There Are No Bees are now a duo and have released a brand new single called Melo. I thought their first ep was great and enjoyed interviewing them at the time. This song is even better! It has a dance orientated beat and the lyrics go harder and faster - the two members really show they are excellent rappers here. They serve up their menace with a pretty touch, I think. As the lyrics say, the ep was just the entre and their upcoming album is definitely something to get excited about!
AQ: Kristin Garth is releasing an exciting new tiny chapbook called The Legend of the WERE MER. Pastel Zine is excited to have her again to share another of her awesome playlists with us!
KG: Nothing is as exciting to a womanchild than writing her own bedtime stories and then sharing them with other people. Make no mistake that’s what the Were Mer is -- a tiny adult, aquatic fairy tale with a tail. It’s the story of a mermaid who at the age of 14 develops a were condition causing her to change with the moon into a human woman. Until the sun rises, she cannot breathe underwater, swim and live in the ocean, and when it does, she must return. This condition, a sort of puberty, sets her apart from mer folk and humans. She has to make her way in the human world half her life with poor communication, no education. She is very vulnerable to men. We follow her experiences, mistakes, her journey through stranger seas for a search for companionship without capture on land.
Were Mer is currently in pre-orders with Thiry West Publishing House as a part of their 2019 Pamphlet Collection with two other books entitled Glitter Gods by Mateo Lara and Conjure by Jerrod Schwarz. You can order Were Mer or the entire collection at a bundled price here:
The Legend of the Were Mer is a tiny book of five sonnets, and the playlist is also five corresponding songs. Nothing goes with a sonnet like a song because sonnet literally comes from the Italian for little song :
Maudlin Mermaid Siren Call by Islaja
Were Mer Siren by Tori Amos
The Capture Hooked by Bonnie & Clyde
Stranger Seas Swim by Dizzy
Her Tears Are A
Travelogue His Heart
Divines Mermaid by Okkervil River
Skinny Girl Diet are one of my all time favourite bands and were the first band I interviewed for Pastel Zine. They have just released a beautiful new video for La Sirena from their second LP Ideal Woman, which came out last year. The video features mermaids and a skirt dancer reminiscent of Loie Fuller. What more could you ask for?
An artist whose aesthetic I am in love with is Avalon Lurks. You may recognize her from Father’s Heartthrob music video. She also makes her own music and videos. She has a really strong visual sense as well as an interesting sonic one and it’s linked to art, her Xicana identity and spirituality. I can’t wait to see and hear more from her!
I loved this song when it came out and I have just been reading about Meltycanon who produced this track and also Hands, Sephiroth and a number of other Father tracks. I feel bad that I didn’t pay so much attention to who produced the song at the time! I’m definitely focusing a lot on production and what I like right now and Meltycanon’s production sounds like a dream to me as I mentioned in my post about Sephiroth.
Another Awful Records artist I have come to love is Danger Incorporated. I love their latest ep but I think that Are You Afraid Of the Danger Boys? is my favourite one so far. I especially love the song Diamonds. I tried to get an interview with them but Pastel Zine isn’t big enough for them. We still love you, though!
Happy new year! One of my favourite albums of last year which is defintely starting off my 2019 on a great musical note too is Father’s Awful Swim. I love the song Sephiroth! It’s produced by the extremely talented Meltycanon. I have started making beats in Ableton myself. This is a very recent development for me but it’s really fun so far. Basically if I could make a beat as cool as the one this song has … I would be very happy! I’m not a hip hop artist per se but I think the great thing about Awful Records is that they are just innovative full stop. Genre doesn’t matter so much. So yes, I am inspired.
AQ: As promised, here is another special playlist from Kristin Garth - this one is for her upcoming solo chapbook Shakespeare for Sociopaths! I’m really excited to read it next year - especially getting a preview in the form of all the sonnet titles and the songs Kristin has chosen to match each sonnet! Thanks again for another wonderful playlist, Kristin! It has been great having you and your music choices on Pastel Zine’s blog.
KG: Shakespeare for Sociopaths is a chapbook of poetry, all Shakespearean sonnets on villainous characters from true crime, my mind, the news, people who’ve abused, maybe even a muse or two. I’ve always felt that a sonnet to me represented a cage of form where I could release dark, animalistic thoughts and be safe in its confines. The poetry cages in this book hold a wide array of villains – murderers, emotional vampires, pedophiles, the Slenderman, bullies, ruthless lawyers, misogynists, Mad Hatters and many more. As sonnet comes from the Italian “sonneto” which means “little song,”I thought to honor the sonnets in my book, I would make a playlist assigning each sonnet an actual song. So peruse my table of contents and listen to its soundtrack:
Ophelia Interrupted Shakespeare by Fink
Stockholm SOS by Portishead
When You Are Drowning In A Car Riverside by Agnes Obel
Canadian Psycho Psycho Killer Talking Heads
The Mouth Mouth by Bush
Expensive Leotards Home by Phillip Phillips
The Advocate Blood in the Water from Legally Blonde the Musical
Slender Secrets Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol
Lafave Tear Away by Drowning Pool
Pudding Man Til It Happens by Lady Gaga
Butter Creep by Vega Choir
Girl With A Pen Just A Girl by No Doubt
Perverted Philanthropy You’re So Vain Marilyn Manson
Uniforms Cheerleader by St. Vincent
Topless Wuthering Heights Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
The Sexual Hypocrite Has No Clothes Human Nature by Madonna
Dora Luka by Suzanne Vega
Betazoid Oh No by Andrew Bird
The Hunter Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana
Sepulcher Lust for Life Lana Del Rey with the The
If the Star Fits Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay
Little Legs Daughters by John Mayer
Stepford Whore Doll Parts by Courtney Love
Southern Gothic Ghosts Tomorrow, Wendy by Concrete Blonde
Murderess Girls Just Want To Have Fun Greg Laswell
Christian of Troy Cosmopolitans (tri-factor remix)
Insanitea White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane
Senator Happy Birthday Mr. President
Parchment Doll Paper Doll by John Mayer
The Lady Who Loved Lightning Don’t Stand So Close To Me by The Police
Water Demon Down By The Water by PJ Harvey
Chrysanthemum Antichrist Superstar by Marilyn Manson
Succubus Cannibal by Kesha
Peepholes Audrey’s Dance Angelo Badalamenti
Poppet Dragula by Rob Zombie
AQ: I have been keen to feature guest playlists on Pastel Zine’s blog for awhile now - so when I put out a callout for contributions, I was very excited when one of my favourite poets, friends and editor to be Kristin Garth responded! She is providing Pastel Zine’s blog with two great playlists inspired by her upcoming books. The first is a playlist for her collaborative poetry project A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony. Her collaborators Justin Karcher and Tianna Hansen collaborated on this playlist especially for Pastel Zine too - so it’s very exciting to be able to share it. Thank you, all! I’m excited to host you and your playlist and I can’t wait to read your book. I have been loving the poems I have read online! You can read some of them here.
KG: I showed this sonnet to my friend Justin Karcher and he commented on the cool male character inside of it, The Wizard. I’d done collaborations before but as a poet never with characters, and I thought it would be so fun to explore the dollhouse world of my dreams with collaborators. After Justin, Tianna Hansen signed on to play the character of the frenemy who came to be known as The Firebird. Just as in my dream, I became The Doll. The three of us have such a magical collaboration, and we were so thrilled to expand that to collaborating on a soundtrack for our dreamy poetic opera. Listen to these songs and prepare yourself to enter my dreams with friends June 2019 brought to you by Rhythm & Bones Press. This playlist was compiled by The Doll (Kristin Garth), The Wizard (Justin Karcher) and The Firebird (Tianna Hansen).
I already did a favourite albums of 2018 post but there have been a few more amazing ones since I wrote that post so here’s an update of some late entries into my favourite selection and I few I perhaps have just listened to more now - a bit later in the year.
Rosalia - El Mal Querer
MO - Finding Neverland
Tommy Genesis - Tommy Genesis
Father - Awful Swim
Hinds - I Don’t Run
Bhad Bhabie - 15
Dolores Haze - Play hard fuck hard love hard
Dream Wife - Dream Wife
Vince Staples - FM!
Brockhampton - Iridescence
There Are No Bees, who are one of Pastel Zine’s past interview subjects and local faves, have released a new single and video! Poker is a moody and atmospheric track. I really like their raps and the production on this one.
I have become a big fan of New Zealand’s Theia recently. I liked the ep she released last year a lot but it’s her new singles with their striking visuals and perfect pop sounds that have caught my attention. The video for her new song Candy has just been released. It’s so fierce! I love the message - my reality is better than your fantasy. Indeed!
Tommy Genesis first caught my attention in 2015 when she released her first mixtape World Vision on Awful Records. Now she has just released her first album proper and it’s definitely my favourite rap album of the year so far. The new album features Charli XCX and Empress Of but is mainly Tommy and her unique vision. She has described how the new album explores both pop and hip hop and it is very forward thinking in the way it sounds. The first half is very sexy and hard hitting in its beats and Tommy’s raps. The second half is more free flowing, dreamy and playful. Tommy’s first mixtape may have introduced us to her fetish rap and that vibe is still present on the new album but it’s an album of many parts. I can’t wait to see what Tommy does next.
I’m a big fan of Let’s Eat Grandma as I have already mentioned on this here blog! Here’s a great live performance from them on KEXP. Their music really resonates with me. A song like Hot Pink has something important to say about gender that works on an intellectual level but it’s also quite visceral - perfect combo! A song like It’s Not Just Me is also All the feelings.
One of my favourite artists is Babeo Baggins. They have released two amazing singles this year - Mice or Men and Transformation. The Mice or Men video is one of my favourites of the year and the song Transformation is probably my favourite song of the year - if I had to pick just one! Their music really does mean everything to me.
I just came across this beautiful live performance and interview by Guayaba. I’m a long time fan and listen to Black Trash White House a lot - such a wonderful ep! I already knew Guayaba and I were birthday twins - I now know we are fellow Joanna Newsom fans!
Kali Uchis has a new music video out next week! There are a few rumours online as to which song it will be for - I want it to be for In My Dreams or Flight 22, I reckon! Or maybe Miami. We’ll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, here are my five favourite Kali videos! They are all great songs and showcase her aesthetic really well.
My zine readers who don’t know me already, don’t know me yet - that’s one of the slightly strange things about starting a blog to go with a new zine. One of the things you should know about me is that I’m a goth at heart. A pastel or a colourful kind of goth, though. That’s what the zine’s name is a cheeky reference to. It’s pretty much a cheeky reference to Tumblr culture and the internet and fashion. I love Gothic novels, poetry, theatre and film. It’s definitely a recurring theme in my own writing. I’m very interested in the supernatural and horror and there is plenty of great music referencing it. So here are some of my favourites for Halloween! Some are a little bit more comedy than serious takes on the theme but you can be assured that my interest is definitely serious! I have turned on comments on the zine so feel free to share your faves too!
Here are some of my favourite ep’s of 2018 so far. They link to the interviews I have done or have coming up for Pastel Zine in the case of TANB, Satu, Peach Club and The Pom Poms, which is super great! Once again - I’m including some music videos.
The Pom-Poms - The Pom-Poms EP
There Are No Bees - Before EP
SATU - Growing Up EP
Cuco - Chiquito EP
Clairo - diary 001 EP
Peach Club - Cherry Baby EP
I have been having a think about what my favourite albums of the year so far are and this is pretty much my list, in no particular order. I have included a few videos from them for your viewing and listening pleasure!
Kali Uchis - Isolation
Blood Orange - Negro Swan
Mitski - Be the Cowboy
Troye Sivan - Bloom
Let’s Eat Grandma - I’m All Ears
Goat Girl - Goat Girl
Delilah Holliday - Lady Luck Vol. 1
Princess Nokia - A Girl Cried Red
And I’m really looking forward to:
Nicole Dollanganger - Heart Shaped Bed
Skinny Girl Diet - Ideal Woman
There are plenty of notable omissions from my list and I haven’t gone into EP’s and singles. I’ll leave that for another time!