Skin & Earth Comic by Lights

Skin & Earth

What girl do you know that reads comics? If you happen to know one, she’s probably a badass! In this digital era, it’s not so common to read comic books. On top of the unique interest, being a girl who reads comics has always been rare.  Lights, one of my favorite musicians, has inspired many girls over the past decade to take up the interest of comics throughout her career. The singer has always expressed an influence in comics through her album artwork, music videos, and interviews. With Lights debuting her 4th studio album Skin & Earth, she’s blessed us all by creating a comic that correlates with her music. I personally have never known a musician who created a concept album involving a comic book series. Lights is paving a new way of music expression and also inspiring more girls to read comics! This concept album was incredibly different and Lights fans were thrilled for this new medium of her art.

 

Lights Unlocked

The reason I’m sharing this on my blog is because I’ve finally finished the comic book series and it was amazing! This comic book series gave a new perspective to Lights’ personality and creativity. I’ve watched a few interviews of her talk about the album, the comic, and how its fictional. However, I can’t help but think some of the story is true and has been inspired by personal events in her life. For example, the main character is involved with another woman which came out of left field.

 

 After the comic released Lights mentioned in an interview “If I met the right girl, I could easily fall in love”. Not that it’s a huge surprise that she’s openly bisexual, but she’s never personally shared that with fans. With every album she produces, its like we get to unlock little parts of her soul. It’s great to understand and connect with an artist that makes music you can easily associate with. This comic book made me personally feel as if I got to know her on a deeper level.

 

Music & Comics

Before I was able to get my hands on the comics, I listened to the music. The song “Giants” was released and I was skeptical about the new album. It was hard to associate with the song because I didn’t grasp an understanding behind the lyrics. The next song she released was “Skydiving” and my hope was quickly restored at least in the musical aspect of the album. Lights also gave hints to what the comics were about in music videos but I still had no idea of the meaning behind the songs. After reading the comic book series, everything made sense! My recommendation is to listen to the album and then read the comics. The story of the comic series is truly inspiring and has an amazing lesson overall.

I won’t spoil the story for you,

but I will mention some vague commentary

 to look out for while reading!

Issue 1 – Priest looks very similar to someone close to Lights.. HMM..

Issue 2– My heart breaks at the end of this issue. 🙁

Issue 3– I was screaming all through out this issue. It’s my favorite of the series! I was shook!

Issue 4– Pay attention to the illustration & detail here!!!

Issue 5– My thoughts.. “What the fuck is about to happen???” I NEED ISSUE 6 RIGHT NOW!!!

Issue 6– Lengthiest of all issues, lots of dialogue, amazing illustrations.. everything makes sense. Closure.

 

Giants – Official Music Video

 

5 Underground Musicians

Underground Music – January 2018

Alice Glass

If you don’t know who this musician is already, I bet you’ve heard of her former project Crystal Castles! Glass departed from Crystal Castles in October 2014 and began working on a solo career. She mentioned her reason for leaving the group being “working in the band compromised her efforts towards sincerity, honesty, and empathy for others”. Whatever the fuck that means.. we thoughtAfter leaving, she continued to have open door disagreements with former boyfriend and band mate Ethan Kath creating speculation of why the band broke up.

With recent media influx of sexual harassment, Alice Glass made a new public statement in October 2017 concerning former band made Ethan Kath. To summarize the statement, Alice Glass declared that she was raped and abused in numerous ways from the age of 15 by Ethan Kath.  Since 2014, Alice has been working on her mental and physical recovery. Her new self titled album is one you need to listen to! It highlights Glass’ lyrical genius and has allowed her to experiment with a new sound! We are all proud of Alice for leaving a toxic situation and continuing her craft.

Rico Nasty

Ahh yes, another interesting good ole’ Twitter find. Rico Nasty has been putting in the work since early 2016 and her music is finally being heard! Originally from New York, Rico drew me in with her personal style and upon hearing her music I quickly understood, she was eccentric. Rico Nasty’s latest album Sugar Trap features her most popular songs “Key Lime OG” and “Poppin'” and after playing it on repeat, I was convinced she was a modern woman version of DMX. However, she doesn’t only scream and rap in her latest album, Rico also has a variety softer sounding songs.  She radiates confidence throughout her lyrics and creates music that most people can have fun to. Definitely check Rico’s music out if you’re looking for a  new banger.

Kailee Morgue

One of my favorite things about music is being able to discover a musician whose voice or talent is unheard of and Kailee Morgue is that unique underground artist. I’m telling you right the fuck now, you need to listen to this angel! Coming across Morgue singing a cover song on Twitter in late 2016 was what I’d like to call a rare find. She began her music career by posting videos online of her singing cover songs and playing the guitar in her bedroom. Those videos were quickly retweeted and shared by thousands of people on the internet on various social media websites. Kailee Morgue went viral in a fast amount of time.

From my memory and just stalking her online presence for the past two years, Morgue then began working underground with a friend who produced her beats. They managed to put out a few songs that also went viral via Soundcloud. From the moment I heard Kailee Morgue sing, I knew she was going to get signed. Morgue signed to Republic Records in 2017 and her debut EP titled “Medusa” is reported to release on January 19, 2018. Keep an eye out for this musician, her voice and lyrics will captivate not only your ears but your soul.

Jack Jarlow

It’s been a long time since a modern rapper has made me want to listen to what they were actually saying. Jack Jarlow is an up and coming 19-year-old rapper from Kentucky and when I first heard him spit bars, I was shocked! He may not be rapping about the most serious subjects, but his talents have definitely shined through. I’m looking forward to see what else he puts out in 2018…

Kitty aka Kitty Pryde

Kitty has been underground since 2011 but definitely not unheard of! Formerly known as Kitty Pryde, she took a rise to fame with viral songs such as “Okay Cupid” and “Florida” in early 2012. She was an influencer of a new genre of modern underground rap.  During that time, she collaborated with rapper Riff Raff on a song titled “Orion’s Belt” that quickly grew popular amongst Youtube & Soundcloud users. Since then, we’ve all been wondering.. where did she go?

Kitty remained working quietly on a new album and raised money through a crowdfunding. Kitty had previously been offered deals with record labels but refused to give in to becoming a fake persona to sell records. By using KickStarter she was able to raise $39,000 for a solo project! Her latest album Miami Garden Club was released in August 2017. The new album showcases a growth in Kitty’s musical talents because she had complete control over the entire thing. Miami Garden Club sounds much more mature and experimental than previous projects she’s worked on. Congrats on putting out an album Kitty!

 

 

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Castles_(band)

http://www.alice-glass.com/cc/

http://www.republicrecords.com/artists/kailee-morgue

 

 

1st African American Punk Rock Band – Death

Death

Seeing that I’m relatively new to punk music, I’ve been digging around trying to find bands I enjoy. While I was on the search, I came across gold! Well.. what I consider gold. Throughout the younger years of my life, I’ve always felt unaccepted because of the type of music I listened to. Growing up in central Texas and having brown skin automatically assigned me to a music stereotype.  That was bullshit and never stopped me from exploring. However, no one in my  family or circle growing up listened to punk rock. Grunge rock and alternative rock were more popular during early 2000’s. There were small influences but I was never fully acquainted with the genre.  Coming across a band called Death was like seeing a shooting a star in my very own discovery of punk rock.

Undiscovered Talent

When I find African-Americans involved in genres other than rap, hip hop, jazz, and r&b from earlier times, it’s extremely comforting! I don’t feel as alienated. Not many people have heard of this band called Death. The band formed in 1971 from being inspired by The Who and Alice Cooper! Death was technically formed before The Ramones, The Clash, The Damned, and many other similar punk rock bands.  Death can be considered a prototype version of punk mixed with a little funk. The band remained a hidden gem until 2008. It’s no surprise to me that Death never was popularized mainly because of the band name and their race during the time period. Record labels thought their sound was great but couldn’t accept the band name in order to be signed.

Unfortunately, the band was never signed due to the unwillingness to change their name. Their discography sat in one of the band member’s attic for almost 40 years! Up until a random eBay auction, their rare vinyl print ‘For the Whole World to See’, the band finally was discovered. It’s saddening that this band had no recognition during the 1970’s because they were extremely talented and could have had more influence in the genre. I came across the documentary A Band Called Death and if you’re into punk music or music history, I definitely recommend watching it! After hearing their music and watching the documentary, I thought I’d mention this band on my blog in hopes that someone else finds them as great as I do.

 

with love,

Raven

 

 

For the Whole World to See

Top 10 Albums of 2017

 

DISCLAIMER: These albums debuted in 2017 and I found myself listening to them repetitively throughout the year. In other words, “my most played” albums. There are several albums that didn’t make the list but I’ve listed some honorable mentions towards the end of the post. While listening to my Top 10 Albums playlist, browse this post to discover why they were my fave. The list ranks from #10 being the least of my favorites down to #1 being my most favorite album of the year. Hopefully you find something you haven’t heard before or you just really dig the list.

 

My Top 10 Albums of 2017

10. Feel Something – Movements | Release Date: October 19, 2017

This year, my appreciation for the band Movements grew deeper because of their latest album  ‘Feel Something’. I highly recommend this band and album if you’re into alternative or emo music! I’m a sucker for good lyricism and this album literally punched me in the heart with all the beautiful words. The album title ‘Feel Something’ perfectly describes this album as whole. I also believe the release date was spot on because fall and winter are when people start feeling a bit more moody. ‘Feel Something’ carries a plethora of deep emotions.  It’s great for anyone that has ever been lost on the path to self exploration.

 

9. More Life – Drake | Release Date: March 18, 2017

You can hate or love that I added Drake to this list but it is what it is. Drake made a comeback splash with ‘More Life’ and you can fight me about it.  I’m not going to try to hide that I’ve been a Drake fan since 2008. No shame in my fan girl game! Drake has gone through some dramatic changes with his music over the years good and bad. One can only imagine how much pressure is on him to maintain his usual #1 spots on charts.  ‘More Life’ hints at Drake’s personal struggles and in my opinion, I think that’s what made this album a great come back. Not that his success was ever hindered, but his tone in his music changed and it wasn’t necessarily for the better. The music felt less personal but with ‘More Life’, Drake wooed fans back with popular tracks such as Fake Love, Gyalchester, Teenage Fever, and many more. I’ll die a Drake fan and you can hate on it all you want!

8. Cigarettes After Sex  | Release Date: August 29, 2017

Melancholy, nostalgic, and romantic are words I’d use to describe this self titled album by Cigarettes After Sex. In every song, I hear a lovely memory that’s described through song. Whether it’s my own memories coming to fruition or the imaginary ones I’m envisioning when listening to this album, this music is certain to make you dreamy. Cigarettes After Sex is unique because not many musicians are creating this type of sound. This is the bands first full length album and it’s absolutely incredible in comparison to anything out at the moment! No one is making full length soft and slow albums. It’s just not a thing anymore. Cigarettes After Sex is precious and I can’t wait to see how they progress because I fell in love with this album quickly.

7. Snow – Angus & Julia Stone | Release Date: September, 15, 2017

Well. Here’s the proof. I like ALL types of music including folk & indie! It’s been 3 years since Angus & Julia Stone have made a new album and I’m LIVING for their newest one “Snow”.  The wait was worth it! Why is it so good, you ask? If you’re into a mighty fine knee pattin’ tune and lyrics that draw out the various emotional ups & downs of love.. this record is for you! Musically, it’s easy-going and calming. This record is perfect for a smooth ambiance in a coffee shop, while drawing, or when your first waking up. Snow is an album for those who may question themselves and their significant other from time to time just like most of Angus & Julia Stone’s albums. I highly recommend you give this album a try as well as any other music they have released. It’s some of the best tunes!

6. Heaven Upside Down – Marilyn Manson | Release Date: October 6, 2017

 If you would’ve told me Marilyn Manson would make my most played albums list in 2017 earlier in life, I probably wouldn’t believe you. As I get older, my tastes in music start becoming more refined. I’m starting to look backwards rather than staying present in terms of music. Anyway, I’m able to appreciate creative genius in different forms instead of passing judgements by factors solely in shock value and marketing. To be honest, this year I got back into Manson. I lost touch with his music in early 2000’s but his presence came back with a burning vengeance with his latest album Heaven Upside Down.  The album is pretty heavy in terms of rock but also has a diversity of songs within that genre. Mansons not experimenting with a new sound on Heaven Upside Down, he’s upholding what he does best. Every song on this new album, one can easily identify who’s singing it. Heaven Upside Down is Manson’s 10th album. By this time in a musicians career, most artist stray off their original sound on the path of self exploration or keep playing the same hits over and over.  Here we are in 2017, with the same kick ass sound Marilyn Manson created in early 90’s. Heaven Upside Down is one of his greatest and I’m happy he’s still making music

5. Ctrl – SZA | Release Date: June 9, 2017

SZA has blown the fuck up since 2014! Let’s just get right to the point. She was underground but managed to collab with Chance the Rapper & Kendrick Lamar in 2014. From that, three years later her album releases and it sets fire in the music industry. Her voice is serene, full of passion, and this lady has an insane amount of talent. Did I mention she is extremely diverse? I remember finding her music on a random playlist website called 8tracks and was impressed at how different her sound/voice was than anything I had ever heard. Ctrl is her second album and it’s quite different from “Z”. With her latest album she definitely conveyed more personality and vocal range. Throughout the album you can hear her grandma giving her advice. We don’t often experience this perspective from a personal mentor of a female artist in music. I think that hit close to home with majority of women. SZA has become an empowering symbol and leader for women because of what her songs are about. Some of my favorites are “The Weekend”, “Broken Clocks”, and “Love Galore”.

4. Skin & Earth – Lights | Release Date: September 22, 2017

*Sighs* How can I explain my depths of love for this album and artist in a short amount of words? Lights may not be everyone’s cup of tea musically, but if your new to her or if you’ve grown with her over the years this album is a milestone for her! From her electronic synth beats, to her acoustic albums, and amazing song writing this album is unlike anything she’s ever released. Not only did she compose Skin & Earth, but she illustrated and wrote a comic series associated with the album’s songs. Lights is also an extraordinary symbol for women and has encouraged more girls to get into reading comics.  Skin & Earth is considered pop music, but Lights has always been in her own corner in terms of genres. I can promise you’ve never heard anything like it. With this album she’s experimented with heavier drums, higher vocal pitches, and fans can really see she’s challenged herself in a good way. We can tell she’s passionate and enjoying the art she’s creating just as much as we are enjoying it. Lights will always be one of my favorite musicians and I’m so proud of how far she’s come. LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM & READ THE COMICS!

3. Mourn – Corbin | Release Date: September 5, 2017

Corbin, formerly known as Spooky Black released Mourn and I was shocked. The music sounds familiar, but there’s an obvious growth in his sound and artistry. Corbin is commonly associated with the creative “underground” artists on Soundcloud but in my opinion Corbin has separated himself with his latest album. This album is hard to pin down to a genre because it includes screaming, electronic synth beats, and a little touch of r&b. Corbin’s music has always held a dark and gloomy presence but this album pushes that to a deeper level. For example, one of his songs titled “Revenge” is about seeking revenge on a rapist by murdering him. Sensitive topic but a really emotional and great song. Along with the song, “Ice Boy” he often screams through this song and the song will resonate with you because of the emotion but you can also dance to it. Word on the street is that Corbin worked on Mourn with Doc McKinney. Doc McKinney played an influential contributor of The Weeknd’s House of Balloons album. (One of The Weekend’s best albums!) Corbin seemed to have been in good hands and this record proves it. Mourn will send you in all your feels, so prepare to be a sad girl/boy but also boogie.

2. Reaper – Nothing, Nowhere | Release Date: October 19, 2017

There’s a special place in my heart for Nothing, Nowhere. His sound combines emo with r&b/hiphop. Think of a modern Linkin Park remixed with r&b. One of my friends mentioned it sounded like an emo Post Malone, but I think that’s far off. Sounds weird, but don’t knock it until you hear this album. This album is so emo 2017 and filled with angst! From lyrics to “I hope you choke in your sleep when you’re dreaming of me” to “I dug my own grave, let me fucking be” is right up my fuckin alley. I would never associate Nothing, Nowhere on a scale of a Soundcloud rapper because this music is extremely different. It’s a new genre. The emo community is eating this sound up and adapting quickly. I’ve listened to Nothing, Nowhere’s album Reaper, on repeat for weeks on end because of how much I relate to it. Musically my favorite song is “REM” and lyrically “Black Heart”.

1. Science Fiction – Brand New | Release Date: August 19, 2017

My favorite band of all time no matter how old I get released their last album EVER during my birthday month this year. Brand New hadn’t released a full length album since 2009 and I felt like I died hearing the news. My heart, my soul, my being and everything changed when this album was released and I heard Science Fiction was the last chapter for them. The release was bittersweet. Of course, I saw the band live for the last time a few weeks after the album was released. I know everything dies or comes to an end, but its deeply saddening because its my #1 favorite band. However, this album encompasses everything Brand New has ever been and I’m grateful that I got to experience their live set multiple times. Their live performances are always better than the the recorded album, but both insanely good. There are references from the past in the lyrics as well as words of closure in Science Fiction. This band has touched the lives of so many different people throughout the years and their music will live on forever. Science Fiction may not resonate with new comers, I’m not sure how people take to Brand New in 2017. However, this band and album will be carried in my heart forever.

Honorable Mentions

  • Lust For Life – Lana Del Rey
  • You’re Not You Anymore – Counterparts
  • Damn – Kendrick Lamar
  • Sworn In – All Smiles
  • NAV – Nav