While Rita Ora is now gracing your TV alongside former Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls she’s also about to be gracing your ears with this Ed Sheeran penned track that will have you up, and dancing in your kitchen from morning to night. This track serves as her first release in two years as her second album was lost in the lawsuit between Ora and former label Roc Nation which was settled last summer.
Halsey’s sophomore album does not disappoint here are my top 5 tracks off Hopeless Fountain Kingdom:
1. 100 Letters
The first song on the album, following only Halsey’s reading of Shakespeare’s Prologue from Romeo and Juliet. This track, I think, sets the tone for the concept of the entire album. “I don’t let him touch me anymore, I said I’m not something to butter up and taste when you get bored.” A message of discovering/empowering oneself outside of a relationship – whether that be romantic or platonic.
2. Devil in Me
“You said I’m too much to handle, you said I shine too bright I burnt the candle, flew too high.” As someone with a pretty deep seated fear of mediocrity and having experienced sort of existing in this state of ‘but she’s so much, she’s too much’ I love this song; I love the idea of that there is this separate being inside that you can turn off and on, and more so I love that by the end we can understand that waking it up is the only way to live.
3. Bad at Love
“I’m bad at love, but you can’t blame me for trying. You know I be lying saying ‘boy you’re the one’ that could finally fix me, looking at my history, I’m bad at love.” #relatableAF
4. Heaven in Hiding
I just think this song is so well done, and I know it reminds me of something else but I can’t put a finger on it. Lyrically it’s stunning “And when you start to look at me, a physical fatality,” musically it’s the perfect road trip song with a driving beat that just grows throughout the track.
5. Eyes Closed
“If I keep my eyes closed he looks just like you, but he’ll never stay – they never do.” The perfect song for your post breakup rebound. Halsey has a magic touch when dissecting her own relationships in this larger than life lens, and somehow making them entirely relatable to someone not living in a dystopian version of Romeo and Juliet.
DL1, English songwriter Dua Lipa’s debut album dropped on June 2 and is on repeat for many pop-lovers the world over. Refinery29 supports her classification as ‘new age pop’ with collaborations on the album from Miguel and Chris Martin the album itself boasts an impressive amount of clout for a burgeoning star.
While many tracks on the album have quickly been added to playlists by both me and my friends this one ‘New Rules’ is the clear fan favorite of our group and my song of the week! Check out all of Dua Lipa’s debut, it’s available across streaming platforms!
When it was announced that Selena Gomez had been an executive producer on a Netflix version of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why I think the world around people were admittedly wary. With such touchy subject matter how would they turn the revered novel into something visual? And then it came out – and we were in awe. It became the Netflix’s most popular show, racking up 3.5 million social volume impressions in the first week following its release. Here’s why that’s important: it’s proof positive that if celebrities are provided with the information to disseminate to their fans we will be establishing an entire generation of socially, politically engaged individuals with actual fact behind their engagement. The fact that the show features powerful messages about mental health and other issues that teens face today means that hopefully, people will be encouraged to talk about their own experiences after talking about the show; and that the stars and in Selena’s case producers, are accessible because of social media makes it that much more powerful – its tangible because of this.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – social media is not the root of all evil; celebrities having an opinion on social issues and politics and expressing them is not cause for telling anyone to shut up and sing – both of these things come together to create a dialogue from which we have a lot to learn. I give Selena mad props for putting herself out there for a project as important as this one. As we learn in Thirteen Reasons Why – everything affects everything.
As a woman you have to explain every single move you make. You were assaulted? Well what were you wearing? He hit you? Why didn’t you just leave then? You don’t want children? Won’t you be unfulfilled? You slept with how many people? Don’t you think that’s a little whore-ish? In the music industry they are all the more scrutinized. When Miley Cyrus released Wrecking Ball Sinéad O’Conner took to her personal blog to express her concern, “I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying f*** about you. They’re there for the money … we’re there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control.” To which the embattled pop star responded via social media with a screen grab of O’Conner’s Twitter feed in 2012 where the Irish performer is seeking psychiatric care.
Tanya Rad, of On Air with Ryan Seacrest works with many women and many stars and frequently posts photos with them on her personal Instagram using the hashtag ’empowered women, empower women.’ A mantra I have personally adopted. The music industry, the entertainment industry more accurately, however is a little less progressed. Male artists with large female followings are notoriously written off as some how less than. But why? Why is having me, an educated, young female as a fan a negative? And why is it that I am expected to be a fan of Arianna Grande and Demi Lovato but when I say I know every word to 85% of Eminem’s discography people think I’m kidding. Why is the fact that I host a pop-punk format radio show some how laughable?
As the traditional music industry is collapsing it’s becoming more realistic for women to be able to create and own their ideas, but it’s still a boys club. Women who hang out with artists are groupies while men must be involved in the industry. If I had a dime for every time an assistant, publicist, stylist or make up artist or any other female involved with a male artist’s career, got trashed in the tabloids and on social media as the “new fling” or “rumored girlfriend” I’d be able to pay off my student loans in a snap. While male artists have no privacy, females involved with them and female artists themselves have no self. Halsey has said it a thousand times, critiqued magazines and other interviews for naming the male artists she’s connected to before they name her, the person being interviewed. She becomes the act associated with Twenty One Pilots and Justin Bieber, hanging out with Matty of the 1975 and posing with Michael and Luke from 5 Seconds of Summer, instead of the artist who could, in my opinion, lead the next Riot Grrrl movement.
I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called ‘The Punk Singer.’ The film was all about Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of Bikini Kill a feminist motivated, 90% female, punk band from the time of Hole and Nirvana. Angry, smart females took up arms in the form of music and literature and thus formed the Riot Grrrl movement, fronted by bands like Bikini Kill. In an early zine released from the movement they explained the reasoning behind it “because I believe with my wholeheartmindbody [sic] that girls constitute a revolutionary soul force that can, and will, change the world for real.” And if we taught girls that instead of creating and sometimes encouraging the growing behavior of objectifying yourself before someone else can then girls absolutely would change the world for real.
While male artists joke and are written with ‘devilish grins’ in magazine articles as they divulge the secrets of post show antics with multiple girls a night, Taylor Swift is called a slut for her dating habits. Calum Hood of 5 Seconds of Summer gained infamy and publicity for his band when a snapchat video of him fully exposed, which he’d taken himself, leaked but Jennifer Lawrence and Vanessa Hudgens? They should not have ever taken photos like that and what were they thinking!? We need more Kathleen Hanna’s, we need to stop making women in music second class citizens, my gender has nothing to do with my value as a fan or as an artist. We need to stop allowing the music industry to pimp out female artists only to slut shame them for what they’ve been asked to do. And we need to stop applauding the objectification of women in the media, in the songs we hear on the radio and in the interviews done with our favorite bands. I am a well versed music junkie and if the opportunity presented itself you can bet I would gladly be the name next to Harry Styles’ in the headlines, but I am also smart, and driven, and plan on making my name as known as anyone else’s in this industry and I won’t compromise for that because I am a female. I shouldn’t have to, and we shouldn’t be asking that. Women in this industry, at all levels, in all facets are incredibly smart and strong and talented. There is so much more to talk about with us than bust sizes and who’s slept with who. It’s nearly 2016 and it’s time for a real change.
[Image from The Odyssey Online]
An issue we have seen before rises to the top of our newsfeed’s once again: male authors writing uncomfortably intimate pieces about female celebrities. To be fair, the piece in question currently – Selena Gomez on Instagram Fatigue, Good Mental Health and Stepping Back from the Limelight in April’s Vogue, is mostly reasonable. However, the authors “protectiveness” over the star’s “doll-like” looks and “tiny waist.” While this is incredibly tame by all standards, as the Guardian points out in Why Do So Many Male Journalists Think Female Stars are Flirting with Them? “But I think my favourite was US Esquire on Scarlett Johansson: ‘I didn’t look at her ass,’ the male journalist informs us. ‘I don’t know that she wanted me to. Probably not. Surely not. In any case, I didn’t.’ Of course she wanted you to, you fool! It is every woman’s fantasy to be ogled by a tragic male journalist while she tries to do her job.”
The author of the Guardian article goes on to offer examples of female reporters with equally sexualized stars to interview who do not end their articles basically fantasizing about sleeping with the interviewee. Why is this the norm? Why is this a “Perennial issue?” Why is it that when you reach a certain (any) level of fame you no longer become a person and instead become a tiny, fragile, doll for strange men to feel urges of protectiveness over? Selena Gomez dated Bieber through a media firestorm, battles Lupus, has been in and out of rehab dealing with depression and anxiety, she lives in a world where everyone thinks they know her – where they can leave a million comments about her weight, her stability, her weakness – and she thrives. That is not weakness. That is not fragility. Let’s start writing about these artists as they represent themselves – not as your masculinity and sexualized fantasy represents them.
In two classes; one based on how music and politics intersect, the other delving deep into the Beatles and the music of the 1960’s, it is increasingly difficult to ignore the importance and the impact of protest music. Rolling Stone, of course, provides the list of the 10 best protest songs of all time: