A Welcome Back To My Blog

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 Blogging season is back and I have album reviews and musical opinions ready to go, but to kick things off, here is a little summary of how my life has been going since my last post:

This week I’ve cried to ‘Supercut’ by Lorde approximately 68 times. I’ve drafted up several different blog posts, re-read them, and then deleted them out of fear of sounding mindless and shallow. I’ve had zero will to do the things I’m supposed to be doing, and instead have been hoarding bottles of Smirnoff in my room.

This past week I’ve embarrassed myself on at least 16 different occasions, one of them being right in front of Nick Jonas. I am going to snap my neck if one more person comments on how “edgy” my new haircut looks. I despise the word, “edgy” with a passion and being, “edgy” was not what drove me to cut off 12 inches of my hair, but in fact was just the aftermath of a full-blown Britney Spears styled mental breakdown, which I am still having. Evidently.

I out of impulse booked an appointment to get another tattoo (which I really can’t afford). I also booked plane tickets to go back to California (which I also, really can’t afford).

Ever since I went to California this summer, I’ve been extremely frustrated every morning when I wake up and realize that I am no longer in California. I whole heartily believe that is where I should be, and not in the Midwest, causing me to have even more of an existential crisis.

I’m on the verge of dropping every single one of my classes, I busted my iPhone, and I finished watching every season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” on Netflix and now I don’t know what to do.

And that’s been a brief summary of my life since my last blog post.

Though I sound like a total pessimist, I promise I am not. I’m living in a “glass is half empty, half full” kind of world right now, and while part of my life is going great (I truly do have a lot to be thankful for), and the other half is going not so great, I am trying my hardest to see the “half full” side.

With that being said, however, today is just not a “half full” kind of day, so here’s a playlist I put together to soundtrack this weird funk I’m in.

  This year on my blog, I’m sticking to my theme of music news and reviews, with a political piece here and there, and in addition to that, I am also going to push myself to write a personal storytime piece every other week, so stay tuned! 

If you want to keep up with with my saucy life, follow me here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tarabolar

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tarabolar/

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Note To Self

“this is an open diary. this gives my insides a voice through visuals and poetry; this is me spilled out on paper.”

Typically on this blog you’ll find album reviews and updates on everything new in the music scene, but for right now I would like to do something different and talk about a book.

Books and albums are pretty similar. They’re both a form of art, they both tell stories, and they both can be used as a mental crutch.

I’ve recently finished reading the new book, Note To Self, written by Connor Franta. Connor Franta is a YouTuber, New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur, and a LGBTQ+ philanthropist. This is Connor’s sophomore book following his memoir, A Work In Progress.

Note To Self is a collections of poems, memories, thoughts, and essays that come from a deep and vulnerable place. Connor Franta allows readers to see the world from his perceptive as he opens up about love, heartbreak, and dealing with mental illness. Note To Self gives us an interior look into Connor’s life that cannot be seen online.

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This book is real. A lot of these pages I read with a heavy heart and truly could empathize with Connor. I found myself reading a line and thinking, ouch, that really hits close to home.”

But then there were the pages that left me feeling hopeful and inspired. They were reminders that I’m not alone with my feelings, and to always keep an open heart and an open mind.

Connor Franta wrote this book for himself (hence the title) as a way to reflect on his past few years. Through this self-reflection, Connor has opened a gateway for readers to come in and find their own meanings and to find comfort. Through the highs and the lows, this book made me feel something; it was something I could relate to and something I could find a sense of ease in.

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I highly recommend everyone picks up a copy of this book. It’s a great read, and it offers a little something for everyone. You can buy a copy of Note To Self Here.

I also had the pleasure to meet Connor Franta at the Chicago stop of his book signing. I will also be attending the Note To Self Tour in Milwaukee, which includes visuals from the book created by Connor, and a Q&A and discussion session. You can buy tickets for the tour Here.

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Troye Sivan Takes On Coachella

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The incredibly talented Australian pop star, Troye Sivan, surprised his fans with a surprise performance at the 2017 Coachella music festival.

Sivan joined DJ Martin Garrix on the Sahara Stage during his set to drop their new song together, “There For You.

This is the first piece of new music that we have gotten from Sivan since his 2015 debut album, Blue Neighbourhood, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

Sivan has been hinting on his Twitter that a new album is in the works, and new music will be coming our way in the, hopefully, near future.

There For You” is a brilliant song with a beautiful message. It’s pop heavy and radio-ready, and while it may be a great song to bop to, the lyrics hold a lot in them.

“I got you, I promise

Let me be honest

Love is a road that goes both ways

When your tears roll down your pillow like a river

I’ll be there for you

But you gotta be there for me too”

Communication is the most important thing in any relationship. You cannot expect someone to always be there for you, if you cannot be there for them. Communication, and as stated in the song, love, goes both ways. One sided relationships are toxic and unfair and I cannot stress this enough.

There For You” is a song I feel like everyone can relate to at some point in life, and songs like this are perfect to find comfort in. Sweet and soft.

With that being said, I cannot wait to hear what Sivan has planned for his sophomore album.

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As a longtime fan of Troye Sivan (and a fan of music and talent in general,) it’s been an emotional ride watching Sivan go from posting quirky videos on YouTube, to preforming on the iconic Coachella stage.

It just goes to show that if you’re passionate about something, and you want your dream bad enough, hard work and dedication pays off, and living the life you’ve always dreamed of, is possible.

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Lana Del Rey – the goddess of dark pop –has done it yet again

On Mistajam’s BBC Radio 1 show, Lana Del Rey premiered the title track from her soon-to- be-released LP, Lust For Life, featuring The Weeknd.

Lana and Abel have teamed up in the past with Prisoner, Stargirl Interlude, and Party Monster; the two just mesh well together. Their eerie, silky vocals complement each other in the best way, and they proved that to be true yet again with the 1960’s inspired Lust For Life.

Lust For Life serves a sensual vibe, with layered synths, and honey-like vocals. As someone who has been a fan of Del Rey since Born To Die, I can honestly say I am satisfied with the new release and cannot wait to hear what is yet to come.

In February, Del Rey released the first single from Lust For Life, Love, as well as its video. There has not been a confirmation yet on when her fifth LP will be released, but you can read her interview with Courtney Love for more details here. 

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Frank Ocean Drops New Music

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This week, Frank Ocean aired the third episode of “blonded RADIO,” on his Beats 1 show. On previous episodes of “blonded RADIO,” Ocean premiered his songs, “Chanel,” and “Slide,” featuring Calvin Harris and Migos. On this most recent episode, Ocean ended the show with his newest song, “Biking” featuring Jay Z and Tyler, the Creator.

Talk about an iconic trio.

–  You can find “Biking” on SoundCloud  here  –

Tyler, The Creator, who is now back on Twitter after a brief disappearance, tweeted his lyrics to his verse on “Biking,” on Saturday afternoon. Lana Del Rey Responded with, “who else’s lyrics could these be !” and I automatically had high hopes for this song.

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I was not disappointed. I’ve always been a fan of Jay Z, an even bigger fan of Tyler, The Creator, and a disgustingly huge fan of Frank Ocean.

“Biking,” is a relatively mellow song, that for a reason I cannot explain, makes me feel the way I feel when I look at a painting by Vincent van Gogh.

Everyone interprets music in a different way, and every feeling is unique to the listener. And that’s the beauty in music.

With a slumbering sound and acoustic harmonies, “Biking” gives me a feeling of nostalgia for deep summer nights, and with summer just around the corner, this was great timing for Ocean to drop this hit.

Frank Ocean will always be one of my top favorite artists, and I strongly and whole heartily believe “Channel ORANGE,” and “Blonde,” are two of the greatest albums to have been produced of all time.

Ocean never lets us down with his music, and I can’t wait to hear what is yet to come from him.

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The Best Albums Of 2017 So Far

2016 blessed us with incredible new music. From Kanye’s The Life Of Pablo, to Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book, and to in my opinion, the greatest album to have ever been produced, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, it was just a great year for music.

We’re three months into 2017, and the new music is starting to pour in. The year is still young, but here are some of the best new albums that have been released so far:

American Teen – Khalid 

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Khalid’s debut album, American Teen, is just the very beginning to the successful music career glowing in front of him. At only 18 years old, Khalid has made huge waves with his single, ‘Location,’ which can be found on American Teen. This album is emotionally crafted with soulful 90’s vibes and smooth vocals. American Teen is one of those rare albums that you can listen to from start to finish, without skipping any songs, and you’ll never get tired of hearing it. Highlights include: ‘Saved’, ‘Location’, and ‘Shot Down’

Mansionz – Mansionz

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Mansionz is a new duo featuring singer-songwriter, Mike Posner, and singer-producer, Blackbear. The self-entitled album consists of electronic-based hip-hop and R&B pop. It’s a unique combination that deserves more attention. The transitions from each song are flawless, and blends perfectly. Highlights include: ‘The Life Of A Troubadour’, ‘I’m thinking about horses’, ‘nobody knows’, and ‘My Beloved’

CollXtion II: Unsolved – Allie X

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Canadian singer-songwriter, Allie X, has been working on her second studio album, and it’s for sure a bop. Her sound can be described as edgy electronic pop, and it’s just different than anything else. Highlights include: ‘That’s So Us’ and ‘Too Much To Dream’

I See You – The xx

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I See You is The xx’s junior album, and in my opinion, their best. The xx have always been known for their calming and soothing vocals, and they lived up to expectations yet again. The production of their third album has been a step up from their past work, and it’s honestly beautiful. Highlights include: ‘Lips’, ‘Brave For You’, and ‘Performance’

Process – Sampha

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Heavy emotions can be found in Sampha’s debut LP. Process contains R&B roots, and vocals that sound almost haunting. Sampha rediscovers himself through his work, and you can hear the vulnerability in his LP.  Highlights include: ‘What Shouldn’t I Be?’, ‘Plastic 100ºC’, and ‘Take Me Inside’

I can’t wait to hear what else is yet to come in 2017, and I do have high expectations

So, What’s Your Number?

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Selena Gomez is the most followed person on Instagram with 113 M followers.

How many followers do you have? How many numbers are in front of your followers count?

100? 500? 1000? 5000? More? Less? Does it matter? Are you more popular because your picture got more likes than the girl sitting next to you? Are you more relatable because 5000 people are following your tweets, and only 500 are following your friend? Does this mean you’re more liked, more wanted, more valued… more loved?

Is Selena Gomez worth more than the rest of us because 113 M people taped their phone screen to follow her feed?

All it takes is a millisecond for a person to tap their phone screen and hit the follow button. A millisecond and a tap is what determines our place in society. A millisecond. And a tap. You’re now either relevant and famous, or irrelevant and forgettable.

Numbers don’t stop there.

What does the number on your scale say?

100? 150? 200? More? Less? Does it matter? Are you hotter than the rest of your peers because the number on the scale is less than theirs? Are you a better person because of this? Does this mean you’re more liked, more wanted, more valued… more loved?

Are you counting the number of calories you consume? Are you healthy? Or most importantly, are you attractive? On a scale of 1-10, how hot are you?

Numbers don’t stop there.

What was your ACT score? 20? 25? 30? Does it matter? Did you get into highest ranked university? Does this number mean you’re more intelligent than everyone else? Does this mean you’re more liked, more wanted, more valued… more loved?

Will you be able to get a steady job now? Will you be able to provide for yourself and your family because of this number? Will you make a lot of money because of this number?

How many numbers are in your bank account? What are the numbers of your area code? What number were you in your class ranking?

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Numbers are all around us in society. The number of followers shows us how relevant we are. The number on our scale shows us how attractive we are. The numbers on our ACT score and other standardized tests shows us how smart we are. These numbers show us how successful we’ll be. And it doesn’t really stop there.

But does it all matter? Why are we letting these numbers determine our self-worth? Why are we obsessing over these numbers? Where do these numbers even come from and who is giving them value? These numbers are causing us to viciously compete with one another, and to become both physically and mentally unhealthy, and is it all worth it? Does it even matter? I don’t have the answers, I’m just simply asking the questions. So, what’s your number?

Below is a playlist of songs that sort of soundtrack our society’s weird obsession with money and fame and prominence and all that jazz, enjoy

Our Lord And Savior Lorde Has Returned!

Lorde – queen of dark pop – has returned with a new single and suddenly my skin is clear, the sun is out, I have been rebirthed  and I am ready to pop off!

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In 2013, Lorde released her debut album, Pure Heroine, which landed her two Grammy awards, keep in mind she was only 17 when this happened. 17.

Pure Heroine was a genius record. It was dark and dreamy, and different from any other pop music at that time. The writing was so mature and deep, and again I repeat, Lorde was only…17. 17. My biggest accomplishment at 17 was the ability to get out of bed each morning and sit through six hours of public school. Amazing.

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Anticipation has been boiling up since 2013 as we all have been waiting for Lorde to serve us with new music, and today, Thursday March 2nd, 2017, she has finally given us a glimpse into her newest work.

Her new single, “Green Light,” lived up to all of our expectations. It was a long wait, but it was totally worth it. The single and the music video itself single handily saved 2017, being the heartbreak anthem of the year, and I cannot wait to hear the rest of her sophomore album.

Lorde tweeted, “I am so proud of this song. It’s very different, and kinda unexpected. It’s complex and funny and sad and joyous and it’ll make you DANCE.”

And she’s not wrong. “Green Light” does hold an unique sound to it, different from anything off of Pure Heroin, but it’s normal for artists to grow and switch up their sound, and try new things. And most of all, this song is for sure a bop, and it WILL make you want to dance.

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Lorde has received so much support on Twitter from fellow artists such as Troye Sivan, Dua Lipa, and Katy Perry, and she deserves all the love.

Lorde is unbelievably talented. She’s unique, and there’s no other pop artist quite like her. We might as well give her sophomore album all of the Grammys right now.

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She Say That She a Wanderlust…

“She say that she a wanderlust, but she ain’t seen the world

So much to do at 21, you feel invincible”

Blackbear by far makes the cut in my top five favorite artists list. His music has a certain sound that stands out from any other r&b artist or rapper. He is just a goofy guy with a big heart that I am hella soft for.

One of his songs in particular that has always resonated within me is Wanderlust. This song is basically about a girl who is a wanderlust, but is also pretty clueless about the world.

Not to sound cheesy or basic, but, I feel highly connected to the wanderlust girl.

If you’re not familiar with the term wanderlust, it means to have a strong desire or impulse to travel. To wander and roam the planet.

I wasn’t raised in a wealthy family. There were no Disney World trips in the summer, or ski trip vacations in the winter. I’m 19 years old and I’ve never been on a plane and I’ve never been outside of the Midwest. And it is driving me insane.

I like to think of myself as cultured. That I know a lot about the world, and music, and the arts. That I am a free spirit. An indigo child. A wanderlust.  But… yet I have never left the cornfield states?

I’m kidding myself. I cannot be cultured if I haven’t seen the world. There is so much out there I haven’t seen or experienced, and I really am just a clueless college freshman from Chicago, Illinois at the end of the day.

Think about all the cities you’ve never been to. Or all of the states, countries, and continents. Think about the 7 billion people on this planet you have yet to meet and learn from. All of the things you have yet to try and to do. It makes my head spin just thinking about it.

I have high hopes and aspirations though. Just like Blackbear’s wanderlust girl who “wants to be an actress and a singer like Selena,” so do I. I have dreams of creating and travelling and growing.

I’ve recently purchased plane tickets to California and Florida this summer. While I’m beyond grateful for these future experiences, I don’t plan on stopping there.

I want 2017 to be my year of growth. I plan to travel as much as I can. I plan to meet as many unique individuals as possible. I want to make something out of myself and live my life the way I have always wanted.

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19 is such a strange age. It’s an age where you don’t really know yourself or know where your future lies, and I don’t think I’ll be able to figure it out if I remain in the same place.

Though I have not physically traveled much, my soul is definitely a wanderlust. I have that yearn to find something higher in life, and I promise I will find it before Earth and Nibiru collide. I mean, none of us live forever, so why not make the most of life and see what the world has to offer while we can.

There is so much undiscovered beauty in this world; let’s not take it for granted. I do not want to be caged up or tied down while the rest of the world is going on around me. And who knows, maybe I’ll find myself partying it up with the legend Blackbear himself during my future endeavors.