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.

Playlist Deep Dive // courtesy of aus

Hello friends! Back with another playlist deep dive post for you all. Today’s post is brought to you by one of my favourite playlists on rotation at the moment, courtesy of aus, a playlist I created to curate a list of all my current favourite tracks coming out of Australia. There’s a bunch of amazing artists and songs you need to hear but here’s just a taste.

Strong Enough – Approachable Members of Your Local Community
Lemon – Moktar
Ramen Bowl – ROYBOY
Jersey City – Golden Vesel, rei so la
Threads – Liyah Knight
Want It All Back – Julia Lostrom, Max Glyde, HAMLEY
Games – Squid The Kid
Nobody Gotta Know – Open Till L8, Youngn Lipz
MF ILY – iyah may
Love Online – CYRUS
Talk – Budjerah, MAY-A
Dribble – Sycco
Running Around – Sampology
Dead Weight – The Grogans
Fine Line – NoLess
Dry – Rancid Eddie
High Again – Rory Noble
LOVEU2BITS – BOY SODA
Tension – Kira Piru

If you want to have a listen to any of these tracks as well as a bunch of others, and follow the playlist so you can watch the rotation keep on going, follow courtesy of aus bellow and check out some of my other playlists while you’re at it!

x

Priya

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Songs You Don’t Know But Should Pt. 28

Hello friends, hope you’re well and thriving.

I’m just popping in to deliver you another round of songs I desperately think you need to listen to if you haven’t heard them already. There’s a bit of a mix, we’ve got some amazing Australian artists you need to keep an eye on as well as a bunch of international artists as well. Some old favourite favourites in there, and some new artists who I’m just discovering too! Let me know what you think and don’t forget to follow the playlist on Spotify!

sould – p-rallel, Greentea Peng
BS – Milan Ring, Che Lingo
Dopamine – Julius Black
Sleeping In – Jye
Hypotheticals – Lake Street Drive
Into My Heart – Squidgenini
Blink Twice – San Joseph
Sisyphus – Quadeca
How Many Ways – Mackenzie Thomas
U – Reuben Fleetwood
False Alarms – Lawrence, Jon Bellion
Let’s Roll – STNDRD
Ain’t The Same – Diggu Dope, choicevaughan, P.Smith, MELODOWNZ, Summer Vaha’akolo
Concrete Jungle Fever- Jerome Farah
Broken Home – Youngz Lipz
Catcha Grip – CD, PANIA
Ezinn – B Wise, Sampa the Great, Milan Ring


x

Priya

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September Tunes

Hello, hello, hope you’re all well! I’ve returned for another monthly tunes post. I listened to my fair share of music this month, some new, some old, some that I was eagerly awaiting and some I stumbled on unexpectedly. Here’s what I was listening to in September.

Don’t Shut Me Down – ABBA: Did I get caught up in Donda/CLB hype? Yes. Was I saved when ABBA decided to release new music? Also yes. This song literally blessed us all and reminded us again why this band is timeless. I love it so much.

Love All – Drake, JAY-Z: This song was one of my favourites on first listen of Drake’s latest album. I think a mix of the song itself and JAY-Z’s verse. I love his voice when he raps so much and he manages to make such an impact on whatever track he’s on.

Monks – Frank Ocean: A return to an old one. I will admit that I never listened to this song much, even when channel ORANGE was first released, but I recently returned to the album and fell in love with this track. The bass, the drums, the entire flow of the whole song. So tasty.

Mung Bean – Masaya: Back again discovering absolute gems. Masaya are a band from New Zealand who I fell in love with immediately. This was the first song I listened to on their Spotify channel and I’m glad I stuck through it because the switch into the chorus is so beautiful. So much energy, incredible vibes, I want the sun.

Gyspy Woman – Tom Misch: I was stoked to see this on Spotify as well as all of Tom’s Quarantine Sessions. This was one of my favourites when he originally uploaded it to YouTube, so to be able to add it some of my playlists was a blessing. So funky. Give it a whirl if you want some easy listening with a sprinkle of funk.

Tweety – Raveena: This song is an instant throwback to some early 2000s RnB and I love it. I was out of the Raveena loop for a second but I’m so glad I’m back. This song will make you float.

All I Ever Wanted – Yebba: It’s hard to put Yebba’s debut album into words. So many beautiful tracks. Such a beautiful artist. Can you tell I’m struggling? This track in particular takes you to places you’d never expect.

Pressure – Ari Lennox: I was so excited to see Ari Lennox had released a new track and this was just what I needed. Everything I love about her. Super slick instrumentation and production, cheeky lyrics and incredible vocals. I love this woman.

Love Came Down – Yebba: As soon as I listened to this song I ran to the credits to see who was on it. There’s just something about Mark Ronson and KAYTRANADA doing their thing on a track that has you hooked immediately. There were a few reviews that weren’t a fan of this track on her debut album Dawn, said it was a bit left of centre and random in the middle of the track but I loved it. So sick. It was such a nice switch up and it still felt like it stayed true to her amazing lyrics and imagery and vocals.

scapegoats – Baby Keem: Hands down, my favourite song from Keem’s new album. The Serpentwithfeet sample at the start made my jaw drop and it took me a second to place it but once I realised what it was I was sold. Plus, I’ve become a fan of Baby Keem and his flow a lot more with this record.

Right Track – Syd, Smino: I love Syd. Always have. Add Smino into the mix, an artist I’m loving more and more, and you have a happy gal. This one is such a fun track, perfect for the summer which makes me so excited for warmer weather, throwing this song on during a drive down to the beach *hopefully*.

LIKE THAT – IJALE, Yung Shogun, ThatKidMaz: I love sharing Melbourne-made tracks and this one has been so exciting to find. I’ve been around Yung Shogun and ThatKidMaz for a second but this is the first time I’ve heard IJALE and I am loving his music already. This is such a fun release, and all three of them play their role perfectly, really tying this whole song together seamlessly.

I FEEL IT – Jon Bellion, Burna Boy: Imagine my shock when my boy Jon announced he was releasing a song with Burna Boy. Two of my favourite artists on one song? Say less. This song is so interesting, Jon’s vocals are pitched down throughout the entire track which I love, a lot more than I expected and it’s the perfect blend of his sound and Burna Boy’s sound. When I first heard about the collaboration I was so confused at how it would work out, shame on me for having such little faith, Jon Bellion did what he does best and made an absolute tune.

Stomp! – The Brothers Johnson: This one goes out to my Dad. We’ve recently bought a new sound system for the living room, and he’s finally figured out how to connect his phone and Spotify account, so every weekend we’ve been blessed to a new playlist of his. Last weekend we had a great Sunday filled with some of the finest disco tracks I’ve ever heard, and this one was my all-time favourite of the day. Best on ground for sure. I’ve been playing this track all day, every day, just to make a shitty situation (one of the world’s longest lockdowns and most recently, a bloody earthquake) just a little bit better. The bass solo sent me into orbit and I’ve shared this track with so many of my friends. Lots of love for this song.

INDUSTRY BABY – Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow: After the VMA’s I jumped back on this train. This song is still my favourite track from Nas’ album Montero, and I think a lot of that also has to do with how perfectly he and Jack Harlow blend on this one and how they were able to transfer that energy into a live performance. My cousins and I also have a running group chat *jack harlow appreciation*, where we just collectively love Jack Harlow.

Somebody That You Don’t Know – dvsn, Ty Dolla $ign, Rauw Alejandro: I wasn’t aware that dvsn had released an album until I found it on Ty Dolla $ign’s Spotify page and I promptly binged the entire song, which led to me finding this beautiful track. Such a good mix of delicate Latin-inspired guitar and really hard hitting bass and drums. Love it.

Bag – Abhi The Nomad, Charlie Curtis-Beard: I stumbled across CCB on TikTok and immediately fell in love with his playful rap delivery. A quick perusal of his Spotify account and other releases led me to this song, which I thoroughly enjoy.

Better Things – Kee’ahn: Another Aussie artist I’m so glad I found. This song is beautiful. Her voice is immaculate and this song captures so much soul and emotion.

2Day – Yuto., Priya Francis: Yeah that’s me. Let me plug it please. The boys who make up Yuto. and I have been working on this track for over a year, so when it was released on the 23rd I was so happy to finally have it out. Very proud to have working on this track.

Be My Own Boyfriend – Olivia Dean: Slowly, slowly becoming obsessed with English singer Olivia Dean. Holy moly, this girl’s songwriting just gets it. The way she’s able to capture such intricate feelings and emotions and situations with her lyrics just leaves me in awe of her with every song I listen to. Before I full investigated her music, the only song I knew of hers was Password Change, another beautiful song that gives you really honest lyrics paired with soulful vocals and this song, as well as most of her other tracks, is no different.

She Wants To Move – N.E.R.D: I always come back to N.E.R.D. Whether I mean to or not, they always find their way back to me. I can’t remember which Volume it was one but it appeared in the back of one of the Fenty x Savage shows and I recently binged all three since the latest one recently came out. Love them, aside from the point, this song popped up and I had to pause the show to pull up the song and enjoy it. N.E.R.D literally transcends the need for genres and labels. Everything they touch is magical and this song is in my Top 3 from them.

As always, if you wanna keep up with my 365//2021 playlist which is where I pull all these tracks from as I add to it every day, as well as any other playlists I’ve curated, here you are!

Let me know what you were listening to in September! I’d love to get some new tracks to add to a playlist or two.

x

Priya

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Tracks For Motivation

Hello friends!

I hope you’re all well and thriving as much as you can in the current state of the world. Today’s post is a lil playlist and lil recommendation, a lil collection of songs I kept adding to this mental list in my head throughout my day.

I’ve been making fitness and physical performance goals a bigger focus of mine in 2021. Since December last year, up until about the end of July I hit a morning F45 session and it’s still a favourite of mine. I’m due back as soon as Lockdown 6.0 is done. Over the last month or so however, I’m back at the gym, lifting weights, going for longer sessions and doing my own solo thing.

Today’s shoulder session was blessed by the shuffle button if I do say so myself. It was like every song that came on was the perfect song I needed to get through the next two minutes that were creeping up on me. So I thought for today’s post I’d share some of the songs that really came through with that extra kick of motivation. Let’s go.

Edge Of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks
Let’s Begin – Jon Bellion, Roc Marciano, RZA, B.Keyz, Travis Mendes
No Hands – Waka Flocka Flame, Roscoe Dash, Wale
Tomboy – Princess Nokie
Deceptacon – Le Tigre
Dirty Diana – Michael Jackson
Random – G-Eazy
t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l – WILLOW, Travis Barker
Captain Hook – Megan Thee Stallion
DIET_ – Denzel Curry, Kenny Beats
Purple Hat – Sofi Tukker
Floor Seats – A$AP Ferg
Lapdance – N.E.R.D, Vita, Lee Harvey
Vossi Bop – Stormzy
Rushing Back – Vera Blue, Flume
Is Everybody Going Crazy – Nothing But Thieves
Red Nation – The Game, Lil Wayne
Hayloft – Mother Mother
Age of Machine – Greta Van Fleet
Barracuda – Heart


It’s amazing what a solid playlist can do for you. I can literally get thrown off by a song that doesn’t hit as hard as I need to, hence why I made a playlist specifically filled with songs that just really set the tone for me. You can follow my pump playlist and my inhaler playlist and use them for whatever it is you wanna do, lifting and throwing around weights or going for a run and setting a pace.

x

Priya

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Songs You Don’t Know But Should Pt. 27

Hello friends!

I hope you are all well and thriving! Today’s post is an old favourite that I’m excited to bring back, songs you don’t know but should. I mean, can you tell it’s a favourite of mine, considering we’re up to the 27th post in the series?

I thought since I’m still kinda recovering from an unintentional hiatus, I probably owe you all a really chunky delivery of some new tracks that I think you need to hear! As always, you can find all of these songs and plenty more, as well as a heavy rotation of new discoveries on my Spotify page below.

Claymore – Isaiah Rashad, Smino
Ghostin’ – Wesley Joseph
Never Have I Ever – Ahlei
not what i’m used to – Bella Taylor Smith
Facade – Nganeko
BYO – Ojikae
Strawberries & Cream – MIM
Don’t Recommend – Reagan Capaci
It’s A Mess – Billy Fox
Sleeping In – Jye
First Take Strut – Troy Kingi
I Can’t I Wont – Nilo Blues
Made For Silence – Miiesha
Language – Paperboy Face, Brent Faiyaz
You Comfort Me – James Vickery, EARTHGANG
Strawberry Cheeks – Ula
Forever – Teza Sumendra
Emotional – Eddie Benjamin
Derail – Strange River
slip – anees
Pears – Weston Estate
Want It All Back – Julia Lostrom, Max Glyde, HAMLEY
Spaceship – Noah Davis
Blue Denim Jeans – p-rallel, Lauren Faith
Bad Dreams – Olive Amun
Wish We Could Be Friends – Abby Bella May
4am – Luke Burr, Olivia Nelson
So So Sick – Joyce Wrice


x

Priya

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August Tunes

Yo. So I know I said in my grovel/apology/explanation post that I missed my August Tunes, but I thought, it’s early enough in September for me to just try and sneak them in, right? So here we are.

As I explained, while I have been away for a couple of months, I’ve been up to my neck in new music and I’ve loved it. I’ve been listening to new releases, old throwbacks, songs from my childhood, songs that are completely left of centre for me and I freaking love it.

Let’s get into it.

Skate – Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic: I mean. What a way to get back in. Given this was released in July, but I really rinsed it in August. Everything I love about these two artists separately and what they create together is defined in this song. Super smooth and classic, it sounds like something straight out of the Get Down soundtrack and that’s an easy win with me.

Concrete Jugle Fever – Jerome Farah: I saw Jerome live earlier this year and he’s been on my radar since I first started listening to his band Jakubi a couple years ago. He’s been chilling behind the scenes for a little while, working with the likes of Kian and Tones and I, but in 2020 and 2021 he’s been a machine, releasing some amazing tracks and visuals along with it. This one is super gritty and energetic, a great introduction for anyone who’s never listened to any of his stuff before.

Need To Know – Doja Cat: I’ve been hyping the Doja Cat album since it was released. Planet Her was so much more than I expected. My favourite is most definitely Woman but thanks to my old friend TikTok, this song was stuck in my head more than I’d like to admit. Doja really came through with this one and this entire album.

not what i’m used to – Bella Taylor Smith: If any of my Australian readers have been keeping up with The Voice, you’d be familiar with Bella and how insane her voice is. It’s incredible. She had me in tears during her first audition and she’s been the favourite ever since the show started, for good reason. I just had to give her a good stalk and I discovered she released her own EP a little while back. After giving it a good listen and having a good cry I settled on this particular track as my absolute favourite. It’s beautiful. I love it so much because it really gives you space to listen to her voice, her tone and the lyrics. It’s really only her and a piano and it’s perfect.

New Apartment – Ari Lennox: An older one, but still a great one.

Made For Silence – Miiesha: I don’t listen to a lot of Miiesha’s music but as I’ve been updating my decolonise yourself playlist she’s popped up time and time again and this song just really got me hooked. She’s got a super crisp and clean voice and this song pairs it with a super catchy groove.

Just for me – PinkPantheress: I have to credit TikTok for helping me discover this chick. If you’ve scrolled for even half an hour on TikTok I can guarantee you would have heard at least one of her songs because she has that app by a choke hold. For good reason. She mixes DnB with a super floaty, angelic vocal performance and really raw and honest lyrics.

Don’t Rush – Young T & Bugsey, Headie One: Just a bit of a groove for you on this one. I’ve been rinsing this one this month.

My Mind – Yebba: I decided to look for this song on Spotify after hearing someone cover it on The Voice and nearly cried tears of joy when I saw that Miss Yebba had finally uploaded it for streaming. This song owns me. Completely. Try not to cry. I dare you.

Diana – Pop Smoke, King Combs: I’ve been listening to this song plenty during this month, especially when working out. It’s not a heavy track but there’s something about it that just flows super easy.

Facade – Nganeko: Nganeko is a New Zealand artist I’ve been following for the last couple of years and she finally released her second single. This song is sick. It’s a got a great beat and Nganeko has such an angelic, wispy voice that just dances all over the track. The chorus is ridiculously catchy and gets stuck in your head by the time the song is halfway finished. Not complaining.

Kiss Me Thru The Phone – Soulja Boy, Sammie: Don’t ask.

Time Moves Slow – BADBADNOTGOOD, Samuel T. Herring: Another TikTok credit here. I didn’t set out to find this song though, it just showed up on my recommended and as soon as I heard it I knew it. To be fair, it really is such a beautiful song. The guitar just captivates you and the bass really swims.

Catcha Grip – CD, PANIA: Two Melbourne gals, who I’ve been waiting to release new music. Both these chicks are super talented and CD has been drip feeding us music. This song is really enchanting and smooth, such an easy listen.

Pepeha – SIX60: Another SIX60 release. Imagine coming back with a Monthly Tunes post that didn’t include these guys. This song made me cry. I don’t speak the Maori language but God I wish I could just so I could really understand this song. A lot of my favourite NZ artists are re-releasing some of their tracks translated into the language it’s so beautiful to listen to, even if I don’t understand a word of it. This song is a really good example of how much NZ artists connect to their language and it never fails to give me shivers.

family ties – Baby Keem, Kendrick Lamar: Thank you Keem and thank you Kendrick. This song goes super hard. Like, I had to take a moment. I can just imagine it would be a super hyped song for like…a sports highlight reel edit or something. It’s hype enough when I’m in the gym by myself so I can only imagine how hard it would go with a bunch of people jumping on it.

ZIPS – Church & AP: I’m very excited for new Church & AP. If you aren’t familiar with the NZ duo, you can read up on them HERE, but this is their latest release and it just keeps on trend, following the trajectory of their development and growth as artists. Very excited to continue seeing these guys move up.

Heat Above – Greta Van Fleet: Okay hear me out. So when I first listened to this band it was to get in on a joke. The general discourse around these guys is that they’re just Led Zeppelin wannabes. I mean, I get it, because I hear it. A lot of Axel Rose, some Aerosmith but A LOT of LZ. The purists really went mad with these guys. So when I first listened to them it was to make sense of the joke. But like…I don’t mind it? Like given, there are some songs that I can’t be bothered giving the time of day, but then there are songs like this one that just hit me in the gut. I feel like I’m thrown back to a past life when I listen to this track and I don’t know how to explain it.

Harleys In Hawaii – Katy Perry: So who was gonna tell me that Katy Perry was back with bangers? No-one? I don’t know how I missed it – actually I do, I mean come on – but this song is so good? Like…can summer hurry up please. The chorus, the beat, the bass, everything about this song makes me so excited to see the sun, even if I am currently in lockdown in Melbourne.

PLW – Leon Thomas: Can’t remember how I came across this song or this guy but thank goodness I did. So smooth, a wonderful mix of RnB/rock/soul. Highly recommend. If you like Miguel, especially most recent Miguel, I feel like you’ll love this song and this artist.

Stay Ready (What A Life) – Jhene Aiko, Kendrick Lamar: What a throwback. I just woke up one morning with this song in my head, and had it playing in my room, then I went on TikTok later that day and saw one of my favourite creators doing an ASL cover of it, so took that as sign enough to add it to my 365//2021 playlist which is still going strong, if you wanted to check it out.

Believe What I Say – Kanye West: Bro this entire release annoyed me. So much. I think the hype or ‘over-hype’ really ruined this record for me. I hold Kanye’s earliest releases super close to my chest, and really respect his music from when he first started but aside from a few tracks here and there I’ve struggled to connect with any of his latest releases. Sadly Donda was the same. I’ll give him credit, there are some great tracks on the album, however I think I’m just salty towards the album as a whole and it really distracts me when I listen to it, which is a fault of my own. Form your own opinion. However. This track. I am not immune to a Ms. Lauryn Hill sample, so this song had my from the first second I heard it.

So that’s what I was listening to in August. At least, some of it. I mean it’s September 3rd currently, and I hear ABBA have released some new music so … 👀 There’s also a Drake album on the horizon so…

What have you listened to recently? Let me know. And if you’d like to keep up with the daily playlist, my 365//2021 Spotify playlist where I add a song every single day for the whole year, you can find it below.

x

Priya

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May Tunes & A Quick Catch-Up

How in the world are we half way through the year already. Trust me, I feel like a completely broken record each time I sit down to write one of these posts, (which seem to be the only blog posts I’m sharing recently…my apologies) but time truly is just flying.


I thought I’d use this post as a mini catch up (watch it turn into a long winded ramble post) because I know I’ve been a bit on and off here. I think everyone had some changes to make after 2020 and I’m definitely no different.

I was blessed in 2020 to not face too many difficulties as a result of COVID. I still live at home so rent and major bills weren’t something I had to stress about, and the Australian government did a decent job of supplementing our lack of pay cheque for anyone who was out of a job like I was. That said, my job was only shut down for a total of three months before we were back on, so I was one of the lucky ones.

That said, I handed in my letter of resignation at the old music store in February. If you’ve been around for a hot minute, you’d know that I’ve worked at a popular music store in my area for the last five years, and having graduated and completed my degree at the end of 2019, my plan was to get into some full time work the following year. Obviously 2020 had other plans, so I decided that in 2021 I’d cut down to just one job and quit my role at the music shop. At the moment I’m only now teaching at a local performing arts school that has the flexibility for me to pursue that full time job goal further.


Since finishing up there I’ve been working towards locking down a full time position, but I’ve also taken on more responsibility admin/social media wise at the music school, and my band and I (Real Good Company on Spotify if you’d like to check us out) have really put our foot on the pedal in terms of doing gigs, recording music and putting stuff out there.

So that kinda leaves me floating around for a bit, making a little less money but really being able to improve my mental health and personal growth. I’m writing a lot for other artists and singers and I’m doing plenty of work featuring on other musicians tracks which was a huge aspiration of mine. I’ve always loved collaborating, so I’ve finally had the time to put myself out there a lot more and commit to more work with others. I’m singing on other people’s songs, doing feature verses, writing songs for other singers and in general just growing my list of credits which is what I love doing. Fitness has become a bigger focus for me and I’m finally hitting a bunch of performance goals that I’ve been steadily working towards, but that’s for another post – y’all will get another gym playlist eventually don’t you worry.

When I say that the year is moving quickly, I look back at how much has changed, what all has happened and what’s currently happening, and I mean…it checks out. Obviously, that’s not the whole point of this post – you probably came here for a few tunes a least. May was a weird month for me. A whole lot happened but it also felt like not a lot happened at all. That said, it was a great month for music, as every month this year is proving to be. I think a year in lockdown and with the world at a standstill in 2020 really gave all these musicians and artists the perfect conditions to really buckle down and get to work.


Here’s what I was listening to in May. Mind you – I’ll be using the new Spotify feature that I mentioned in my last post which you can find HERE, to compile this list, so it’s gonna be a list of what I truly, actually was listening to over the last month and not just what I added to the playlist!

Latch – Disclosure: I rediscovered my absolute undying love for this track this month. I don’t think I’ve skipped this track, ever. I could listen to this song on repeat. There’s something laced in this song I tell you, I can never get sick of it.

Antidote – Nao, Adekunle Gold: A banger. It’s one of my favourites for the year if we’re being real. The rhythm, the beat, Nao’s velvety voice, everything about this track is perfection.

Vossi Bop – Stormzy: I couldn’t tell you how or why I started listening to this song again, all I can tell you is that I did and I’m not mad about it. It’s made features on my driving playlist, my lifting playlist, even my Sunday morning playlist because I can really just listen to this song whenever.

Bartender – T-Pain, Akon: This may be the song of the month for me. Oh my goodness. All I need is the first two bars and I am feral. This song really does unlock something in me that can only be described as the energy you felt way back in the 2000’s walking out of the cinema’s having just watched the first Step Up movie. Can’t be compared.

Your Power – Billie Eilish: I was so ready for this. Such a mature, raw, authentic and vulnerable side of Billie that we only get a glimpse of every now and then. I’m still trying to digest the lyrics on this one and every time I listen I feel like I get closer and closer to what she’s really trying to say, but as is evident, we only really get to see what she shows us. Totally fine with that because I could listen to this song all day, every day.

p r i d e . i s . t h e . d e v i l – J.Cole, Lil Baby: I don’t know if it’s the fact that the guitar sample is the exact same as Can’t Decide by bae Amine, or if it’s because I’ve been that bloody deprived of new Cole content, but this song just hits you different. It’s my favourite from his new LP and as much as I try listening to some of the other songs and giving them some love, it never comes close to how much I abuse the play button with this track.

Mystery Lady – Masego, Don Toliver: An older release, but still an absolute track by any standard.

Pray – Jungle: Got a quick Jungle fix as one tends to need every now and then. It was played in the background of a clip from Last Chance U: Basketball which I highly recommend if you’re into sport docuseries’. Obviously hearing the introduction chords had me running to Spotify to listen to the rest of their tracks, which gave me major 2019 nostalgia.

Footsteps In The Dark Pts. 1 & 2 – SiR: I don’t know what it is about this particular cover of this song…actually I do know. It’s SiR. He just knows how to do it and when it comes to being as smooth as this song LEGALLY requires, he just hits the nail on the head. I highly recommend you give this cover a listen.

Heaven – Julia Michaels: Another throwback. I was obsessed with this song for a hot minute. I rarely listen to Julia Michaels, if ever, but this song came up on my TikTok For You Page and I instantly had to listen to it in it’s entirety again. Such beautiful arrangement and I think Julia’s voice just ties it all together.

Undercover – Sam Wills: A TikTok discovery this one. I’ve found myself getting more and more song recommendations popping up on my FYP, which I’m obviously not mad about, but this one has to be one of my favourites. Not only is this particular song beautiful, but Sam Wills is such a gem and undiscovered treasure. His entire discography is hit after hit after hit in my opinion, and each time I clicked on a new song, I fell more in love with his voice. As far as I could tell, he had not one back track at all. Thank you TikTok.

Body (Remix) – Tion Wayne, Russ Williams: Again, I’m hand on heart, blaming TikTok for this one. Mainly for how good ArrDee’s verse is and for how incessantly it’s been imprinted on my brain. Let me know if you agree and we can suffer along together.

So High – SIX60: You really thought we’d get this far without a SIX60 song? Wrong. This song is so beautiful. It very beautifully timed an appearance on my shuffle as I was on a long drive home just as the sun was setting and the moment and the soundtrack has been imprinted in my mind this whole month. I had a little excited scream because of how beautiful it all was. The song, the sky, the moment. So good.

Ye – Burna Boy: Another track that just gets me out of my chair and having a boogie. Slight hazard when it comes on while I’m driving but we make it work. If you’re in the mood to groove, could not recommend a better tune.

favourite crime – Olivia Rodrigo: Holy moly. I’m a bit of a fraud for not dedicating a whole review to Olivia and her album SOUR, but I suspect it will come with time. Just give me a little while to digest this album completely, we all know how slow that can be. I’m really just making my way through this album because first listen just didn’t do it justice for me. That said, favourite crime is very steadily becoming ne of my favourite songs ever. Deja Vu will forever be my favourite song she has released thus far, regardless of how bloody good Good 4 U is, but this track is a close second I tell you that.

That’s a glimpse of what I was listening to during the month of May. I say a glimpse because when I went back to get all the *data*, there was just…a lot of it. A whole lot. So obviously just had to condense it a little bit for y’all, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway! Let me know what you’ve been listening to in the comments!

You can also find the songs listed and a bunch more on the playlist below! Make sure you follow my Spotify account and the 365//2021 playlist so you can see how the rest of the year pans out.

x

Priya

PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
Instagram: YouShouldHear
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Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
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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:
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Instagram: priya_francis (personal)
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Playlist Deep Dive // girl gang

Hello boys and girls. I hope you’re all doing well and keen for another little playlist dump. Today’s playlist I wanna share with you is a staple in my collection, reserved solely for when I’m getting ready to hang out with the girls, for while I’m with the girls, for when the girls and I are in the car or when I really start missing, you guessed it; the girls. My girl gang playlist is one of my favourites and it has a bunch of tunes, old and new. It spans decades and a couple of different era’s. Here’s a couple of tracks from the playlist, which you can also check out below. Let me know what you think! 

What You Waiting For? – Gwen Stefani

In The Middle – Sugababes

How Ya Doin? – Little Mix

Can’t Get You Out Of My Head – Kylie Minogue

What Kind of Man – Florence + The Machine

I’m Outta Love – Anastacia

Fantasy – Mariah Carey

Waiting For Tonight – Jennifer Lopez

Wild Girl – Kito, Empress Of

Eternal Flame – Atomic Kitten

Bulletproof – La Roux

I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan

Boys Ain’t Shit – SAYGRACE

Party – Beyonce, Andre 3000

Superstar – Jamelia

x

Priya

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