Why Print Magazine Will Never Die Out

Now playing: “Down In Flames” by Cleopold

Yesterday, I had a seminar on Magazine Production for Print and Digital, in which we had an interesting discussion about whether print magazines would eventually become extinct, with almost every kind of written content available in the deep dark depths of the Internet.

We discussed whether it was even viable to publish a print magazine to the mass (or even niche) market today; with all the possibilities offered by the digital age, we agreed that pretty much everything in print publication has been done already, so it would be fairly risky to produce a print magazine with most magazine genres already at peak saturation. There has to be a unique take or spin on things, and arguably, it also has to have some sort of presence online to become more known and relevant (what do you think?).

The cultural differences between older generations and today’s Generation Y shows a difference in the value of magazines. We surmised that there was a sense of ritual for those who used to read teen magazines in the 1990s to early 2000s – we remembered when we would sit on a bed and flick through Shout together, taking naff quizzes and reciting aloud embarrassing stories from its pages. In a slightly shocking yet enlightening comparison, we just couldn’t imagine teens these days reading the likes of Mizz, Sugar or Bliss Magazine. These days (no generalisation intended), we observed that Generation Y aspire to read more mature and influential magazines, assuming they read magazines at all. These days, I see 14-year-olds reading Vogue or Elle, or on the other hand slightly less mainstream-glossy, slightly more edgy-arty but still high-profile Dazed, i-D or LOVE. This comes to show that, even though the majority of us, the young and not-so-young, are entangled in the social network of the world wide web, there is currently still value for good old fashioned physical magazines.

With this being a concern for many of those in the print publication industry, I believe that there will always be a place for print magazines, even in the distant future, when the world will be taken over by our own evil creation known as technology (kidding, kidding).

Digital publication makes for easy access to all sorts of media circulated online and also allows limitless social interaction and discussion within a community. The unlimited capacity of the Internet is something of a disadvantage for print magazines – some have seen the opportunity to jump online, ceasing print publication altogether and making the move to digital, such as Company and Sublime.

However, the sentimentality and physicality of a print magazine will always have a place in many individuals’ hearts. While we agreed that we all avidly consume digital publication on a regular basis, that doesn’t deny the fun in flicking through the latest issues on the magazine stand. It doesn’t deny the ritual in collecting issues, or the sheer delight when your coveted subscription gets this month’s issue delivered straight to your door.

In our discussion of the production of magazine (there’s been a lot of that lately – I’m sub-editor for the magazine our course is working on!), we’ve painstakingly gone through every physical detail that a magazine’s comprised of; this has gained me an appreciation for every single consideration that goes into making the consumption of a magazine a seamless and unique experience. From the texture and thickness of the paper, to the dimensions of the magazine, to even the inclusion of freebies…it’s the pure physicality of it all that makes written content more life-like and real, something a lot more tangible compared to a two-dimensional digital screen.

Print magazines create a unique connection between paper and person that digital just can’t match. Editorial images also look much better on paper than trapped in the lifeless realms of a box (sorry, Internet, I still love u). There’s more dimension to a magazine, more bite, more heart, there’s more to lap up. As Sex And The City’s Carrie Bradshaw once said, “When I first moved to New York and I was totally broke, sometimes I bought Vogue instead of dinner. I found it fed me more.”.

That’s the thing – magazines have a certain sentimental value; we buy this magazine because aside from having some good stuff in there, it makes for a great coffee table item; we buy this magazine because it’s just a great thing to have in your bag and whack out on that long journey; we buy this magazine because its gloss and perfumed scent makes us feel glamourous and important. The magazine is something that has held such significant value in everyday life to so many throughout the last two centuries that it is historically embedded as a culturally irreplaceable object. An object held in high esteem. An object cherished. Long live the magazine.

Do you still read print magazines? If so, which do you read, and what do they mean to you? Feel free to start a discussion in the comments, I’d love to hear what my fellow bloggers have to say!

The Style Banks x


Touching On Blogger Exploitation


This week, I wanted to talk about something that has recently hit home with me, inspired by this blog post I stumbled across on Twitter by Joelle of FebuaryGirl.

Recently, I was approached by a brand to write about them on my blog. After publishing it, it was pointed out and I realised that I had been given nothing in exchange for promoting this brand. Of course, it hadn’t occurred to me to ask what I would be compensated with for advertising them. Too excited and flattered that, as a relatively new blogger, I had been approached by a brand to work with them in the first place, I eagerly accepted what they asked of me without fully realising that, eventually, they will have essentially used me as a platform for free advertising (even after I lightly suggested they send me some physical products for me to review, benefitting both them, me AND my readership, they completely sidestepped it & made their excuses to not offer me any compensation whatsoever).

Brands pay for advertisement space on websites, so why would it be any different for me or for any other of the bloggers who end up in the same situation?

For an individual to spend hours of time and effort to promote a brand in exchange for nothing…that doesn’t seem fair, does it? I know I personally feel used, taken advantage of and, in truth, completely degraded.

Unfortunately, I am not the only blogger to have been put in this unfair, awkward and frankly uncomfortable situation, and my personal experience has really brought to my attention that blogger exploitation is a real issue, something that I hadn’t truly appreciated before. To learn that some companies actually have the nerve to take advantage of bloggers in this way is something I find simply incomprehensible. As commercial representatives, I believe it should be brands’ responsibility to uphold an ethically aware and respectful treatment when they approach bloggers, bearing in mind that the blogger has every right to demand some kind of payout for something like a sponsored post.

The exploitation of bloggers is an ongoing discussion that deserves far more exposure and acknowledgement in our internet culture. And now, I invite you all to discuss – what is your stance on blogger exploitation? Do you think bloggers have a right to demand reward from brands they promote on their blog? Or do you think they should simply accept the honour of working with a brand alone? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

thestylebanks x








July Favourites

Hi everyone! I’ve been really lazy and uninspired recently (also, it doesn’t feel like July right now…it doesn’t feel like anything really, just like we’re floating through time?), until it hit me that I’ve been buying lots of little treats this month. Here’s what I’ve been loving this July:

Starbucks Cinnamon Swirl Frappucino


I don’t know if this kind of news excites you, but sugary, overpriced drinks are right up my alley. Recently, Starbucks have released four new Frappucino flavours apparently inspired by their fans. I’ve yet to try the other flavours (Cupcake, Summer Pie, and Cookie Dough), but I’ve had their Cinnamon Swirl Frappucino on multiple occasions, and it’s something you really need to introduce to your life. I mean, it’s cinnamon syrup blended with coffee, white chocolate mocha sauce and vanilla. Topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. Enough said.

Mac All Fired Up Retro Matte Lipstick, £15.50

(I haven’t had the chance to take my own pictures yet, so in the meantime have a look at All Fired Up on Pinterest!)

Every girl’s got to own a Mac lipstick in her life. It’s almost a right of passage into womanhood (yes, this is a materialistic statement and I have no shame in that). My most recent Mac lipstick purchase marks the fifth addition to my Mac lipstick collection, and as shallow as I sound, I really feel like this is a milestone achievement for my life (in case you haven’t seen my Twitter, my humour is often of the deadpan kind). It was when I was on the lookout for a matte fuchsia lipstick when I inevitably wandered into the Mac store and stumbled upon All Fired Up. I’d describe it as bright, reddish-fuchsia – the blue undertones aren’t very strong so the tone is fairly warm. It’s also a Retro Matte, whatever “Retro” adds to it, so obviously it’s a fully matte finish that can be quite drying, so always balm the f**k up before applying! Overall, All Fired Up is a gorgeously bold lipstick that I’m kind of having a love affair with. What are your favourite Mac lipsticks?

Shura // 2Shy

Ethereal-voiced Shura’s been played on the radio quite a bit lately. 2Shy has total Dev Hynes vibes.

New Balance 420 Cream Suede Trainers, £65 at ASOS

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After my trip to Stockholm last summer, I instantly became inspired by the city’s streetstyle, as well as how many of them wore trainers on the daily commute. Okay, so I technically haven’t bought these babies yet, but I love their sleek, minimal and functional design so much that they’re going straight in my basket (yes, that was an awful reference to that video).


Clinique Black Honey Gift Set, £25 at feelunique.com

I’ve heard that Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is a cult favourite that suits virtually anybody. Naturally, I went to see what all the fuss was about and tried it on myself. The verdict? Definitely worth the hype. Described as a “deep blackened raisin”, Black Honey added a gorgeous, sheer wash of plummy colour to my lips. You know, that just-eaten-berries look? Seeing as the lipstick cost a fairly hefty £18, I think it’s a little better value to get the Black Honey Gift Set – yes, the lipstick isn’t the full size of the original, but it’s still likely to last a very long time. Plus, you get a really nice nail polish, moisturising gloss (although I’m not a fan of lipgloss, but still hey why not!!!!!) and Quickliner all of the same stunning hue! As if things couldn’t get any yummier, Clinique also sell an All About Shadow Black Honey single eyeshadow, which by the looks of things appears to be a sort of intense shimmery terracotta-bronze. Check it out on Pinterest!

L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara, £10.99 at your local Boots of Superdrug :))

L’Oreal Telescopic is one of my all-time favourites – it gives great length, definition and separation, so I find the skinny brush especially good for lower lashes and really easy to use. A great all-rounder!

And finally, to round off my July favourites, is this video. Because, as my inner white girl would say, it slays. YASSSSS KWEEEEEN. 🔥🔥🔥


What have you been treating yourself to this month?

thestylebanks x


thestylebanks’ New Tracks to Listen To

There’s nothing quite like the joy of exploring for and discovering new artists and new tracks – here’s what I’ve been listening to lately!

1. Artist – Pale Honey

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Two Swedish girls, guitars that flit between lush to driven and gritty, and a moody, nonchalant vibe; listen to “Youth” and “Bandolier”, from their self-titled debut album, which brings the band Warpaint to mind.

2. Song – “L$D” by A$AP Rocky

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“But I ain’t into makin’ love songs, baby, I’m just rappin’ to this LSD.” – I love how this is sung rather than rapped – a surprising, woozy, psychedelic love song with The xx-style guitars (and / or, he’s probably on about what he got up to on acid at SXSW this year).

3. Album – “In Colour” by Jamie xx

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“In Colour” was released only the other day, after much anticipation. The LP has such a good variety of songs – from the surprising dancehall-inflected “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” (often, attempts at fusion genres seem to exist because they can, rather than should) to the more classic Jamie glimmery ambience of tracks such as “Sleep Sound” and “Girl” (my favourite off the album).

4. Song – “Aftergold” by Big Wild

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3:49 minutes of pure delightfulness.

5. Artist – Låpsley

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Sparse instrumentals and soft, haunting echoing vocals; Låpsley is totally unassuming, reminding me a little of Rhye. Listen to her Understudy EP.

6. Song – “Waterfalls” by Vök

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I only had to listen to this song to guess that the band we Icelandic – I mean those vocals are quite Björk-esque. Vök’s sound mixes ice cool, wistful electronics with melodic vocals – think Björk’s abstract lyrics and swooping vocals, The Knife’s sexual tension and The xx’s hypnotism.

7. And finally – “All Day” by Kanye West feat. Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney

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Totally obnoxious, hedonistic and vicious, but absolutely another brilliant example of Kanye’s irrevocable prowess and completely obvious sense of self-belief. This is also a song that, despite award show-organisers’ insistence, is perhaps not the best choice for West to perform on a live-televised award show when half the words have to be bleeped out, leaving merely a fragment of song.

What have you been listening to lately?

thestylebanks x


thestylebanks’ Easter Playlist

Hey guys,

I’ve compiled a little playlist of what I’ve been listening to this Easter. Enjoy!

thestylebanks x

“Bipp” by SOPHIE

Take old school garage and pop of the future and you have Bipp. Also, the album art reminds me of bacon. Colourful bacon.


“Heirloom” by Basenji

A delightful 3 and a half minutes of joy.


“Streamers” by Wave Racer

This is crazy good, and sounds as though it should soundtrack Sonic the Hedgehog or the Rainbow Road level on Mario Kart.


“No Type” by Rae Sremmurd

Just a good slice of hip-hoppity-hop.


“Lean On” by Major Lazer & DJ Snake feat. MØ

Such a tune – something I’d like to blast in my car on a hot summer evening with friends.


“Bassically” by Tei Shi

Big lush bass, heady synths and some impressively controlled yelling.


“Girl” by Jamie XX

THAT BASSLINE THOUGH. This is so beaudiful.


“Silk” by Thrupence

This is exactly what the name says it is – 100% pure satiny silk.


“Permission To Love” by Hayden James



“I Follow Rivers” by Lykke Li

An old one, but a good one.

My albums of the year

Now playing: “Pretty Thoughts” by Galimatias & Alina Baraz

As 2014 draws to a close, I’m not only in disbelief at how quickly it’s gone (or do I feel like this every year?), but also at how it’s been a year of change.The first half was hell, the second half a lot better. Now I’ve experienced my first term at uni, I realise how much I hated being at school. I struggled – there was no sense of freedom whatsoever, I wasn’t studying the subjects I liked, I was rubbish at working under time pressure. But coming to uni was the complete opposite. It’s corny but true that uni kind of gives you the opportunity to be yourself, and I feel more “myself” than I’ve ever been.

On another note, 2014 has been full of great album releases, ones that have helped me through the year. Here are my favourites (in brief – I mean, do I look like a music critic?):

“Liminal” by The Acid


The Acid seamlessly combines delicious electronic bass with a Radiohead-flavoured vocal tenderness whilst guitars float melancholically. It’s really nice to listen to if you’ve ever been interested in Brit electronic pioneers like The XX, James Blake and Thom Yorke’s other project Atoms for Peace.

“So Long, See You Tomorrow” by Bombay Bicycle Club

I think thisBombayBicycleClubSongalbumcover is hands down Bombay’s best album – or at least their most experimental and flavourful. Their combination of sounds – a musical concoction of instrumentation, less reliance on guitars as they have done in previous albums, seem to cleverly weave in a homage world music, whilst still remaining to their melodic roots. A real treat to listen to – if you didn’t think you liked Bombay, listen to this and think again.

“The Unknown” by Dillon


One of my favourite albums to listen to, the album title is apt – Dillon is “unknown”, and the underlying theme behind this musical masterpiece does seem to explore the unknown. This is done through its composition; Dillon’s bare, fragile vocals, at first reminding me a little of Lykke Li’s, but still unique, paired with sparse instrumentation – piano chords appearing here and there, moody bass and electronica glitching in the distance…it’s minimal. The lyrics in each song tell me this music is for reflection and contemplation. Listen if you like James Blake (again, haha).

“Ultraviolence” by Lana Del Rey

UltraviolenceLDRWas very, very excited when I heard early this year that Lana would be releasing a new album. The title intrigued me; I had no idea what to expect. Ultraviolence is a gorgeous combination of soft rock, Del Rey’s GODDESS voice and the theme of money, corruption and power. It neglects the theatrical hip-hop glamour of Born To Die in exchange for something sadder. Del Rey portrays a disheartened seductress; her vocals are still as luscious as ever but they’re hushed. Ultraviolence is ethereal, dreamy and nostalgic, but dark undertones prowl throughout the album nevertheless.

“Tremors” by SOHN


The first track off of Tremors, “Tempest”,  already has me looking forward to the rest of the album. SOHN’s smooth falsetto, along with an electronic feast of rhythms and synthetic melodies (hello, James Blake), subtle Auto-tune tweaking (hello, Bon Iver) comes together for a crisp and impressive production. The songs, which are actually memorable (thanks to the pop structure), create a serene atmosphere of cool. A masterful piece of work.

“No Mythologies To Follow” by MØ


I listen to this album religiously. It’s versatile glitchy electro-pop with guts, but elsewhere bluesy songs like “Never Wanna Know” show off MØ’s sultry vocal ability. Loaded with guitar riffs, ecstatic shouts and cheers, and siren-like harmonies, No Mytholigies To Follow is empowering, uplifting and full of sass – a “fuck you” to the “haters”.

I look forward to what 2015 has to come (like, I turn 20 years old :O), and I wish you a happy New Year!

thestylebanks x

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I – Review







Now playing: ‘1 Of Those Weaks’ by The Neighbourhood
(The whole fucking mixtape is amazing http://www.datpiff.com/The-Neighbourhood-000000-ffffff-mixtape.669129.html)

“I have a message for President Snow: If we burn, you burn with us!” Francis Lawrence directs the fiery spirit of the Girl On Fire, Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence), who is catapulted into becoming a weapon of hope against The Capitol. Made symbolic and immortalised by the mocking jay, the adaptation of the final instalment of Suzanne Collins’ dystopian trilogy jumps onto the big screen. Like other bestselling series’, such as Harry Potter and Twilight, The Hunger Games, unsurprisingly, follows suit in splitting its dramatic climax into two parts – and so far its delivery is both convincing and promising.

Katniss perseveres and her determination resonates throughout The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I. It’s clear that she is pivotal to driving the Districts against the Capitol, governed by the sinister tyranny of President Snow, the dictator of Panem. He has the ultimate control over this world, with the exception of District 13, the base of the main freedom fighters, who shape Katniss to be the face of the revolution, led by President Coin and Plutarch Heavensbee.

Refreshingly, unlike the previous two films, the storyline of Mockingjay veers away from the confines of the bizarre and brutal dystopia of the Hunger Games, now focussing on the bigger picture: a world that now suffers a tense political aftermath when a perfectly aimed arrow, fired by Katniss, destroys the technical system behind the Games, causing an uproar of destruction and an uprising that’s a treat to watch.

It’s obvious from the start that Katniss is portrayed as the stereotypical reluctant hero – carrying the heavy weight of those she cares for – the doe-eyed sister, Primrose; the eccentric chaperone-turned-stylist Effy; the rugged, alcoholic mentor, Haymitch; the loyal best friend, Gale. Whilst we observe the action-packed political battle between Snow and the rebellion, we are also entertained by a continuity of Katniss’ complex character – torn between her relationship with both Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), as she desperately tries to save him from the Capitol’s rapture. Ah, not this again – the inevitable love triangle between the strong female lead, the portrayed lover and the best friend, whose true relationship with the heroine is a little ambiguous. It was baffling to work out if there was a touch of romance between Gale and Katniss – but then again, this perhaps wasn’t intended to be dwelled upon. Still, this subplot was somewhat exhausting and agonising to watch. Despite convincing performances from Hemsworth and Hutcherson, both Team Gale and Team Peeta are as stale and boring as each other. Having not read the novels, I don’t know what Suzanne Collins’ intentions were behind the love triangle, yet in regards to the film an instinct told me that it was really close to ruining the film, but somehow Lawrence is just about able to steer clear from this by playing up the main plot, keeping us engaged with the star-studded cast and impressive CGI action scenes, which are enhanced by thematic propaganda and political undertones.

The whole film is a propaganda tug of war between the Capitol and the rebellion – Peeta brandished about by Snow and the Capitol to promote Katniss as the enemy, having been brainwashed into fearing his lover – Katniss flaunted about to promote the evil of the Capitol, directed and documented by a camera crew. Key roles are played well; one standout performance comes from the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who brings gravitas and wit to this media satire. Meanwhile, Donald Sutherland brings vitality to President Snow’s role in the film, exemplifying with his villainous and cunning prowess that as the antagonist he drives the story, as well as creating a deep and profound attraction towards his battle against Katniss, as though it’s a toxic love affair.

The film is full of vivid, cinematic moments that haunt in the back of your head – in one scene, Katniss stands on a bed of white roses after an attack on District 13’s base, leaving an unsettling mood of serenity as well as the instant affinity of President Snow; in another scene we see Katniss standing on the devastating remains of her home, District 12.

It may not be as rewarding as its predecessors – Jennifer Lawrence hardly draws an arrow to her bow, instead doing a lot of talking and learning – unfortunately as are most cases of being the “middle child”, but Lawrence manages to sufficiently execute the tricky “Part I” as a grand, entertaining affair. Ultimately, Mockingjay Part I lays a solid and intriguing foundation for the finale. It has the more subtle, grounded drama that was less present in its predecessors, which were more action-packed, but needless to say the film indicates that the fiery spirit of the mocking jay will leave Part II marching out with blazing glory.


Coming soon – an OOTD post.

thestylebanks x



Year of the Girl

This year hotly-tipped solo female artists have been dropping highly-anticipated LP’s like no other. This year’s one for the girls – mysterious siren BANKS released her album Goddess (aptly-named) just two days ago, whilst Lana Del Rey (can she be my guardian or something) (I ship her and James Franco) returned with Ultraviolence. These girls embody female empowerment with their voice, lyrics and musical composition, even when they express vulnerability or heartbreak. GRL POWER 2014 – 4EVER



artworks-000077743519-y99oqs-t120x120Ever since I heard This Is What It Feels Like I knew the song was just a taste of BANKS’ potential and her power to blend dark R&B vocals with soft, glitchy electronics so so smoothly. She kept releasing singles that were absolutely sublime and explored the raw truth of relationships and matters of the heart. Her music is definitely very personal to her, and for her to expose her experiences through her music is really beyoodiful ❤

Highlights: Alibi; Waiting Game; This Is What It Feels Like; Drowning; Warm Water


Dillon – The Unknown

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 16.58.44If you had to compare Berlin-based singer Dillon to anybody you could say she’s a James Blake – Lykke Li hybrid. But she’s totally unique, ethereal and understated. I only came across her in the ‘Listeners Also Bought’ section whilst iTunes browsing. I heard Thirteen Thirtyfive and it was charming and endearing. Then I listened to her second album The Unknown. Her distinctive voice, filled with cold bass, minimalist techno and sparse, melancholic piano chords, tells a story of the trials and tribulations of human existence, in an beautifully abstract and visually-exquisite way (need to tone down the adverbs/adjectives lol). Like the album title suggests, she explores the unknown, in a deeply philosophical and inquisitive way. Out of all these albums, I recommend you listen to Dillon because she is the most underrated and unknown out of all these leading ladies. Out of all the artists I’ve discovered this year, Dillon is one of the brightest-shining gems.

Highlights: The whole album is beautifully consistent…but if I had to pick: A Matter Of Time; You Cover Me; In Silence; Don’t Go


FKA twigsLP1

artworks-000089352596-d6o4sb-t200x200Ethereal and other-worldy, FKA twigs is out of this world. Her vocal range is incredible and on this album she showcases her breathy, sultry melodies and sings REALLY REALLY high effortlessly. Like BANKS, FKA twigs propelled herself from relatively unknown artist to R&B-electronica heavyweight seemingly overnight. Her sound is just unique and hyper-cool. Believe the hype!

Highlights: Two Weeks; Video Girl; Give Up


No Mythologies To Follow

avatars-000071101064-8bbgbr-t200x200I first discovered Danish delight MØ when her track Waste Of Time was soundtracked on the Koppardberg cider advert…after that it was off to the races because I’ve listened to all of her songs religiously and still do to this day. Waste Of  Time is one of my favourite songs because frankly, it’s sassy and it’s one-of-a-kind. And that’s MØ (Karen Marie Ørsted), she seems real sassy, relatable and just goes with the flow! (I like to think I basically know her personally from the times she’s favourited and retweeted my tweets. Humble brag.) Somehow No Mythologies To Follow truly resonates with me – somehow it reminds me that I’m not alone? Don’t Wanna Dance is so infectious, it makes me want to sing and dance, and I don’t really like to dance! The power of music. I’m in love with her voice and the energy she puts into her songs. The songs on the album are diverse and beat-driven, with sporadic guitar melodies and glitchy electronics. She’s fun, unstoppable and kick-arse, and I might be obsessed with her.

Highlights: I sing every one of these songs when I’m home alone. From start to finish the songs are diverse but equally likeable…Red In The Grey; Pilgrim; Waste Of Time; Walk This Way; Slow Love


Lykke Li I Never Learn

artworks-000079538463-hlbvaw-t200x2002014 has also been a year for sad, sad girls. If you listen to Lykke Li’s third album, I Never Learn, you can hear the sheer heartbreak. It’s even in the album title; Lykke must have been truly disheartened. It’s a big jump from her debut and sophomore albums, named Youth Novels and Wounded Rhymes respectively, which were more light-hearted and playful. I Never Learn is much more mature, sombre and moving. This is really soulful, and whilst being melancholic there is an underlying glimmer of salvation and hope, demonstrated in songs such as Silverline.

Highlights: No Rest For The Wicked; Just Like A Dream, Silverline, Gunshot


Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence

lana-del-rey-1403216000I didn’t know what to expect of Ultraviolence, yet the lead-up to its release, with West Coast, had me craving it bad. Stylistically, it’s quite unlike Lana’s debut Born To Die, in the sense that it shakes off the hip-hop element and polished glamour in exchange for a more undone, understated and 70’s-inspired tone. Perhaps it’s the production (Ultraviolence was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys) or her recent disillusionment of life; perhaps not ‘recent’ as such – who knows, maybe she’s felt this way for a long time, but I’ve read the seemingly notorious yet insightful The Guardian interview with the singer. You know, the one where she states “I wish I was dead already.”, and that she does’t enjoy her success? It’s difficult to tell whether what she reportedly said in the interview were taken out of context or she truly does feel this way. Maybe she’s content, but it sounds as though some misery has been poured into the album. Ironically, this misery is going on to become a commercial success and make a lot of fans happy.  Ultraviolence is brooding, giving off a casual Californian vibe, documenting cynical aspects such as Money, Power (and), Glory through a dreamy, black and white filter. Despite Lana’s divine, sultry vocals seeming slightly hushed, they very much soar above the slow tempos, soft rock, and bluesy guitars (badly generalised of me) and – which took me by surprise – electric guitar solos! A world away from Born To DieUltraviolence showcases Del Rey’s artistic evolution and prowess in the most exquisite way.

Highlights: Cruel World; Shades of Cool; Brooklyn Baby; West Coast; Sad Girl; Money Power Glory


Over and out, internet x