Music and lifestyle blogger based in Southampton, UK
Author: Samantha Mae
Hi! I am a freelance writer based in Southampton, UK. Specialising in music and lifestyle, I enjoy digging deep and getting personal. When it comes to music, for me it is less about what “is good”, and more about what it conveys. As for lifestyle, anything goes. Open to collaboration and new ideas, get in touch!
In need of a little time out from the world? Brighton quartet ĠENN’s latest release Liminal is a more than suitable antidote. Casting a shoegaze spell on punk, the new EP takes a trip through psychedelic grooves and funky rhythms. Less head in the clouds and more feeling empowered, it is made for playing loud and letting go.
This month, and this last week in particular, has been such a treat in many ways. Firstly, we have my new favourites Sports with another new single, along with their latest EP, Get A Good Look Pt 1. It has been a couple weeks now but I still cannot get enough. Secondly, we have my teen reawakening with the return of The Horrors – going back to their Strange House days no less. It got me reminiscing on their varying albums and how much I adore each one in its own way. Thirdly we have the even newer Little Suspicions with a dreamy little indie number – so easy on the ears, I cannot wait to see what this band do. Finally, well, we have Wolf Alice, need I say anymore? Regardless, let’s get into it.
Sometimes you listen to new songs back to back, other times you pick a few and let them stew. Some of my recent favourites have been out for some time now, while some are fresh from the kitchen. Either way, Listen 2021 is growing into a fairly eclectic but not too far fetched mix of songs. It is ultimately a collection of my pure unadulterated favourites from here there and everywhere – whether that be the new and upcoming with fresh and exciting hits, or the well established with straight up undeniable bangers. Essentially, it’s a little bit of me and that means almost anything goes.
Another week, another lot of new singles that I just can’t get enough of. New albums from Goat Girl and Arlo Parks are personally a highlight – to the point I nearly considered featuring them both in full on the playlist. Maybe some favourite album tracks will find their way on there in the near future, alas for now it is all about the new singles. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
I feel like a broken record, constantly going on about how I want to listen to more new music – but I really am hoping that this year I make a dent in this goal. Lately my focus has been on checking out all the new albums, but what I’ve really failed on is making the most of all the new singles out there. After all, where would any album be without their hit singles? Can you see where this is going?
Going To Hell is the debut solo LP from Muncie Girls’ Lande Hekt, offering something a little more personal in prose that is both poetic and to the point. This album sees Hekt open up about her journey of coming out and embracing her truth within heteronormative culture.
I finally decided to take the plunge and give Veganuary a go, but why now? First and foremost, it is coming up to three years of being vegetarian and the idea of going vegan has played on my mind over the past few months. So you know, it seemed natural to try it out at a time where vegan food was in abundance and if it didn’t work out, at least I could say it was only for the month anyway. Secondly, we are in a lockdown and it gives me something to do – even if that something is spending too much money on trying all the new vegan substitutes out there. As someone who loves food a lot, it does not take a lot for me to get excited and go overboard.
January rolls around once again, along with the encouragement of new goals and a fresh sense of motivation. You know, those things that typically follow a period of Christmas rest, although it would be safe to say that this time, our state of relaxation may have been somewhat led astray. New plans rushed in place of those that many of us had worked on and looked forward to for most of the year. Only then to be swiftly followed by yet another lockdown. You can’t blame anyone for reaching out to 2021 as a complete restart.
As always, I entered this year determined to listen to as many albums as I could find, yet even with national lockdowns and furlough galore, I didn’t quite live up to my expectations. That said, there are a handful of albums that I have either enjoyed for a great portion of 2020 or returned to throughout. If we are talking objectively here, they are not necessarily the BEST releases, but they are my own personal favourites. So, in fact in a way, they ARE the best. But you know what I’m getting at here – never wanting to rate albums as good or bad, these are simply a list of albums that I myself have enjoyed a lot this year.