HEY LET’S TALK ABOUT MUSIC AGAIN. Don’t be scared, it’s just a few music videos. And I promise not to complain about Taylor Swift this time.
|Aw, shucks. Better go wipe my tears with Benjamins. source|
Okay okay okay.
First things first—have you heard Rebecca Ferguson’s new album, Lady Sings the Blues? It is full of classic Billie Holiday pieces re-interpreted by the British singer—whose reputation as a baby Aretha Franklin is not unfounded, I might add. Get Happy, performed in the video below, is the first track. It will make you happy. No exceptions.
One artist whom I just became aware of is Andreya Triana, another British singer. It’s super unfortunate that she hasn’t gotten more exposure as of yet, because she has a great voice and a lot of great music. Take, for example, Paperwalls.
Aw yeah, that's my jam. Also check out Song for a Friend, if you are in the mood for feeling nostalgic and weepy.
On the more pop-inclined side of things is Tori Kelly, the mini Christina Aguilera who, after ten years of slaving away and posting videos on YouTube and even writing, recording, and producing her own extended play at the age of 18 or something has finally—finally!—released her major album release, Unbreakable Smile, featuring an amazing hairdo and a bunch of singles which are bound to wind up on pop radio sometime soon. Even if I, personally, am not a fan of the album, I have to admire her work ethic.
One caveat—she’s managed by Scooter Braun, the dudebro who brought us the wonder of the world that is Justin Bieber...so that might be worrying for a more invested Tori fan. But whatever. Maybe Scooter has learned his lesson(s).
And how about another, totally different, brand-spanking-new artist?
Ah yes! Leon Bridges! The man who, incredibly, went from “playing open-mic nights around Fort Worth while working as a dishwasher” to being signed by Columbia Records to releasing a wonderfully retro, gospel-infused album in, what—two years? Good god.
I first heard of him in this New York Times article; and upon hearing his single, Coming Home, was a little confused—this is new music? Stuff coming out today, in the era of synthesizers and AutoTune and Taylor Swift?
|SORRY! I forgot. source|
Well, you know what I mean. It was a pleasant surprise. Do give the album a listen; it is a trip right back in time.
And while her debut album isn’t out yet (due August, supposedly), let us take a minute to appreciate this single by Ella Eyre.
No shame—I fucking love this song. So dig their grave, let that motherfucker burn. I’m not about to endorse smashing your ex’s plates and TV in an act of expensive vengeance, but seriously—how can you not love that song? It’s catchy; her vocals are absolutely fabulous; and she, too, has great hair, much like Tori Kelly.
Hair is important, you know.
For your daily dose of angsty-teenager nobody-understands-me music, turn to this video by Bebe Rexha, for whom the definition of being “fucking crazy” is apparently having an unconventional sense of style reminiscent of Capitol-dwellers in the Hunger Games.
In her defense—the people in the video would without a doubt be lambasted as “attention whores” or something equally dismissive, simply because they do not conform to conventional ways of dressing oneself. Which is a problem. I wouldn’t mind if there were more rainbow-colored Capitol-dwellers in life. Would make things very interesting, definitely.
And ONE MORE THING.
Did you hear that Kanye West performed at the big music festival in Glastonbury, England the other day? From what I heard, it was pretty dope.
|The subtitle writer may have struggled. source|
And apparently, after his selection as the headliner was protested by music lovers seeking a “real rock star” for their beloved festival, Ye took the opportunity to proclaim that he is “the greatest living rock star on the planet”.
|"If I told you I wasn't, I would be lying to both of us." source|
In another episode that seemed orchestrated to draw the ire of rock fans everywhere, he also performed a short snippet of Bohemian Rhapsody.
Yeah, it wasn’t “good”. It wasn’t Freddie Mercury. But to me, it looks like a huge fuck you to those very rap skeptics who resisted his appearance at Glastonbury . “Look at me; I am the rock star now.”
And as a huge Kanye fangirl, I feel he gets a lot of undue criticism, not least because of his knack for creating gossip—from crashing the stage at music awards to marrying Kim Kardashian, that much is obvious—but also because a lot of music listeners don’t “get” his art. They look at 808’s and Heartbreak and all they hear is AutoTune; and so they write him off as another talentless hack who can’t sing. They see the Bound 2 music video and laugh their asses off (all right, I’ll admit I did too—at first). They read the tabloids and assume he’s just another egotistical wannabe with no walk behind the talk. Those assumptions not be farther from the truth. To get acquainted with the truth, I recommend listening to all of his albums, in chronological order, including Watch the Throne.
Or do whatever the hell you want. We all have our own tastes in music. Which is good!
Now, I’m sorry for getting a little lengthy with that—but I gotta say, music is important to me, and I love sharing it. So let me know if you liked any of the pieces I linked.
And on to a totally different subject: let’s talk this edible item right here!
|Much less controversial than Kanye West.|
This recipe is basically the same as the one I saw on Fettle Vegan a few weeks ago, with a couple minor alterations. And it’s a really solid recipe. Not so stuffed full of peanut butter that it sticks to the roof of your mouth, nor so lacking in the stuff that it pretty much tastes like regular banana bread. The chocolate chips round out the loaf and make it perfectly June-friendly. Because, you know, peanut butter and chocolate. What’s not to love?
|Nothing. That's what's not to love.|
Even better, this quick bread is actually quick, unlike some of the other “quick breads” I’ve posted (looking at this cheesecake-swirled butternut squash bread, which is abso-fucking-lutely amazing but not exactly a snap to make).
Basically? You have no excuse not to make this. Now grab those overripe bananas sitting forlornly on the counter and whip this baby up.
Here’s the recipe.
Vegan peanut butter chocolate chip banana bread
Adapted from Fettle Vegan
336 grams • bananas, mashed • 1 ½ cups
70 grams • olive oil • 1/3 cup
50 grams • granulated sugar • ¼ cup
64 grams • peanut butter • ¼ cup
184 grams • nondairy milk • ¾ cup
4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon
5 grams • apple cider vinegar • 1 teaspoon
240 grams • whole wheat flour • 2 cups
2 grams • baking soda • ½ teaspoon
2 grams • baking powder • ½ teaspoon
3 grams • salt • ½ teaspoon
160 grams • chocolate chips • 1 cup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8 x 5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, mash bananas. Add oil, sugar, milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and vinegar and whisk thoroughly to combine, about 2 minutes. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pan for half an hour before removing and cutting yourself a nice slice (I know, right?).
|You'll never know if I ate those chocolate chips.|
If you liked this banana bread, check out these other super-cool “quick breads” I’ve posted here.
Sweet cornbread loaf. Goes really well with a bowl of chili.
Carrot bread with cardamom and coconut. All the C’s.
Peanut butter zucchini bread. Plus homemade peanut butter chips!
Maraschino cherry quick bread. Delightfully pink.