little | monthly mixtapes

2019, music

Hello!

So far I’m doing well at sticking to my New Year’s Resolution of listening to lots of new music – I’ve been religiously listening to my ‘discover weekly’ playlist and making another playlist of the songs I like plus an additional playlist of the songs I like the most that are my go to.

And because the playlist was originally just three songs it’s called ‘Little’. It’s no representation of the songs that I’ve been listening to recently, but the playlist is a little shorter than last month. But we’ll get to that!

If you want to listen to the playlist (or just nosy at what songs I’m listening to) you can find it here!

I’m pretty sure I’ve been listening to Monster (dodie) for a couple of months now but I’ve recently just really identified with it. She’s said that the song is about watching someone’s opinion of her slowly deteriorate until they saw her as a monster and I love the lyrics. It’s catchy and it’s a full on bop.

Second Star To The Right (The Devil Music Co.) has a special place in my heart – it’s a reference to Peter Pan which I have recently decided is my favourite Disney movie and it’s a proper pop-guitar-heavy song that I would class as the definition of my genre. This one might make it onto next months playlist too.

The harmonies in Jealous (The After School Specials) are absolutely mind blowing – I think it’s a cover, I should really look into it but I just love the acapella voices together, it’s just beautiful.

Two of Us (Louis Tomlinson) and Ribcage (Plested) are songs I only added in the last day or two so I’m not fluent in every lyric yet, but they’re both lovely songs lyrically and I’m going to have a few days more days to really appreciate them before I start next months playlist, for sure.

I have to mention Seventeen (Heather’s OCR) because this song and the entire soundtrack has been a proper anthem for me this month. I posted my first cover in a very long time because I was so inspired by this song and this musical. I just can’t stop listening to it and it’s properly reignited my passion for the West End and I’m seriously considering ways I can get into musicals as a career because my desire to perform and sing at the top of my lungs is getting incredibly strong. And with that in mind…

This months favourite is actually an album that doesn’t feature on my monthly playlist at all but I can’t not mention it – I went to see School of Rock on the West End this month and I’m obsessed with most of the soundtrack, notably Stick It To The Man. It’s such an empowering song and I find myself jumping round the kitchen and wishing I was 12 again so I could beg my mum to let me audition for this show. I thoroughly recommend entering the lottery for £15 tickets because it’s genuinely amazing!

I love writing about music and I love finding new music but at heart I will always be a girl who loves a song so much she leaves it on repeat for at least 100 listens. As always, if you have any suggestions please do let me know!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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“a million dreams are keeping me awake” – The Greatest Showman

2018, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

I’ve been running Sonar Film, my university’s cinema and film society since last June. One of my favourite parts of what we do is being able to look at the films coming out and picking what films we show.

I’ve had my eye on The Greatest Showman for a little while now and we started showing it on Friday. I worked opening night because I’d heard such mixed reviews and I was so excited – Hugh Jackman, Zendaya and Zac Efron in a new original musical about the first circus, it was right up my street!

There aren’t any words for how obsessed with this film I now am – I was completely absorbed from the first note to the last. I had tears in my eyes for most of the film and I felt this weight in my heart as the credits rolled because I was just so full of love for the music, the characters and the story.

I think this film is everything La La Land wanted to be without being tailored to Oscars, it’s not pretentious or trying to be nostalgic – it’s full of genuine love for musical theatre, incredibly passionate songs and a surprisingly modern soundtrack considering it’s based in the 19th century.

The rhythms and drums I think are the thing that really modernised the music for me – it was a huge part of the opening number and paired with the choreography it was really impactful and, as part of the audience, it was really gripping. I was genuinely sat watching the film bobbing along in time, resisting the urge to clap on multiple occasions. The rhythms and choreography were really poignant in ‘The Other Side’ and ‘From Now On’ – ‘The Other Side’ was really clever and the way the bar man was choreographed in was just so much fun. But while the rhythms are modern, the music doesn’t seem out of place for the time.

Side note, the dancing was so much fun – the bit where his daughters join in the dance from the audience is just so cute.

It’s such a beautifully human film – there was a quote from the critic character James Bennett at the end that said something along the lines of ‘a happier critic would describe it [the show] as touching every circle of humanity’ or something along those lines (I’ve scoured the internet, I just can’t find it anywhere) and I feel like that’s how the film should be summarised because it’s a beautiful celebration of everyone and anyone. It very delicately touches on issues like racism in a gentle and realistic way for the 1800s – it was relevant without being focal and I adored it.

The words I wrote in my initial rambly ‘omg I’m obsessed‘ plan for this post were that it was heartfelt and human and flawed – the characters weren’t perfect and where it was so easy to be stereotypical and predictable and it was so genuinely not. I’m now really interested to watch Barnham (a West End Musical about the same circus) and somewhat compare the two and how they tell the same story.

I did make a lot of jokes about Wolverine and Troy Bolton singing together though, I can’t lie. And can I just say – Zendaya is only ten days older than me, she must have been part of the High School Musical generation and omg I was fangirling on her behalf because while Zac Efron is so much more than he was in the DCOM days, he was still one of my first celebrity crushes.

I really wanted to make this more than just a review of The Greatest Showman and at this point I don’t know if it’s even a review or if it’s just me gushing about why I love it, but I think there’s a place for sharing things you love in your own words on the internet, so here’s me adding to my corner.

Also, I read at the end of another post about the film (I’ve done a lot of reading about it since seeing it two days ago) that I wanted to reiterate – my adoration for this film doesn’t mean I support the idea of the modern circus and treatment of animals as performers. It’s something I hadn’t actually thought about (partially because the animals in the film are quite clearly CGI) but it’s something I want to reiterate because supporting the film based in the 1800s doesn’t condone it now.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Monthly Music: April

2017, lifestyle, music, photography, student

Hello,

Here I am, trying to make this series part of my schedule all over again, but sticking with it – I’m excited.

Life of The Party – All Time Low: Another new song that is on the album that’s coming out next month and I’m so pumped, I love it. It’s a little taste of new All Time Low but with chimes of what core All Time Low is. They’re my favourite band, so I’m going to want to like everything they release and luckily so far I have but I’m not above admitting if I don’t like something that a band I love have done (like how I didn’t love Dirty Laundry at first), so hopefully that makes me sound a little more legit.

Take Cover – All Time Low: This song isn’t new, however – I heard the song live when I saw the Last Young Renegades tour in March and I found the song released as a b-side to the ‘Straight to DVD II’ live concert CD (That I haven’t listened to because I was at the DVD recording and I’m not mentally prepared for it) but oh my god – 1) this song live is so good and 2) the studio version is also so good. The lyrics are beautiful (which is an Alex Gaskarth staple at this point) and I just adore it. In my head, I call this ‘proper’ music because it’s all real instruments and not the electronic dance stuff that is popular right now – obviously this is proper music too but in my head I don’t know how else to describe it.

I think the thing with this song is that the first time I heard this was live which is very unusual when we have platforms like YouTube and Spotify. Somehow I missed this and I”m so glad I did.

Up All Night – Alex Clare: This whole post is basically just listing the playlist I’ve been listening to all month. I found this song because it is the theme tune to a because it is the theme tune to a Doctor Who spin off called Class that was on BBC Three. I wasn’t a massive fan of Class but I adore the song – the full ‘not titles’ version blew me away and the first time I listened to it with headphones on I just heard so much more than I’d heard before; so many more instrumental layers. Thoroughly recommend it, I’ve converted so many people to this song.

Young and Menace – Fall Out Boy: At first, I really disliked this song; the video was (and is) creepy as fuck, the weird, electronic bit in the chorus is so not Fall Out Boy and I just felt the song was taking the route of everything I didn’t like about American Beauty American Psycho. However, when listening to the song again I warmed to it – it still has the essence of what Fall Out Boy are but I don’t think I’m going to be a big fan of Mania when it comes out. Though I’m intrigued about this Brendon Urie video that surfaced the other day.

The Addams Family musical: I’ve only heard some of the songs from the show because I can’t find a soundtrack anywhere but the songs I have heard, I absolutely adore. I know a bit about the musical because we nearly performed it at Drama and Performance and also because one of my favourite YouTubers Carrie Fletcher is playing Wednesday in the UK tour of the show (which I’m seeing July 18th on it’s opening night in Southampton) and her video series ‘Watch me, Wednesday’ make me so happy – I love seeing the behind the scenes of shows. If they could release a tour soundtrack that would be amazing please and thank you.

To listen to next month: Hamilton: With musicals in mind, I thought why not jump on this hype train right? I’ve seen so much about this musical and I can’t wait to listen to it.

I get an overwhelming feeling of love for music whenever I write one of these posts and I feel like I will post more covers and be more engaged in music again once when I move out of my horrible flat and into our gorgeous house, it’ll feel more like home and I won’t feel like a guest in my own flat.

Please leave any recommendations in the comments (I need suggestions for new music please) and I hope you’re having a good Monday!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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March favourites!

2017, lifestyle, student

Hello!

I was fully prepared to start this post with something along the lines of ‘there aren’t as many favourites this month because I’ve been busy and stressed and there’ll be a post about it next week’, but when I actually got round to planning it all, I actually thought of ten favourites pretty easily which made me really happy. Let’s not do this awkward ‘so here’s my favourites for this month!’ and just start.

Supermarket Flowers – Ed Sheeran

I’ve been obsessed with this album ever since it came out but I wanted to save it for the new series of monthly music blog posts I have planned, but I couldn’t not include this song. When I first listened to it I knew exactly in what situation I would like to cover it but then I had to face that situation and it was all very sad (I know, I’ve talked about it enough) – I just couldn’t leave this song out of my favourites for this month because I absolutely adore it.

being in a musical!

Not really a physical thing I can photograph but my friend is part of the drama and performance society and with the dance season coming to an end and talking about how much I miss musical theatre, she suggested I audition for the musical. These auditions happened literally two days after the last dance competition of the season because apparently I don’t like giving myself any time to breathe! But we’re doing a medley of five musicals and they’re a brilliant selection of musicals and I’m really excited.

42 coloured pens

Now, I’ve always been a stationery lover – when I was in primary school there was literally nothing more exciting than buying a whole new pencil case. Since starting my bullet journal back in January, I’ve been desperate for a bigger variety in colours of fineliner to colour code and just make my journal a little bit prettier. I found this pack on Amazon for a really good price (considering if you buy the 20 pack in WHSmith it’s normally upwards of £20) and I sent a link to my mum to show her one of the things I was going to buy once I have more money and then she treated me to them.

I’ve been showing literally everyone I know, I’m very excited about these pens.

flippy shorts

I was having a browse through boohoo and I found these shorts – they’re gorgeous and their name made me laugh so I added them to my basket (at this point I was adding a lot to my basket). I then placed a huge boohoo order and it all arrived and I couldn’t be happier – not only does the name ‘flippy shorts’ still entertain me, they’re really comfy and because they’re plus sized they’re really flattering and make me feel happy and comfortable wearing them. Cannot wait for summer to wear them properly!

David the 4th

I’m not sure how much I’ve mentioned this, but I have a collection of cactus’s called David – it started with a felt one I bought from Tiger, then I got a real succulent from Ikea, then I bought a ‘make your own cushion’ cactus (again from Tiger) and now, the newest addition to my David family – David IV, the cute, aesthetic, fake plant from Primark. I’ve decided my room for the new house in July is going to have an elephant, space aesthetic and I’m going to have lots of plants and flowers. I’m so excited to have a room I can actually decorate, it’s going to be so good.

elephant light

I got a bit homeware happy when I went into Primark at the weekend but when I saw this fairy-light-esque copper elephant I knew I needed it for my elephant, space, plant aesthetic. I have no words for how much I love elephants and literally anything with elephants on it is destined to be in my life. Except an elephant candle, because I don’t want to burn an elephant.

cookie dough ice cream

Like I keep mentioning – I’ve faced a very sad death this month (I know I sound like a broken record and I hate it too) but I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to continue my (minimal) attempt at healthy eating and losing weight right now. I’ve had a lot of ice cream this month. I have ice cream in the freezer right now as I write this on April 4th at 2.18pm after saying I was going to stop eating everything I wanted in April. March was both a good and bad eating month – good in terms of how much ice cream and chocolate I ate, bad in terms of how much weight I keep putting on and and my consequent self-esteem. I’m trying to get a handle on that in April.

asdf movie 10

From sad, over-eating to mindless, cartoon comedy. I’ve been a fan of the asdf movie series and their creator, TomSka for about seven years now and asdf movie 10 came out on April 1st, actually so not really a March favourite but I’m including it anyway. It’s mindless, it’s quotable, it’s got a song to accompany it and it’s the same short-skit comedy that I’ve loved through asdf movie 1 through 9. Thoroughly enjoyable watch and worth 2 minutes 15 of your day.

nose piercing

I got my nose pierced two days after my last dance comp and three days after my nanny passed away so it was a combination of ‘I won’t have to take it out for comps’ and ‘fuck it, you only live once’ – that day was a very brave day for me, with auditioning for a musical as well. I wasn’t sure how I’d look with a nose piercing but I actually love it – the flower crown filter on snapchat makes me look as indie as I feel and I have further become the model image of a ‘white girl’, but like a plus sized version.

family

Now for the soppy bit – my family are brilliant, but I don’t see them that often and I wouldn’t have described us as particularly close just because as me and my cousins have grown up we’ve not seen each other nearly as regularly as we used to and we just missed out on continuing to get to know each other, I guess. But with everything that’s happened, I’ve seen more of my family in the last month than I have probably in the last ten years and it’s been amazing – we’ve found new common ground and we have a group chat on WhatsApp now. Jokes aside, I’m so grateful for my family and I hope this will mark a new start in making sure we make the most of each other while we’re still here.

I wanted to end this post on a family note but wow it got a bit depressing. I know I’ve been banging on about this family thing and over my other social medias I have talked about it a little bit – I’m not keeping it a secret on my blog but I do have a full length post planned to go up next week where I want to talk about it in more detail, so I don’t want to end up repeating myself. Sorry for being so sporadic and unreliable on this blog – it’s a little bit of a reflection of my brain and mindset right now.

Thank you for reading and sticking with me – it’s very much appreciated.

Sophie xx

 

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Wind in the Willows – Mayflower Theatre

2016, lifestyle, music

Hello!

img_3062The musical version of the popular children’s book Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame had it’s World Premiere at Mayflower Theatre and I was lucky enough to be invited to see to the press showing with @sotonbloggers.

Being back at the theatre was like coming home – I’ve not seen a musical or a show or any form of play in so long and I got surprisingly emotional at parts of the show I really did not expect to get emotional about! I nearly cried at the finale, I was a mess but, anyway!

The whole show was absolutely mind blowing – my mum messaged me before I left and said I should take a notebook so I could jot things down, as a trainee journalist, and I told her I wouldn’t need it because I had my phone. Oh how I was wrong! There were so many amazing bits in the first half alone that I don’t think I possibly could have remembered them all when it got to the interval and I could write them down.

david-birrel-as-badger-thomas-howes-as-ratty-and-fra-fee-as-mole-in-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productionsThe vocals were flawless – the opening number, “Spring”, was an ensemble of incredible singers, wonderful actors and truly beautiful harmonies, it made me remember what I love about musical theatre. The dancing was so much fun (particularly the tap dancing horses and the Otter Ballerinas!), the sets were truly beautiful and intricately designed – the full size train carriage on the stage in the second half was so outstanding!

Costuming is a crucial part of a show like this that has such recognisable characters – there were nods to each of the animals that each character was playing, such as tails, ears and coats of spikes that the Hedgehogs wore, but the astonishing bit about the costumes was that the acting that went with each of the costumes is what really solidified each of the animals within the characters.
rufus-hound-as-mr-toad-in-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productionsToad was eccentric and jumped and leapt around the stage, the rabbits walked on their toes with their bottoms sticking out and the weasels, stokes and foxes were all a little bit creepy and sneaky – it was the phenomenal talent of the cast that brought these beautiful costumes to life.

The music was truly astonishing – I felt a few Les Miserables vibes but the music was so fully orchestral. It was beautiful and all of the songs felt like they could be real classics. They’re definitely songs that I could hear people singing years down the line, particularly “Messing About in a Boat”, “We’re Taking Over the Hall” and “A Friend is Still a Friend”. I’m keeping my eyes out for the soundtrack because I can’t wait to listen to those beautiful vocals all day long!

I also loved the variety of speaking accents, there were some beautiful intonations.

neil-mcdermott-and-the-company-of-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productions-3My favourite dance number was definitely the opening of the second act that accompanied “We’re Taking Over The Hall” because it was so much fun and it really grabbed everyone’s attention after the ice cream and drinks of the interval!

The whole show really reignited my love for theatre – I’ve not been to see a show in so long and when I got home, I went straight on the Mayflower website to have a look at what other shows are coming to Southampton (I’d love to go see the Beauty and the Beast ballet – last time I saw a ballet I was 8 and I fell asleep!).

fra-fee-as-mole-in-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productionsIn terms of cast and characters, Fra Fee was a wonderful and endearing Mole, David Birrell played a wise and father-like Badger and all the dancers were very, very talented. Obviously, have to commend the wonderful Rufus Hound who portrayed the equally annoying and entertaining Toad.

I was expecting Wind in the Willows to be a childish, almost-pantomime like show aimed at the younger members of the audience that would make me roll my eyes even if it was technically good but that really isn’t what it was. Yeah, it was definitely a more child friendly show as opposed to more adult shows like The Book of Mormon or Rent but when the audience laughed, the entire audience laughed. It was an amazing piece of theatre and a very nostalgic tale, enough to make me well up at the curtain call!

And it was very exciting to have ‘press’ written on the ticket, the complimentary drinks at the interval were wonderful.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

img_3084

This post wasn’t sponsored but the ticket was provided by Mayflower Theatre via @sotonbloggers. All photos belong to Mayflower theatre.

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