The Release of Bloom and How Troye Sivan Impacted My Youth

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With heart filled synths and a story of newly found confidence and love, Troye Sivan breaks his way into the world of mainstream pop with his sophomore album, Bloom.  

The lustfully melodic album — which was heavily influenced by his boyfriend — is an ethereally storybook that feels so personal to Sivan, while also feeling relatable to his fans.

The ten track album brings much needed queer representation into the music scene with hits such as “Seventeen,” which tells his story about a relationship with an older man, and the album titled track, “Bloom,” which is literally about gay sex.

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2018’s “Little Dark Age” (Also MGMT concert in Chicago!)

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I’d like to begin this article by saying welcome back to another glorious semester here at University of Illinois at Chicago; as usual, I ushered in the new year by being incredibly lazy, and I’m sure you had the same response.

Whatever. Let’s talk about MGMT who is releasing their 4th studio album on February 9, 2018. 

This marks MGMT’s fourth studio album, and a lot of the aesthetic of the album pertains to the Gothic medieval era, similar to the album’s namesake. The themes are very apathetic, evil, and has the typical trippy vibe of MGMT. “When You Die” is my favorite single on the album, and it is a very warm and tangy song for how dark its lyrics truly are. Just watch the music video and you’ll understand what I mean:

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Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment To Produce ‘Black Panther: The Album’

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2017 was easily a successful year for Top Dawg Entertainment.

With SZA’s rise to stardom with her debut album “CTRL” that as an album, showcased a woman’s growth throughout to becoming an individual that is more independent and requiring less validation from others. Many of the songs did very well on the charts and SZA is now on the forefront for the label with great potential to be a great artist. Also with legendary artist: Kendrick Lamar dropping his 4th LP: “DAMN.” that solidified the artist’s ability to delivery from all forefronts of Hip-Hop. “DAMN.” was easily his most successful album in terms of sales to date with many tracks such as DNA, LOVE, and HUMBLE charting very high on the Billboard Hot 100. The way Kendrick was able to appeal to a more mainstream audience without sacrificing his quality of music was incredible.

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Getting Over Writer’s Block Via Dinosaurs In The Hood

Any artist of any medium has experienced some form of lame “block”, whether it be writer’s block, painter’s block, choreographer’s block, etc., everybody has experienced a really. annoying. block.

For me, writing this blog post came with some excruciating writer’s block. I had never written a blog post before in my life, so naturally, I had absolutely no idea what to write about.

But through a conversation via Snapchat, my cute friend Elijah suggested the following: “Read ‘Dinosaurs In The Hood.’

With a title like that, my mind immediately imagined some weird fan fiction cross over between Jurassic Park and Boyz N The Hood. Thankfully, it wasn’t that.

Instead it was a much cooler, deeper, engaging poem by Danez Smith about an idea for a movie; a Black hood fighting off dinosaurs.

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Onto Reality

Originality is an important characteristic, especially in the world of boutiques. It seems everyday someone with a “cool” brand name and a CustomInks account claim to have started their own clothing line.

In an era where the market is flooded with hopefuls seeking their brand gain notability, they often overlook the substance to distinguish themselves from the rest.  They have the idea that the clothing itself will establish the brand. When in reality it’s the idea behind the clothing that establishes the brand.

Onto Reality is not just another clothing line. Onto Reality is more of an abstraction, an idea; with the only thing concrete is the actual clothing. Onto Reality idea is simple “Life is what YOU make it.”They strongly believe the idea that individuals have the power to be the architect of their own life.

Onto Reality seeks to spread this idea so people can understand they are masters of their own universe, so that no life goes wasted, for life is precious.

Visit their website http://www.ontoreality.com/

and follow them on Instagram, facebook, and twitter

Fresh Start Friday: Purity Ring “Bodyache”

Having seen Canadian duo Purity Ring do their same set three times, it’s refreshing to know that next time they’ll have some new material. Of course no hate on their debut Shrines, a beautiful yet dark foray into the realms of psych pop. In fact quite the opposite, for listening to the album in its entirety is a journey, as the songs seamlessly blend into one another.


Bodyache displays a tone of desperation, but is conveyed with a much lighter hearted sound than previous work by the duo. This juxtaposition makes for a truly brilliant track, not only catchy but maintaining some depth. Stripping the song of its lyrics leaves an addictive beat laced with mystical keys and club throbbing EDM style bass.


Topping Shrines may be difficult, but after hearing Bodyache, it seems that Purity Ring has already begun their evolution and are off to a familiar yet fresh start. Be sure to check out their full album, Another Eternity, which dropped earlier this week.

Fall Down Friday: Lyves “Shelter”

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Typically my music repertoire is severely lacking in the soul department, so it was nice to stumble upon Lyves. Based out of London, the group considers themselves “ambient alt soul,” so I was about half right on that one. A definite departure from my primarily pop driven posts, Lyves does more than just slow down the tempo.

The opening notes of the piano drives a solemn stake into the heart, followed by the first line of “Bring Me Quiet, Bring Me Into Shelter,” enveloping the song in an icy sheath of desperation.

“See Me Crumbling, Crumbling is Just the Start”

Rich vocals make you fall down face first into a pit of introspection, while thoughts trickle down into a waterfall of emotion as the song gradually adds more and more layers.

Altogether it’s a beautifully produced song, and the inclusion of beats and synths adds an extra dimension. However, even without all the extra fluff, the piano and vocals could still freeze a tear. Worth mentioning is Lyve’s debut track “Visions,” from a few months ago. A much more atmospheric venture that gives a look into the band’s versatility for vibe making.

Frantic Friday: Elseware “Anxious”

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Why am I so anxious? I’m sitting here watching the minutes tick by, synchronized to the clap snare of this track. It’s interesting because it lacks a chorus in a way and builds up to, basically nothing, and that gets me kind of anxious. Until the song breaks down into something entirely different, that is. Que the rewind button. Again.


Yet another new NYC duo, delivering a kind of out there pop music. It’s a really solid debut, and only time will tell how they follow up to it. Overall, vocals that are easy on the ears, infectious drumbeat, and interesting structure. Give it a listen or two, or five.

Fade Off Friday: Dear Tracks “Wildflower”

The sweet aromas of a carefree weekend are but a few hours away for the majority of students(hopefully). The scent of this “wildflower” will send you into a deep shoe gaze daze delivered by Dear Tracks. Their debut EP is out February 23, but this track should easily suffice till then.


Immediately the song sets adrift on hazy guitar riffs and soft spoken snares. Adding onto the dreamy vibes, airy vocals beckon you to ask yourself, “Why are you so far from home / Living in a distant world.” After glancing out my window I did begin to wonder.


You too will bloom

Don’t let it get to your head


The beautiful music video captures the essence of the song, or perhaps the other way around. Shrouded in an orange haze, endless fields of (you guessed it) flowers fade in and out of perception. Play it outside and I dare say it could melt the snow.


With only 544 likes on Facebook, Dear Tracks is just beginning to blossom. Their flowery motifs are an evocative escape from the confines of any city. Start your weekend with a shot of Spring–and forgive the wordplay while you’re at it.

Guess Who’s Back?

Fans of Copeland, I have some good news for you. Copeland is back after a 6-year hiatus! The band announced the news of their reunion and new album just yesterday. It was hard to believe at first considering that the news was announced on April Fool’s Day, but the news is legit. Copeland’s new album “Ixora” will be released on October 31st of this year. You can pre-order the album now on their website!

Check out their new song below. Trust me, it’ll bring tears to your eyes.