yellow ostriches have feelings too

insta insta @yellowostrich
insta insta @yellowostrich

A couple weeks ago today, at 9:53pm (give or take), I was  swaying to the tune of “Ghost” by Yellow Ostrich in a sea of Antlers fans. And at 9:55 pm that night, I declared my devoted fandom. I wanted to catapult my body on stage and just jiggy with them, because I was feeling them, man. A few strums in and a couple lyrics out and I was making a sign at the back of the crowd saying, “I ❤ U YELLOW OSTRICH.”

Now their song “Ghost” and I have met once before. ‘Twas a passing meet-and-greet on Songza’s playlist Tar Beach Lullabies, but they still offered a humble & charming wave in between the string of underground indie bands. In hindsight, Yellow Ostrich actually left quite the weighty impression on me – at least enough to strike a chord of nostalgia as soon as frontman Alex Schaaf’s sweet hymns coated the air. Once Michael Tapper’s pointed drums pierced through the words don’t remember your face, I knew I’d inadvertently stumbled upon the song that made a stellar first impression once before. I’m telling you – my fandom was instant.

But as a new fan, I’m not here to talk about the indelible and ardent concert they gave, nor their charming stage presence (which was somewhere in between the “original” variety of hipsters and teenagers jamming in their parents’ garage), and not even the fact that I met Alex Schaaf afterwards and was weirdly starstruck (I hadn’t even heard of the fella before that night and here I was mumbling with big ol’ animated stars in my eyes). First and foremost, I’m here to bring you “Ghost”, because everyone needs to hear this song at least once. Secondly, I’m here to share my feelings on the song because that’s what blogs are for because this is a song that makes me stop speaking, writing, thinking, really functioning whatsoever as a human being for the 3 minutes and 46 seconds it’s playing. It’s hypnosis, stirring my heart round and round in its wake.

At it’s core, I think “Ghost” is a love song, but it doesn’t follow the rules of Love Song Writing 101 (and that’s precisely why I love it). There’s no “I want you back” or “take me back” or “I regret this, I regret that.” It’s a love song lamenting the difficulty, and ultimately the impossibility, of forgetting an ex-lover; the thousands of blinking memories playing themselves over and over in someone’s head act as constant reminders. And not the memories one would expect to remember, either. They’re not from a high school dance, or a fancy dinner out, or a big meet n’ greet between friends and family, or any “milestones” in the relationship. They’re memories of a pair of hands sneaking around your waist, or how you felt following in their footsteps on a sunny, ordinary walk to the grocery store, or the tickle of their eyelashes on your collarbone. “Ghost” depicts the intimacy between two lovers as a result of knowing that person better than anyone else, and how the memories forged into your mind reflect that familiarity. In conclusion, this means that a part of that person, no matter how small, will always impose some sense of influence on your life’s direction (and I can’t decide whether this is heartbreaking, uplifting, or merely touching).

Consider the line, “I remember the way you move, the taste of you and your eyes – green or are they blue?”

I ache at these words. These are the words that leave me still, contemplative in the very definition of intimacy that society imposes on us. Instead of painting intimacy in a blinding light of sexuality, we’re introduced to an alternative “taste” of it: the taste of someone’s eyes. See, eyes are inherently intimate already. Relationships have been made and broken by certain looks. One pair of locked eyes can be enough to ignite an electric connection, while other times a fleeting glance can be taken to betray someone’s words and reflect their true thoughts & feelings instead. They carry the nuances of someone’s personality, and deliver the punchline to a joke on their own. In time, eyes become more than the staple of that first pick-up line. They become your support system, and they share whole stories in seconds. The “taste of someone’s eyes” shows just how intimately two people know one another; it shows that you know the true quality of someone. You crave them not because of their physical attributes, like their “dreamy ocean-blue eyes”, but because of the quality of their soul. Everyone can know the colour of someone’s eyes. One glance at a driver’s ID will tell you that. But when you look into a lover’s eyes, you get the taste of who they really are. You get whole stories back. You get their fears and ambitions and clever observations back. You get their soul looking back at you – fearlessly and trustingly.

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But then, after a breakup, those eyes and all that they can reveal become nearly cruel. Because you’ll still get stories looking back at you, but you have to pretend you don’t. Small talk trumps opening up because, maybe, it’s too hard to dabble on that side of the relationship again. Maybe it’s all or nothing. But here they are, back to strangers. Back to small talk. In fact, come to think of it, this song reminds me of a quote I heard a bit ago.

Strangers, friends, best friends, lovers, strangers.

To see the cycle of broken relationships in this sordidly simple way is devastating. I’m sitting happily in the fourth stage (and I do feel blessed), having never experienced a breakup. I can only use lyrics, poems, stories, eavesdropped lines while waiting for coffee as my way of experiencing mere fragments of what others have felt. And perhaps this is why “Ghost” tugs at so many heart strings that haven’t ever been plucked before.

“I’m so tired of you, I can see the way the clouds move. I’m so tired of you, I can see the way your legs move. I’m so tired of you, but I’ve got no one else to talk to.”

The words manage to invoke a sense of hollow weariness inside me; I can imagine the emptiness of a heart that once felt it belonged to two. The exhaustion of seeing memories of an ex-lover continuously coming into your life, unannounced, seeking to fulfill the imprint they once left on your mind. And see, I don’t think you could ever be “one” again – not with someone’s memories and thoughts and taste so tirelessly infiltrating into your mind. Yet, you cannot be two either; the other half of them are broken fragments that haven’t been swept away. There will always be a few left in your mind – to poke you, to hurt you, to reflect certain things when you least expect it.

I imagine a break up to feel like this: a vase of flowers that has been broken. Once upon a time, it was a thing of beauty. Friends, loved ones, even a couple of strangers on occasion would remark how beautiful the flowers look together, how naturally they fall into one another, how they’ve lasted so long. But as life gets busy (isn’t that what they always say?), the flowers are no longer as lovingly nourished as they once were. The radiant colour is no longer exceptional – it doesn’t stop them in their tracks. They pick at the wilted petals, deplore the delicate nurture it requires, yet put off throwing out the whole batch together (they have a few more days in them, don’t they?). But this leads to murky waters. Friends and loved ones remark how it’s time for it to go; after all, it pains them just as much. Finally, the wilted, deprecated bouquet is thrown out altogether. But what is there to see now? Filthy waters? The vase is stained anyways. A favourite vase. The only vase.

You wipe it off the table immediately, propelling shards of glass into every corner of the room. That felt good, didn’t it? But where do you think those shards of glass fell if not for under the table, behind the curtains, lingering underneath the rug? Even with a thorough sweep, there will always be that bittersweet reminder of bygone beauty.

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***

I may have gotten away with myself during that last analogy. I just ran with it. To be completely honest, writing about this makes me so weary. Genuinely, it leaves me mentally exhausted. I find myself so quiet after, my thoughts a little tinged with melancholy even though I am so madly and deeply in love right now. I’d say this weariness is justified though; the mindset is not a happy place. And then again, “Ghost” is not a happy song. There’s no conclusion of acceptance in moving onto another stage in life. The only conclusion I can come to is that ex-lovers permeate through your mind long after they’re gone. This young man, or whoever Alex Schaaf is imagining as the narrator (himself?), is deep in the throngs of desolation not because of the breakup, but because of the realization that so much of that person will never leave him. It’s a whole other type of grieving, and one that I’ve certainly never contemplated. The imprint of those who have touched you, and just how profound that imprint is.

*m

p.s. I’m thinking now perhaps I should write a follow-up song. I can be the one to write in acceptance for this grief. Remember, to be madly in love is a blessed, beautiful thing, but make sure you are always just as kind to yourself, and look into your own eyes with just as much love. You deserve that, more than anyone.

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Dainty Tingz

A collection of daintiness for your dainty eyes (can eyes be dainty? you tell me). 
Because I’m in exam crunch mode, I am lazy. Because lazy people don’t credit, there are no credits. Because I procrastinate, I have a tumblr. All photos from my tumblr, but are most definitely not my own. If you really want me to track one photo down for ya, shoot me an email or comment. Please congratulate me on my logic in the comments as well. 
 
Dainty Tingz
The last one-piece I wore was on the shores of Positano, Italy, and ironically enough I felt very Parisian. I was a Parisian child visiting Italy. Although I’m not sure I would ever have the occasion to wear such a delicate bathing suit, as I’m not sure barnacles and dog paws suit that lace detailing too well, I can always appreciate its dainty allure.
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This might be what it feels like to sleep in a painting.
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A singlet fit for a fairy. And due to my obsession with all things fairy, I need it. Although the only issue with this beauty is that I would turn into Carrie from SATC and would just lounge around in my undies all day, regardless of what needs to get done. Someone just answered the phone as Carrie. There are spies everywhere. 
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A little post-christmas daintiness. Replace the pinecones with flowers, and this is entirely fit for the summer.
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What is it about stringed lights that tempt me so? Well the answer is obvious, my friends. I just picture hundreds of little fairy wings aglow above my bed. And who doesn’t want to smile at the thought of that? 
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How I would like to look if I were a ballet teacher.
Dainty Tingz
A portrait of the Parisian child all grown up, visiting the city. 

 

Dainty Tingz
This would also be an issue. Because I would want to buy seven pairs so I could wear them every single day. Variety is the spice of life… unless your undies look like this.
Now that your eyes are so satisfied with daintiness, your ears might be feeling a little deprived. Don’t worry. I got that covered for you. 
 
Keaton Henson: Lying to You
 
I first heard Keaton Henson’s song, “Lying to You”, and instantly fell head over feels with his vocal cords. So much soul in this fella.
 
 
As we lie in bed I feel lonely,
Though we’re young, I feel eighty years old.
And your arms around me are keeping me warm.
But baby, I’m still feeling cold.
 
Daughter: Candles

Had a special someone send me this song, and it only makes my infatuation with Daughter multiply by a hundo.  If Keaton Henson and Daughter were to get together, I would be the happiest girl in the world. The world needs more perfection.
 
 
 
Things cannot be reversed, we learn from the times we are cursed
Things cannot be reversed, learn from the ones we fear the worst
And learn from the ones we hate the most how to
Blow out all the candles, blow out all the candles
“You’re too old to be so shy,” he says to me so I stay the night.
 
Bloc Party: Signs
 
Yesterday was a giddy moment indeed, folks. That same special someone sent me a link to these fellas and I just got waves of butterflies once I heard them. Their album, Intimacy, is ridiculous. I could listen to it on repeat for hours. Especially this song. It’s so pleasing to my ears, they’re just beaming.
 
 
I can sleep forever these days‘Cause in my dreams I see you againBut this time fleshed out fuller facedIn your confirmation dress

I hope you all feel a tad more dainty. Until next time.
*m
 

 

 
 

Mellowed Out Techno

Really feeling this music. So glad I stumbled upon this fella while I head into a day of non-stop studying. Other than to feed the necessities I experience as a human (geekiest way of saying other than when i’m a hungry, hungry hippo! – yes, I speak as if I’m a kindergarden teacher).

Ladies and gentleman, the aching, crooning, and damn smooth Chet Faker. His voice is laced with heart break, and each of his tracks falls into this mellowed out electronic vibe that I can’t get enough of.

Become a little bit cooler by being in the presence of his musical godliness.


Chet was elaborating on what drove his inspiration in an interview for, well this is perfect, Interview Magazine, and he mentioned that it was a medley of his parents’ taste in music. If that were true for me, I’d be listening to a Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen combo. Don’t know how well that’d work out for me. The snippet of the interview is here:

WHEN MOTOWN MEETS MINIMALIST HOUSE MUSIC: I was lucky, my parents had really different tastes in music. My mum was listening to a lot of Motown. I think the most played record in our house was the Big Chill Soundtrack—so Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, Otis Redding. I think that’s where I got my love for a good hook, a good soul hook—really smooth and warm and from the heart. And then my dad would listen to the chilled out Ibiza CDs; all that super down tempo female vocal kind of stuff. It’s like my parents’ musical tastes are the mother and father of my music. [laughs] It’s their fault for making me so emotional and in tune with my emotions!

Chet actually calls his name an ode to Chet Baker,

He had this really fragile vocal style—this really, broken, close-up and intimate style. The name is kind of just an ode to Chet Baker and the mood of music he used to play—something I would like to at least attempt to play homage to in my own music.  

Ya did good, Chet. Ya did good. Here’s the fellow he’s talking about. Lots of soul.

And on a side note, before I embark on my glorious studies, I have a three line story to tell you.

‘Twas not Christmas Eve, but the eve of exam week, and young men and women alike were gathered round a gingerbread house. I envisioned windows trimmed with icing and gum drops galore, and I shouted out with glee, “Let us create a rustic house, for our gingerbread family!”

…two young men from across the room greet my idea with blank, soulless faces: “What is rustic?”

AND MY STORY IS OVER! HOW CAN THIS BE?

I shall elaborate on the beauty of rustic homes in my next post. But first, studying (sorry, my textbooks are gettin’ their bitch face on).

Music For Yo Fine Earz

To be frank, my week has been hella chill, yo. The program I’m in isn’t entirely centered around what those around me call midterms. We do, howeva, have some majour research papers and projects coming up in the near future so don’t think this is a slacking deal. And even though my week has been deemed chill, my weeks in general seem to go by faster and faster. Honestly, it’s slightly disturbing how quickly it all goes by. 
One minute I’m waving to that dreary figure called Monday slumping towards me and then the next I’m running after Friday in his disco clothes whizzing past. I need more hours in the day! Mother Nature, I’m snapping my fingers! Make that sun last a little bit longer puh-leeze. 

What’s been helping me actually get out of bed in the morning though, before I’m caffeinated and superficially wired for my first class, is some new musica that’s been injecting some rhythm into my toes. 
First, tumblr tabs to inspire a beautiful fresh start to next week’s Monday morning. 
C’est parfait. Ce cappuccino est art à moi. 
(go google translator, buddy ol pal)
Attics have always had such a haunted reputation. Put in a window, let that glorious light in, paint the walls milky white, and suddenly the attic of that supposed family of ghosts is your most beloved sanctuary.
I used to be convinced that this type of layout of a kitchen was the most absurdly cramped idea for a realistic family. Now that I’m confined to the size of a closet for a bedroom, and have fallen quite in love with its quaint coziness, there’s much more appeal to living small. This is almost like a more formal alternative to an island, and who doesn’t like a hint of well hidden fanciness here and there?

Abstract Numbers:

Small Rooms:

Alvhem Makleri:

Abstract Numbers:

Abstract Numbers:

Abstract Numbers (can you guess I’m a fan?):

Alvhem Makleri:

Alvhem Makleri:

Now my lovelies, onto some music I’ve been digging.

And by digging, I mean obsessed with. Alex Clare is the most dreamy combination of foot tapping goodness and hip swinging grooves and actually poignant lyrics.

Alright, this next song may not be for everyone (it includes *gasp* swear words!). But I can’t deny the catchiness. Slash it’s quite the hypnotic tune. Next three are for them techno-dub lovers.
If girliness ever overwhelms you, and you’re in your footy pajamas with a cup of tea by your side, put this on and you will be in a small pocket of heaven. 
This song was stuck in my head for honestly days, if not weeks. It’s haunting. It’s beautiful. It’s addictive.
Cheerio! Hope the weather wherever you are is not as gloomy as the view I’m looking at. 
*m

Life Updates & Inspiration Clusters of Goodness

A few mornings ago, I opened my eyes to a mischievous, dancing trickle of light on the arm chair next to my bed. Initially, gotta say, I was like, “Yes, proof of fairies,” but then I emerged out of my dreams and propped myself up to pull up the blinds and HALLELUJAH IT’S THE SUN! THE SUN HAS COME FOR ALL TO SEE! Wait no, THE SUN HAS COME BECAUSE I’M HEALTHY AGAIN! MOTHA NATURE, I LOVE YOU, BABY GIRL!


Because that’s obviously how I sound when I’m excited.

Here are some bohemian ladiez who I’d kind of like to join in the sun.

Wizard sleeves are always a do, especially in a forest, because then you legitimately feel like a wizard gone off to concoct potions and ride deer or unicorn.

This splash would be beyond epic. Colours soaring gleefully through the air, or a hypnotic ripple of a rainbow pulsing away from you.

JESUS HORSE! He’s going to greet the wizard in the forest.

Anyways, everyone had been waiting for the return of our glorious sun for, well, summer time obviously, and so right when I was feeling healthy again, I open my blinds and you can see why I would think it was a present directly from Mother Nature to me. 

I’ve just been knocked out for about a week, literally isolated into the depths of my groggy, most likely hazey bedroom with strep throat. My brother said he thought I was just out for two days with friends because he hadn’t seen me. Nope! Just having some one-on-one time with me and my disgustingly sick self. She’s not a fun time. Don’t let her fool you. I will not be seeing her again for as long as I can. 

Now, aside from my ramblings and updates, here is the…

Inspiration Cluster of Goodness!

She is exactly how I would like to imagine myself looking with a pixie, but somehow I don’t think it’d look as adorably impish on me. 

I would never remove myself from this impossibly soft sweater, I know it.

What I’m listening to right now, by the way.
Just some models lost in the city of love. Really digging the denim jacket on mint. And the red lip, of course, always fitting with the cherry moped in the back.
But coral is my true love. Did you ever get underwear sets when you were a little girl, one for every day of the week? I was religiously dedicated to wearing the right pair on the right day, otherwise I’d feel like I was painted neon with flashing lights screaming, “WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.” Perhaps that’s an OCD tendency. Anyways, I can see the letters sewn into the back of this dress, “Sunday”, most likely in a dainty cursive font, and I’d stroll down the sun kissed streets every Sunday with a little birdie on my shoulder to fetch croissants. Weo!
*m

{1, 2 – unknown, 3 – alexandravalenti, 4 – LF Stores, 5 – Bohemian Daydream, 6 – StreetStyle, 7 – FromNorth, 8 – mytumbla,  9 – Free People, 10 – liamsawthis, 11 – LF Stores}

ps. a wonderful cluster of these pictures were found from Bohemian Daydream, a new favourite of mine!

Music For My Ears

1. Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed
When you listen to this with headphones, it’s cahrazy, my friends. It’s like there’s a hipster dj party going on inside your head, just boppin’ their heads to the music and jumping up and down. 
2. Landon Pigg – Falling In Love At a Coffee Shop
And I have fallen in love with you, Landon Pigg. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been able to lie down and simply listen to a song without somehow multitasking. Believe me, the first time listening to this song, all you will want to do is take it in and smile. 🙂
Here’s an alternate version I just found. As cute as it is, I can’t help but think what I would do if after a moment, there was an unknown scarf sprawled across  my table and a couple of balloons beside it. Probably hyperventilate. But nevertheless, it’s too sweet to look away. 
3. Theophilus London – Always Love U
This is just a recipe for success considering my tastes in music. As a hopeless romantic, Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” has always been a keeper, but then when you combine it with the musical genius, Theophilus London, it’s a whole other story. A single word to describe it: dope. Take a listen. 
*m