Five Star Reads

Friends – I’ve discovered the secret to being able to play music while reading. I really thought I’d have to resign myself to only listening to instrumentals while reading (not that that’s a bad thing in the slightest) but I’m gonna share my lil secret. It’s not really a secret because it’s stupidly simple.

Put the music hella quiet.That’s it. Just…crank the volume down. You want to be able to hear it, but…just. If you can make out the words perfectly, too loud. You want the sound of the music but not the details of it. Because it’s really all about setting the vibe.

Speaking of the ‘vibe’, when I’m listening to music, I tend to find myself listening to my vibe or die playlist, which you can find below. None of the songs are super high energy, and they don’t really require you to sing along. I’ve found myself throwing this playlist on when I’m settling in for a solid couple hours of reading and so far, no issues!

For today’s post I hope you don’t mind me branching out a bit. BookTok and BookTube have really picked up speed this year and it’s been amazing to see so many people get back into reading. Last year I was able to meet my reading goal, and this year I’m a couple books off from hitting my goal of 50 books. All this time in lockdown has obviously allowed me to increase my reading goal each time I’ve met the previous one, but it’s also allowed me to read a whole range of books, re-read some favourites and get into some solid book tracking.

For tracking my reading I used to be a faithful GoodReads user. However I’ve made the switch to StoryGraph, a black, female owned book tracking platform that honestly, in my opinion, is ten times better. It gives you heaps of stats about your reading patterns and habits, plus it just eases my mind a bit that I’m not supporting another Bezos business, ya know?

For today’s post I wanted to share my vibe or die playlist that I’ve been listening to while reading, so I thought it would be only fair to share my Five Star books. I’m pretty sparing with my ratings so for these books to snag a 5 out of 5, it’s fair to say I loved them.

Some of these books I read at the start of this year, some are super recent finishes, some I’ve re-read as part of my reading goal and others are books I saw floating around social media and bought purely because of that.

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
I’m convinced that every young girl should try reading this book. I mean, anyone can read this because I’m sure it’s not just women who would enjoy it, but there’s something about the protagonist Esther, the way she speaks and describes her environment and emotions and how each time I read it, I understand more and more. I re-read this book in August and it hit me a lot harder than the last time I read it. It’s an American classic and without really spoiling anything, the ‘bell jar’ is a metaphor for Esther’s depression, her mental health and a bit of a spiral she finds herself in. I just love the way Sylvia Plath created Esther’s character, how some times you love her, sometimes you find her completely infuriating and other times you just don’t know how to feel. It’s a quick read, but it’s worth it.

After Dark – Haruki Murakami
This book. My goodness. The writing is sensational, very typical of Murakami’s style and the way he blends reality, dystopia and just complete make-believe into this one-night event of sorts just hit me when I read this the first time. I’m considering re-reading this one as well because again, it’s a quick read, but it’s a fulfilling one. Haruki Murakami is to date, one of the best writers I’ve read and the way he creates these worlds and describes sensations that are so hard to put into words just really captivates you entirely.

The Secret History – Donna Tartt
I would go as far as to say that this book is in my Top 3 books ever. My lord, the way this book sent me on a spin. I first read it back in 2016, I read it twice that year, and I only picked it up again to start a re-read this month. The writing, the characters, the way Donna Tartt dips into gothic literature and moulds it around the settings in this book just make you shiver. It’s an intense read, and it took 17-year old me two really slow reads back in 2016 to full grasp the story. It’s an intense depiction of morality, class, betrayal and evil and the pace forces you to really be ready for anything. I can’t really put this book into any more words than that. If you’ve read The Secret History then you might understand what I mean and if you haven’t, you can only really read the book to try and understand. This book has stayed with me for the last 5 years and I’m very happy I’ve started re-reading it.

On The Come Up – Angie Thomas
This book, written by the author of Concrete Roses and The Hate You Give, is undeniably underrated, especially when it stands next to titles as impactful and as popular as the two I just mentioned. It’s about a young girl named Bri who wants to make it as a successful rapper, following in the footsteps of her late father who was an underground rap legend. It covers how her dreams interweave with her reality, her mother losing her job and the lives of poor and working-class African American communities. It touches you in a way that Angie Thomas has mastered.

The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited The Soul of Black America – Marcus J. Moore
This is the first and only biography of Kendrick Lamar, one of my favourite rappers of all time and Marcus J. Moore nails it. It covers his timeline, growing up as a young child in Compton having to manoeuvre around a life filled with gang violence, poverty and racism, channeling that into his music and his craft and fighting his way to the top of the game. You really get a sense of how much Kendrick has truly impacted the musical scene. His assistance in the resurgence of bebop and jazz within hip-hop and rap, and how much of an impact he’s truly had.

Shoe Dog – Phil Knight
I wasn’t sure what I expected when I decided to read the memoir of Phil Knight, the creator of Nike. I had an interview with the company lined up earlier this year and I was intent on knowing everything and anything about the brand I already loved. Phil Knight, is one of the best story-tellers I’ve ever read. The way he was able to reflect, replay key moments and interactions and really take you on a deep dive through the history of his life, the ideas and events that lead to creating the iconic brand and all the people involved, kinda removed that ever-present feeling you sometimes get when reading memoirs and biographies. There’s this sense of humility and gratefulness when you read his memoir and at the same time you constantly have to remind yourself that this is the man who built an empire. The humble beginnings really give you a sense of just how huge the brand is and everything it encompasses, all wrapped up perfectly in a book written by an incredible storyteller.

Song Of Achilles – Madeline Miller
I picked up this book and it really cemented my love for Greek mythology, Greek gods and their worlds. I dipped my toe into the genre, more like threw my whole foot in, by reading Troy by Stephen Fry and fell in love with it. I also previously read another one of Miller’s books, Circe, and loved it, so when I saw BookTok going bonkers for Song Of Achilles, I bought it straight away. This book ruined me. It follows the Greek god Achilles, and Patroclus, a young prince who is exiled from his kingdom and how they’re brought together, purely by chance. The way these two characters develop and blossom throughout the book really pulls and tears at all of your emotions. Patroclus is a character who you can’t help but support and empathise with, despite his many faults. His wins become yours and you share in his failures. Achilles, in a way, becomes much more human and accessible and half the time I was reading this I forgot that this was Achilles, the Greek god Achilles. Madeline Miller manages to capture boyhood, love, honour and grief incredibly in this book.

Hello Certified Lover Boy

So Drake dropped an album. To those who don’t always keep on top of Drake, like myself, it seemed to come out of nowhere but I’m sure those of you who are bigger fans probably saw it coming. Did it have something to do with the release of Donda and Drake’s long-standing ‘feud’ with Kanye? I don’t know.

Certified Lover Boy dropped on the 3rd of September, and honestly, I jumped on Spotify to listen to it and it was like my entire Friend Activity bar was also listening to CLB. I’ve already seen polls comparing Drake and Yes albums, seeing which one is more popular, trying to draw a line in the sand between who’s Team Drake and who’s Team Kanye.

I’ll be honest. This time round I’m staunchly Team Drake. One of my friends said said it pretty bang on over Instagram; “CLB is just so much easier to consume“. Now that’s not to say it’s a lazy album or it’s ‘basic’. The way I see it, with so much going on all the time in the world and all of our lives in a bit of turmoil, I didn’t really have the energy to pretend to be a genius and try and decipher all of Kanye’s tracks and piece it all together. If that makes me a lazy listener, that’s on me, but listening to Certified Lover Boy was infinitely easier and more enjoyable than listening to Donda so that’s my opinion on that.

But let’s get into CLB hey?

//source//

I mean, it kicks off with a Masego sample, straight away with Track 1, Champagne Poetry, a monster 6 minute track. It’s pretty hypnotic to listen to if you ask me and I didn’t even catch how long it actually was because of how easy it was to listen to.

Girls Want Girls with Lil Baby is the first song to introduce a feature artist on the album, the first of many, and if we’re being real, the feature artists really come in clutch throughout the album. Lil Durk, Giveon, JAY-Z, Travis Scott, Future, Young Thug, Yebba, 21 Savage, Project Pat, Tems, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Kid Cudi all dance around this project and all of them seem to find a track that welcomes them perfectly if you ask me.

Love All which features JAY-Z is a track I was super excited to listen to when I saw the track list. It’s super laid-back and true to a really smooth RnB heritage. Then you’ve got JAY-Z’s feature verse. There’s just something about his tone and his voice when he’s on a track, I love it. His delivery and everything about his verse got me so excited to listen to every word he said. Great track.

Fair Trade sounds exactly like what you’d expect when you’re combining Drake and Travis Scott and the switch up in TSU sent me for a real one. Unexpected but incredibly appreciated. So many different moods in one song.

Pipe Down made me feel super nostalgic, like 2016 Drake in 2021 form if that makes sense. Super sensual and ethereal in some of the sounds that he’s got on there. Then came Yebba’s Heartbreak. The way my jaw dropped when I saw the title of the song on his Instagram.

It’s a super simple song lyrics wise, arrangement wise, Drake doesn’t even feature on it, but it makes for a beautiful interlude type of song, nestled in the middle of the album. Obviously Yebba delivers everything and more.

No Friends In The Industry is just begging for a Kendrick Lamar feature if you ask me but Drake carries it well enough, for now, and 7am On The Bridle Path was a good track for a really focused listen. Had me really intently wanting to hear what he said and understanding each line.

Fountains featuring Tems scratched my ever present dancehall itch with a really muted jam that carried the track. Tems’ verses are so satisfying to listen to and her voice contrasts the lower frequencies to really tie the song together.

I’m always a fan of any Ty Dolla $ign feature, and I don’t know if Drake was trying to keep up with Ty’s impressive pipes but I really appreciated his vocals on Get Along Better. Both of them deliver really solid vocal performances and because there’s not a lot going on instrumentation wise to detract from the vocals they really carry the track.

IMY2 featuring Kid Cudi is probably my low point on the album though it’s not horrible. Just feels a bit predictable, what we’ve come to expect from Drake. Cudi’s verse is fun I guess, very Kid Cudi, but the rest of the track doesn’t really do much dynamically.

I like Certified Lover Boy. A lot. I don’t know if it’s partially fuelled by timing, the release of Donda and how much I don’t like that latest release but I’ve listened to CLB more than a few times since it’s come out. It’s a genuinely enjoyable album to listen to in my opinion.

People I could imagine on this album?

Snoh Aalegra, Anderson .Paak, GoldLink, Kendrick like mentioned before, maybe an actual Masego feature, Kehlani or Syd would have sounded beautiful if they were given a verse on Race My Mind but for an album that had a little more than a week of promoted hype, this album has kept me very well fed.

Have you heard Certified Lover Boy? Do you care? Would love to hear your opinions on this record because I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than I anticipated.

x

Priya

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
Twitter: YouShouldHear
Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
Spotify: priyafrancis

An Unintentional Break & Apology Playlist

Hello. Hope you’re all well.

Good to start with mentioning that I definitely didn’t intend to go silent for over three months but it happened and it’s done. To be fair, I don’t know when I’ll actually get around to finishing this post and actually posting it but I’m attempting to which is what counts, right?

I guess this unintentional break that I’ve been on was somewhat intentional in that when I realised I hadn’t made a post in a long while, I didn’t exactly rush back to pick up and kick into gear again.

I mean, it did kinda kill me inside when I realised that I missed not just my June Tunes post, but also my July Tunes and my August Tunes, my monthly song roundup being one of the most consistent posts on my blog as a whole, but I’ll be honest, it didn’t kill me enough to send me running back.

So what have I been up to in my absence? Like I may have mentioned a little while back, I quit my job at the music shop which was a great move even if it did leave me a little bit financially stranded for the most part of the year so far. I continued teaching singing and piano and running the admin side of the music school I’ve been at since 2019 and that kept me going decently. I had a small hiccup with a job I was really excited for that lost out on itself due to COVID 19, and since then I’ve started a new full time job, back in retail but with a sports brand that I’ve been in love with since I could walk. Love their clothes, love their athletes, love their sneakers (easy guess by now surely, it really ticks all the boxes) and I’ve really happy in my role there so far. I mean, what little I’ve worked considering Melbourne is back in lockdown and have been on and off since mid-July.

We’re up to lockdown 6.0 here in Melbourne and it’s definitely running it’s course over everyone, like a train. Morale is pretty low if I’m being honest, but to be honest, there’s not much else we can really do and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m in a pretty lucky position, having a great full time job that still pays me while I live with my family and don’t have any major bills to cover. I know there’s definitely people who are doing it extra tough with these on-going lockdowns and COVID as a whole.

I’ve been listening to lots of music. Not even a question really. Like, a lot. I redid my Spotify, again, adding and deleting a few playlists, giving my profile a bit of a clean and it’s been a fun little project. I’m also reading. A lot. My goal for 2021 has moved from 25, to 30 and is now currently at 40 books to read for the year. *Side note – if anyone is currently tracking on Goodreads, StoryGraph is an amazing alternative, WOC-owned rather than Bezos-owned and it’s got super slick graphs and stats on your reading habits. Let me know if you set up a StoryGraph, I wanna see what y’all are reading!

So, what am I sharing with you today? Well, one of the main things that has been keeping me amused through these lockdowns, and I’m sure a few of you may be in the same boat and see where I’m going – it’s TikTok. Not only is it a daily intrigue to see what part or side of TikTok I stumble onto, but it is a treasure trove of undiscovered artists, musicians humbly sharing their songs in their bedrooms or promoting their latest releases, and I’ve curated quite the playlist over the last few months.

Aptly titled; found em on tiktok.

Now usually I rotate through my playlists, I’ve been removing and adding new tracks to each of my playlists pretty regularly with my newfound free time, however with this one I plan on just letting it marinate and grow. I wanna see just how good TikTok is at getting some of these artists out there and across the line.

Take Lizzy McAlpine for example. I found her back in January. Now she’s hanging out with the likes of Jacob Collier and Dodie, posting covers in their backyards and just generally being great. There’s so many cool artists and musicians on TikTok, it’s becoming for them what YouTube was for Justin Bieber, what Vine was for Shawn Mendes.

If you’re keen to keep up with some new music, discover some fresh tracks or follow any of my playlists, you can find my Spotify, my pride and joy, HERE.

Please feel free to catch up in the comments. I wanna know what you’re all doing, how you’re going, what I’ve missed, what you’re listening to, the whole lot.

x

Priya

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
Twitter: YouShouldHear
Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
Spotify: priyafrancis

Hello Top Tracks!

Hey team! Hope you’re all well 🙂 Just thought I’d check in, considering how sporadic my posts have been here over the last few months. Who needs routine, am I right??

If any of you use Spotify, you may have noticed that the desktop app as well as the phone app have had a bit of an update and undergone a little makeover. At first I wasn’t for it, but after a little while I’ve most definitely come around.

You guys know how much I obsess over music stats and algorithms, especially within Spotify, and one of my favourite parts of the update has definitely been this feature…

I mean it basically does my Monthly Tunes posts for me now! Before I would just kinda scroll through my yearly playlist, 365//2021, and pick out the most recent tracks that I’d added, but now I have a curated list of all the tracks I really gave a spin each month.

Sometimes I don’t even realise how much I actually listen to a song. Features like this really just stay calling me out to be honest.

I won’t give you the current rundown, since all the tracks are basically covered on my latest Monthly Tunes post which you can read HERE…but boy am I excited to get my May Tunes done at the end of this month using this new Spotify feature.

As per usual, don’t forget to check out my Spotify account! All of my playlist, yes all 51 of them, have been getting a good regular rotation and have had plenty of old tracks removed to make way for all the new songs I’ve added to them. I’ve been able to stick to regularly updating them which has been a lot more fun than I anticipated, so I’d love if you checked it out!

x

Priya

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
Twitter: YouShouldHear
Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
Spotify: priyafrancis

The Vinyl Records // Round One

   Hello, hello, hello!!

Today’s post, is a kinda cute one. I get to acknowledge my beautiful group of friends (though they may not all see this), and immortalise them and their beautiful-ness on this blog in a round-about way.

I turned 21 on the 11th of August last year. However, on the 10th of August, I celebrated with my friends and my family. Most of you know Kate by now, my absolute best friend in the entire world, who without, I’d probably be dead.

Kate was the bearer of my big present for the year, on behalf of herself and a bunch of my friends. By the title, I’m crossing my fingers that you’ve figured out that the lovely bunch of legends bought me a record player, which is something I’ve been wanting for years. I’ve never pulled the trigger on it and bought it myself, so the fact that my friends did it for me genuinely made me cry, the video of which was promptly shared in their group chat.

That said, I’ve had the record player since then, and it’s had it’s fair share spin.

So for today’s post, I’m gonna do the first post in a round up of some of the records I’ve scored, where I got them, and a lil bit about the tunes on the records.

Since I scored the player for my birthday, I thought that for the first post in this series I’d share a record that my other close friend Nishika and her boyfriend got me for my 21st. I’m sure there’ll be some guesses as to what it is.

 

Jon Bellion – Glory Sound Prep

IMG_3505

In a very unlike me fashion, I refrained from making a post dedicated to this album when it came out in November 2018. I don’t know why, but I don’t think I can ever do this album justice in the sense of putting it into words.

However, I was super grateful to be able to experience it on vinyl. It was actually the first album I was going to purchase as soon as I got the record player, until Nishika had to spoil the surprise for my own good and let me know it was already on it’s way, which I’m very grateful for.

I also finally got to see my literal biggest inspiration in November 2019, and getting to hear the album in person was a whole different experience. Again, I didn’t have it in me to make a blog post about it because I didn’t know, and still don’t know, how you sum up nearly 6 years of dedication to an artist, into one night??? I don’t know man, this album is in my top five albums of the decade, and in my top five favourite albums ever. This album is so emotive and nuanced. There’s so much I could say about this album, and I probably should, considering that’s kinda my job around here, but I’ll stick with picking out a few tracks and carrying on about them rather than rambling about the album in it’s entirety.

Conversations With My Wife
I mean – what a way to share the fact that you’re married, than with a song like this. It’s the first track on the album and listening to it for the first time was the best indicator that this album, is lyrically, genius. There’s so much to unpack in just this song alone, but to date, it’s probably one of my favourite songs when it comes to storytelling and just beautifully constructing a love song dedication.

Let’s Begin (Roc Marciano, RZA, B.Keyz, Travis Mendes)
In a complete change of pace, this song is Jon’s opportunity to go IN. He’s not defined as a rapper when you first discover him, but when you dive into his catalogue, you find songs like this and it becomes obvious that he is criminally underrated as a rapper. I rate Jon Bellion higher than a lot of definable rappers, and that’s genuinely not me being biased at all. Just listen to this song and a few of his other tracks, for example New York Soul Pt. II, and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

The Internet
This song is featured on this list because it was one of my favourites to see Jon perform live at The Forum in November. The vibes were immaculate. It’s such a fun and upbeat song, and to hear everyone absolutely belting the lyrics while Jon and his team were clearly just having a ball up on stage was so wholesome and it was this song that gave my little, ‘holy shit this is real, this is happening, he’s real and this is actually a thing that’s happening to me right now’ moment during the concert. I’m pretty sure I even cried during this one.

Cautionary Tales
This song was probably my first favourite track from the entire record. I love the bass line in this song so much, plus the lyrics are insane. So much story telling, mixed in with incredible production and an amazing energy that I haven’t been able to find in another song since hearing this for the first time. It’s one of those songs that just delivers the switch-ups that’s become synonymous with Jon Bellion’s music.

Mah’s Joint (Quincy Jones)
This song ended me. I think because it’s written from a perspective that is so harshly definitive of where I was when he released this album. It’s essentially a song from Jon’s point of view, directed to his mother, dealing with his grandmother’s Alzheimer’s and when this song was released, it was at the pinnacle point in time of my family going through the same thing. It being the last song on the album felt all the more poignant to me, and it was the song that completely sent me over the edge and had me dissolved into a puddle of tears. I also sent it off to my cousin, my mum and her two sisters and all of them called me minutes after listening to it. My mum even shared this song on her FaceBook and I had a whole army of middle aged women tagging me in the comments to talk about the song for the next week. Then you get this uplifting and beautiful instrumentation, by the one and only Quincy Jones, mixed with Jon’s voice and his own production, and it’s like this huge celebration of life for the last 4 minutes or so of the track.

Let me know if you’ve listened to the album or any of Jon’s music! Plus – I’d love to hear about your favourite vinyl’s!!

x

Priya

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 1.01.15 pm

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
Twitter: YouShouldHear
Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
Spotify: priyafrancis

Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes // What Kinda Music

Hello boys and girls – hope you’re all well!

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Tom Misch fan, and if you’ve somehow missed the many features he’s made on this blog over the past couple of years…I don’t know what to tell you.

His latest project, has been one I’ve been anticipating very eagerly, a collaboration album with one of my favourite drummers and South-London artists, Yussef Dayes, What Kinda Music.

Screen Shot 2020-05-09 at 2.47.25 pm

It’s genuinely filled to the brim with incredibly intricate tunes, that just ebb and flow so naturally. As Tom mentions in the album documentary I’ve linked below, quite a few of the songs were created through jam sessions, without a clear cut song structure or outline, which I think only allows more room for each music to really, really shine.

Yussef is, for obvious reasons, one of my favourite drummers and producers at the moment, and this album really shows off just how technically skilled he is. The drumming on this album adds a completely new element to Tom’s already incredible instrumentation and production, and the fact that it’s all live tracked in a studio during these jam sessions gives the entire album a really authentic and raw feeling, despite how clean and crisp every sound is.

Festival, the second song on the album is one of my favourites. It’s super ambient, while still allowing for Yussef’s drumming to cut right through. Tom’s vocals serve as more of a synth at times, but he jumps back and forth between these long drawn out notes and super rhythmic singing that meets Yussef’s energy in a really understated way.

 

Last 100 was the song I added to my playlists straight away on my first listen to the album. It’s just got so much packed into it, but everything has a moment to stand out. The drums are so clean on this particular track and just provide a really nice energy and framework for Tom to swim in with his guitar. Add in the super catchy hook, and it’s just the tastiest song on the track for me. Really gets the head bobbing if we’re being honest.

Kyiv is the last song from the album I wanna mention. It’s beautiful. So much space within one song, and it all fits together like a puzzle piece. I love the fact that while there are some songs with vocals and lyrics on this album, there are also a bunch of instrumental songs, this being one of the highlights for me. It was one of the four singles that were released for this album, and it’s definitely my favourite of that selection. I personally think it’s a great taster of the whole album, and both Tom and Yussef really pull together on this track beautifully.

Screen Shot 2020-05-09 at 2.48.16 pm

I’ve had a Tom Misch post sitting in my drafts for months now, close to a year, but this will have to do for now, because as much as I love Tom and his entire discography of solo work, I’m currently obsessed with this album and I reckon it’s gonna be on high rotation for a while.

If you check out the album, let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve never dived into any Tom Misch or Yussef Dayes before – this is a great taste of it for sure.

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-09 at 2.47.41 pm

x

Priya

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 1.01.15 pm

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
Twitter: YouShouldHear
Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
Spotify: priyafrancis

A Week In My Life // Iso Edition

Hello friends!

Hope you’re all well and thriving.

Today’s post is gonna be somewhat interesting, or potentially just super boring. We’ll see! I thought I’d share a week in my life, during this weird period of isolation and social distancing. I’ve seen a few of them going around, and I thought it would be interesting enough, regardless of the fact that I might not actually get up to all that much throughout the week.

That said, I hope you enjoy it anyway!

MONDAY

Monday, the first day of the week, and the only day during the week that I have had scheduled to work over the last few weeks. The music store that I work at is a small, family owned business, and as weird as it seems – we’ve done alright during this isolation period. We do a lot of online orders, a lot of answering the phone and we do get quite a lot of customers still, trying to cure their boredom during isolation I guess? That said, we’ve had to cut back on shifts to save on costs, so I’m currently only working one day a week.

Monday’s shift wasn’t too bad. Aside from being verbally abused by an absolute unit of a customer early on in the morning and using it as an excuse to have my lunch first, I managed to get a big bulk of work done, sort out a bunch of parcels and tie up any loose ends that had been floating around.

TUESDAY

Tuesday was a very good reflection of a regular day in isolation for me. Thanks to a weeks worth of setting alarms and adjusting my body clock, I’ve finally begun waking up naturally around 8:30 which has been great, because it means I get a bit more of a full day.

The current situation in my house since Miss Rona hit has my mum working from home in the study, my dad working from home at the living room table, and my sister attending online high school upstairs. Which leaves me kinda chilling on the couch or in my room or doing whatever it is needs doing for the day.

As my sister pointed out, I spent most of Tuesday in my room, on my re-discovered hobby – making wallpapers. A couple years ago I was hell-bent on making as many wallpapers as possible, and on Monday night my cousins asked me if I could make her one again. So I spent a most of Tuesday playing around with wallpapers, and ended up making more, one for old mate Kate, my other cousin Leah, my sister and my laptop, as well as a bunch of other ones just for fun! Check them out 🙂

//Golden Hollywood for Kate, Harry for Leah and Outer Banks for Sonali//

IMG_0312
//my current laptop screensaver//

After my sister finished her online schooling, we headed over to the park, something we’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks! If we don’t manage to go for a walk during the day, we bring a football and kick it around for an hour or so, just to get out of the house. The park’s been a lot of fun, just because while there are other people there, everyone’s pretty responsible about the rules and does there own thing, but everyone’s always friendly, if that makes sense?

Other than the park, it was a pretty uneventful day, but I managed to get some blogging done and obviously, finish off those wallpapers. In the evening, I took Kate’s recommendation and binge watched the entire first season of Hollywood on Netflix. Definitely would recommend if it’s your type of thing, I’ve always loved old movies, the Golden Age aesthetic and everything about that type of genre so I knew it was something I’d be able to get around. I didn’t get to sleep until I had finished it all, so fair to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

WEDNESDAY

Wednesday was another mostly relaxed day at home. I helped with some work that needed to be done around the house while everyone was working but for the most part just watched some YouTube and did some reading. Since corona hit, my music teaching gig, which I was previously doing in person once a week with three students has dropped, but in the last three weeks we’ve begun classes back at the studio over Zoom, so I headed to the studio in the afternoon to set up for my class.

Teaching over Zoom, is a pain in the ass, to be quite frank. It doesn’t even compare to teaching in person, sitting next to the student and helping them learn, and everything takes about double the usual amount of time. However, the student I have for these Zoom classes is lovely so it’s not completely miserable, and I get to hang out at the studio and practice some singing and piano before and after class, which makes the 10 minute drive there worth it.

Like Tuesday, my sister Sonali and headed to the park again right after I got back from teaching to kick the footy, and we hung around to catch the sunset, as did quite a few people. Well worth the mosquito bites if you ask me.

IMG_3255

THURSDAY

Thursday was another interesting day, which makes this week a little out of the ordinary to be honest. Late on Tuesday night one of my best friends Jess passed on the message that one of her boyfriend’s mates had asked about me possibly performing on his university radio show on Thursday, so we lined everything up on Wednesday.

I spent most of the morning just kinda relaxing at home, watching some Netflix, then around 1:30, my friend Daniel, who plays guitar for me, and I met at the studio where I teach as we were using one of the rooms to Skype call in for the radio segment. It was super chill, and I got a few friends who happened to be listening message in to say they loved the cover we did! After we finished up the Skype call, we got an early dinner of Nando’s and headed home.

The rest of the night was very relaxed. I hung out with my family, listened to some music, made some more wallpapers and finished watched The Last Dance on Netflix, which I highly recommend, whether you’re a Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan fan or not. Such a great documentary, super easy to watch in one day if you have the time like I did. Such an inspiring story and person, and getting the behind the scenes access that the documentary provides just makes his story and the history of the team all that more interesting to know. Coincidentally, Thursday was also the day my first pair of Jordan Air 1’s were delivered, which had me running down my street to the post office. I have to say, I am very much in love with the brand new editions to the family.

IMG_3341

FRIDAY

Friday was another chilled out day. I managed to get some jobs done around the house, including cleaning my room which was desperately needed, as well as scheduling some more blog posts.

I also took the opportunity to practice some guitar and learn new songs as well as the odd job-hunting, but I’m not gonna lie, a lot of time was spent on TikTok. That’s it.

I had a conversation with my Mum about this the other day, but for those of us in that space between university and full time work, essentially those of us who graduated at the end of last year, it’s a super weird time, because unless we got straight into a full-time job, this is essentially what I’d be doing, even without restrictions. I’d be at home, job-hunting, picking up casual shifts and working on hobbies. The only difference being restrictions on seeing friends and family, which has arguably been the hardest adjustment  for me personally.

SATURDAY

Saturday, being the weekend, was a day for a sleep-in, regardless of the fact that majority of the week had already been pretty cruise-y. I spent quite a bit of time blogging and jumping on Pinterest, as well as finishing off some Money Heist.

One of my good friends was doing a set on Instagram live, playing some of his original music and from there I basically spent the good majority of an hour and a half bouncing around between a bunch of people’s Instagram accounts, watching them perform in their living rooms and bedrooms, which was super wholesome and a great way to being my Saturday night.

I also watched Mid90s, a indie-skate film directed by Jonah Hill, which I actually really liked. It was quite different from the other films I’d watching during the week, films like Love Don’t Cost A Thing and some of the Step Up series, but I really enjoyed it and got super into it. Definitely recommend it if you’re into indie, film festival style movies.

During the day my younger sister mentioned that she’d never pulled an all-nighter (she’s 15 so I’ll allow it) and wanted to try it, so we decided that Saturday night would be the night for it. Bless her soul, she ended up heading to bed around 5, but I stuck it out and was the first to greet my mum for Mother’s Day when she came downstairs for breakfast, from my spot on the couch watching Black Panther.

SUNDAY

Sunday was Mother’s Day as I mentioned before, and unlike other years where we’d usually be heading to lunch with my extended family it was just the four of us relaxing at home.

We spent a lot of the day hanging out in the living room upstairs together and we gave Mum her present, which was a brand new pair of Uggs because she always steals my little sisters pairs during the colder months.

Later in the evening we went and picked up a cheeky Nando’s to bring home for dinner. As had been the case for the last couple of days, it was a very low-key day, but it was a good way to end the weekend.

How have you guys been adapting to the change in daily programming since lockdown restrictions?

x

Priya

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 1.01.15 pm

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
Twitter: YouShouldHear
Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
Spotify: priyafrancis

A Spotify Revamp

Hello friends!

I hope you’re all well. Today’s post is a short-ish one, but I thought it was worth sharing since it’s about my absolute pride and joy, my Spotify account.

Everyone and their mother knows that I regularly spend hours a day, scrolling through Spotify, making new discoveries, listening to albums I’ve had saved for months, curating my playlists and getting them just perfect, and it’s honestly the highlight of my weekly routine.

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 7.11.19 pm
//Spotify//

I made my Spotify account back in 2015, so it’s been up and running for nearly 5 years, and while sonically it’s constantly changing, developing and adapting, visually, it’s remained pretty stagnant for the last two years or so. I probably sound like the biggest loser saying this, but Spotify is such an experience for me, and nothing makes me more satisfied than going onto someone else’s page and seeing an aesthetically curated page of playlists. Whether it be through the names of the playlists, the way they’ve organised the tracks so they show up on the main page or the theme they have, it all makes me so happy to look at, let alone listen to.

When I first got Spotify, I was pretty low-maintenance in the way I organised my playlists. As long as the first four songs that were displayed on the cover somewhat went together visually and aesthetically, I was chill. Then about a year later, when some of my friends started listening to my playlists and I started this blog, I decided I wanted my page to look good. So I went with the black and white theme. Clean and simple, and it made me super satisfied to look at.

However, within the last couple of months I’ve become a bit bored of my Spotify page, and so with all the free time I found myself with during isolation, I decided my next little project would be to revamp my Spotify.

First things first was choosing the theme, and I was pretty set on using some of my film photos and adding some text to them. I have plenty of film photos that I love and vibe with heavy, you can check some out HERE and HERE, so I knew I’d have plenty to pick from, plus I liked the idea of having my own photos to switch in and out whenever I wanted. To be honest, it only took me just over half an hour to make all of the covers, which I think is pretty good considering how many playlists I have. I’m pretty happy with how it came out. What do you think?

Untitled design

The last thing to do, was the big clean out. I’ve attempted to do this so many times, but for some reason I get super sentimental and attached to songs that I add to my playlists, especially if they have a memory attached to them or they remind me of a certain time in my life. It makes it super difficult for me to be as cut-throat as I need to be when cleaning out my playlists, because not only does it take up space on my computer, it also just clogs everything up, some playlists over-lap, others aren’t as clear as the others and it just hurts my head. I know, this is a huge first world problem.

So, I spent close to a whole day, on and off, picking a playlist and just going through every song. It was a feat, considering some of my playlists have grown to have over 300 songs on them. But, once I finished each playlist, just seeing each number sit a little bit smaller was very satisfying.

I think de-cluttering as been the move for me during these strange times, and while re-organising my room, going through my piles of books and clearing out my wardrobe have been the obvious move, my Spotify was overlooked for far too long, and just grew out of control like a garden. De-cluttering my Spotify was good for the soul. Say what you will, but I will say that with my chest. I mean…maybe check out my Spotify for yourself if you wanna see?

x

Priya

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 1.01.15 pm

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
Twitter: YouShouldHear
Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
Spotify: priyafrancis

You Should Hear // This Podcast

Hello friends!

Hope you’re all well and thriving under the current conditions we’re dealing with at the moment.

Today’s post is a lil bit different, which I seem to find myself saying every second post, but this one genuinely is. I usually post music recommendations on here, but it’s called You Should Hear, and I’ve come to believe that not only are there quite a few songs you should hear, but there are also a few podcasts.

Yes, I am completely aware of how late I am to hop on the podcast train, but I’m here now so you can give me that.

In a different change of pace for me, I’ve only been dipping my toe in so far. Usually I’m all about diving in the deep end and throwing myself into my new ventures and interests, but podcasts have genuinely taken me years to get into. I tried having a listen when they first became a thing, and then every couple of months I give it another crack, but so far this has been the most successful attempt. I blame Tessa.

If you don’t know Tess, she’s one of my best friends, she’s been making a few appearances on the blog recently, and has introduced me to her little world of podcasts. Since joining her, there’s one podcast that has led to many a late night discussions and debates, and it’s this one.

BOBO AND FLEX

avatars-000758965345-k1zq9a-t500x500

I’ve always loved long conversations about topics that don’t manage to make it into every day conversations, topics that are kind of taboo, or not naturally brought up in my circle of general chatter, and it’s like there’s an episode from the Bobo And Flex series that touches on every single one of these topics and so much more.

For example, wanna talk about friendship, social media and constant need to be connected versus what you feel like you owe other people and what people expect from you? There’s a podcast for that.

Activism and in contrast toxic activism and performative activism? There’s a podcast episode for it.

There’s one about cheating, morality and secrets, there’s more about manifestation, safe spaces, hook-up culture, privilege and equality, body image, spirituality, break-up’s and platonic exes, girl code, climate change, Drake, friendship break-ups and such a plethora of other conversations between two woman who are clearly very tuned into their opinions, their inner selves and their beliefs.

@flex.mami
// @flex.mami // @bobo.marjila //

Especially for Tessa and I, this podcast alone has opened up a whole new world of conversation. Add to the mix Flex Mami’s card game Reflexa conversation starting, reflective and introspective opportunity to ask yourself and your friends questions that you don’t naturally get to ask in everyday conversation, and these girls are genuinely the gift that keeps on giving. I highly recommend you buy either or both of the Reflex packs and strap yourself in for a ride.

However. Here’s where I think the most important aspect of podcast listening comes into play, especially when listening to podcasts like this, where people are passionately sharing opinions and beliefs about subjects that matter in every day life. While I was listening, I was super ready to be very enthusiastic and encouraging of every aspect of each episode, until I got to this particular episode:

Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.45.36 am

Note how I finished the episode? That’s not to indicate that I thoroughly enjoyed it to be honest. Halfway through, I found myself getting so angry and frustrated with everything one of the gals was saying, and the way in which she was saying it.

The basic premise of the episode was on connecting to friends on social media, the need to respond to texts, what we owe others and what others owe us. One of the strongest opinions was that we owe people nothing when it comes to social media and responding to text messages or calls. I just found myself feeling uncomfortable with some of the ways one of the gals was talking, especially when it comes to her responding to her friends or her acquaintances when they reach out to her, and how aggressive she was in stating that a response wasn’t worth her time.

I’m very aware of how connected I am, and I’m a person who will respond if I can. It’s taken a while, but I don’t play the game of waiting a couple of hours before responded to come across as more aloof or cooler. If my phone is in my hand, and I’m on it, and a notification pops up, unless I have a problem with you…I’m gonna respond?

Tessa was the first person I messaged while I was listening, and it sparked a lil conversation about being an active listener vs a passive listener and why we both found ourselves disagreeing with some of the points being brought up, regardless of the fact that we both have very different styles of operating on social media. Like I said, I’m very connected, probably too connected, I’m quick on the reply and response unless I’m busy, where-as Tessa is a lot more grounded in her own moments, meaning while she’ll respond to you, it takes a little longer, out of nothing but purely having too much going on outside of her phone. Funnily enough, we both had similar opinions on this podcast episode.

 

 

Here’s the thing, that’s my opinion. If you happen to actually listen to this podcast, and get to this episode; I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I think I’m enjoying this podcast so much purely because there are so many opportunities for me to disagree and start my own conversations out of it, which I think is my listening style when it comes to podcasts.

If I had to recommend a podcast for literally anyone, boy or girl, this would make the list straight away. While the topics they talk about in detail come from a female’s point of view, they come from very a point of view that’s diverse and developed and the topics Bobo and Flex discuss are topics I believe everyone should be open to, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

I’m getting super into podcasts, clearly, so if you have any others you reckon I’d get around, please share them with me! I’d love to know about any podcasts you listen to as well!

x

Priya

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 1.01.15 pm

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
Twitter: YouShouldHear
Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
Spotify: priyafrancis

I Wrote A Song During Isolation

Hello friends!

Obviously the title of this post is super self-explanatory so I’ll just jump right into it I guess?

Australia moved into Stage 2 lockdown this week, with my state, Victoria, being one of the first to implement the strict rules, and it’s highly likely we’ll be moving into Stage 3 pretty soon. Personally, the stability of my casual job has been up in the air since the situation escalated, and even now, we’re not sure how long our store will legally be allowed to stay open under these new rules.

I’ve been getting used to spending a lot more time at home, with my entire family. It’s not entirely new for me, however I usually have the house all to myself, and in a week, I probably see several of my friends more than two or three times, something I now don’t get the luxury of doing. It’s fair to say that like everyone, this lockdown has changed the daily routines of my entire family.

That said, more time at home is not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve had a lot more time to do the things I really want to do, as has been the case for a lot of people. Which for me, means more time to spend working on this blog, and writing music.

I think I’ve come up with more, musically, in the last two weeks, than I have in the last six months.

On the 23rd I came back from buying my friend a guitar so she had something to work on during this isolation period, and while mucking around on my own guitar, I came up with a short verse and pre-chorus of a song. It had super heavy ‘isolation’ connotations, and I thought it was pretty funny, so I quickly did a recording of it and threw it up on my Instagram story.

See below.
ps follow me on instragram @priya_francis

Untitled design
// mind my facial expressions thanks //

But yeah, I just put that up on my Instagram story, didn’t really think about it, and left to get my flu shot with my mum. When I got a moment to check my phone, I had messages from a bunch of my friends and even a few people I didn’t know very well, responding to the song.

What started out as a huge joke ended up with people messaging me outside of Instagram, sending it to their friends who in turn messaged me, and essentially a lot more people than anticipated ended up seeing my story and hearing the little fun song I had put up.

It was one late night conversation that made me consider actually finishing the song, so the next day when I came back from work, I sat down and tried to finish it. Fair to say, this little ongoing joke, ended up taking a lot longer than I thought it would, but I finally finished it. So this morning when I sat down to write a post, I thought it was a good opportunity to share the song with you!!

Hope you like it, let me know what you think :)))

x

Priya

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 1.01.15 pm

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
Twitter: YouShouldHear
Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
Spotify: priyafrancis