Finally, I’ve got around to writing about my August favorites. Last month flew by and September feels like its passing in a flash. I think when you get older time seems to go by faster. I can’t imagine how it will feel 10 years from now. Anyways, August was a great month for musical discoveries! I found out that Kpop has more than your generic bubble gum hysteria and there is actually a wealth of R&B, slow pop, and general awesomeness. I also read a fantastic book and saw one of the best movies in a very long time. Stick around to read more!
IU is a kpop singer that goes beyond the term “kpop.” Unlike many of the female singing groups in Korea, IU’s sound feels less commercialized and more raw and honest. Her voice has a very calming effect due to the purity and emotion in her tone. Her latest single, Knee with just an acoustic guitar and her voice makes you feel at ease like a light summer breeze. I also appreciate that she writes many of her own songs. Knee is IU’s most current single but if you’d like to check out more I recommend Friday which is a bit more upbeat, or My Old Story. IU’s music feels very simple yet complex. Just like her voice, IU’s lyrics are beautifully poetic in its simplicity.
Zion.T is absolutely one of my favorite new artists. He is straight-up R&B. His voice is so smooth and each of his songs is recognizable by his subtle groove and effortlessness. I love his latest single, which is currently blowing up in Korea called Yanghwa BRDG. I love this song for so many reasons. The subject matter is so basic yet profound. He sings about his Father who was a taxi driver on Yanghwa Bridge. As he calls him, he asks where he is and his father always names the same bridge. He then goes on to sing about how he is now on that bridge and is now the breadwinner of his family. The chorus is just a repetition of “Let’s be happy and not get sick.” It’s a beautiful song about family and simple wishes. You don’t get a lot of music like that nowadays. If you’d like to listen to more of his wonderful music check out Eat, with another simple message-“Have you eaten? Take care of yourself. I love you.” In a nutshell.
JoJo is back! If you don’t recognize her now, you’ve probably heard of her first single from many years ago called Leave (Get Out) or Too Little Too Late. Sadly, she was on hiatus for many years due to record deal problems and ownership. But now she is back and her voice is ever more amazing. She sounds like a truly mature R&B and soul singer with pipes for miles. Just last week she released Tringle which is basically three new singles. My favorite is Say Love, which she sings with so much power and emotion it will blow you away. JoJo is definitely an artist to watch before her music explodes onto the scene once again.
If you love psychological books with a thrill, you must read Brain on Fire by Susanna Cahalan. This book is a memoir of her month long spiral into insanity. It centers on Susannah, an intelligent news reporter who suddenly gets bursts of paranoia, delusions of grandeur, and terrifying seizures. Doctors, therapists, coworkers, and family have no idea what is happening to the once talkative, perfectly level-headed woman they know. This book is a rapid page-turner. I had to slow myself down so that I could savor the pages rather than finish it all in one day. Don’t be afraid if you’re not a medical aficionado. I suck at science but its so much more than a book about medical discovery. It portrays the real relationships that can suffer heart break because of mental illness and disease. It has themes of searching for identity when you feel like yourself is no longer present. This memoir illuminates the perseverance and humanity that comes through hope and a diagnosis. If you’re looking for something to read in September, I highly recommend this book!
Whiplash is truly an extraordinary movie. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in many years. The acting by Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons is superb. The movie centers on Andrew, the drum student with dreams to be one of the greats, and Fletcher, the jazz band director who is every scary conductor you’ve seen times a million. He literally throws chairs at people’s heads for being off beat, and kicks someone out of the band for being out of tune. The dynamic between Andrew and Fletcher is what captivates you. How hard a teacher can push, how much a student can desire to be approved of. The ending is also mind blowingly satisfying. But be careful! Once you watch this movie you’ll probably feel like you haven’t tried at anything in your entire life! It’ll make you want to work harder at something-but maybe not to the point where your hands bleed like in the movie. Give Whiplash a watch! It’ll be entirely worth it.
Those were my August favorites. I wasn’t too impressed by any stores or their Fall line-ups to include a style section this time around. I’ve been trying to get more into fashion posts but have been at a style road block lately. If you have any recommendations please comment below! Also, if you have any book, movie, or music recommendations feel free to comment. Talk to you guys next week!