If My Favorite Lush Products Were Songs…

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, it’s probably easy to tell that I have three passions in life: Music, writing, and Lush! While I combine music and writing or writing and Lush in many of my posts, I’ve never found a way to put music and Lush together—until now!

I selected ten of my favorite Lush products and matched them to a song that I feel best fits their vibe. I hope my personal sonic experiences help define each product better than I can with words alone!

Honey I Washed My Hair Shampoo Bar

Honey I Washed My Hair
[All images via Lush’s official website–I hold no claim on any of them]

Superposition by Young the Giant

The sweet positivity of “Superposition’s” instrumentals makes it the perfect track to go along with this shampoo bar! Easy to like and gently softening, Honey I Washed My Hair’s sweetness is similar to the breathy phrasing of the track’s lyrics and vocalist’s tone.

Jungle Conditioner Bar

Jungle

It Might be Time by Tame Impala

Jungle’s offbeat avocado-banana makeup leaves it with a unique tropical scent, much like Tame Impala’s new track. High-end saturation and twinkling instrumental lines mix with snapping percussion and strangely-placed pauses, leaving the listener with an experience that can’t be had anywhere else.

Rose Bomb Bath Bomb

Image result for rose bomb bath bomb lush

Dream Boy by Beach Bunny

Labelled “gone, not forgotten” on Lush’s website, this beauty hasn’t been around in awhile, but it remains one of the best bath bombs I have ever used! Milky pink water sprinkled with bright yellow rose petals makes for a steady, indie-light bath. “Dream Boy” is sweet and rosy, with just the right amount of fizz and floral to make it the perfect fit for Rose Bomb’s musical counterpart.

Twilight Body Spray

Twilight

Power Over Me by Dermot Kennedy

Deeply enchanting with violet-shaded vocals, “Power Over Me” is a dynamic track with a softness that masks its power. Calm, yet punchy, both the Twilight Body Spray and Dermot Kennedy’s song leave its respective audience with a feeling of peaceful power over their world.

Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub

Rub Rub Rub

Unstoppable by New Politics

Lemony horns and just the right amount of scrub connect Rub Rub Rub and “Unstoppable” like they were meant to fit together. The track’s rub leaves listeners with a raw, exfoliated listening experience, a bit of moisturizing ska to soothe and soften skin here and there. Although they might be a bit too harsh for some, Rub Rub Rub and “Unstoppable” share their popularity and zest with a select audience that loves the freshness of their effects.

Yellow Submarine Bath Bomb

Yellow Submarine

Surf Song by Sean Henry

While the obvious choice of songs for the Yellow Submarine Bath Bomb would be one of The Beatles’ greatest hits, “Surf Song” works better to represent the product in my opinion. Offbeat and slightly awkward, Sean Henry’s track mimics the bath bomb’s slow fizz as it jets around the tub. Propelled by a light pink swirl, the sunny ship and bright, twangy song both feel like they’re meant to be enjoyed in a way that isn’t too serious.

Eyes Right Mascara

Eyes Right

World Away by Tonight Alive

“World Away” reflects the spirit of Lush’s mascara thanks to its confident, smooth vocals and full instrumentals. Building upon itself with every swipe, Eyes Right creates the same layers that are present in Tonight Alive’s aesthetic, particularly in the quiet, insistent power of “World Away.”

Eau Roma Facial Toner

Eau Roma Water

Alrighty Aphrodite by Peach Pit

Balanced and simple, but still interesting and lightly floral, both “Alrighty Aphrodite” and Eau Roma Water tone and tighten as they work. The refreshing spritz of toner water feels much like Peach Pit’s zippy basslines and zingy guitar tones, whereas the track’s vocals add in a lavender warmth just under the rosy surface.

Rentless Solid Perfume

Rentless

Virginia by Active Bird Community

Pine-y guitar riffs and mellow earth tones bring Rentless and “Virginia” into the same category. Just a bit gritty and sweet without being too bright, the perfume’s creamy feel and bold scent reflects Active Bird Community’s carefree vibe perfectly.

Golden Pear Bar Soap

Mr. Brightside by The Killers

Classic and bright, but with deep, bassy undertones, “Mr. Brightside” is the perfect song for  Golden Pear Soap. The cozy familiarity of the track echoes the notes of cardamom and cocoa butter, while its hint of sparkle mirrors the soap’s fruity, glittery overtones.

 

Do you agree with my song selections? Have some combos of your own to share? Leave a comment!

Want more music content? Check out the blog’s official playlist!

 

 

I Trash My Friends’ Favorite Songs!

The definition of “good music” is one of the most subjective out there. So what happens if I gather my friends’ favorite tracks and tell the truth about how I feel about them? Odds are, I’ll end up trashing my friends’ favorite songs! Hopefully it’s as entertaining as I expected when I came up with the idea.

Friend #1: Emily

When asked about her favorite song, Emily’s mind immediately went back to 2011. The classic throwback, “Titanium,” is by David Guetta and features vocal powerhouse, Sia.

To be completely honest, “Titanium” used to be one of my favorites, too. When I hear it come on in a store, I immediately get familiar fuzzies of nostalgia that trace back to middle school and sweet sixteens. For this fact, “Titanium” earns a few points in my book. The obviously well-produced track is catchy and thought-out, albeit not my usual listening in 2019. That being said, Sia’s vocals are smooth and heartfelt, the electronic backing of the track ebbs and flows with tension, and the lyrics themselves are surprisingly inspirational for the genre: “I’m bulletproof nothing to lose / Fire away, fire away / Ricochet, you take your aim / Fire away, fire away / You shoot me down but I won’t fall, I am titanium.”

For the above reasons, I’ll give Titanium 3/5 stars.

Friend #2: Derek

Derek’s pick of “Pirates 2009” by Bullets and Octane confused me at first. The song’s name just sounds like a joke! Once I started listening, I immediately recognizes the catchy verses and chorus: “La da da da di da da da / La da da di da di da…. Its a long way to go / And I don’t know if I will make it / I wanna know if you still love me / Take me far away / Take me far away.” I love the upbeat guitar riffs and the scratchy tone of the vocals. Even though I didn’t remember it by name, “Pirates 2009” was immediately recognizable and a fun listen.

For the above reasons, I’ll give “Pirates 2009” 4/5 stars.

Friend #3: Gail

“Sweet Dreams” by Børns was something I would expect from Gail despite her diverse music taste. That being said, I was still very impressed with it! Its dreamy aesthetic and simple, hazy instrumentals give it a feel similar to From Indian Lakes’ music, which has always been a hit in my book. Its lyrics follow in the track’s bare-bones nature, with repeated verses that were pretty and poetic in nature, but not overly descriptive: “Hearts in the cage, hearts in the cage / You, you flipped the page and slipped away / Never thought that you were / Someone to say things that you didn’t mean / You didn’t even call to wish me sweet dreams / Really thought we made a sweet team / But don’t cry, consider this a lullaby / Sweet dreams.”

For the above reasons, I’ll give “Sweet Dreams” 4/5 stars.

Friend #4: Seren

Seren’s pick was “Bouncin” by Kiana Ledé. Out of all of them, this track was probably the furthest out of my usual musical comfort zone. Still, when listening with an open mind, I was able to pick out things I liked from the song, and I understand why Seren likes it. The track’s rhythms are fun and bouncy, giving it an easy-listening or dance-ability depending on your mood. Kiana’s voice is also light and airy, but has just the right amount of depth to it to make it something I want to listen to. If she took on a genre-bending track that went into a genre that I typically gravitate towards, I wouldn’t hesitate to listen. The lyrics, however, weren’t for me: “I get mad in my feelings (Mad), I go to music recordin’ (Mad) / My wife is the baddest, she not a dime, she a quarter (She bad) / I go get the bag, it’s for my two sons and two daughters (Who) / Bounce it, then back it, and pop that shit with no order (Hey) / I done fell for a bad one (Fell), better than the last one (Yeah).”

For the above reasons, I’ll give “Bouncin'” 2/5 stars.

Friend #5: Mary

When asked about her favorite song, Mary chose “Home” by Machine Gun Kelly, X Ambassadors, and Bebe Rexha as her current favorite. The track is an interesting combination of the three styles of the artists, and it works well. While I’m not typically a Machine Gun Kelly or Bebe Rexha fan, I am fond of the X Ambassadors, and their influence was obvious in the composition of the track as well as a portion of the vocals. The layout of the song worked well, and it didn’t feel crowded despite the variety of artists it featured. The lyrics are welcoming and honestly, heartwarming: “Home / A place where I can go / To take this off my shoulders / Someone take me home / Home /
A place where I can go / To take this off my shoulders / Someone take me home / Someone take me….”

For the above reasons, I’ll give “Home” 3/5 stars.

The good news is that friends can be friends even with differing music tastes! While my taste in music is obviously the best, I love and respect all of my friends who were amazing enough to participate and allow me to trash their favorite songs if I wanted to! That’s truly what friends are for! ❤

My Fall 2019 Music Radar

Obviously, I enjoy the music I write about on my blog. But have you ever wondered what I listen to when I’m not doing reviews? Here’s a little list of what I’ve been listening to lately—you might see some familiar faces!

In no particular order, here’s a shortlist of what has been popping up on my radar this fall….

Boston Manor

Genre: Pop Punk/Punk Rock
Favorite Song: Lead Feet, Laika, or Halo (I just can’t choose!)
Seen in concert?: Hell yes!

Many of you might have already guessed about my Boston Manor obsession from previous posts, but here’s your official confirmation: Boston Manor is currently my favorite band! I love almost every song they’ve put out, which is rare. I’m happy to listen to full albums in order over and over again. In the shower? I’m listening to Boston Manor. Working out? Boston Manor. Cleaning? Boston Manor? Sleeping? Probably dreaming in Boston Manor lyrics. I swear I’m not crazy.

RAGS AND RICHES

Genre: Pop Rock
Favorite Song: Speed of Sound
Seen in concert?: Not yet!

RAGS AND RICHES is a familiar face on my blog! After doing two reviews (here and here) for them and awarding them the #1 spot on my Best EPs of Summer 2019 list, I’ve really gotten to know their sound and style, and I truly do like it! There’s something about their music that’s perfect for a workout, or to get you hyped up for anything from cleaning the kitchen to the big game. Seriously, try it!

Tie Goes to the Runner

Genre: Indie Rock
Favorite Song: Companion
Seen in concert?: Nope, but I have seen their sticker at a local venue!

Another familiar band! After doing their review, I couldn’t tear myself away from their music on my free time. Their sound is exactly what I want out of music: nuanced and subtle, but also unafraid to experiment and be loud. If you like From Indian Lakes, but want something heavier, Tie Goes to the Runner is the discovery of a lifetime.

Holy Vulture

Genre: Heavy Psychedelic Rock
Favorite Song: Too Damn Hot or Honeycomb
Seen in concert?: Yes! That’s where I discovered them.

I saw Holy Vulture play with Vigil Antics over the summer, and I was instantly hooked! Their sound is the perfect ratio of classic to unique, and I love that each band member contributes equally to live performances. Their recorded songs are just as dynamic as their live shows, but I would love to see them play in person again. Come to Vermont!

The Chats

Genre: Pub Punk
Favorite Song: Smoko
Seen in concert?: I wish!

I don’t even know what to say about The Chats. I found them randomly one night, and their song, “Smoko,” made me smile so much that it’s been on repeat ever since. When combined with the music video, I usually laugh so much that I cry. Even with their comical tendencies, The Chats are a respectable group of musicians that I would love to see live. I can only imagine how fun a show like that would be!

Shoe

Genre: According to their Facebook, “Tasmanian Music”
Favorite Song: Egg
Seen in concert?: I probably never will, considering they no longer exist.

Shoe was another band I found by accident and immediately fell in love with. Their music video for “Egg” is so cute that I typically cry (in a good way) while watching it, and the song itself just makes me really happy. Even just the title does it! While the band is unfortunately not currently active, I really hope they get back in action someday. They’re something special!

Sure Sure

Genre: Art Pop
Favorite Song: Hands Up Head Down
Seen in concert?: Yes! They were very good, and also nice enough to sign a few posters for us.

Sure Sure is one of those bands that you don’t feel cool enough to like, but you do anyway. Their chilled-out vibe and quirky aesthetic make live shows a blast, a feeling that creeps in every time I listen to one of their songs, especially “Hands Up Head Down.” If you ever see me chilling with my hands flailing above my head, you know why.

Glass Lungs

Genre: Ambient Rock
Favorite Song: From the Wayside
Seen in concert?: In Burlington, not Long Island, funnily enough!

I discovered Glass Lungs back in high school while doing a music management internship project. I have loved them ever since! Despite their locality, I never managed to make it to a show on Long Island, but I did catch them and another local group, Ü Blue, at a Burlington venue last fall. They rocked just as much as I expected them to!

Palaye Royale

Genre: Art Rock
Favorite Song: Mr. Doctor Man or Warhol
Seen in concert?: I caught a Warped Tour set!

These guys have it all: Style, a great live performance, and something so utterly unique that I can’t help but take a moment to listen. The amount of money I’ve spent on Palaye merch is ridiculous, but I don’t regret a penny of it. If I could pull off their style in my daily wardrobe, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I also love playing their basslines! There’s just something about their vibe that’s irreplaceable.

The Omnific

Genre: Metal
Favorite Song: Sonorous
Seen in concert?: I can only dream…

Can you blame me? I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heard bassists more talented than these two. I was able to learn the first, like, 45 seconds of Sonorous, which is my proudest accomplishment to date. If you’re a bassist, listening to The Omnific should be a requirement. Even if you don’t play an instrument, it still should be, to be honest.

 

Do we listen to any of the same bands? Is there anyone I should add to my list? Comment below!

RAGS AND RICHES are Far From Strangers to this Blog!

Some of my favorite reviews to write are for the blog’s repeat musicians, and RAGS AND RICHES has never even left my radar! The Lexington, Kentucky-based american pop-punk project was formed in 2017, and over the past two years, Tanner and Peyton have worked hard to “[discover] their unique sound, identity, and aesthetic.” The resulting debut single, “Speed of Sound” collected over 650,000 streams on Spotify and over 500,000 views on YouTube less than three months after its February 2019 release.

Their previous release, which I was lucky enough to review, was their debut EP, Arrival, an upbeat, well-produced record that could entice music lovers from various genres, including fans of groups like Boston Manor, Coldplay, Young the Giant, and Broken Field Runner.

Now, the boys are back with a brand new single that manages to step it up even another level! Released on September 20, 2019, the new track, titled “Not a Stranger” continues building the momentum of the band’s career in a way you don’t want to miss out on.

[All images and video courtesy and property of RAGS AND RICHES]

On their social media, RAGS AND RICHES touts the track as a song “for anyone struggling with self doubt.” Their message is that “you are not alone in this fight” and you need to “push through the negative thoughts holding you back” so you can “just learn how to fly.”  This message echoes the love and positive vibes of their last track, and it’s easy to feel the band’s pure connection to these messages in “Not a Stranger,” too.

“Not a Stranger” begins with the intensity listeners have grown to expect from RAGS AND RICHES. Heartbeat-like pounding and buzzing electronic beats lead us into a quieter, melodic instrumental section before the vocals come in. The waves of intensity matched with calm, xylophone-like rhythms and interesting percussion throughout the track create the perfect party song, but also something that’s fun to listen to when working out or just relaxing.

When combined with the accompanying video, which is like something out of Netflix’s The I-Land, the track explodes even more. Well-produced and cinematic, the video tells a story of its own, but still ties into the song in a way that weaves storylines together. It also serves to show off Tanner and Peyton’s unique style and charisma, allowing even those who can’t make it to a live show to experience something close.

Of course, the vocals are also one of the highlights of the track: With smooth, warm tones and an easy energy, the delivery of the lyrics allows for them to shine. Like the brothers mentioned, “Not a Stranger” exhibits a journey of finding yourself, and serves as a reminder for fans to never give up: “Looking at my history / I’m no extraordinaire / Just living close to the straight, the narrow / Missing all the things that I have loved / I have loved, but never known / Caught in the in-between / I’m not a stranger, yet strangely / I’ve not been myself lately / I’m not myself, not myself / I’ve gotta get a grip, gotta get a grip.” As many listeners will experience in the real world, there are times when life will feel fake, or not worth it. The journey of the character in “Not a Stranger” shows that it is always possible to turn things around and make the life you want a reality.

To connect with RAGS AND RICHES, check out their social media or mentions of them in previous posts…

RAGS AND RICHES Has Arrived!
Best EPs of Summer 2019!

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***Like the majority of my reviews, a submission fee was charged for this post.***

Best Singles of Summer 2019!

Curating my “best of” lists has become extremely stressful, but in the best way: There are just too many choices now that my blog has grown so much! As we approach my first blog-aversary in October, I receive more and more submissions that I consider serious contenders for this list, and the decision gets harder. While I can only include my top three singles, please know that if your band/your favorite band wasn’t included, it does NOT mean they lack in any way, it just means that the field is so competitive that only the best of the best (in my opinion) can be considered.

Everything about these songs was analyzed, from the production of the song as a whole to the quality of each instrument and vocal part. Without further ado, these are my top three singles from Summer 2019 submissions from June-August, excluding EPs and albums:

3. “Gay” by Flo Petite

“The music video for “Gay” is a fun and creative way to showcase Flo’s personality and passion for her music. It fits well with the audio aesthetics of the single, which is incredibly catchy and well-produced. Flo’s voice is the star of the show, her wispy soft-edged vocals enhanced by the simple but energetic backing instrumentals. The phrasing of the lyrics is well-suited to Flo’s vocal abilities as well, which brings out their meaning to the fullest: “Lips touching lips / Touching hips / Boy i need to be kissed / A kiss from my mouth to your wrist / If that’s what I miss / Does that make me gay?”

As illustrated in the music video, “Gay” is the perfect song to dance to this June—and every other month to celebrate being who you are with pride!” —“Gay:” A Pride Month Bop by Flo Petite

2. “Congratulations! (So, How Is That Band At the Glitterbox?” by Wax On

“The bouncy, dynamic guitar introduction to the single is accompanied by energetic percussion, which brings us into the vocals with a drum roll. The delivery of the lyrics is one of the most unique elements of the track, with a certain lilt to the vocals that gives the song as a whole a sarcastic, playful feel that matches the lyrics’ sardonic nature: “And he owes you a congratulations / Now that you made it to twenty-one / Twenty-one, twenty-one / In the spring, did the thing / Where a diploma tells the world that you’re smart / All the things you’ll do.” Although the tone of the vocals and the shallow-read of the lyrics themselves paint a caricature of growing up, their message shines through that leaving school and figuring out what to do with your life are far harder tasks than they seem.

The instrumentals of “Congratulations! (So How is that Band at the Glitterbox?)” are just as impressive as the depth to its lyrics. The perfect complement to the aggressive, driving nature to the track, each instrument has its part in creating different moods and aesthetics throughout the song’s 2:30 running time. Even during the quiet sections, trickles of instrumentals flow through, proving that Wax On is one of those bands that just knows how to balance their music.” —So, How is that Band at the Glitterbox?

1. “Tunnelvision” by Marley Wildthing

“Marley’s accent comes through beautifully in her vocals for “Tunnelvision,” giving her already mellifluous voice extra depth. Every note is perfectly-pitched and sweet, blending seamlessly over the backing instrumentals to create a soft, billowing feeling throughout the single. Although Marley’s voice is clearly the star of the show, the instrumentals serve as a comforting backing for her voice to soar above, or sink into the softness. The energy crackling in each note—and the spaces between—are a wonderful creation of the partnership of talented vocals and instrumentals in the sweet spot.

The lyrics, too, show Marley’s thought and dedication towards her music: The shift from the hopelessness shown in “Tunnelvision – I’m incapable / Tunnelvision – To escape this whole / This whole, this whole, this whole world / This whole, this whole, this whole world” to the positivity of “Tunnelvision – I’ll escape this whole / This whole, this whole, this whole world / This whole, this whole, this whole world” proves that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.” —Where the Wildthings Are: A Review of “Tunnelvision”