever again. I didn’t know who I was any more. It was the middle of the night, and I kept fumbling around the phrase “I’m a bit too pop for the punk kids, but I’m too punk for the pop kids.” Then it all just started spilling out. I sat down at my parents piano, in the house I grew up in, played the first chord and sang the words “I believe there’s more to life than all my problems.”

That’s when all the problems went away. Sort of.

It’s really hard to separate art from business. I’m a firm believer that if you aren’t growing, you’re dying. I was still so caught up in the idea that we needed a hit song in order to take this to the next level. I wish I knew six months ago what I know now: You can’t predict a hit song, you can only be so in-tune with yourself creatively and emotionally that people start to pay attention.

Unfortunately this almost got the best of us, and on a melancholy day back in September we sat down as a band at our favorite bar and decided we had “run our course” and that it was time to “break up.” Both Jess and I broke down in tears at our favorite places on earth that day; mine being Disneyland, her’s….the bar.

Before you get sad, I want you to know this was the best thing that’s ever happened to us.

We were free. Mostly from ourselves. I dropped my ego. We stopped giving a fuck about what anyone else thought of us. We were gonna put out one last “farewell album” and call it a day. We stopped looking for a another producer, and decided John and Stephen were good enough to do it all themselves. I stopped trying to write a “hit song” and realized the 11 songs we had in front of us were good enough. In fact, they were GREAT enough. The reality is, once we stopped overthinking it, we realized everything we needed was right in front of us.

We went from nothing to everything and produced the entire album in a month.

The MONDAY after Thanksgiving, three days before we were going to announce our hiatus, Joshua Montgomery called all of us and we talked about how proud of this album we are, and how big of a shame it would be to not give it a fair shot. He convinced us to let go of our pride and realize that this band definitely isn’t done. I’m so happy to say he was right.

We may have had to convince ourselves it was over in order to get this album done, but once we finished the best album we ever made, we realized this story is FAR from over.

In fact, WE’RE GONNA GO ON TOUR. We’re fucking dying to. The STORIES FOR MONDAY tour kicks off April 13th at House of Blues in Anaheim, CA, then takes over the United States. UK, we love you as ever and will be seeing you in May. Rest of the world, stay tuned….we miss you and we will see you soon.

This was almost gonna be our last tour ever, but we’re pretty excited to say that’s just not true anymore :)

I don’t know who it was that said “If you never thought about giving up, you haven’t tried hard enough,” but they were right. Don’t give up when you’re down. The Summer Set is back and better than ever.

That’s our story. What’s yours?

Love,

BLD.

SONG FIC! Drag Me Down (One Direction)

“Everything is falling apart… isn’t it? Nothing will ever be the same.” His hands were shaking; his voice was cracking. He was barely holding it together. “All those interviews, magazines… They would always ask us what we would do when the band ended. It’s like they always knew… Now, they will all laugh.”

Harry was sitting on the bed, leaned down on his knees, looking at his shaking hands.

“Nothing will ever be the same…” He whispered to himself.

You kneeled in front of him, that way you could look into his eyes. The green was shining through the tears that he strongly held back. You hold both of his hands with yours, firmly. He looked at you, his hair falling down on his face, long and curly. His expression was heartbroken. You absolutely hated to see him suffer like this.

“Are you scared of the dark?” You asked him. Harry looked back at you, wondering, confused by your question.

He thought for a second, holding your hands tight to his. “Mm… No…” He looked back to both of your hands entwined together.

“In the dark, we usually can’t see what’s ahead of us, right?” You said, and he nodded, still looking down. “But even though we don’t know what’s coming, we’re absolutely sure that nothing bad will happen, as long as we’re in a safe place with the people we love.”

You caressed his hands with your thumbs. He kept looking down, trying to hold the tears in.

“It’s okay to feel sad, it’s okay to cry. Changes can be hard, especially one like this.” You kept telling him, hoping that somehow you could comfort him, even if just a little bit. “But nothing lasts forever, and that’s a good thing, Harry. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but it is. Growing up is a good thing and it’s also a change, sometimes even bigger than anything else.”

“I don’t want to grow up.” He whispered with a cracking and tearful voice. You kissed both of his hands.

“You don’t have to. At least not in your heart.” You told him and that made him look back at you. You gave him a tender smile. “But life is like this… Do you remember the day we met? That was a change. Was it good?”

“The best…” He said, trying to smile, but barely getting there.

“Sometimes, we just need to go through situations that are not so great, but when we handle it we find out how strong we can be.” You let loose one of his hands to put his soft curls behind his ears, so you could look better into his green eyes. “And you’re so strong… You’re strong for feeling sad and crying about losing one of your best friends. For feeling it and standing up to it.” You caressed his face, gently, feeling the softness of his skin.

“Do you… Do you think the band will end?” Harry asked you, looking into your eyes, begging for an answer.

“Not if you guys don’t want it to,” You told him, sure of it. “Actually, this might actually bring the four of you closer together. They’re all in pain as well, they’re all dealing with it. You’ll all help each other and grow with it.”

“How can you be so sure?” Harry looked away for a second, hopeless.

“Well, I know you guys. I know how much effort all of you put into this tour and the albums. How much dedication and discipline you have to make sure you give your all into every concert. How much you love doing what you do, all of you. How much you love each other as well. That will never end.” You told him, completely sure of your words, because you’ve been there for all of those boys all this time, so you know them better than they knew themselves.

Harry looked at you, taking a deep breath and focusing on admiring you for a second, taking his mind off the news of Zayn’s decision to leave the band.

“Sometimes, I think that I can’t handle all of this. All this life.” Harry confessed, looking at you. His eyes were red and his voice was husky, but you could feel that he was slowly feeling better, healing even. “I try so hard to not let any of this change who I really am. The fame, the music, anything. But lately it was easier for me. I didn’t know why, until now.”

You wondered, looking back at him, trying to follow his thoughts. “What helped?”

Harry kissed your hand, just like you did earlier. Then, pulled you over, so you’d get up and sit on his lap. He leaned to you, touching your forehead with his, standing like that for a couple of seconds, until he would finally answer you. “You did. You helped me. It’s been so easy, even now, even with all of this mess, it’s not as hard as it’s supposed to be.”

Your heart fluttered with his words. You looked back at him, so close to you now, the person you loved the most in the whole world, and everything you wanted was to take all of his pain away, even if it was for you to feel it instead.

“You make me the best version of myself, (Y/N). I look in the mirror and I know I’m happy, I like what I see. I don’t have to care about what people think of me anymore, because all I care is what you think.” He touched your face with his hand. “I wish I could return all of this you do for me,”

You smiled, tenderly, taking his hand with yours on your face. “You do, actually. Every time you smile, every time you make me laugh, every time you sing and surprise me. You do more than you think.”

“I wonder what I did to deserve you,” He was stunned for a second, looking in your eyes, feeling lighter. His heart was burning with fire, just by the love he had for you. All of his existence made sense by the fact that he had you.

“Must’ve been something good,” You joked, teasing him a little. He smiled, for the first time since they heard about Zayn.

“I don’t know how you do this… How can you make me this happy?” He frowned, genuinely confused.

“Well…” You thought for a second. “That may be a talent.”

He smiled even more, showing the dimples.

“There they are, my favorite buddies.” You picked on the dimples, making him chuckle.

“Sometimes I think you like them more than me.” Harry pouted, jokingly.

“Oh, I do.” You nodded. “Definitely.”

“Oh, really?” Harry felt teased, so he startled to tickle you, making you laugh. He threw you on the bed and kept tickling you to the point you would beg for mercy.

“Please, stop!” You kept laughing until he did. He then proceeded to give you a few kisses in a row. “Don’t stop that…” You smiled.

“If I could…” He kept kissing and talking to you. “I would never ever stop.”

“Please, be my guest.” You laughed at the situation.

Harry stopped for a second to look at you, smiling still. “I will marry you one day, Miss (Y/L/N).”

“You will.” You smiled widely and caressed his face, putting once again his long hair behind his ears. “Are you feeling a little better?” You had to ask, you were still worried about him and everything that happened.

Harry sweetly caressed your lips with his thumb, thinking for a second. “As long as I have you, I will be okay. I just need a little time… Time to find some strength.”

You nodded, looking at him. “You will find it. I’m here for as long as you’ll have me.”

“That’ll be forever, then.” He looked in your eyes. “With your love, nobody can drag me down.”

zayn vs fandom.

Over the past few weeks, there’s been a trend of burnout and resentment building inside the Zquad that I think is something that needs to be addressed and thoroughly discussed. This post isn’t in any way me stepping on my soapbox to try and speak over people or say you have no right to feel the way you do (because you do and your feelings are 100% valid), but rather me expressing my own thoughts on the matter and asking that we take a moment to consider another point of view. 

There has always been a great divide between what Zayn says and what people think. We see this in the way he’s characterized all across the board, even within his own fandom, and it’s a way of thinking that bleeds into discussions of his career and its outcomes. Zayn says one thing, and the world + fandom believe another. It’s a pattern.

The one I want to bring up now, is the tried-and-true “Zayn (+team) isn’t doing enough and that makes me angry”, because that’s what it boils down to. Keep in mind I’m not attacking any one post, because it’s something that’s been passed around for a long time now in the fandom. I’ll just address the claims I’ve seen people on my dashboard talking about as of late.

You are allowed to be mad that Zayn’s team isn’t doing as much promo as you like. You are allowed to be mad that there is more of a focus on who Zayn is with than him himself. Those are valid claims. However, the way most of you push them and direct your anger is, and I’m sorry, a bit odd, for lack of a better word. 

Let’s talk about the divide between Zayn’s own word of mouth vs people’s expectations of him. He has stated multiple times that he does not desire the superstardom that came with being in One Direction. He didn’t like being part of a relentless race that left the players drained. He didn’t want the intense fame that came with it, or the scrutiny of that spotlight. Mind of Mine, although he released it and shared it with the world, he expresses was mainly as a milestone for himself - to prove that he was capable, that he could sing and really be himself for once. He didn’t do it solely for the money, although that’s always more than nice, or to be king of the charts. It was a project to prove his worth and be his stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Having reiterated that, however, I think it’s important to take another big step back. Many of you treat Zayn like he’s a seasoned solo artist, when he’s actually the complete opposite. Yes, he was in One Direction, but he isn’t even half of the way there to reaching Complete Solo Status™ as just ZAYN. He is still Zayn from One Direction, my dudes. This is the very beginning of his career. You can expect big things from him, but to compare him to already seasoned artists like Rihanna or Ariana or anyone else in the mainstream right now, is doing both him and your arguments a disservice. He isn’t there yet. This was his first album - it’s literally the beginning of a new era, and what many of us lack is patience. He isn’t an established artist like we want him to be just yet, so it would be best to stop acting like he is and like his earnings and popularity must reflect that so soon.

When you say that though, the argument takes a turn and points the finger at his team. Do I think they could be doing a better job in multiple aspects? Hell yeah. Who doesn’t think that? There are serious issues with the way they promote and the way they blur the lines of professionalism. There’s no denying that. However, keep in mind what’s been discovered as of late, including what I’ve said above. Zayn is incredibly shy to the point where it noticeably hampers with his performances and whatever presenting or speeches he does. He isn’t used to being the center of attention. He was uncomfortable even in a small personal setting and backstage at said performances. He’s expressed that he’s uncomfortable with televised interviews and while print interviews are also an option, there’s the ever-present fact that a lot of what’s said can be twisted in an unfavorable light that way, as we’ve already seen happen thus far. That’s what we know right now. His team seems to get that, and that’s why he’s not everywhere all the time or barely at all. People already know who Zayn is. He’s recognizable, and therefore there isn’t such a dire need for him to be out there all the time as people suggest. He isn’t a brand-spanking new artist finally making it big; he’s already been here, it’s just way different now. That being said, I’m sure Zayn’s expressed in one interview before that he wants the focus to be on the music, not him. 

Which brings us to the choice of singles and promotion, again. Mind of Mine is not a radio-friendly album. PILLOWTALK is a semi-radio friendly song; that’s probably why it was his debut single and why you hear it on the radio all the darn time. sHe is another radio-friendly song that has charted really well, but, for whatever reason, it isn’t a single. Is that something to blame his team for? Sure, if you want. wRoNg is their replacement, I assume, because it’s the third song sent for airplay, and the fact that it has Kehlani might help boost its status and get him onto radio stations he otherwise wouldn’t be on ever. Is this stuff to blame on his team? Again, if you want to. It depends on whether popular airplay is the priority goal or not. Seeing as I don’t work for TFA, I can’t tell you if it is. As much as I’d love to jam out to sHe while on the road, I think spreading his radio horizons with the help of a catalyst is a good move, too. 

With talk of singles, the fact that Zayn has yet, until now, to sing PILLOWTALK is seen as a flaw. There’s been talk about how there was a deal made that he’d perform it for the first time at the Summertime Ball, and other claims that Zayn just didn’t like how it sounded live enough to perform it yet. I don’t read into that, so I can’t tell you my thoughts 100%. However, I would definitely prefer Zayn sing a song he and his band are confident in than one they’re not. I don’t think it’s a career mishap - just a funny mystery we couldn’t crack. I don’t think it’s as serious as it’s made to seem at all. He sang iT’s YoU that one time as a showcase of his vocal ability, or so I think, and to prove that he’s more than just your pretty pop star. I view that as more of him wanting to shatter that mold a bit, than a career mishap again. Also, it’s a promotional single that at the time revealed his album had variety, and wasn’t just One Direction-style pop. PILLOWTALK would be even more overplayed if he sang it at every event he went to, as well. Let people have a taste of the other songs on the album, even if he’s choosing to sing Like I Would each time, too. 

This has been one hell of a long post, but I’m pretty sure I covered all the points I wanted to rebuttal here. TL;DR is that Zayn is a budding artist who doesn’t want the grand commercial success you guys are trying to force him into, and it does no one involved any good to keep pushing that. If you don’t want to vote for Zayn in things or promo him, whatever, then don’t. It’s not your job and it never was. You aren’t any less of a fan if you don’t do those things, just like you’re not an Elite Zquad Member™ if you do. Stanning, or being someone’s fan in general, shouldn’t be a stressful thing. If it is, you need to take a step back and reevaluate your situation. Are you expecting too much? Are you too used to the One Direction ways of promotion and work? Is the fandom just not your thing anymore? Do you even like Zayn as much as you used to? It’s okay to be doubtful or outgrow this. I just ask that we not alienate and create an even further divide both within the fandom and outside of it, because these posts going around lately are doing just that. Zayn is a growing artist and we should let him do just that - grow. He has literally just started his solo journey. Be patient. Not everything can happen all at once, and while the pressure of antis breathing down our necks and calling him a flop and other ugly things is overwhelming at times, you gotta let the universe do its thing. Let Zayn prove them wrong on his own time in his own way. That’s all I ask.

The Order of The Phoenix

Jily Rival Band AU 

I’ve been meaning to write this AU for AGES and I’m so glad I did. It’s a blast. Big thank you to alrightevans for cheering me on and in general just being fab (u rock Chloe) and shout out we-are-all-sloths-in-the-end for being a great beta/putting up with me.

read it on ff.net 

“What’s a five-letter word for ‘the village’s thickest man’?”

Lily’s eyes snapped up from the organized print of her book to the chaos that was her bandmate’s designated area of the tour bus. Marlene McKinnon, drummer extraordinaire and slightly less than extraordinary guitarist (but she’s working on it), lay sprawled out on the bus’s plush leather sofa amidst heaps of candy wrappers, magazines, pillows, and miscellaneous origami figures. Utterly unfazed by the explosion of rubbish she had crowded around her, Marlene held a crossword puzzle book close to her face and squinted at it, absent-mindedly tapping a pen to her chin.

If it wasn’t for the time a centipede had somehow made its way onstage during a performance, and Marlene’s subsequent fit of abject terror, Lily would say her drummer could not possibly fear anything more than boredom.

Keep reading

Emblem3

Back To Three

by Rachel Disipio

Consisting of brothers Wesley and Keaton Stromberg and their buddy Drew Chadwick, you may know the band Emblem3 from 2012, when their career started on the hit TV show The X-Factor. You might know the guys from their big hit “Chloe (You’re the One I Want),” which climbed the singles charts back in 2014. Or, maybe it’s from their album Nothing to Lose, which debuted number seven on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart. Maybe it’s from opening up for Selena Gomez on her “Stars Dance” Tour, or appearing on many TV shows like Good Morning America and The View.

In June of 2014, Emblem3’s career came to a fork in the road. Member Drew Chadwick decided to take a different path and left the band to become a solo artist. The group’s loyal fan base was devastated with this change, as all the members of Emblem3 slowly started branching out to projects of their own.

Fans cheered the news that in September of 2015 the band’s hiatus came to a close and the guys came back together. Now the band says they are “back and better than ever!” Through the years we have sat down with the guys at least a half dozen times. We have seen the trio go through their ups and downs. However, after we chatted with them this week, we could clearly see that Wes, Drew and Keaton are in a great place. There are new exciting things on the horizon. This is definitely music to fans’ ears.

Your fans are super happy about the revival of the band. When did you guys realize you needed to start making music as a group again?

Drew Chadwick: We’ve been a band since we were nine or ten years old. We’ve taken a lot of breaks. In the past, we had some behind-the-scenes issues that could even be labeled as ‘shady business.’ We really wanted our contracts to die out. They did on September 1st, which is right around when we made the decision to get back together. Since then we have just been working on a ton of new music and have been getting ready for 2016. We’re about to drop new music on Valentine’s Day. We have been waiting since we took our hiatus, which was over a year ago, to release this new music. So we are really excited. It’s really dope.

Since you guys joined forces again, how has it been doing what you guys do best, writing and recording music?

Keaton Stromberg: It’s been amazing. Before we were a part of a major label. Now we are fully independent, which is really cool. We are writing and recording everything on our own. I am actually producing the music. Since we are doing it completely ourselves, the direction our music is going in is exactly what we want to put out. We are just really, really excited.

On February 1st you guys released your new song “Now.” The response has been great. How does it feel that you have such dedicated fans, who have stuck by your side through all the ups and the downs?

Drew Chadwick: It is probably the best feeling ever. It’s the greatest thing of all times. The reaction has been amazing. This song is for our fans, to explain to them why we took our break and to let them know we are back and better than ever.

Keaton Stromberg: You can download the song for free on YouTube. It will also be on our app that comes out this Valentine’s Day, which is really cool. We are so stoked about that.

During the band’s hiatus each one of you started different projects like The Balcony [a duo with Wesley with Kenny Holland], Never Getting Older [a band started by Keaton], and Drew you did a few solo shows. Would you say those ventures are just on hold for now, or are you leaving them in the past?

Drew Chadwick: I would say they are on hold for now. Emblem3 is now and is always number one and above all.

Wesley Stromberg: Yeah, Emblem3 has always been our first priority. The break was much needed and we all resolved our issues. As of right now, we are just focused on the future and how the band is back together. Emblem3 will always be our top priority.

When looking back on your past album Nothing to Lose, which debuted number 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart, what would you guys consider to be your biggest goal when releasing new music?

Wesley Stromberg: Honestly, we want a number one single. We want to reach out to our fans and people outside our fan base. Try to gain new audiences.

Drew Chadwick: Yeah, I would say we want to take it as far as we can. We want to be the biggest band in the whole world.

Keaton Stromberg: I completely agree. There is no limit. We want to make Emblem3 as big as possible.

Who would each of you consider to be your biggest musical inspiration and why?

Keaton Stromberg: That’s a really hard question!

Drew Chadwick: We were actually asked that in another interview today. I narrowed it down to Bob Marley, Tupac, and John Lennon, who are all pretty awesome.

Wesley Stromberg: I would have to say Drake and Sublime with Bradley [Nowell, the band’s original singer, who died in 1996] because he was awesome.

Keaton Stromberg: It is so hard to narrow it down, but I grew up on indie rock stuff. Kind of like Death Cab for Cutie’s style. I’m really into that.

This past weekend you guys sang the national anthem at the celebrity football game. How did it feel to finally get out there as a group again and sing such an important song?

Wesley Stromberg: It feels amazing. It was such an honor. To be able to sing that in front of anyone is amazing, but we were lucky enough to sing that song in front of celebrities, pro-ballers and hall of famers. It just felt so good to be singing as a group, in front of an audience again.

Did you guys get to play?

Wesley Stromberg: Yeah, we played in the game, baby! I was out there breaking ankles and kicking butt! I didn’t get to score a touchdown, but I blocked pretty good. Jake Miller scored a touchdown. I was so jealous. But it’s all good. It was a really fun time.

You guys have a surprise for your fans on this Sunday, which is Valentines Day. Can you give us any little hints about what your fans can expect?

Drew Chadwick: They can expect new music. We are so excited. We worked really, really hard on this.

Keaton Stromberg: There are going to be tour dates released on that day, as well. All of this information is going to be available on our brand new app, which will be released on the Appstore and Google Play for all Android and Apple devices and every other device you can possibly think of. All you will have to do is search “Emblem3” and download it. It is free and will be out on Valentine’s Day.

When can we expect you guys to hit the road again?

Keaton Stromberg: I’d say early Summer, but everyone is going to have to wait until Valentine’s Day to know the exact dates. We are super stoked to be back on tour. We cannot wait.

When we tweeted we were doing on interview with you guys and our Twitter blew up asking if we were going to do fan questions, so we have a few of them right now. What has been your favorite memory since X-Factor?

Drew Chadwick: Wow, that’s quite the question!

Keaton Stromberg: Let’s see… I would probably have to say singing at The Staples Center in front of 20,000 people was one of the most fantastic memories for me.

When can your fans expect another music video or cover?

Keaton Stromberg: We don’t have an exact date yet, but we have some music videos coming out pretty soon after our app drops.

Drew Chadwick: Yeah, like Keaton was saying we will be releasing some acoustic videos on our app. Make sure you keep an eye out for that!

Describe your new music in three words.

Drew Chadwick: I am going to say funkadelic.

Wesley Stromberg: Hmmm… that’s a tough one. I’m going to have to go with climactic.

Keaton Stromberg: You can just say that it is going to be out of this world!

What are your favorite songs at the moment?

Drew Chadwick: I’ve been bumping “My Humps” by The Black Eyed Peas. But in all seriousness I’ve been bumping “Only God Can Judge Me” by Tupac like everyday!

Last question: Do you have a message for your supporters?

Drew Chadwick: Honestly, we are eternally grateful for your unending support and unconditional love. We will be bringing new music to you guys until our dying day. We just cannot thank you all enough! We love you guys!

Copyright ©2016 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: February 15, 2016.

Photo #1 © 2016 Courtesy of Emblem3.

All other photos © 2013-2014 Vin Manta, Alycia Fabrizio and Jim Rinaldi for PopEntertainment.com.