August Playlist

Here are the songs I listened to most in August. Find monthly playlists from me on Spotify

My Blood – Twenty One Pilots

Record: Trench (released October 5th 2018)

Favourite Lyrics: ‘When everyone you thought you knew dserts your fight, I’ll go with you.’

The Grammy winning duo are back with another single from the upcoming record Trench. My Blood is vastly different from their last release, Levitate. This one is definitely more pop and features Joseph’s falsetto along with a killer base line.

 

Lake Effect Kid – Fall Out Boy

Record: Lake Effect Kid EP

Favourite Lyrics: ‘Oh, I got the skyline in my veins.’

Not gonna lie, this one made me emotional. Listening to this brought me back to being 14/15 right between Under The Cork Tree and Infinity On High.

 

Choke – I Don’t Know How But They Found Me

Record: Released as a single.

Favourite Lyrics: ‘Oh, you clever little things, the sycophantic teens, what a precious basket case.’

Dallon Weekes is back doing his own thing after 8 years with Panic! at the Disco.  Choke features a cool key change along with a guitar lick that will get stuck in your head!

 

Kamikaze- Walk The Moon

Record: What If Nothing

Favourite Lyrics: ‘Going down with my wings on fire, guess I’ll see you in another life.’

A very different track to the smash hit that is Shut Up and Dance, Kamikaze gives us Walk The Moon 2.0. This song starts with soft vocals and mellow guitar and then changes in both tone and tempo in the latter half which really allows it to shine.

 

Savages – Marina and The Diamonds

Record: FROOT

Favourite Lyrics: ‘Humans aren’t gonna behave as we think we always should. Yeah, we can be bad as we can be good.’

An oldie but a goodie. Synth-pop with a message that still resonates three years after its release.

 

What have you been listening to this month? Let me know in the comments!

This month I’m grateful for…

Practicing gratitude has a multitude of benefits, from improving optimism and happiness to helping people feel less lonely.* Personally, I feel more positive when I practice gratitude. Every week I try to think of a couple of things that I am genuinely grateful for. This stops me from getting too focused on the things that maybe didn’t go right that week.

I thought I’d share a couple of the things I’ve been grateful for in August.

  1.  Having such a tight knit family in difficult times. None of us are great at answering our phones and nothing is exempt from having a joke made out of it but my family are always there when it matters.
  2. My friend Aoife for encouraging me to keep going after my goals and for always being there to share in the happiness when they work out or to offer support when they don’t.
  3. Getting tickets to see Panic! at the Disco in Manchester next year – shoutout to Ian for this one! Going to gigs is one of my absolute favourite things to do and I was really disappointed to see that Panic! didn’t include an Irish date on their Pray For The Wicked tour but I’m delighted that I’ll get to see them anyway.prayforthewickedtour
  4. The return of cooler weather. I couldn’t cope with that hot weather at all! I’m just need made for heat. I think I was the only person in the country who cursed the heatwave every morning! I love cooler days, cozy evenings, the leaves turning and even the lashing rain.
  5. The arrival of A/W fashion and homeware. If it’s not already clear, I’m an A/W baby, it’s my favourite time of year and seeing all of the new stock like boots, hats, scarves, throws, cushions and candles arriving in store is so exciting!
  6. Getting shortlisted in the Irish Blog Awards in the category of Blog Post – Personal Blog for my ‘I Own It’ post. Blog-Awards-2018-Alebrije-MPU_Short-List
  7. Getting accepted by UCC to study Mental Health in the Community. I’m happy beyond words to have the chance to study something I’m so passionate about.

 

*https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_gratitude_is_good

 

Join in! What things were you grateful for in August? Let me know below!

 

 

So you got your exam results…

It’s Leaving Cert results day in Ireland today. By now, the students have their results. Some will be delighted, others will be devastated. The media will celebrate those who received ‘top marks’, they’ll churn out statistics – almost a third of students sat the higher level maths paper and 90% of those received bonus points for scoring over 40% in their exam.

It’s easy to make a Very Big Deal out of these results; many students have worked hard, they have achieved the grades they hoped for and that’s great. However, there are others who worked just as hard and didn’t see it come to fruition. Of course, it’s also all subjective – one student could see 300 points as being fantastic while another sees that as a failure.

On days like to day it’s so important to stay grounded. There are so many options and opportunities out there. Not everyone is made for college. Some people will go straight to work or an apprenticeship, some might take some time out to figure out what they want to do and that’s perfectly okay.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind today:

  • If you didn’t get the results you had hoped for don’t panic! There are so many PLC courses that only take one year and can be used as an entry path to a degree the following year if you still want to go down that route. Level 5 courses get a bad rep but I think they’re brilliant – you get to find out if what you had planned on studying is really right for you without the massive financial burden and time commitment of a degree. Saving money and having more free time – what’s bad about that?!

 

  • Will these results really matter in fifty years? It’s unlikely! I can’t even begin to tell you the number of people I know who didn’t get the results or the course they had initially hoped for but who are still happy and successful at what they do. If in doubt, take a look at some famous people who either left school early or never graduated college but who have still achieved so much: Ellen DeGeneres, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah, Lady GaGa, Tom Hanks, Coco Chanel, Steve Jobs and more!

 

  • While it’s worth recognising that these results are the culmination of many years of hard work for a lot of people, it’s still important to remember that they don’t have to define the rest of your life.Ultimately, it’s just a piece of paper with a bunch of letters and numbers on. It doesn’t represent who you are as a person. There are many qualities that are far more important than those results – being passionate about something, showing kindness to others, treating people with respect etc.

 

  • Lastly, go out and celebrate! No matter what results you got you should still celebrate the end of this chapter of your life and the beginning of a new one. Take some time out to relax, go out with friends, do something with your family, whatever celebrating means to you!

On a personal note, I didn’t even sit my Leaving Cert. I left school in 2009, four months in to sixth year. Since then I’ve earned three qualifications, been accepted on to a degree course, I’ve learned a ton of skills, met new people, seen some other countries, gotten a dog, created a blog & a whole lot more and guess what? None of that depended on having ‘good’ (or any!) Leaving Cert results!

If you need support today, contact the NCPpp Helpline for free on 1800265165 to speak to a qualified guidance counsellor or check out their website for more information and advice. Spunout.ie also has an education section that is FULL of really great posts, and I’d definitely recommend checking that out if you need some down to earth, practical and easy to follow advice.

As always, if you need any general advice and information click here.

July Playlist

Here are the songs I listened to most in July. Find monthly playlists from me on Spotify. This month features two TOP songs because they were released at the same time and after waiting a year I just can’t get enough of either!

Jumpsuit – Twenty One Pilots

Record: Trench (set for release October 5th 2018)

Favourite Lyric: ‘I’ll be right there but you’ll have to grab my throat and lift me in the air
If you need anyone, I’ll stop my plans but you’ll have to tie me down and then break both my hands.’

Featuring a heavy bass riff right off the bat, Jumpsuit sounds a little different than what we’ve grown to expect from Tyler Joseph & Josh Dun, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing! The song moves to more familiar territory during bridge, stripped back with softer vocals before ratcheting up a few notches with a heavy burst of drums from Dun and Joseph’s screaming vocals reminiscent of Car Radio.

The video for Jumpsuit continues from where HeavyDirtySoul left off bringing us into the world of Clancy, Dema & The Bishops. There’s a whole cryptic backstory to this, check it out here.

 

Dying In LA – Panic! at the Disco

Record: Pray For The Wicked

Favourite Lyric: ‘Nights at the chateau trapped in your sunset bungalow, you couldn’t escape it. Drink of paradise, they told you to put your blood on ice, you’re not gonna make it.’

Standing out from the rest of Pray For The Wicked’s synthy and jazzy tracks, Dying In LA is a sombre piano-driven ballad. Written with Megan Kibby, the track is almost the flipside of LA Devotee from DOAB. For me, these are some of Urie’s best vocals on this record.

 

Everything Is Fine – All Time Low

Record: Released as a single June 2018

Favourite Lyric: ‘All I wanted was some options but my only choice is leaving, like time is not a crocodile.’

I’ve never known a band to create new music as often as All Time Low does! This new track is the energetic pop-punk that the band are known for, though it’s more in keeping with Future Hearts than their most recent record Last Young Renegade.

 

Queen – Radio GaGa

Record: The Works

Favourite Lyrics: ‘Let’s hope you never leave old friend, like all good things on you we depend. So stick around ’cause we might miss you when we grow tired of all this visual.’

I was lucky enough to see Queen + Adam Lambert live this month. I’m not any kind of Queen super fan but it was a really enjoyable gig and quite emotional. Lambert himself said that he would never replace Freddie, nobody could. I chose this live recording of Radio GaGa because I think it shows why that’s the case. Watch this one right to the end!

 

Nico And The Niners – Twnety One Pilots

Record: Trench (set for release October 5th 2018)

Favourite Lyrics: ‘East is up, I’m fearless when I hear this on the low. East is up, I’m careless when I wear my rebel clothes.’

Nico And The Niners sounds more familiar than Jumpsuit. It’s not a million miles away from the reggae/alternative/rock vibes of Lane Boy or Ride on 2015’s Blurryface. Lyrically this song tells us a little more about the world of Dema and offers an explanation to some of the clues in Clancy’s letters and photos.

This video shows us Dema, the Bishops and the rebel group, it’s almost like a short film. As good as the entire video is, I think the standout moment for long time fans will be at the 2:30 mark.

 

What have you been listening to this month? Let me know in the comments!

Bloggers Unveiled

It’s finally happened – Bloggers Unveiled has come to an end.

Earlier this year an anonymous user created the Bloggers Unveiled Instagram account. They used the platform to call out what they perceived as wrong-doings by bloggers & influencers and the account quickly amassed followers keen to join in – over 220k in fact!

bloggers unveiled

 

The account focused on bloggers and influencers who were using Photoshop and other editing apps to alter images of themselves without telling their followers, who were running competitions that hundreds entered only to give the prize to a friend, who were white labelling products they were selling but passing them off as their own and charging a premium for them. Basically, if there was something dodgy happening Bloggers Unveiled was going to let everyone know!

Did things go to far?

In the beginning I followed it myself. It was good to know who was being genuine and who wasn’t but after a couple of weeks I unfollowed. You see, things had become very nasty. The comments on every post were dominated by personal attacks on these bloggers and influencers. People were being told to go kill themselves, that they were worthless, that they were fat and ugly. The level of vitriol was unreal.

Make no mistake, I don’t think that conning your followers is okay in any way but I don’t think anyone deserves to have their lives or those of their loved ones threatened. Surely if you find that a blogger or influencer isn’t being truthful you should unfollow them, stop promoting them, refuse to buy their products, etc.

The Bloggers Unveiled account continued on for several months and speculation about who was behind continued too. Things took an odd turn when people who were being accused of being BU began receiving death threats too. EVERYONE IS RECEIVING DEATH THREATS….WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

Here’s where I think it gets interesting…

BU released a statement. They said “There has been an unwavering curiosity around who I am… There are a number of people in the media, as well as private individuals, being targeted. I’ve been contacted by friends and family members of someone this week who have voiced their concerns for the well-being of their friend, who is under suspicion for simply being at an event and doing their job.”

Surely at that point the person behind the account should have realised things had gone too far and shut it down?! But no…”I’m not saying I’m quitting- I won’t quit.”

A living hell

Over the weekend a woman called Ramona Treacy released a statement via The Irish Times to explain how her life had become a ‘living hell’ after people began accusing her of being BU. It has become so bad that gardai have launched a criminal investigation in to the matter.

Following this (and I suspect on advice from legal professionals looking into all of this), the Bloggers Unveiled account was finally deleted after showing the following statement.

BU statement
Via thejournal.ie

 

All I’ve seen since are people lamenting the fact that the account is gone and people wondering where they’re going to get their gossip from now but I’m delighted that it’s gone. Maybe it did start with noble intentions but I really don’t believe it continued that way. It became a toxic place for people to be hateful and scathing towards others.

What happens next?

I fully believe that bloggers and influencers SHOULD be held accountable for the content they produce and post. They’ve become the face of modern advertising. I can’t help but wonder if the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland was more proactive would this whole situation have come about? The ASAI released new guidelines for bloggers and influencers months ago but so far only one complaint for misleading the public has been upheld and, as Bloggers Unveiled has shown,  it’s a massive problem within the community.

So where do we go from here? Will copycat accounts be created? Will the ASAI make changes to their guidelines? Will bloggers and influencers face more regulations? Will we EVER find out who was behind Bloggers Unveiled?

Let me know your thoughts!