Feeling Lost

This is probably not going to make much sense because writing this is more cathartic than anything else. It doesn’t have any plan, or any direction, I just feel like I need to write it down.

In June of this year, I became a swammer, an ex-swimmer, or whatever you want to call it. Essentially, I gave up swimming. This sounds like nothing to most people, and I completely understand that it’s not the worst problem in the world to have and it feels riddled with privilege to even be able to complain about this. Since giving up I’ve felt completely and utterly lost.

For 12 years, swimming was everything I had. It took up every spare inch of space in my brain. I spent every minute I wasn’t at school either swimming or sleeping, and then all of a sudden it was gone. I feel like I’ve lost my identity, and I don’t know who to be anymore. I was always known as Calypso the swimmer, but now who am I? How will people describe me? It feels like my sport was the most interesting thing about me.

I feel like in my love and dedication to the sport I became it, I wasn’t anything else, and I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t feel like myself now I am not spending 20+ hours in a pool. Everything I do feels like it’s not good enough and I know I don’t need to criticise myself like that but somehow, I can’t help it.

I’m so unbelievably proud of what I achieved whilst I was swimming and I’m massively grateful to everyone that supported me. My mum, who woke up at 4:30 every morning to drive me to the pool, my coaches for supporting and pushing me daily beyond what I thought I could do, my teammates for just being there for the ride and making it the most fun experience I could have asked for, and my friends for not giving up on me when I bailed on plans every Friday night to train.

By the time I gave up (or hung up my goggles, as is the commonly used phrase), I didn’t love it anymore. It breaks my heat to say it, but the situation I was in and the way I felt was making me so miserable that I can’t understand why I’m looking back on it so wistfully. I always had this massive support network of a team that I trained with and knew everything about me and we all worked together to build each other up and feeling like I no longer have that really breaks my heart.

I guess I’m just trying to work out who I am now that I’m not just ‘The Swimmer’. I’ll get back to you once I know.

5 Songs for Single Gals

As the self-proclaimed Bridget Jones of my friends (at the start of the first movie – not later on when she has two men chasing after her) I would like to preface this by saying that there’s nothing wrong with being single, most of the time it’s fab. However, there are times when it feels crap and lonely and you feel a bit sad. It’s times like this when I need Beyoncé to pick me up and tell me I’m better than that and to get a grip. I would apologise that some of these songs are dead cheesy, but I’ not sorry, sometimes it’s just what ya need.

Single Ladies – Beyonce

This could be replaced with so many other Bey songs, but this has gotta be the OG, and the one that every girl turns to when they need perking up in this situation. No-one does a female empowerment song quite like Beyonce, and makes it feel so easy to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and get on with it. I can say with my hand on my heart that there’s not a time when me and the girls have gone out that this hasn’t been blasted at pres, there’s just something unbeatable about this song.

No Scrubs – TLC

I dare someone to find a better song about not needing a man. This is something I listen to every time I am getting ready for a night out without fail. It’s a tune, an anthem, it’s everything. Honestly, nothing could replace this as probably THE most empowering single gal song. It reminds you to hold out for the right person and not just any person.

Power – Little Mix

This is a newer one, but it’s bloody golden. It’s such a gem and always serves its purpose which is to snap you out of feeling sad and sorry for yourself. I honestly feel beyond powerful when I listen to this, and ready to take on anything.

F**k You – Cee Lo Green

Sometimes this is all you feel and all you wanna say, and what song is better at saying it than this one? I am realising at this point that this list of songs is sounding like the most generic night out ever and what can I say? – I’m a generic girl. Nothing feels more cathartic than being a lil bit tipsy with the gas and singing this at the top of our lungs.

Just Dance – Lady Gaga

Again, with Lady Gaga, there are so many songs that are perfect for when you’re feeling bit sad. For me, this one just actually speaks to me, because I am a firm believer that a little bit of dancing goes a long way so for me she’s just saying exactly what I’m thinking.

 

5 Songs For This Week 27.11.17

I’ve been crap at writing which is weird considering I’ve been listening to different stuff all the time. I am definitely going to use Uni as an excuse. I have actually been dead busy with coursework, labs and presentations, but anyway, that’s not what this is about. My music taste has been a bit all over the place because that’s exactly how I’ve felt all month, so I guess this might make perfect sense or no sense at all.

Sam Clines – Sharks

I literally have no idea how I came across this song, but I’m well glad I did. There’s something really cool about this, and the overall sound kind of reminds me of Jack Garratt, but there’s something a bit more fresh and unpolished about it, which makes it even more appealing to me. I think that this song is one that would appeal to most people, it’s chill without being boring and there’s still an element of upbeat-ness to it too.

Bad Sounds – Are You High?

After seeing them last week I’m beyond obsessed with Bad Sounds. There’s something completely brilliant about their weird and wonderful sound. ‘Are You High?’ is completely on form for them, it’s massive. I can’t imagine a time where I’d listen to this and not want to dance, but to be honest, that goes for literally all of their songs, but I think this is a typically great song from them, that’s just setting them up for a huge 2018.

Kareen Lomax – Ivebeenupfordays

I’ve been looking for more female voices to listen to and Kareen has a bloody gorgeous voice, and her music is incredibly chilled out and beautiful. I feel like I’ve been addicted to listening to her voice, it’s so soulful and everything she sings seems so poignant, accompanied by pretty groovy melodies.

Off Bloom – Falcon Eye

I can’t get enough of Off Bloom. They’re amazing. I think the fact they’re each music producers in their own right means they know exactly what sounds good, and what people will love to listen to. Every time I’ve gone out recently (which is not often – because I’m basically an old woman now and go to bed at 10:30) I’ve played this almost on repeat whilst I’ve got ready. I find it so empowering for some reason. I think it’s beyond fab and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2018.

FREAK – No Money

The reasons I like FREAK are almost the exact same reason I like Rat Boy and Jamie T. I find the way they all right lyrics so clever and I enjoy the chaos in their sound. That sound that a song hasn’t been over-edited is something I really appreciate. No Money has got stuck in my head so many times, and I can’t complain at all, at least it’s a good song stuck in my head.

Bad Sounds // The Bodega // 14.11.17

1Bath-based superstars Bad Sounds took over the Bodega for an incredible night that just seemed to get better and better. Over the past few months Bad Sounds have really begun to grow a large crowd of loyal fans – mostly notably Annie Mac, which has only served to secure their reputation as someone to listen to.

Brown Lion Zoo kicked off the night with their upbeat indie tunes. The right balance of indie pop and low-fi rock, they were definitely worth a listen. I’d never heard any of their music before, but I’d definitely recommend them to anyone looking for something new to listen to.

8Kyko was up next and I haven’t ever really appreciated Kyko’s music, it was always on my radar, but I’d never really paid attention. Seeing him live has actually changed my opinion so much. I thought he was so impressive live and literally loved everything he played. His music made me want to dance and put me in a better mood. Something about his chilled-out dance music was completely captivating and irresistible.

7Bad Sounds have really started to make a name for themselves, and for good reason. They are so unique, and their style is so different to anything I’ve ever heard. It’s weird, dreamy and I’m obsessed. Using the best parts of every era and genre with the combination of their funk based production and beautiful vocals has carved a signature style that you couldn’t directly pinpoint anywhere.

3Opening with the massive “Hothead Chippenham”, it became apparent just how much they love their own music. It was so great to see musicians on stage and actually obviously enjoying the music they’re making not just stood there playing instruments and looking like they’re not having fun. This means that their personality really comes through their songs and stage presence. The fact that they’re on stage being goofy and having a good time makes you want to join in, I honestly can’t describe what a joy it was to be somewhere like this where you were just having a good time and not really caring about anything else. Brothers Callum and Ewan are obviously close and it’s easy to see that they have a great time on stage together by the way they’re bouncing off each other the whole time.

5Introducing their new track “Are You High?” it felt like their music really takes you on a journey. The juxtaposition of their always-clever-sometimes-serious lyrics against their ever-funky melodies makes for something really fun to listen to. Everything they do has a personality which in my eyes makes them an easy contender to completely smash it in the next year or so.

I honestly debated not going after a pretty crap day, but I can honestly say I’m so glad that I went. Seeing them live properly shows that they’re just getting started, and with tunes like theirs it’s unlikely they’re gonna stop.2

 

5 Songs for This Week 06.11.17

These are all pretty recent releases from these guys,  and I can’t really fault any of them at all. I fully realise I bang on about most of these guys all the time, but it’s only because I think they’re fab and I genuinely can’t get enough of them. Honestly, I feel like I have no choice when they’re putting out music like this, not talking about it would just feel wrong.

Chloe howl – Do It Alone

“Do It Alone” has really cemented the idea that Chloe Howl is making a real comeback. Not only is basically every song Chloe puts out catchy beyond belief, but she’s also possibly one of the most beautiful people in the world and I might be a little bit in love with her. “Do It Alone” is a song that’ll be familiar to so many girls, about how crappy it feels to be ‘the other girl’ and not wanting to play that role in someone else’s relationship. This sound fresh, free, sleek and polished and it’s more than you could hope for following the success of her huge return with “Magnetic” over the summer.

Indigo husk – Waste of A Year

My absolute favourite discovery of the past few months – Indigo Husk – have dropped yet another banger that is possibly their best yet. There’s a quality about their music that I literally can’t help but love and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I guess it’s the fact that their songs don’t seem over-edited or over-produced so they have this rawness to them that feels friendly and familiar. “Waste of A Year” feels pretty self-explanatory, feeling like what you had with someone was a complete waste of time and effort. Their signature style that feels like a collision of about 5 different genres at once makes this song another irresistible listen.

Marsicans – throw ourselves in

Leads based baes Marsicans are really making their mark with their upbeat-indie-dance-worthy singles. “Throw Ourselves In” is no exception to this. It’s a little more raw around the edges than their usual perfectly polished sound, and I really appreciate this slight change. I would seriously challenge someone to not fall head over heels for them after hearing this song. Detailing that feeling of being desperate to just dive head first into a relationship, regardless of whether it will end in heartbreak, they’ve come out with yet another bloody beauty.

Cameron Bloomfield – Change

If you’re not already listening to Cameron Bloomfield you’re doing something wrong. This is an absolute tune and it’s refreshingly different in the way his soulful voice really meshes well with the funk piano in the background. “Change” feels nostalgic but modern which – granted – seems like a weird mix but it just works. The whole “The Night Before” EP is definitely worth a listen but this song – the opening track is the one that immediately captured me, there was something effortlessly charming about it and to be honest I think everyone should just be listening to it right now.

Sam Fender – Start Again

My fave Geordie boy has released yet another massive song. Start again is the perfect demonstration of his soulful vocals against the guitar-heavy track is completely irresistible to me. After releasing “Millenial” a few months ago to hit back at the media always saying that millennials work too little and complain too much “Start Again” feels equally politically charged.  Attacking the world as we know it. Whilst I love a good romantic, cute song as much as the next person, something that really appeals to me about Fender’s music is that it’s not all love songs, it’s often more tongue-in-cheek and critical of society, which makes him really stand out as someone who’s going places.

 

Fickle Friends // Rescue Rooms // 25.10.17

On the penultimate night of their UK Tour, Fickle Friends took to the stage of Rescue Rooms to deliver an astonishingly beautiful show.22879362_322479638221294_1426676734_o

The night presented yet another chance for me to see one of my fave Notts locals, Mowbeck. They were honestly even better than any time I’ve seen them yet. They’ve grown in confidence so much and now they look so at home on stage. It seems that they’re just going further and further and I’m so happy for them.

Danish trio Off Bloom really stole the show for me. I knew that Fickle Friends and Mowbeck were going to be good, they always are, but Off Bloom were completely insane. Their electro-pop was absolutely intoxicating and listening to them honestly just felt like a massive party. I may now be slightly in love with vocalist Mette, not only is she stunning beyond belief, but she was completely mesmerising on stage. The way she sang, danced and interacted with the crowd just enhanced the performance. She had a voice that was to die for and that combined with the fact that the type of music they make is so different but so appealing is such a winning combo that I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they absolutely blow up over the next few months.22879388_322479618221296_1529741721_o

My god do Fickle Friends know how to put on a proper show. They came out on stage (after an incredible custom introduction) singing the ever-energetic Hello Hello. Something I love about Fickle Friends is that their songs are so happy and they’re so easy to just dance to. The way Natti’s voice just works with their music makes the whole show so amazing. Every detail of the show was thought out to perfection, there wasn’t anything that was last minute or just chucked together. Their whole look as a band is also just so cool. They all came on stage looking like they had just raided a vintage store and it just works when they’re all together.22879256_322479651554626_1101309971_o

Being in the crowd was so fun, it just seemed like everyone was having a great time. It was good to hear a mixture of their new and old songs. Hearing Velvet and Cry Baby alongside Glue and Hard to Be Myself meant that there was something for everyone whether they were a newer fan or had been there from the start.22850551_322479611554630_852944602_o

This has been a really successful year for Fickle Friends managing to rack up and impressive 3 million streams on Spotify in just a few months. People really love their upbeat indie pop, and what’s not to like really? I imagine as they release more and more songs – and their album, which is coming early next year – they’ll get more and more fans and rightfully so. It’s definitely worth keeping an ear out for what’s coming next from this fun-loving Brighton group.

Will Joseph Cook // Dryden Street Social // 24.10.17

After the well-received release of his debut album Sweet Dreamer earlier this year, Will Joseph Cook arrived in Leicester for the final night of his tour to make his mark for the first time.

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Supporting Will on this tour was the phenomenal Indigo Husk. These guys have exactly what’s been lacking recently, the combo of them with WJC honestly made for such a sick night. They have a full-of-energy-super-low-fi-garage-but-indie-rock sound (ah yes, that well-known genre). Their songs seem to pull a lot of elements from different styles together 22812852_322094724926452_1761154126_owhich makes them an interesting and proper enjoyable listen all round. On stage, they have a fully infectious, fast-paced energy that you’d be hard-pressed not to love. You know when you’ve been listening to a song for a while but never really made a connection with who the artist is? Yeah, I’ve been doing that with Religion (which is a dirty lil banger) for what must honestly be months, but I guess now I know. These guys have gotta be worth keeping an eye open for.
There’s something completely lovable about Will Joseph Cook’s indie-pop anthems, to the point where it’s actually hard not to dance. Sweet Dreamer is packed with a variety of songs all sprinkled with a lil bit of WJC magic just so you can’t forget who made them. The fact that songs he wrote years ago, like Daisy Chains, still shine through now when he sings them on stage, just further to goes to show how talented he is.

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He has an overwhelmingly positive and playful energy and this really radiates through the crowd and it makes everyone so happy. Not to mention the fact that his voice is really sick live n all. Starting the show with the lively, feel-good Biggest Fan was such a good choice to really get everyone watching on side. He then went on to play a few songs from his new EP (out this Friday btw – go n cop it asap) and closed his set with the absolutely electric Girls Like Me, which was bound to have everyone in the building moving.
As I mentioned, his new EP is out this Friday (27th October), it’s definitely worth checking out – as are all his other songs really. He has real potential to be fair, I think his music would definitely appeal to a lot of people and I gotta wish him all the luck in the world.22831189_322094704926454_1489388291_o

Declan McKenna // O2 Academy Leicester // 21.10.17

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After the release of his debut album in July this year, and almost a year solid of touring, Declan McKenna and his band seem to have their live shows down to a carefully perfected fine art.

A bit of Déjà vu here as support came from my fave Coventry boys – Feet.  After seeing these guys at Neighbourhood, I can’t seem to get enough of them. I genuinely think these guys are so good, they have so much energy on stage and the variety in their songs is so nice to hear. I just wish there were more of their songs available to listen to, and I also wish that I didn’t sound like a bit of a perv when I say, “I love Feet”.22790142_320917265044198_449190267_o

2017 must have felt like such a whirlwind for Declan, the release of What Do You Think About The Car definitely secured his place as one of the most exciting new artists around. I don’t want to go on about it (yet again) but I can’t really get over the intelligence and thoughtfulness that these songs were written with. I think there’re a few reasons why I find this so impressive all the time, firstly I’ve not met many 18-year-old boys who have the emotional maturity to write like he does and his songs aren’t all about being in love and loving someone. Not that it’s a bad thing if someone’s songs are all about love, but it just makes him really stand out to me that his songs are about other issues and I think it’s what appeals to so many people.22768271_320917225044202_1022409207_o

I love what a calm, chilled out guy he is and that he doesn’t really seem to care what people think of him. He came out on stage in a suit, and was covered head to toe in a light layer of glitter. Declan is such a natural-born performer, so much so that it’d be hard to imagine him doing anything else. It wouldn’t be right for him to be doing anything else, it seems as though he was born straight onto the stage. He has an incredible voice, which only serves to make his songs even better live than recorded. He comes across as such a nice, normal guy and because of this he can effortlessly build a rapport with the crowd.

His band are also all so talented, and it’s nice to see them all having fun together on stage, and not looking like they’re just being forced to play song after song even though they don’t want to. It feels like they all genuinely want to be there which makes for a lovely atmosphere. I love seeing a proper bond between people on stage, it makes me so beyond happy.22751263_320917221710869_1647292994_o

This year, as it stands Declan McKenna is past the stage of being “the next big thing”. His time is now and the only way is up now. He’s amazing live and I’d recommend seeing him to everyone.

 

GIRLI – Hot Mess

This debut EP from London-based songwriter Girli has carved out and snatched its perfect place in the music industry. If I could describe Girli’s sound through comparisons it would be the best parts of the Kate Nash, Lily Allen and almost a female counterpart to people like Rat Boy and Jamie T. However, I think that comparisons don’t really do her music justice at all.Girli

From cutting, sarcastic lyrics about being sick mansplaining in Hot Mess where she makes it clear she wants to be unapologetically, authentically herself, to heartachingly relatable feelings of confusion and wanting to be good enough on Neck Contour, she has really hit the nail on the head of the feelings of so many young girls in today’s society. Having been criticised in the music industry for being “too controversial” for her look and the way she acts when there were men around her acting out in a much crazier way, she puts her thoughts across in a fun-but-feisty way on the title track. Can I Say Baby is surely a song that so many people can relate to about a topsy-turvy-confusing-as-hell Relationship, it’s written in such an interesting way and the way it tells a story is just amazing, to be honest.

Seeing Rat Boy really emerge over the past year or so had really made me think about that genre of music and how it is really lacking female voices. Maybe it is because it makes people uncomfortable to see girls acting in the same outrageous way and saying things that people perhaps don’t want to hear. Whatever the reason it seems that Girli doesn’t care, and thank god because this EP feels like the start of something very special.

5 Songs For This Week 16.10.17

The mornings are darker and the days are shorter, and whilst I love the way the weather starts to turn and the colour change that comes with autumn, I can’t help but miss summer and everything it brought with it. One thing I really miss is not waking up to cold and dark, I literally never want to get out of bed at the moment, though I guess that could have something to do with the fact that I don’t want to go to lectures.

Will Joseph Cook – If You Want to Make Money

In absolutely typical Will Joseph Cook style he’s dropped an absolute banger on us. This is just what you’d expect from him, a super catchy, fun songs that you’ll find it tough not to listen to on repeat. This seems to have more of a direct message than some of the tracks on his debut Sweet Dreamer, in that he’s kind of taking the piss out of all these lifestyle bloggers and people who show their perfect life online and are clearly ridiculously rich. Packaging this message in a typically-Will punchy, colourful poop sound is the perfect way for him to express this.

Isaac Gracie – Silhouettes of You

I honestly completely forgot how talented this guy was. Isaac Gracie actually some of the most beautiful lyrics and a completely stunning voice. This song in particular is what’s made me remember why I loved him so much. To me when I listen to this it makes me thing about chasing memories and how it’s never good thing to keep dwelling on the past. It’s just an almost painfully beautiful song and I can’t really get over it.

Fickle Friends – Hard to Be Myself

Yet another absolute tune from Fickle Friends, after the release of Glue I was worried that they wouldn’t be able to recreate how good that was, but they’ve completely smashed it with this. This is exactly what I love about this band, they make such cool synth-based-pop that I just can’t resist dancing to. It just makes me move and that’s the sign of a good song

Jordan Mackampa – Battlecry

EYY I’M SO PROUD OF THIS GUY. Not only is this an amazing song, as always, but this has been chosen as the opening song on Our Girl. I was so proud when I heard this at the start of the show, what a star he is. It’s no surprise that they chose this song, there’s something super cool about the sound of this song, it’s somewhat different sounding to some of his other songs but I absolutely adore this song and think there’s something so powerful about it.

Trevor Sensor – The Reaper Man

My god, this guy is so talented it’s mad. There’s something about his voice that I just can’t get enough of, and whilst I prefer the older version on this song that’s not on his recently released album Andy Worhol’s Dream, it’s a bloody good song either way it’s just personal preference I guess. I like hearing his voice against a more stripped back track. I love when it’s just him and his guitar because his talent fully just shines through and is so obvious I don’t think he needs the extra production. Anyway, this is just such a good song and I always catch myself walking around the house singing it.

This is a very male-heavy week, I really want some more female voices to listen to. I feel like a lot of my playlists are lacking some female influence. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.