REVIEW: Marina and the Diamonds, Froot

April 27, 2015

As I've mentioned before, I fell in love with Marina Diamondis the second I saw her video for 'Hollywood' back in 2010, and continued to love her through her Tumblr-esque Electra Heart era, which every hipster and their best friend adored. I don't know what it is about her, whether it's her unique vocal sound, frank opinions or rather baffling vocal range that keeps me coming back for more. Her third commercial album "Froot" was written completely alone, a rarity in the pop world that I admire extremely, and from the lyrics you can tell that it was therapeutic to write and enjoy. Here's my review!


HAPPY: Happy is an emotion filled ballad which as an opener to an album, is a rather perplexing choice because it doesn't exactly make you want to smile, yet I think the point of it was to force the fans to listen to the lyrics rather than the beat - and the lyrics are rather poignant, showing how Marina is finally 'happy.' Knowing Marina, the choice of ballad over a heavy beat is probably so she can juxtapose the sadness and happiness.. but what do I know!?
FROOT: Froot, on the other hand, was the one song that made me incredibly excited to hear this album. Reminiscent of 70's fruit machines, Froot is 5 minutes and 27 seconds of electro goodness, using the basis of nature to explore love. With a slick production and equally cool remixes available online, Froot may be one of the most versatile songs I've heard all year.
I'M A RUIN: I'm A Ruin was one of the Froot of the Month tracks, and at first glance it reminded me heavily of the aforementioned Happy, which didn't exactly please me. The opening verse appears drab, but by the minute mark the song explodes into a plethora of keyboards and soaring vocals which continue throughout the record. It's a grower, but after a week you will fall in love. Trust me. 
BLUE: Just like Happy, Blue certainly doesn't live up to its name. The hook of "Give me love, give me dreams, give me a good self esteem, give me good and pure, what you waiting for?" is fabulous and threads the whole track together, actually making me want to get up and dance.
 
FORGET: Forget doesn't have an opening charade to prepare you for the chorus, preferring to jump straight in to the soaring vocals of Miss Diamondis. The whole song is very I'm A Ruin esque yet so much better, this is probably a hated opinion but it makes I'm A Ruin look like a demo track and this is the perfect finished product. Worth a listen or hundred.
GOLD: Sticking with the colours for track names theme, Gold won't win any awards but it is nice to listen to on a late afternoon.
CAN'T PIN ME DOWN: I'm heavily biased here, but Can't Pin Me Down is my favourite song on the album along with Better Than That. Marina also sounds pretty fabulous swearing which shouldn't be a reason to like a song but when you don't expect it, she sounds hilarious yet incredibly upper class which makes me smile - 'you can call my bluff, tie my back up motherfucker.'
SOLITAIRE: Solitaire would be a perfect ending to a angst filled movie, the extended opening would lend itself well to a slow fade out on the big screen while the darkness of a cinema would allow the listener to truly appreciate the production. It's not a song I choose to listen to on a daily basis, yet if I came up on shuffle I wouldn't leap for the skip button.
 
BETTER THAN THAT: As I mentioned above, I love Better Than That. Some are saying that it's written about Ellie Goulding, yet I don't really understand why. It's a mid tempo electro infused jumpy record which lends itself quite nicely to my voice very early on a Monday morning when I'm wanting to wake everybody up with my horrendous singing.
WEEDS: Weeds is another ballad which I can give and take. The chorus is nice, but I'm not in love or anything, I wouldn't choose to put it on but I'd listen to it if it came up.
SAVAGES: Savages is a song that I do like. This will sound completely ridiculous, but you know when every word sounds like a new sentence as its so choppy? Yup, this is what this song sounds like but I rather like it.
IMMORTAL: Immortal is yet again a weird ending which I enjoyed but didn't expect to. It makes me feel kind of melancholy, it makes me want to reflect on each crevice of my existence and I don't know whether this is a good thing or not but it makes me feel weird. Like I can see the world flashing between my eyes but at the same time I'm engrossed completely in the present. Maybe my head's just fucked up. I don't know.
 
Overall rating: 7/10
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HAPPY INTERVIEW: theweekendertrender

April 24, 2015

The Weekender Trender is written by Georgina, a West Yorkshire based blogger whose writing and blog has been somewhat of a constant within my mini blogging career, I honestly cannot remember a day when I haven't been reading Georgina's blog. From the brief spell in 2013 when she posted a photo every single day for a month to the trip to Disneyland in early 2014, Georgina's writing has made me smile for a good few years now. Her blog, mixed with outfit posts, holiday images and lifestyle notes is one which I can lose myself in for hours and I wholly recommend you check it out. Here's Georgina's happy interview!

What makes you want to get out of bed on a morning? 
The thought of living another day to the fullest and doing something that will contribute to my future, the thought of making memories (especially now that I have a memory jar to put them all into) and the thought of eating breakfast helps too... in fact I'm getting hungry now just thinking about it!

Which five music tracks are destined to put a smile on your face and why?

My favourite tracks swap and change unbelievably often, but at the moment it's 'Nobody Love' by Tori Kelly, 'Sugar' by Maroon 5, 'From Eden' by Hozier, 'Research' by Big Sean featuring Ariana Grande, and 'Lips are Movin' by Meghan Trainor. I'm aware that I have a pretty varied music taste but these are all the ones that I usually can't help but start jamming to as soon as I hear the first few beats!

Name the best experience you've had so far in your life and why.

There hasn't been a singular event that's changed my life in particular, rather a collection of little moments that have defined who I am and my personal happiness, so I'm just gonna list a few if you don't mind! Playing the principal role in my college's musical production, overlooking my anxiety and beginning to drive, hitting 1000 blog followers, winning 'best customer service' at my work, meeting Rixton and Lawson (two of my favourite bands), completing an internship at a fashion magazine, and being offered a place on my first choice uni course!

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

I'd like to think that in five years time I'll have completed a degree in Fashion Communication and Promotion and will be working in the industry as an editorial stylist, based in London or abroad. I will also hopefully have ticked off quite a few places on my travel bucket list and my blog will have continued to grow. 

What do you do to pick yourself up after a bad day?

I try to think of something positive that occurred to counteract the negativity, and if that doesn't work I get in my pjs and pamper myself, make a tumblr-worthy hot chocolate/cocktail, sing a little, watch videos of puppies doing funny things and read a motivational book.

Finally, what is happiness to you?

Wow, what a question. Happiness to me is being fully at ease with who I am and being complacent with my life, my achievements, my decisions, my appearance and my flaws. To not be bothered what others think about me as I have confidence in my own ability. To not depend on affection from others and instead to consider love as a welcome addition to my life and something that I can feel for myself, not just gain from other people. Happiness is living without fear and instead embracing the unknown and the daunting for everything it could add to my life, not detract from it.
 
Thank you Georgina! If you would like to be involved in the happy interviews series, email me at xoliviamae@gmail.com and I will get back to you! Have a lovely week!
 
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HAPPY INTERVIEW: fashiongalaxies-xo

April 19, 2015

Hello! Today I am interviewing the wonderful Thailia from Fashion Galaxies, an eighteen year old from London whose waaay better travelled than I am and has a much clearer writing style than I do. I don't remember when I first started following Thalia on Bloglovin, yet I know it must be ages ago as throughout the years I've learnt about her fabulous trips to Thailand and Australia, and picked up countless fashion tips, Thalia's style is on point every single day and with the landscapes of London moving behind her, Thalia's outfit posts are ones you do not want to miss. Without further ado, lets take a look at her happy interview!
 
What makes you want to get out of bed on a morning?
Knowing that one day, the amount of work I am putting in now (and will put in over the next few years) will pay off and that in a few years time I will be able to consider myself 'successful'. I know it is worth putting in the hard graft now as I'll be thankful for my efforts in the future.
 
Which five music tracks are destined to put a smile on your face and why?
Rather Be - Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne: this has been one of my favourite songs since it first came out. It is so upbeat, has a great video and is the one I always dance to at parties.
Aminals - Baths: This song is so chilled and has a great vibe to it. I remember first hearing it in a video by one of my all-time favourite bloggers Isabella (of www.viewsofnow.com) a while back and  I've been obsessed with it ever since.
So Happy I Could Die - Lady Gaga: This was one of my favourite songs on the happiest day of my life, which was nearly five years ago now. Every time I hear it I remember a time when I was absolutely content. I look back on June 2010 with such fond memories, and this song just captures them perfectly.
Misery Business - Paramore: If I had to name a single song as being my favourite song of all time, this would be it. I have been a huge Paramore fan since I was twelve years old and they really have accompanied me through my teenage years, as cheesy as that sounds. This is one of their most well-known songs and I completely understand why, it truly kicks arse.
You're On - Madeon ft. Kyan: Out of the lot this is the most recent song and it has been on replay constantly since I first heard it. It has a great beat to it and is one of those songs that you can't help but dance to. It's natural, I promise!
 
Name the best experience you've had so far in your life and why.
When I was eleven years old I moved to New Delhi, India for two years. Whilst I wasn't very happy at the time, I had incredible opportunities (such as visiting the Taj Mahal and the Golden Temple) and met a couple of life-long friends. It's one of those experiences that I've benefitted from hugely in hindsight: it made me a much stronger person. I no longer put up with rude people and studying for two years in Asia gave me a great work ethic. I've been lucky to have travelled quite a lot during my life, but no place has taught me as much as India did.
 
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
In five years time I will be almost 23 years old. I see myself having graduated from university with a degree in Journalism with awesome work experiences under my belt. By then, I see myself having taken the plunge and relocated to Australia, where my heart really lies. I'm half Australian and whilst most of my family are from Perth, my dream city would have to be Melbourne. The goal is to be working in journalism/media, earning enough money to survive (and partake in the occasional shopping spree) but more importantly, having the absolute time of my life.
 
What do you do to pick yourself up after a bad day?
I listen to a playlist consisting solely of Mariana's Trench, one of my favourite bands. I'd describe them as Canadian pop rock goodness, something everyone needs a bit of in their life.
 
Finally, what is happiness to you?
Happiness is being able to sit in absolute silence, by yourself, and know within your heart that you are content. Knowing that regardless of everything going on in your life, you can rise above it and believe you are a valued person in the world. 
 
Thank you for getting involved Thalia! If you would like to be featured in the happy interview series, give me an email at xoliviamae@gmail.com x
 
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HAPPY INTERVIEW: Becky Bedbug

April 10, 2015

Hi everybody! Today I'm interviewing the lovely Becky of Becky Bedbug, who has been somewhat of an inspiration of mine since I began serious blogging back in 2013. With her uplifting daily posts which prove that life is always worth living, I have learnt so much in such a short space of time. Whether this be how to punctuate correctly, how to feel good in my own body or plainly which mascara was worth buying, I know I stumbled upon a gold mine the second I stepped on to Becky's blog. Finally, here's my interview with Becky!

 
What makes you want to get out of bed on a morning?
This is a tricky question because I'm not a morning person at all! However, right now the prospect of summer approaching is definitely helping. I love the summer holidays when you can sleep in and wake up to a room filled with glorious warm sunlight, an open window bringing in a fresh breeze with the scent of cut grass and the sounds of birds chirping outside. Bliss!
 
Which five music tracks are destined to put a smile on your face and why?
I actually have a "Happy Songs" playlist on my itunes so I went through it and chose the five that make me the happiest:
A Town Called Malice- The Jam: The beat in this song is just impossible to wiggle to. Whenever I hear it, I can't help dancing and singing along. In fact, when I was looking for my first teaching position, I used this as my get-pumped pre-interview song to put me in a good, confident mood! It's ironic because the lyrics are actually quite depressing but if you don't listen to them too closely, it's all good!
 
Creeque Alley- The Mamas and The Papas: This is my favourite band and I grew up listening to their 60s hippy sounds. My dad and I were amazing at singing duets (I sang the girls' part and my dad the boys' part) and this song was our best one. Every time I hear it, I'm taken back to being a little kid in the passenger seat of my dad's car singing at the top of my voice.
 
Nine in the Afternoon- Panic at the Disco: I was a kind-of fan of PATD in my teens but, by the time they released their second album, I'd got a bit bored of them. Nevertheless, there's something about this song that feels so nostalgic and bittersweet that it always makes me emotional.
 
Livin' on a Prayer- Bon Jovi: Cheesefest! There's a long running joke in my family that this is OUR song and whenever it comes on the radio/TV we text each other. I'm not really sure how it came about or even what was funny about it but now, every time I hear it, I think of my mum and brother. It's also my karaoke song (not that I've ever done karaoke!)
 
MmmBop- Hanson: I was a huge Hanson fan as a kid. I had a wall of Hanson posters and they were my first concert when I was 10. (Funnily enough, all my boyfriends have had long hair and I blame Hanson for that!) This is such a feelgood song. It's impossible to feel down listening to it! 
 
Name the best experience you've had so far in your life and why.
It has to be my wedding! I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and I went to Florida in 2011 to go to a Harry Potter convention (I know, I'm a total loser!) which coincided with the release of the last film. Of course we went to Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios and it was the most magical place. After thinking about it for a while, we decided that it was the perfect place for our wedding. In August 2014, we married in the garden of The Three Broomsticks, overlooking Hogwarts. During the actual wedding ceremony, I was terrified because so many people were watching, but the whole two weeks were just magical. Chilling in Hogsmeade, snorkelling with sharks at Walt Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon, watching the fireworks in Magic Kingdom... It was just the best two weeks of my life! 
 
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Eek, what a challenging question! I'm not sure, to be honest. Maybe by then we will have started a family, hopefully with a mortgage and having travelled the world some more! I want to visit Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Tokyo and return to Florida in the next few years! 
 
What do you do to pick yourself up after a bad day?
Draw! I adore art, although I don't have as much time to dedicate to it as I'd like. When I've had a really bad day, there's something really soothing about picking up a pen and sketching something in great detail. For some reason, I always create my best work when I've had a bad time.

Finally, what is happiness to you?
Happiness for me is freedom. Freedom to explore. Freedom to go in whichever direction I choose, to spend my time however I wish, without any constraints. 
 
Thank you so much Becky! If you would like to partake in the 'happy interview,' give me a shout at xoliviamae@gmail.com and I'll be sure to respond, have a lovely week y'all!

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Olivia Curls On 4Music

April 06, 2015

Never in my life have I expected to turn the television on and see my face. Never in my life have I expected to walk into a canteen to be asked whether the same face they saw gracing their screens the night before was yours truly. But then I never imagined that I'd have jumped  on a plane to New York City in the past week either, and that definitely happened, just like the aforementioned television gig. That's right, I've been appearing on 4Music for over four weeks now and I still can't comprehend it.

From asking Charli XCX a question on 'Face The Fans: Charli XCX' to requesting a track on 'Your4Music' and featuring on the 'Your4Music' promotional advert, I've popped up on a screen more times than I'd like to admit and if you listen hard enough, you may have also heard me scream all the way from my house in Yorkshire. Supposedly I made my English teachers' ears bleed when I yelped in one of her lessons after capturing a glimpse of my head on my phone screen (whoops.)
 
It's an experience I always wished to have and I've got 1000 thoughts rushing through my brain on the topic yet I cannot place them into concise sentences yet and I think this astounds me too. I'll leave you with the two videos I have managed to find of yours truly if you care enough to want to see my face again and again and again.
 
Charli XCX - Face The Fans, first premiered 2nd March 2015.
 
A video posted by livs (@xoliviamae) on

"Your 4Music", first premiered 16th March 2015.
 
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Reflecting On A New York City Trip

April 02, 2015

 
 
The past week has been one of the most surreal moments of my whole life. Never in my eighteen immature and obnoxious years did I expect to walk across the hallowed streets of New York City at such a young age, nor did I expect to see sights only previously noted in movie theatres across the land with my own eyes. From the first glimpses of Times Square last Friday evening to the final moment when we signed out of the hotel and left the city that never sleeps for the final time, I don't think my feet stopped moving once as I was overtaken by the sheer force of where I was. I was in NEW YORK CITY.
 
New York is the most beautiful city I've ever seen, filled to the brim with larger than life buildings and cyclists who deserved speeding tickets a long time ago. Our feet were pounding on pavements (or sidewalks) for hours and hours a day and I didn't even care, I was seeing everything I had always dreamt of seeing and I do not regret the aches I am still affected by one week later as they are living proof that my little eyes have actually absorbed some of the great imagery and atmosphere which was so thick it could be cut with a knife.
 
Though the accommodation was subpar and I managed to lose most of my voice for a day whilst also having a great badass cold, the trip has given me a travel bug and it is the only bug I have gathered during this trip that I never want to leave on a foreign border. The bright lights in the big city have totally captured my heart in a way that I never expected beforehand and I wish to one day return, perhaps only to try one of the coveted New York pretzels. Seeing sights such as the Statue of Liberty, which are so historic yet so intertwined in modern day culture has forced me to look at myself hard in the face and wonder about what I really want from life. Do I want to travel? Do I want to attempt to sing and make up records about men from England in the hope of achieving a dime from a passer by? It's left me thinking and I think I'm going to have a sit down with myself about life and dreams and mystery, because however much I hate to say it, YOLO really does exist and if theories are to be believed, you only do live once in this existence and I would hate to waste every magical moment which is just waiting for a single being to catch it and use it to their full potential.
 
Over the next few weeks I hope to update you all on our trip of a lifetime to New York City and the most important capital city in the world, Washington DC, I'm also having a go at editing some vlogs which hopefully turn out as magical as they seemed while we were filming. They will appear on my Youtube channel which you can subscribe to me at here.
 
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