Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lights in Sound

5:25 AM

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We've come across different kinds of enlightenment in our everyday endeavors (beyond having to take up a high school lesson on the Renaissance). Music is a potential winner in this I’ll-change-you-in-every-possible-way kind of competition. There's have been times where we found ourselves internalizing a specific singer’s character, or scribbling one-liners from our favorite pop songs on the back of our notebooks.

I asked my fellow The Thing editors which albums brought out that spirit. Here’s a line of recognition of the albums which spoke for their most silent selves, brought up certain ideas that molded them, and practically made them mouth, “Oh my glob, thank you for bringing that spirit out of me!!”


Woodland EP by The Paper Kites ~ Made me embrace my non-conventional self back in high school. Thus, me today!  ♥                                                

That's a terrible question to ask when I can't even pick out a pair of socks without stressing myself out. But the answer off the top of my head is Caro Emerald's The Shocking Miss Emerald. I'm going to tell you why now -- please remember that you asked for it.

Okay, number one thing you need to know is that she sings jazz pop, and this album really brought that sound to its knees, since it was inspired by the idea of a woman roaming Paris in the 40's or 50's.

All the songs practically scream style and elegance, with unabashed tones of feminism. Hell, there's a song called "Coming Back as a Man" about a woman figuratively dressing up to terrorize men like they have women. She's got others about her persona telling the paparazzi to stop claiming she's in love with someone; rejecting a playboy who thinks she'd be so easy to win over; completely turning away two men playing around with her affections.

So there's all that, but there are also songs about her persona being famous and alone, falling head over heels in love, travelling, or just waking up with a hangover. I think the way that she carries the songs (even if she didn't write most of them) really sells the stories, and listening to the album gives me a bounce in my step, and has made me, personally, remember that it is totally possible to take on this man's world without completely bowing down to someone else.                  

TL;DR: The Shocking Miss Emerald by Caro Emerald because sassy feminism set in the 40's-50's, and I love sass, feminism, and the 40's-50's aesthetic. All of them are together here. 10/10 would recommend.

Begin To Hope by Regina Spektor - This album means so much to me, I can't really put it in words. I first heard it when I was in my senior year of high school and trying to figure stuff out. This album has really shaped my own musical style as a songwriter, and it was with this album that I really fell in ♥ with Regina Spektor, my idol! She's so amazing, the way she writes, her melodies, the way she sings.... there's no one else like here, and I feel like this album exemplifies both her uniqueness and her enchanting, captivating charm.

Hold on Now, Youngster - los campesinos!

as dramatic as this might sound, i can HONESTLY say that this album really helped me out through the tough times of my high school life. i'd listen to this album whenever i'd emote in the shower or like whenever i was pissed off or sad or whenever. it's such a good album and the lyrics are really poetic (i'm a sucker for really nice words), with songs going along the lines of: "and i know he took you to the beach, i can tell from how you bite on your cheek, every time the sand falls from your insoles / and when our eyes meet, all that i can read, is "you're the b-side"." SERIOUSLY. AMAZING.                                      

this album has got some sweeeet beats and fist-pumping-dance-in-your-bedroom-while-hating-everyone riffs. it's really nice when you find someone who relates with you in loving this band because both of you will just end up shouting the lyrics to each other (in a peaceful, twee kind of way, of course). one thing i really liked about this album (and this band in general) is that they mix really sad lyrics with upbeat, sugary musical motifs. it's great!!!!

It might have been a little bit late in my life, but I felt this strong (and somewhat funky) connection to Mika's second album, The Boy Who Knew Too Much, right after graduation. I remember hearing or reading about this album reflecting one's teenage years, so I supposed that only made this "connection" stronger.

I could and can still relate most of the songs to my experiences, emotions and questions. "We Are Golden" served as a catchy reminder to have fun as often as I could, and the monologue at the beginning of "Blame It On The Girls" was funny but also made me remember to keep a positive perspective on life. I think I can keep on going until the last bonus track of the deluxe edition, but that's basically how I feel about the album.

Also, "I See You" is hitting me in the feels so much right now. LOL

I've never really been a music-y person—the first time I'd ever listened to an album produced by a company other than Hollywood Records (hello, Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers) was in 2012. The album was Taylor Swift's Speak Now World Tour live (CD + DVD, mind you), and boy were my eyes opened (pun intended).

As someone who'd only known Taylor as Joe Jonas's ex-girlfriend and “that girl who writes lots of break-up songs,” high school-me was awestruck by the opening lines: “The way you move is like a full on rainstorm / I'm a house of cards.” I'd been going through a weird writer's crisis at the time, and the simple narratives in her songs explained so much.

The album introduced me to a different kind of music, and proved to me that big words and complicated sentences aren't always needed to get a message across.

Don't even get me started on the fact that she openly writes about her own personal experiences—that deserves an article in itself!

Introduction by Jelou
Art by Anto

Mostly seen holding a pen on one hand and a camera on the other, Jelou (struggles) to stand firm on her personal ground rule, "to fathom the unfathomable". She is into oozing-with-cheese pizza and late-night free verse poetry reading. Also, she works to keep up with: being a college student, living as a cheerful extraterrestrial, and staying as the chinwag buddy of her dog. You can find her attempting every possible thing at

Anto Joson is a fashion enthusiast, stage actress and a rookie ‘hallyu wave’ blogger. She attributes much of her sense of style to Korean and London street fashion. Expect more of her from The Thing and her blog,!