Sunday, July 7

Hi everybody, hope you’re all doing really well and staying safe. I haven’t had any time to sit down and write because I’ve been at Nathaniel’s house for about a week, and that’s been keeping me busy. We’ve been occupying our time with movies and summer drives, and I’ve also been hanging out with his family a lot while he’s at work. Today he’s working 11-7:30, so I’m curled up on his bed with his jacket draped around my shoulders, trying to finally get some work done.

The other reason my projects have sort of halted this week is because of all the civil unrest in my country this week. It feels wrong to be blogging and writing about my happy little life when so many other people are suffering and dying. I’ve donated some money and signed petitions for BLM, but I still wish I could do more. Admittedly, I wouldn’t feel safe going to a protest in Boston, so I’m trying to help in other ways. I think it’s important for all of us to do our very best to be kind and proactive in times like these, no matter how big or small your effort is. Even just educating the people in your life who have ignorant or prejudiced views can make a huge difference.

George Floyd protests in Boston: 'This time is different'
PC: Boston Herald

Anyway, I’m just finishing up my coffee, and now I’m going to get some writing done for this upcoming week. I know this sounds crazy, but I feel propelled to start another website. Maybe Nathaniel and I can start our own music exclusive blog, since we both love to analyze music and write about it. As many of you know, he’s a huge fan of the Grateful Dead, and I’ve been dying for him to write an article about them for a while. I’m also going to prepare some interview questions for a very, very special article I have coming to Analog this month! I can’t wait to tell you guys more. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!


Slowly but surely, we are making our way through all of Regina Spektor’s fantastic studio albums (I believe there’s only two to go after this!) Today, of course, we are tearing apart her most recent album, the 2017 goodie Remember Us to Life. Regina, if you’re reading this, we need a new album pronto!


Per usual, I’m going to go through the album song-by-song and give you all of my unfiltered thoughts on the melody, lyrics, and themes of the pieces. I genuinely love every song Regina has ever put out into the universe, and I’m fascinated by her unique writing style. 

One of my favorite things about Remember Us to Life is the political undertones Regina incorporated into most of the songs. Although she’s done several political pieces in the past, this album in particular really struck a powerful note in me between her analogies to power and the broken corporate beast that is America. She also discusses themes of motherhood, aging, and the general concept of time passing, which I will get into more specifically later in the analysis. 

Track 1: “Bleeding Heart”

“Bleeding Heart” is the leading single of Remember Us to Life, and it’s also one of the only songs which is also accompanied by a music video on the album. It’s a bit more fast-paced than some of her usual pieces, and subsequently, I often find the melody is stuck in my head. My interpretation of the lyrics is that Regina is reflecting on her childhood and adolescence, and the feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem that come with that period. She discusses feeling like an outcast, her outfits being a “crime,” and begins every chorus with “Nevermind your bleeding heart,” perhaps as a way of self-soothing. My favorite part of the song is the bridge, in which Regina recites the following:

How long must I wait till you learn that it’s not too late?

How long must I cry till you know that you really tried?

How long must I try till you learn that dreaming’s hard?

How long must I dream till you heal your bleeding heart?

Never mind your bleeding heart

To me, this is about Regina talking to her ‘younger self,’ and wishing she had the opportunity to go back and share some of her future wisdom. The themes do resonate with me enormously, especially since my own emergence into adolescence was vulnerable and painful. Additionally, the music video is filled with photographs and video clips of Regina when she was a young girl, and ends with an old clip of Regina playing her piano at a talent show/recital. It’s a bittersweet song, and a beautiful introduction into the rest of the album. 

Track 2: “Older and Taller” 

“Older and Taller” is another faster-paced, cheerful melody, but this song unfortunately does not have a music video like “Bleeding Heart.” The first couple times I listened to the album, I specifically remember this track being my absolute favorite. There’s something about the strings and the guitar that sounds reminiscent of her older work, and in that sense, the song struck me as so sweet and nostalgic. Similarly to “Bleeding Heart,” I believe that this song is an ode to youth and the yearning one feels for it as they grow up. In particular, there is one satirical part of the song that really speaks to me: 

‘Enjoy your youth’ sounds like a threat

But I will anyway

In a deeper sense, I believe that the song is also exploring the phenomenon that we think aging will be so glamorous and satisfying, but the reality is, it rarely pans out the way we imagine it will. It’s a beautiful song about finding peace in growing old, and even though I myself am small and youthful, the song means quite a lot to me. 


Track 3: “Grand Hotel” 

“Grand Hotel” is one of those classic storytelling pieces by Regina Spektor, and upon each listen, you discover a deeper meaning or a metaphor you hadn’t realized before. As with several of the other pieces, it has tones of nostalgia and reflects on older times using several dark, beautiful metaphors. One of my favorite things about Regina’s lyrics is how they read like poetry, and “Grand Hotel” is a beautiful example of this:

Under the floorboards there’s a deep well

That leads to a spring that sprung up in hell

That’s where old devils danced and kissed

And made their blood pacts in the ancient myths

And running through forest they screamed in chorus

While piercing fair maidens’ chests with their horns

And then they lay in the grass ’til the dawn came

Sleeping away ’til the dawn came

Lay in the grass where now stands the Grand Hotel

I chose this stanza to transfix on because I love the juxtaposition of the polished hotel description and the words she uses to describe the people of the past- “old devils.” It’s a mischievous exploration of the evil that may lay below the floorboards of the Grand Hotel, haunting the modern world with memories.

Track 4: “Small Bill$” 

“Small Bill$” is another track accompanied by a music video, and to date, it’s probably one of my all-time favorite Regina Spektor videos (behind “Ne Me Quitte Pas” and “Fidelity”.) It’s a bit more fast-paced and upbeat than some of the other tracks on the album, and the piano is not as prevalent as it is in her other songs. I consider Remember Us To Life to be a relatively politically charged album, and this song in particular really criticizes advertising and capitalism. She warns that our current economic climate could lead to fates such as poverty, hunger, and class consciousness, such as with the Russian Revolution. It’s always a learning lesson for us listeners when Regina spits out her Soviet-remnisent tracks, and the visuals of the music video really add to the entire aesthetic.


Track 5: “Black and White”

“Black and White” is a beautiful, ballad-y track which once again uses juxtaposition to tell a story within the lyrics. Usually, when we hear someone say that something is “black and white,” it translates into something being crystal clear and easy to understand. However, Regina’s lyrics seem to suggest that things are left unfinished or complicated. The song discusses themes such as love and heartbreak, and how, just like a black and white photograph, love can feel antique and ‘out of time.’ Alternatively, her lyrics can be interpreted as a reflection on how little photographs are able to actually capture the full spectrum of emotion that is attached to memory. It’s slow and beautiful, and certainly sad, but I truly think it’s one of the most underrated songs on the album. 

Track 6: “The Light”

This particular track holds a very special place in my heart, as it is nothing short as a tender, loving ode to her husband and her newborn baby. Throughout the song, which primarily relies on the piano, Regina sings about her memories of the past and the curiosities she has for the future, and particularly, how her past decisions have shaped her into the woman she is today. The song does feel a bit melancholy at times, particularly when she’s singing about the unfamiliar grounds of motherhood and the depression which comes with it, but there are also uplifting lines. In particular, this one is my favorite:

So many stories, I want to tell you

I wish that I could show you the many things I’ve seen

You and your daddy, you both look like poets

Your eyes are open wide while you are in a dream

For me, this stanza represents how motherhood has affected her view of herself, and even her view of her own music. It’s truly a gift to watch your little baby grow and develop into his or her own independent person, and begin to see the world through their own little eyes. And yes, Regina’s husband, Jack Dishel of Only Son, really does have that poet look to him.

Track 7: “The Trapper and The Furrier”

Now that we’ve had that brief sentimental interlude, it’s time to jump back into something politically motivated. After listening to the song a few times, I came to the conclusion that it is about the unfair social structures and injustices throughout the world, but particularly in the United States. Throughout the song, she tells three stories: the tale of the trapper and the furrier, the owner and the manager, and lastly, the lawyer and the pharmacist. Unlike the softer songs on the album, this track is accompanied by howling strings and intense vocals, which really add to the menacing overtones of the lyrics:

The lawyer and the pharmacist went walking through paradise

And all the sick were around them with fevers unbreaking

Crying and bleeding and coughing and shaking

And arms outstretched, prescription-collecting

The lawyer and the pharmacist went walking through paradise

Pressed suits in a courtroom, aroma of chloroform

And they smiled at the judge, disposition so sunny

Cause they didn’t have the cure but sure needed the money

I don’t think it’s a secret at all that this song is about the greediness of corporations and the lack of care which goes into patients who actually need support. I would have loved to have seen a music video for this track; I think intense visuals would have really complemented the hard-hitting nature of the song, similarly to how “Small Bill$” tells such a vibrant story of capitalism. 

Track 8: “Tornadoland”

I love so many of Regina’s instrumentals, but the instrumental for “Tornadoland” might be my favorite off the entire album. Actually, that’s a lie. “Obsolete” is my favorite instrumental, but “Tornadoland” is a close second. Unlike many of Regina’s metaphorical, abstract songs, I think Tornadoland is pretty straightforward and literal. To me, it sounds like she is singing from the perspective of being inside of a tornado, or even being a tornado, and the song comes and goes without even so much as an intro. She sings about wanting to be heard and wanting to be “louder than the storm,” and the tornado is a reminder that we, as individuals, are insignificant. My favorite thing about the song, however, is the melodic interlude of swirling sounds and flutes, as if a tornado is actually spiralling through the middle of the piece.

Track 9: “Obsolete” 

This is my absolute favorite song on the album, and maybe my favorite Spektor song of all time. If it’s not my #1 favorite, it’s at least in the top three. The song is quite long and slow in tempo, and she drags out the words in a way that sounds both hopeful and dismal. I believe the song, similarly to Tornadoland, is about feeling insignificant and perhaps even left behind by life as time passes you by. I think the other reason I love this song so much is because it analyzes the feeling of not being understood, which is a sensation I have grown up with and hold close to me:

Minds grow dark, so suddenly

I was lost on your street

Hey I’m talking to myself

I can hear you listening in

To my thoughts, to my dreams

What I want, can’t compete


The most beautiful portion of the song comes towards the end, when her voice unexpectedly rises like a wave and the ethereal backing vocals increase as well, adding to the overall feeling of desperation and pain. It gives me goosebumps every time, and I could probably listen to this song on repeat forever. As quoted by Regina, there can sometimes be beauty found within sadness:

“Sometimes when I feel happy, for whatever reason, it just feels very good to listen to sad songs. I feel very comforted by beauty, especially when it overwhelms you with all its colours and sounds.”

Regina Spektor tickles the ivories and tugs at the heartstrings ...

Track 10: “Sellers of Flowers” 

Every single Regina song contains beautiful imagery, but this piece in particular reads like sweet poetry for the ears and the mind. In short, however, I think this song is just about death. Winter represents the oncoming and inevitable ending of everything, here to claim the roses that die before the morning. The changing phases of the sun represent how even the happiest, brightest lives will come to the same tragic demise:

Cause winter is coming

Soon after summer

It runs faster, faster

Chasing off Autumn

We go from a warm sun to only a white sun

We go from a large sun to only a small one

It’s really a substantial, meaning-packed song, so I recommend giving it a few listens to really get a handle on the full scope of the song. That is, if you’re into exploring the beautiful but twisted mystery that is life and death. 

Track 11: “The Visit” 

The last official track on Remember Us To Life is “The Visit,” as the next three songs are actually bonus tracks from the deluxe version of the album. “The Visit” is an absolutely lovely and sweetly penned reflection on the dynamic of friendship, and how the passing of time can often weaken our relationships with others. The lyrics are upbeat but melancholy, and discuss Regina’s happiness upon reuniting with someone from her past. It reminds me a bit of one of the bonus tracks, “The One Who Stayed and the One Who Left,” and in fact, I actually mix them up sometimes. I appreciate the hopeful overtone of the song, and as usual, I enjoy following along with the story when I listen to this piece. 

Bonus Track: “New Year” 

For late 2016, I think this track was a pretty timely addition. Not only because the subject is reflecting on her life experiences and the years ahead, but because it comes at a time of turbulence and unrest in the United States after the presidential election of Donald Trump. Even though 2016 was a pretty terrible year for most of us, the song is a reminder to focus on the good this year brought, and that we should (and must) be hopeful for what the next years will bring us:

She sets her alarm five minutes to midnight

And wakes just in time to say her goodbyes

Thanking the old year for all it has brought her

No mention of the things it took away

It’s really a beautiful song and an ode to hope, and even though I’m sure Regina is playing a character in the piece, as usual, it does feel like she herself is wishing the audience a very happy new year. So thank you, Regina! 

Bonus Track: “The One Who Stayed and the One Who Left” 

As I said earlier, I sometimes get this track mixed up with “The Visit,” or, at the very least, I think of it as a continuation or alternative perspective. This song discusses the story of two old friends who meet again after being detached for a long while, and how, even though they did end up going in separate directions, they are satisfied with their decisions to do so. I think detaching and moving in new directions is sometimes coupled with a negative connotation, so I actually appreciate that this song offers a more positive, healthy perspective on the notion of moving on in life, even if it means leaving people behind along the way.

Bonus Track: “End of Thought” 

Last but certainly not least, the fourteen track on Remember Us To Life is a chillingly deep, yet comforting piece about the vastness of our existence and how our problems are essentially meaningless. Upon first listen, the melody is simplistic and maybe not even memorable to most listeners, but once you really notice the words, the song becomes quite powerful. Here’s a particularly beautiful stanza:

You cannot make a mistake

The universe is too big

This song has been particularly comforting to me lately, as I’ve been thinking quite a lot about the vastness and mystery of the universe, and how terrifying that is. However, it’s also such a beautiful thing, knowing that our actions are essentially meaningless in the long run, and we can’t really hurt people as badly as we think we do. If that makes sense.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed reading my analysis. I know it was an absolute monster of a post, but I’m really trying to pour all of my true thoughts and feelings into these album reviews. Remember Us To Life is utterly gorgeous and powerful, and the work Regina put into this album truly shines through to me as a listener. Let me know what you guys thought of the album in the comments!

I’ve loved Regina Spektor for as long as I can remember, and to date, Soviet Kitsch is one of my favorite works she’s ever written. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may also remember my analysis of Far, which is another album by Spektor. The reason I revisit her work so much is because she has resonated with me for years, both in her lyrics and her melodies. I absolutely love her music, and I feel like she hits a chord in me that nobody else understands.

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Her lyrics in particular are often so dark and deeply interpretive, I love tearing them apart and trying to find the meaning. Most of my thoughts in this piece are my personal opinions, but I did do a bit of additional research on each of the songs as well. It’s interesting to see how other people interpret the same songs I’m listening to, as many listeners have varying thoughts and theories. This article is going to be pretty long, so I’m going to split it into two parts. The second half of the album will be out on Friday!

Track 1: “Ode to Divorce”

Like many of Regina Spektor’s songs, “Ode to Divorce” offers satire, bittersweetness, and poetic metaphors. I found it interesting that Regina chose to pair the words “ode” and “divorce” because the two are on polar opposite scales in regards to positive vs. negative experiences. The song offers an intimate look, almost voyeuristic, into the perspective of the woman who is inferred to be going through a divorce. She expresses jealousy, a desire for attention, and any rekindling of past love or belongings, in the following lyrics:

I need your money, it’ll help me

I need your car and I need your love

So won’t you help a brother out?

As someone who has divorced parents, I felt a personal connection to this song. It’s beautiful, simplistic, and captures an unexpected perspective of divorce: glorification.

Track 2: “Poor Little Rich Boy”

“Poor Little Rich Boy” is a tad bit more upbeat in melody and pace, and once again uses an oxymoron in the title. My interpretation of the song is that the “boy” is actually a grown man, struggling to find love despite his wealth. She talks about him reading Fitzgerald and Hemingway- common among pretentious young people, in my opinion. To me, “Poor Little Rich Boy” is a little story within a song, and I love the way Regina adds a sense of humor to the man’s plight.

Track 3: “Carbon Monoxide”

This is one of the darker songs on the album, as you may have already inferred from the title. My personal interpretation is that the song is about the suicide of Sylvia Plath, who killed herself using the carbon monoxide from her oven in 1963. Regina has a history of taking on the role of famous women in her songs, including Billie Holiday in her song “Lady.” Regina, a poetic lyricist, is well-loved by fans for her ability to turn tragic realities into dreamy, soft-spoken tales. There are also several references to Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy”, particularly in the following lyrics:

Come on, daddy, come on, daddy

This line appears intermittently throughout the song, and may also allude to the death of Plath’s father. Some people also believe the song is about the transition from youth to adulthood, and wanting to rebel against the societal standards of growing up.

Track 4: “The Flowers”

“The Flowers” is another dreamy ode, though this one glorifies a dead relationship. I particularly love the first verse, which reads:

The flowers you gave me are rotting

And still I refuse to throw them away

Some of the bulbs never opened quite fully

They might so I’m waiting and staying awake

The flowers Regina talks about are a metaphor for the relationship- lifeless and decaying. Still, she holds onto what lingers, even if she knows there’s little hope for the future. It’s hard to know if she’s talking about a relationship that ended on bad terms, or if her partner has literally died. Knowing Regina’s recurring themes of darkness, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the latter. From a personal standpoint, I relate to the pining pain one feels for a failed relationship, and that’s one of the reasons I love the song so much. 

Track 5: “Us” 11/23

“Us” is one of the more well-known songs on Soviet Kitsch, and one of my personal favorites. I’ve done a lot of research on the meaning of “Us,” even before I started writing this analysis. Many people, including myself, believe this song to be a direct reference to Soviet Union (and its effect on the people involved). The “statue” that Regina mentions in the beginning of the song is probably a reference to Stalin’s statue, which was placed on the mountaintops to overlook cities. I generally believe the song is about Regina, and Russians in general, expressing the horrific experiences of the USSR. It’s something of a sarcastic chorus to the USSR’s history, shining light on the darkness and corruption blanketed on the nation. 

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Track 6: “Sailor Song” 11/24

“Sailor Song”, to me, is one of the more light-hearted feel-good songs on the album. I do believe that the song is literally about sailors on a ship, affectionately named Mary Anne. And why is she a bitch? Because she’s filled with seamen, of course.

Cause Mary Anne’s a Bitch

Mary Anne’s a bitch

Mary Anne’s a bitch…

In a way, I think the ship is supposed to take the role of a woman, because the Regina talks about the sailors yearning for the girls back home. They are anchor-less, in a sense, trying to fill the void in their hearts with the never-ending abundance of the ocean.

Part two to come on Friday!

Analysis of Far:

At the time of writing this, we’re in the odd transitional period of daylight saving time and my mood is feeling a bit…off. I occasionally go through periods where I’m just in a bit of a funk, and this is just one of those times. And no, the sky getting dark at 4pm is not helping!

Anywho, with that being said, I wanted to write something cheerful today in an effort to lift my spirits. This isn’t my typical how-to post or informational piece, but I thought it would be nice to do something a little light-hearted, especially in the season of being thankful! I hope you guys enjoy.

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Throughout my entire life, I’ve always felt an extremely strong connection to animals. I do consider myself to be an empathetic person, and my warm feelings towards others extent to (almost) every living thing. I say “almost” because I’m not the biggest fan of creepy-crawly bugs. Besides that, though, I’ve always felt an extremely strong sense of respect towards animals. I am fortunate enough to have my sweet family dog, Duke, and I’m looking forward to adopting my own animals once I graduate college and get my own apartment. The first animals I’d like to adopt are fancy rats, then I’d like to rescue cats and possibly birds. Once I move out of the city and (hopefully) start my own farm business, I want to rescue dogs, goats, chickens, and cows. Whenever I ponder my perfect life, I always see tons of animals in the picture. I hope someday I can live a simple life surrounded by my sweet animal friends, from teeny-tiny rats to giant bulls and cows. 

This is partially related to animals, I suppose, but I’ve also always had an extremely strong connection to nature. Being a New England girl, I’ve grown up surrounded by farms, mountains, snowy winters, beaches, you name it. There is so much diversity in New England, I’m grateful that I get to experience it all. It sounds cheesy to say, but I’ve always felt like the flowers and the trees were my friends, especially when I was growing up. I didn’t have a lot of friends, but I did have my imagination and my flowers. To this day, I’m still so fascinated by plants and animals, and I love getting out into nature to take all the beauty in. It’s a really great source of anxiety relief for me.

Like many people, music has always played an enormous part in my life. Not only do I love listening to music, I also love expressing myself through singing. I remember first getting into music in the fourth grade, when my class sang “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks as our elementary school graduation song. That experience alone sparked my passion for singing, and since then, I’ve sung in two a capella groups and taken voice lessons outside of school. I don’t sing much anymore, but it’s still a huge part of my creative identity. And, of course, I love listening to music as well. I love to take walks around campus with my headphones in and pretend I’m in a music video. 

I talk about my mom a lot, but I still don’t think I give her enough credit on here. I feel very fortunate to have an amazing relationship with my mom, and I love her more than anyone else in the world. She’s been through some really tough things that could have knocked her down, but instead, she became stronger than ever and built an amazing life for herself. She’s a maternity nurse, and she’s loved by so many people for the amazing work she does. She’s also very accepting of me as a person, and remains open-minded to the decisions I make for myself. Above all, she takes great care of me. Whenever I’m sick, anxious, sad, or something in-between, I can always count on my amazing mom to comfort me and help me through adversity.

Lastly (but certainly not least), writing is a substantial form of happiness and peace for me. I write when I’m feeling down, when I’m flying high, when I’m bored, or really anything in-between. I would say I spend between 2-4 hours of my day writing, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Being an introvert who has always struggled to express myself, I cherish having my writing skill as an outlet to communicate with the outside world. It’s a very freeing experience to know I have a talent, and it gives me comfort to know I can always rely on my voice to get me through the hard times. 

Anyway, those are the top five things that make me happy, but there are so many more things I’ve left out. I’m planning on publishing the “50 Things That Make Me Happy” tag sometime later in January, so be on the lookout for that! I’ve had a really lovely time writing this, and fills me with gratitude to reflect on all of these beautiful gifts in my life, especially my family.


As some of you have probably noticed, I have a constantly evolving sense of style. Admittedly, I sometimes get annoyed with myself for not being able to “settle” on a style, but at the same time, it’s fun to be something of a fashion chameleon. In the past three years, I’ve done everything from pinup and über girly-girl, to hardcore goth/rockabilly. As of right now, my summer style consists mainly of “edgy” colorful pieces, and some traditionally masucline touches. Per usual, this is most likely to change and evolve over time, so I’m just going to roll with it. Lately, however, I have been reflecting nostalgically on my 40s-50s phase. Maybe that will make a comeback in the future!  

It’s important that I gave you that backstory, because all of the women I’m going to mention are extremely diverse in their fashion styles. However, at one point in time, each and every one of them inspired by fashion/makeup choices.

Drac Makens | Artist/Content Creator | @drac_makens

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In the emergence of my mid teens, Drac Makens was one of the earliest content creators to have an influence on my personal style. To this day, I actually still reference her bright, beautiful makeup looks in my day-to-day life, and continue to be fascinated by her. I’ve always admired people who are creative, avant-garde, and unapologetically themselves, and Bianca is a perfect example of that. I also really enjoy that she gives “goth” an unusually vibrant twist- typically as a nod to her Mexican heritage. I also admire Bianca for having a humble, soft-spoken attitude, and for very clearly being a kind-hearted person. If you’re interested in checking out more of her makeup looks, she has an Instagram account and a YouTube channel, though she rarely posts on the latter. She also has an instagram for her art creations, called @drac_makens_creations. 

Jessica Kellgren-Fozard | Content Creator | @jessicaoutofthecloset

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I unapologetically attribute my love for rockabilly, vintage fashion to this incredible lady, Jessica Kellgren-Fozard. Not only are her clothes posh, adorable, and well put together- she’s also a woman of charisma, bravery, and strength. Also, she’s sublimely funny- pop over to her YouTube page for more of that! Julia is deaf, blind in one eye, and suffers from a handful of other disabilities that affect her memory, nerves, and connective tissue, along with many other things. Despite her disabilities, Jessica remains a shining light of positivity and optimism in the YouTube community, and looks fabulous while she’s doing it. She also makes quite a few videos discussing LGBT+ issues, vintage fashion & hair, and general world issue topics. And, of course, her hair tutorials were very helpful for me during my own vintage beauty phase. I’ve written about Jessica before here, so if you’re interested in reading that, I’ll link it below. 

Anything for Selenas | Makeup Artist | @anythingforselenaaas

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I discovered Selena on Instagram about two years ago, and immediately fell in love with her colorful, clown-inspired, sharp makeup looks and style. She reminds me quite a lot of Drac Makens in regards to her makeup style, so it’s no wonder I’d fall in love with her work as well. I love that Selena pushes the traditional standards of beauty, and always stays true to her aesthetic (especially when applying makeup on clients). Some of my makeup looks I’ve featured on my own Instagram were directly inspired by her, especially the iconic pointy eyebrow ones. I have so much respect for Selena and her creative process, so I was extremely happy when she started a YouTube channel this week for makeup tutorials. She can make even the most complex makeup looks appear simple- something I find helpful as a gal who loves to experiment with makeup. 

Zheani | Musician | @askulloffoxes

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Zheani is one of the more recent public figures to influence my style and makeup choices. With the exception of Jessica, you’ve probably noticed that thus far I enjoy slightly gothic, outlandish aesthetics- especially for my makeup. Zheani is a singer-songwriter, most notable for her incredible diss track against the South African music duo, Die Antwoord. I immediately felt inspired by her dark, baby doll-esque appearance, with a varying touches of punk and fairy mixed throughout her feed. Her music has also been a source of inspiration for me- she dubs it “fairy trap”, it’s nothing short of awesome. Zheani is actually the one who inspired me to get my first set of long, bright acrylic nails a couple months ago, and I’ve been wearing them regularly ever since. 

Julia Zelg | Content Creator/Musician | @juliazelg

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Similarly with Jessica Kellgren-Fozard, I’ve mentioned Julia a lot on my blog in previous articles. Before I even discovered who she was, we already had similar aesthetics in both appearance and music. She, like me, is a fan of colorful hair, ridiculous platform shoes, and elaborate makeup looks. She has only continued to inspire me as the years go on, and some of the outfits I have purchased myself have been directly promoted by her. I showed her a picture of a pair of platform boots I bought from DollsKill at the NYC meet and greet, and she actually told she has the same exact shoes in another color! Along with k.d. Lang, who I’ll get to, I would say Julia Zelg is the current most accurate representation of my personal style.

k.d. Lang | Musician | @kdlang

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As I continue to grow and explore my identity as a lesbian, I was immediately attracted to k.d. Lang when I came across her music. There’s something about her butch, carefree, classy style that I find really attractive, and lately, I’ve been trying to emulate it in myself. I especially love her use of vertical stripes, oversized men’s jackets, and short, wispy hair. I’ve always loved the way short hair looks on me, and having it cut and styled in a traditionally butch way is an extremely liberating way for me to express myself. If you’re interested in checking out k.d.’s music (her earlier work is my favorite), I’ll leave the link to her YouTube channel below.


Jessica Kellgren Fozard article –

Julia Zelg article –


Drac Makens –

Jessica Kellgren Fozard –

Anything for Selenas –

Zheani –

Julia Zelg –

k.d. Lang –


Anything for Selenaaas: pinterest

Zheani: pinterest

Julia Zelg: twitter

Coming up next: My Favorite Vegetarian/Vegan Cookbooks

Let me begin by saying this: sex is fucking great. No complaints here. But are drugs, money, and sex appeal as incredible and life-changing as the Top Billboard songs make them out to be? Nah.

As I expected, I was able to find a ton of research and information about this particular topic, so I’ll leave the links to those pages below. I want to incorporate a lot of my own thoughts and opinions into this article, but these additional findings are interesting!

First and foremost, 92% of all Top Ten Billboard songs are about sex. Sex appeal, arousal, body parts, f*cking bitches, yada yada yada, you get it. You know what DOESN’T make up 92% of my time? All and any of these above. It maybe takes up about 5% of my daily life and thought process. Let’s make a pie chart real quick, just for shits.


I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but I personally spend more time consumed with the overbearing existential dread of life rather than hooking up with babes at the club. So why are songs so obsessed with sex and drugs, you may ask? Because escapism.

When the stress and strife of average life becomes too much to handle, we humans like to seek relief and distraction. For some people, unfortunately, it’s drugs and other extremities, but it doesn’t always have to be negative. I, for example, find a lot of relief and joy in playing The Sims 4. It’s quite literally an escape from reality, and a way for me to distract my mind from the distress of everyday life. In healthy, reasonable amounts, escapism can be okay, and it’s also completely natural human behavior. Sex more or less works the same way, especially in the form of music. Sex is a form of release, euphoria, fantasy, and yes, distraction. As listeners, it’s easy to get attached to these attractive subjects, and find personal connection within them.

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Okay, fair enough. I sure do like using fantasizing as a way to escape from everyday life. But still, ninety-two percent seems a bit extreme. I mean, there’s only so many times I can hear someone sing about how great sex is before it starts to seem redundant. Especially when these songs portray sex as a fix-all to our problems. I’m sorry to break it to you, but if you’re having a shitty week, some good sex isn’t going to change the fact that you’re having a shitty week. It might distract you for a little while (ESCAPISM!), but it’s not going to “fix everything” the way sexual songs can condition us to feel. Like I said, sex is damn fun, but it’s not going to be the solution to every problem, every single time. Sometimes, it is good to look your feelings straight in the eye and just experience them, and accept them.

There is another reason why sex is so popular in music, and this one is actually more scientific-based. I was just checking out an article on this subject by The Atlantic, and I came across an interesting quote by SUNY Albany psychology professor Dawn R. Hobbs. “Approximately 92% of the 174 songs that made it into the [Billboard] Top 10 in 2009 contained reproductive messages”, he says.

So, there you have it. There may be a link between our subconscious biological drive for reproduction and our obsession with sexual songs. It certainly evokes strong emotion in listeners, but could there also be something deeper? Are we psychologically pleased, subconsciously or not, by music that moves us to reproduce? It seems logical to me.

Like I said, there’s a ton of research on this topic, so feel free to do some research yourself. I’ve included some source links below, including another article I published on the topic of escapism. As always, leave your thoughts below!

Sources & stuff to check out!

The Psychology of the Sims (and more on escapism):

Escapism picture:

Coming up next: The Relationship Between ADHD and GAD


If you’re tired of me doing these irrelevant tag posts, fear not! This is the last one I have on the books for a while (and trust me, I have articles planned out until June). My music taste is, admittedly, all over the place, but whose isn’t? Imagine how boring and uncreative it would be to only listen to one specific genre of music.

This particular tag is from another WordPress article, Rattle the Stars. All credit goes to them! Let’s begin.

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Name your top 3 favorite bands.

This is bound to surprise many, but I’m actually a relatively big fan of metal. I think it has something to do with the fact that when I was growing up, my brother was a drummer for a band that performed a lot of heavy rock/metal music. I essentially became conditioned to it, and because of that, I developed a taste for it. Right now, my three favorite bands are Opeth, Ghost, and In Flames.

What is the last song you listened to?

According to Spotify, the last song I listened to was “Sky Could Undress” by Balmorhea. Lately, I’ve been listening to “deep focus” playlists when I get ready in the morning, and this was the last song I listened to before I headed out the door.

What was the first concert you went to?

The first concert I went to was a Kodaline concert on Valentine’s Day with my then-boyfriend in high school. It was very sweet, but admittedly, I never have been a concert person. I haven’t gone to many concerts since.

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If you could spend a day with your favorite singer who would it be?

I feel like it would be AMAZING to spend a day with Regina Spektor, because she’s an extremely intelligent, introspective person. A lot of her songs mean a lot to me personally, and I’d love to have a chance to tell her how much I appreciate her music.

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Are there any songs that you can’t stand hearing?

I have this weird thing with The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Black Eyed Peas. I don’t really care for their music very much, and if I hear it come on, I’ll probably say “I don’t like this” aloud.

If you could have a soundtrack to your life what would it be?

Marina (previously Marina and the Diamonds) could undoubtedly write an amazing soundtrack to my life. I feel like she has had similar plights/life experiences to me, and she would have a beautiful way of putting those feelings/experiences into words.

Can you sing?

Actually, yes! I sang in an a capella group for about seven years.

Your favorite cheesy song?

I have a few “cheesy” songs I like, and by that, I mean songs that came out before 2010. “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer is a bop, “Hey There Delilah” slaps, and “Love Story” by Taylor Swift will always hold a special place in my heart.

What songs do you listen to when you are feeling down?

When I’m feeling down, my go-to song is “Summer in the City” by Regina Spektor. It’s slow-paced and melancholy, but somehow manages to lift my spirits.

First L.P./CD/MP3 you bought?

My grandmother bought me an MP3 player when I was in elementary school, so probably around 2006-2007. I don’t remember the exact model name, but by today’s standards, it would be ancient technology.

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Do you like musicals? If so, which is your favorite?

I don’t LOVE musicals, like some of my friends do, but I generally like them! Rocky Horror Picture Show is probably my all-time favorite, and I’d never turn down the chance to see it live again (I’ve seen it live with a shadow cast twice).

Favorite musical instrument?

I can’t play any musical instruments, but I think the sound of a piano is one of the most beautiful things humanity has discovered.

If you could see anyone in concert who would it be?

It would be AMAZING to see Ghost live. They have a theatrical, interactive persona when they perform live (from what I’ve heard), and I would LOVE to be a part of that.

If you wrote a song what would it be called?

A phrase I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is “growing pains”, but instead of regarding it literally, I apply it to my life in a more philosophical sense. I think we call go through a series of emotional “growing pains”- the growing pains of love, loss, and ultimately, the emotional transition to adulthood. So if I were to write a song about my life experiences, I would definitely call it “Growing Pains.”

That’s pretty much all I have for today! I hope this article was somewhat interesting for you to read, and as always, feel free to drop your own thoughts and opinions in the comments below. I’m always looking for new musical artists to pursue, so if you have any recommendations for me, let me know!

Picture links:

Fearsome Facts: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW [Participation Guide, Part I]

Coming up next: #WCW: Jean Wehner is My Hero

I think it’s fair to say we all have those favorite 2-3 musical artists who really speak to us on a higher level. It’s like they’re reaching into our souls, soaking up our deepest feelings, and then somehow arranging it into beautiful musical poetry to bless our ears with. That’s pretty much exactly how I feel when I listen to Regina Spektor’s music.  

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I’ve written about her music before; more specifically, an in-depth analysis of her 2009 album, Far. I go through phases in which I’ll be totally obsessed with one of her albums for weeks (or months) on end, until one day, I’ll suddenly switch over to another album and obsess over that one for a spell. As of right now, I’m listening along to Begin to Hope for the 284th time, re-hearing the melancholy poetry of her lyrics, getting tied up into the stories she weaves with her piano, leaving me feeling totally numb and emotional and vulnerable. As on any of her albums, some songs are love ballads, some are fictionalized stories and characters, some are perhaps memories of her past. From what I have put together, she rarely discusses the meanings of her songs, which makes them even more mysterious and intimate.

To better understand where Regina’s mature, mellow, and sometimes melancholy tone comes from, it’s important to understand her singular upbringing. Regina Spektor was born in 1980 in Moscow- a time when Russia was still The Soviet Union. Born into a Jewish, very musical family, Regina grew up listening to classical music and teaching herself how to play piano. When Regina Spektor was nine and a half, she and her family immigrated to the United States due to the racial, ethnic, and political discrimination they faced in Russia. She and her family migrated first to Austria, then Italy, and then finally to the Bronx, where they were admitted as refugees with the help of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Regina had sadly been forced to leave her piano behind in Russia, but luckily, she was able to find a new one to practice on in the basement of her synagogue. Although she was originally only interested in classical music, she soon expanded her musical taste to hip-hop, rock, indie, and punk- all musical elements that are still prevalent in her music.

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After touring nationwide as the opening act for The Strokes and releasing two self-published CDs, Regina Spektor broke onto the indie-rock music scene with her third album, Soviet Kitsch. I don’t even know where to begin describing Soviet Kitsch, or even what specifically makes it so amazing, because I truly love everything about the album. The album title, which refers to vacuous aesthetics of Stalinist-style communism, is a perfect mixture of satire and grim nostalgia for Spektor’s upbringing. Each of the eleven tracks on the album tells a different eccentric, somewhat eerie folklore tale, fabricated from Spektor’s imagination and privations. I could never pick a favorite song from the album, but some of the most memorable tracks are “Us”, “Carbon Monoxide”, “Chemo Limo”, and “Ghost of Corporate Future”. Like I said, Regina rarely talks about the meanings of her songs, but the internet has theorized some of their own ideas. “Carbon Monoxide”, to many, is a reference to Sylvia Plath’s turbulent life and subsequent suicide. “Chemo Limo” winds the tale of a woman dying of cancer, trying to cope with the fact that she’s unsure what will happen to her young children after her passing. “Us” has a much happier tone, yet still satirical- it more or less sums up themes of communism and the Soviet’s relationship with Stalin. Clearly, Regina Spektor isn’t one to punch out a dozen ooey-gooey love songs. Her songs are rich and substantial, deep and melancholy; they hit a chord within your soul that you just don’t really feel when you turn on the average pop radio. It’s beautiful, really, the way breaking apart Spektor’s songs is like analyzing a work of classic literature in an attempt to discover the meaning of life.

If I were to write an album-by-album analysis of all Regina’s works, it would probably end up being between 15-20 pages, so I’ll spare you that (for now). That being said, I do highly recommend that all of you do your own independent research and listening- you might pick up on themes and messages that nobody else has! I feel like with artists like Regina, everyone has a very intimate and unique relationship with her songs and their meanings.

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As an introspective, feely soul myself, I’ve found a lot of solace and comfort in Regina’s music. She speaks to everyone who’s ever felt misunderstood, emotionally lost, or a misfit of society in the midst of all the fake glitz around us. Regina Spektor is authentically and beautifully a real, raw person, and I’m so excited so see what she has next in store for us.

Regina Spektor on Youtube:

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It’s not always common to find a YouTuber that makes you feel like a close friend. Even the most popular and beloved YouTubers can come across as selfish and self-glorified, which I mostly attribute to increased fame and exposure. Julia Zelg, however, is an example of the opposite. As her channel has grown and rather quickly flourished over this year, Julia as actually become more thankful and appreciative to her subscribers as her numbers have risen. If you watched her silver play button gratitude video, you’d know why: as an immigrant from Brazil who started in London with virtually nothing, Julia has worked incredibly hard to build this life for herself. She is not only a remarkable role model for other young people, but also a genuine success story of why you should never give up on your dreams. So who is she?

There are a few different reasons you may be familiar with Julia’s channel. For one, she’s a uniquely talented musician who has uploaded several music videos for her singles on YouTube. These videos of her seem to garnish the most views, along with videos involving her current girlfriend and past relationships. Julia very open about the large age-gaps in her lesbian relationships, which has unfortunately become a breeding ground for hate in the comment sections. Nonetheless, her loyal subscribers and those who actually take the time to get to know Julia are always on hand to step up for her, including me. It’s truly a shame that some people feel the need to go on the internet and shit all over lifestyles that may differ from their own, but Julia and her fiancée, Eileen, handle the criticism extremely maturely. Admittedly, I was one of the people who initially found myself surprised and a little off-put the first time I watched a video of Julia and her older girlfriend (at the time, I believe the video I watched was with her ex-girlfriend Maria). However, the more I watched Julia’s channel, explored her music, and generally got to “know” her from YouTube, I immediately changed my mind and even felt guilty for ever having judgments about her lifestyle. Julia’s personality is bright, positive, and easygoing, yet still extremely mature and level-headed. I myself have been in a relationship with a man fourteen years my senior, so I began to emphasize with the criticism Julia faced. Both she and Eileen are both consenting adults (as were me and my ex), and they’re both clearly in love, so why not spread the love as well instead of spewing hate?

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Anyhow, that was a bit of a tangent, but I feel it’s well-intentioned and called for. If you go on ANY of Julia’s viral videos featuring her girlfriend, you’ll see that the comments are filled with mean jokes, hate, and overall ignorance. And, as a fan of Julia’s personality and content, I feel like it’s my duty to shed some positive light on her.

Julia’s channel predominantly consists of personal stories, clothing try-on hauls, music videos, hair tutorials, and vlogs, especially entailing her life as a queer immigrant in London. I find her content to be not only diverse and versatile, but also very honest and eye-opening. She’s happy to talk about the positive aspects of her life, but she also doesn’t shy away from the pain and negativity she has endured. Above all, she comes across as extremely personable, and helps her subscribers feel like they’re part of a close-knit friend group, sharing this journey with her.

One of the most touching moments for me, as I said, was watching her silver play button video. At one point, when Julia cries recalling the poverty and hardships she endured as an immigrant in England, I actually teared up a little as well. Her gratitude and love for her subscribers is so genuine, powerful, and well-received.

As a fellow queer woman, I found a lot of peace and empathy in Julia’s music. Her newest release, “Judge Me”, is a powerful lesbian anthem about learning to love yourself and standing by who you are. Although our culture is gradually shifting to become more progressive, I still feel that queer artists are an underrepresented demographic. If you are a young person who also struggles with sexual identity and self-esteem, I’m sure you will be able to find solace in Julia’s lyrics.

Beauty, fashion, and lifestyle are a huge part of Julia’s channel, but ultimately, her voice extends far beyond just that. She is a voice for confident women, for the LGBT+ community, and essentially anyone who has struggled with their confidence. I’ve found a lot of happiness from what Julia has taught me through her content, and I hope you will too.

Julia’s channel:

All pictures are taken directly from Julia’s Channel.

Coming up next: Fashion History Friday: What Is A “Dandy?”

This probably isn’t the most exciting article I’ve ever shared, but I absolutely love reading my Spotify Rewind at the end of every year. Essentially, Spotify will compile all of your top-listened to songs, genres, artists, and total listening minutes into a dandy little presentation for you to watch. I feel like a person’s taste in music is an excellent indication of their personality, so hopefully my Spotify Rewind will be a great way for you to get to know me!

The first song I listened to in 2018 was “Love You When I’m Drunk” by MIKA, and the first artist I discovered was The Crests. They’re still a big favorite of mine!

I spent 17,615 minutes of my life listening to music!

My top artist if the year was Regina Spektor, with whom I spent 78 hours listening to music. If you’re interested in reading my review of her fifth studio album, Far, I’ll include the link to that at the bottom of the page.

My top artists of 2018 were Regina Spektor, Johnny Maestro & The Crests, Enya, and Keane. My top songs, all by Spektor, were “Dance Anthem of the 80s,” “Genius Next Door,” “Better,” “Lady,” and “Laughing With.” Needless to say, my favorite genre of 2018 was folk-pop. I also listened to more Capricorn artists than any other star sign.

My Top 100 Songs of 2018! Fair warning, my music taste is painfully all over the place.

“Dance Anthem of the 80s”, Regina Spektor

“Feels”, Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean

“Gangsta’s Paradise”, Coolio, L.V.

“These Heaux”, Bhad Bhabie

“Doki Doki Literature Club!”, Doki Doki Literature Club!

“Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”, U2

“Back to You”, Louis Tomlinson, Bebe Rexha

“Bend & Break”, Keane

“Castle on the Hill”, Ed Sheeran

“The Way You Move”, Sam Padrul, Chuck New

“Genius Next Door”, Regina Spektor

“Kiss Me”, Sixpence None The Richer

“Für Hildegard von Bingen”, Devendra Banhart

“Storms in Africa”, Enya

“A Sky Full of Stars”, Coldplay

“Karma Chameleon”, Culture Club

“Love to My Cobain”, Jeffree Star

“8TEEN”, Khalid

“Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage”, Morrissey

“Trouble In Paradise”, Johnny Maestro & The Crests

“Europe’s Skies”, Alexander Rybak

“Lady”, Regina Spektor

“The Spirit Of Radio”, Rush

“All This And Heaven Too”, Florence + The Machine

“Wait a Minute!”, Willow

“Somebody To Love”, Anne Hathaway, Ella Enchanted

“Shambala”, Three Dog Night

“The Gravel Road”, The Village

“La marcheuse”, Christine and the Queens

“Jealous”, Labrinth

“Heaven Is A Place On Earth”, Belinda Carlisle

“My Prayer”, The Platters

“Better”, Regina Spektor

“Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”, The Smiths

“I’ll Fly with You”, Gigi D’Agostino

“Nobody But Me”, The Human Beinz

“Father and Daughter”, Paul Simon


“Je t’aime moi non plus”, Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin

“Pretty Wings”, Maxwell

“Fastlove, Pt. 1”, George Michael

“You’re Beautiful”, James Blunt

“Caribbean Blue”, Enya

“Machine”, Regina Spektor

“Sovereign Light Café”, Keane

“I Melt With You”, Modern English

“Georgia”, Vance Joy

“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)”, Kate Bush

“Uptown Girl”, Billy Joel

“It’s My Life”, No Doubt

“The Tide Is High”, Blondie

“If U Seek Amy”, Britney Spears

“Africa”, Toto

“Only If For A Night”, Florence + The Machine

“On The Radio”, Regina Spektor

“This Is The Last Time”, Keane

“When the Stars Go Blue”, The Corrs, Bono

“The Way You Look Tonight”, Johnny Maestro & The Crests

“For A Minute There”, Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou

“Fuck Me Pumps”, Amy Winehouse

“Prom Night”, Jeffree Star

“Those We Don’t Speak Of”, The Village

“Jenny”, Studio Killers

“Can’t Help Falling in Love”, Elvis Presley

“Working Man”, Rush

“On Melancholy Hill”, Gorillaz

“Somewhere Only We Know”, Keane

“Sailor Song”, Regina Spektor

“Gnossiennes: Gnossienne No.1”, Erik Satie, Pascal Rogé

“Where Is My Mind”, Maxence Cyrin

“No Air”, Jordin Sparks, Chris Brown

“You Changed Me”, Sean Nicholas Savage

“Deepthroat”, cupcakKe

“Ode to the Bouncer”, Studio Killers

“You’ll Be In My Heart”, Phil Collins

“I Love You This Big”, Scotty McCreery

“King”, Years & Years

“Planet Hot Dog”, The Rocky Horror Picture Show

“Chemo Limo”, Regina Spektor

“Alive”, Sia

“Upward Over the Mountain”, Iron & Wine

“Notion”, Tash Sultana

“Celeste”, Ezra Vine

“I Am Not a Robot”, Regina Spektor

“Sexing You”, Serebro

“Too Close”, Next

“Time Lapse”, Michael Nyman

“Smaointe”, Enya

“Fade Into You”, Mazzy Star

“Ghost Of Corporate Future”, Regina Spektor

“Never Seen Such Good Things”, Devendra Banhart

“The King And All Of His Men”, Wolf Gang

“Rock Your Body”, Justin Timberlake

“As Tears Go By”, Marianne Faithfull

“We Are All Made Of Stars”, Moby

“The Teacher”, Xumantra

“Good Life”, OneRepublic

“City Grrrl”, CSS, Ssion

“Chandelier”, Sia

My review/analysis of Far:

Coming up next: A Voice of the Times: My Favorite Lesbian Icon, Julia Zelg