Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It's Better to be Golden || Asyana Tan Review

I recently received a beautifully wrapped, glitter-heart-filled package of tanning lotion from the wonderful lasses over at Asyana Tan. To keep me glowing and golden brown they kindly sent a bottle of their Step 2: Bronze Tanning Lotion and my pale winter body has been in love ever since.

"A sunless tan that makes you look and feel like a bronze god/ goddess…  Asyana’s Bronze Self Tanning Lotion containing DHA, Erythrulose and Walnut extract; with added skin hydrating and nourishing ingredients aloe vera, green tea, grapeseed, chamomile, vitamin e and coconut and macadamia nut oil; will leave your skin glowing with a beautiful. Your tan will look like your natural sun tan and fade like your natural sun tan…"
[Excerpt from the Asyana Tan website.]

The directions on the bottle clearly state to use the provided gloves (and a personal set for every following application) and from personal experience this is definitely something you should follow. With the gloves my tan was even and looked completely natural - I had a lot of questions about when I'd gotten so much sun! - but applying the lotion with bare hands left my tan slightly patchy. This was especially obvious on my back and the top of my thighs, with what resembled a large bruise appearing instead of the expected golden glow.
I am a big fan of anything coconut scented so the fact that this tan smelt extra yummy instead of the usual slightly chemical-tinged one that tans often have was a massive bonus. The only problem with the scent was that if I applied it too heavily around my neck I was prone to feeling headache-y until the tan was completely dry.

The bottle I used was only 150ml but that will definitely set you up for at least 10 full body application and it only costs $29.95(AUD). With this tan I preferred to apply it straight after a shower but in the morning, usually on a day where I knew I wouldn't be going out and could wear comfortable clothes all day. For me this produced a cleaner, more even tan than if I applied it straight before going to bed.

The lovely ladies at Asyana Tan are producing some of the best smelling, easy-to-apply sunless tanning products on the market. So if you want to be golden brown and coconut-scented then do yourself a favour and pickup some of their products. And really, does anyone not want to be sunkissed all year round?


NB :: This is not a sponsored post however the item reviewed was           gifted to me by the company.

Friday, September 25, 2015

'Feels like we've been on this forever' || Wyall Style Records

Frida, the latest Wyall Style gem
The music scene is filled with record labels. And to stand out you need to have the dedication that Wyall Style Records does.

Growing from a share house - "mouldy but lovable abode" - into the movin' and shakin' label, this is a place for the music you really want to listen to. The hardworkers at Wyall Style are here to deliver the tracks that you'll want to have heard first.

It's only the beginning but it's already sounding good.

Why does the world need Wyall Style Records?

Before launching Wyall Style, we had many meetings amongst ourselves and with our parent label Hopestreet Recordings about this very question. We think that the world needs Wyall Style because it is representative of the young DIY culture that's so prominent in music today. We're for artists who are just out of high school or uni[versity] who spend all their time writing, recording and performing music. Maybe you have to work a couple of day jobs to buy the gear you need, and maybe you've played more than a couple [of] questionable gigs, but the belief in your own ability and your passion for your work is what keeps you going..we're for those guys, because we are those guys.

When did Wyall Style start? How long has it been a work in progress?
Wyall Style was announced August 2015, so it is a literal baby! We have [only recently] officially launched the label yet - that [happened] at the Gasometer on the 18th of September. We've been working on Wyall Style for a few months now, I reckon since the beginning of the year maybe? To be honest it feels like we've been on this forever!

Where does the name come from?
Most of Frida live in a share house on Wyall Street and that house is where we recorded Frida's Slowly/I Want It All release, plus most of our solo projects and a myriad of bands that walk in and out of Wyall on a daily basis. When deciding on a name for the label, we knew we had to have a nod to this mouldy but lovable abode.

Where does Wyall Style fit into the music market?
Wyall Style is for the makers and the listeners; for those who love and care about music and art and the people behind it all. We love lo-fi, hi-fi, medium-fi - electronic, indie, pop, hip-hop, soul - Wyall Style is a good-smelling, great-sounding musical melting pot. Lovers of Mac Demarco, Grizzly Bear, Chet Faker and Alabama Shakes will particularly want to take a bite.

What is Wyall Style looking for in artists?
We want the artists who literally can't think of anything else except for music - the ones who go mad at 2am looking for that sound, or who spend all their money on a Roland Space Echo and now rent is a stretch..genre and style is kinda irrelevant as long as you [have] got skills, ambition and a crazy work ethic - many of the artists on the Wyall roster are currently writing the third album for their instrumental funk and soul project The Cactus Channel..you gotta be able to keep up!

What should listeners expect next from Wyall Style? Is there anything in the works?
The next twelve months over here at Wyall Style are going to be literally jam-packed - on top of our first bi-monthly mixtape (which you can submit your music to here), we have several singles, EPs, and albums in the works due to be released in 2016. For now, Frida's latest release, Slowly/I Want It All, is doing the rounds and a Frida album is next on the cards. There's a good chance we'll be throwing a Wyall Christmas Party too, so that'll be a great one to look out for.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

So Numb - Plastic || Single Review

In the same way that a jack-in-the-box works, Plastic's So Numb winds up to the best type of surprise. A previous unknown to me, I went into this track musically blind. But I'd never put bad music onto Love 'Em so you could say our blind-SoundCloud-date went well.

The alternative outfit, made up entirely of local Melbourne-ites and Kiwi exports, are newly formed and ready to take the music scene by its horns.

So Numb, the band's debut track, is equal parts alternative glory and old school song writing genius. Which is really no wonder consider their frontman, Louis McDonald, has been winning songwriting awards since his teenage years.

Packed with thumping bass and an ice cool drum line, So Numb is only warming up when the synth and guitar riff hits. It's a sign of musical brilliance when the music is just as strong without vocals. And this is a cake that benefits from the vocal icing, but is just as sink-your-teeth-into by itself.

When a band comes along with a name like Plastic, bubblegum-pop is what springs to mind. Something highly manufactured and just a little too sugary. But instead I ended up with a band who well deserves the title of musicians. And with the stellar debut of So Numb I'm only more excited for what's next.

Friday, September 18, 2015

"This song started writing itself" || Loren Kate

There is a great deal of wisdom to the saying that you need to crawl before you can walk. And, fresh off the back of her Telstra Road to Discovery win, Loren Kate has started running.

Her latest track, released September 7, is the emotive tale of her ex-partner's passing. When You Leave is the most heartfelt folk tune you'll hear all year. Matched by the exquisite animated video clip, When You Leave is the type of track artist's should wish to release. The accompanying EP Til Night Meets The Sun (October 9) is unapologetic, intimate introduction to the artist. 

Written in 2013, the album is a journey through Loren's own experiences of childhood, parental relationship, turning thirty, and her ex-partner. "I wasn't planning to make a new record, I was actually planning to have a baby of the human variety, and then I won Telstra Road to Discovery and decided to do both!"

A main purpose of the Telstra Road to Discovery competition is to aid up-and-coming musical acts in Australia. The extra assistance - including mentoring, recording time and publicity - is all up for grabs for the winner, and, according to Loren it was just the leg up she needed. To continue the celebration Loren is off to record and gig in Nasville before hitting the local road for a national tour in October.

"The moment they announced my name I felt this sense of relief, like all of the sudden there were more possibilities and opportunities. Sometimes as an independent musician I feel like I'm carrying huge rocks up massive mountains. Winning the Telstra Road to Discovery meant I had a team of people, a year mentoring and the funding to move those rocks more efficiently."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Wear Your Label || Breaking the Stigma

Let's start with the basic one: what is the aim of Wear Your Label?
Our aim with Wear Your Label is twofold; to create conversations about mental health and reduce stigma, but also to help individuals feel that they're not alone, and that they're okay. [We aim to do] all of this through something as simple and subtle as the clothing you wear.

Sparked by the co-owners' personal experience with mental illness - an eating disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder and ADHD respectively - Kayley Reed and Kyle MacNevin, 22, launched Wear Your Label in early 2015. Playing on the idea that a label of mentally ill is damaging, "[a] lot of time...receive a negative connotation, people shy away from them, they're avoided..." The duo realised that by turning the negative labels into empowering slogans the type of conversations necessary could be sparked.
Co-founders Kyle MacNevin & Kayley Reed
"...[W]e decided that we'd take an opposite approach, and really be brave enough to take ownership over our labels, talk about them, and wear them proudly..." said Reed, 21.

Ensuring the designs were trigger-free was a major priority for the duo, who say that every slogan came from both personal experience and a place of absolute love. With a range of slogans, ranging in subtly, almost all have come from the founders own personal mantras. A personal favourite of Reed is Self-Care Isn't Selfish. But if you're into something more straight-to-the-point perhaps Sick Not Weak is more your speed.

Reed is adamant that breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness is a key part of recovering. After battling anorexia nervosa, the 21-year-old says that for a long time she remained in denial about what was happening. A large part of this was her inability to believe her own sickness. It was only once she came to a place of acceptance was her treatment successful. "...I think every person has to find that within them[selves]; outside support is important and we always want to create an encouraging environment with our brand, but I believe self-acceptance is truly one of the biggest factors to recovery."

What do you hope someone who sees a shirt around town says?
When we first started, my dream was that two strangers would be walking down the street, both wearing our clothes, and both notice the logo or design. Instantly, they'd have this sort of connection where the knew that the other person had been through a similar struggle or that they just understood mental illness - and were able to go about their day knowing there was one more person out there who 'got it'. Or maybe even just feeling a little safer or more comfortable. A few months after we started WYL, we started receiving emails of stories [from] people [who] had experienced just that.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Every Side of a Band || Void of Vision

I'm not going to lie, I used to never listen to any heavy music. At all. But now it's slowly climbing my list of favourite genres and it's bands like Void of Vision that make the music so easy to love.

And a band that can rock out on stage, and in the studio, but also admit to liking The Jungle Book soundtrack, is definitely one I want to listen to.

Void of Vision appeared on the music scene in 2013, what lead up to the band's debut?
What was initially supposed to be Matt recording James and Mitch's old band turned into an entirely new project. We wasted no time getting into the swing of things and began relentlessly writing music and playing every show we could to get ourselves out there.

Your latest single SUN//RISE already has a really positive response, what's the story behind this song?
We wanted to release a track that showcased a completely different side to the band, and I feel like the positive response we got from it is a good indication of how new material will be received.

How are you all feeling in the lead up to your national tour dates?
We're all super excited and in the midst of preparing everything for the run. Can't wait to finally get back out on the road!

Is there any show that you're particularly looking forward to performing?
We're definitely looking forward to our hometown Melbourne shows, but over that, we can't wait to get back to Brisbane.

How different is it to perform these songs live rather than recording them?
Very different. We definitely feel the passion translates to a different degree live, and we also feel the crowd can connect on another level with us live as well.

What can fans expect next music wise; is there anything in the pipeline?
There is definitely stuff in the pipelines, a release is currently being worked on, but I don't want to give away too much.

And just for fun, do you have a favourite song that you thing would surprise people? Something unexpected against your music, maybe.
The Bear Necessities, The Jungle Book soundtrack.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Songwriter of the Year || Helen Shanahan

Helen Shanahan has a voice that needs to be heard. And a story that you should definitely pay attention to as well. 

Living with anxiety is something that far too many people can relate to but not enough people are willing to discuss. But Helen Shanahan is no longer one of those people. Winning the prestigious Telstra Road to Discovery and releasing a song straight from one of the most personal experiences in her life, Helen is the type of voice that is necessary just as much as it's wanted.

Her debut EP Finding Gold, follows the same trends of emotional turmoil but finding calm. And there is no one who could tell the stories as well as Helen who lives through them. The entire thing is honest, raw and incredibly important.

What does it mean to win Songwriter of the Year at Telstra Road to Discovery?
Winning meant a lot of things for me personally. Firstly it really really  opened the door to a new network of people and it enabled me to record my new EP Finding Gold. Throughout the competition Bill Page (Mushroom Music) mentored me, and it was invaluable to get feedback on my original material by an industry professional. The prize package included a trip to Nashville, and it was there where I got to co-write and record some of the songs that are now on my new recording.

How do you prepare for something like this competition?
In order to prepare for this competition, you just need to have a strong sense of who you are and have all your songs prepared and be open for feedback. I went in thinking that I would just take all the advice I could, and if I were lucky enough to win then that would be an extra bonus.

What was your reaction after finding out you'd won the category?
I was extremely surprised and honoured to win; I really didn't think I would, as the other two girls in my category (who are my good friends) were absolutely amazing! I have never really won anything before, so it felt very surreal. I was just very grateful to be given a chance and to use the opportunity to move forward with my music.

Your song Across The Sea is inspired by your day-to-day life with anxiety, is this a part of you that you usually share with others?
To be honest it isn't something I usually talk about with others, as it is still something I am getting used to sharing and being ok with. It has been a part of me for so long, but it is great that now others are speaking out about their experiences and it makes me feel like I'm not the only one who is affected by it.

What was the experience of writing about something like anxiety for you?
Writing about it is a lot easier than talking about it. In fact it is cathartic for me to write about it, and it really helps me deal with anxiety and getting through the more trying times! I didn't really consciously think I was writing about anxiety in particular, it was just how I was feeling at the time and in turn I realised most of the songs on the EP were about it.

Finding Gold [was released on] July 3, what [should] we expect to hear from the rest of the song list?
The rest of the songs on the EP deal with similar issues of getting through times of feeling stressed and anxious, however the title track Finding Gold is about realising that you can find moments of calm in every day life. One of the songs on the EP Love Lost was recorded in Nashville, and I love listening to the band as it was just incredible to watch those musicians work!

Friday, September 4, 2015

There's no lambs for slaughter || She Cries Wolf

A debut album, a label signing and a charity concert in support of environmental protection vessel Sea Shepherd, 2015 has been a non-stop rollercoaster for Gold Coast outfit, She Cries Wolf. The post-hardcore act are an exploding force, with upcoming tour dates and the promise of new material these guys are the type of act that you might not have heard about, but really, really should have.

Pay attention, there are great things ahead.

So let's talk about your Elevnth Records signing! What made this label the one you ended up signing with?
We're a young band and Troy has only just launched the label - so it was the perfect fit. Plus, we share the same goals, individually and mutually. Looking to do some amazing things together.

What does a signing change for you guys now?
It's just more hands helping to lift the load. There are a lot of backend things that make up a band and they were starting to weigh us down. It just means that we will be able to do things quickly and take steps towards our goals, whilst having fun - which is the most important thing.

You already have a 2015 EP, when can we expect She Cries Wolf's first single with Elevnth Records?
Before the end of the year. Like a thief in the night.

What is your aim with the music? Where should we expect to see She Cries Wolf in the future?
We're trying to bring back the live element to being in a band. This reflects heavily within our sound (on record). Everywhere and anywhere that will have us [we'll play a show for].

Speaking of, is there a story behind your band name?
'The Boy Who Cries Wolf' is an extremely sexist story, girls cry wolf too.

Seeing as I won't be able to make one of your upcoming shows, tell me, what am I missing out on?
[Thirty] minutes of cathartic energy. Mainly from the crowd - letting go and leaving their worries at the door. See you at a show soon?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Definitely Not Garbage || Trash Vintage

Vintage clothing. Vintage clothing. Vintage clothing.

Byron Bay's Trash Vintage is the hotspot for everything vintage, everything cool, everything that alternative dressers could want in a store. Featuring a whole heap of major vintage designers, as well as emerging ones, Trash is the mishmash of fun clothes and fun people.

If you're nearby, make sure to pay a visit to Trash Vintage!

So let's start basic, when and how did Trash Vintage become a thing?
Trash started as a rack of vintage clothing out the back of a surf shop in Lennox and started gaining such popularity that people were come into the surf shop only for the vintage, so Trash then moved to Byron [Bay] into its own small, bright, cheery shop. This is Trash's second year being in Byron Bay and people are still discovering us and our treasures!

Which piece in stock is your current favourite?
I'm in love with the Mexican embroidery dresses and tops. I am very inspired by Frida Kahlo, [I] love anything floral and unique so to have a vintage Mexican piece is such a treat! I've put my favourite and the rarest piece on our website..

What draws people into Trash?
The energy!! We have the best vibes flowing out of our store, amazing positive fun people work here and life is [a] great adventure everyday. We have, I think, the most colourful, unusual store in Byron. You don't know what you will find in here; we stock unusual vintage and recycled designer pieces and local emerging designers are frequently showcased here. We know that people love looking for those hidden gems, so we have filled our shop with them!

Why do you love vintage clothing so much?
I think its important to be as sustainable as possible, so recycling clothing is a great way to start. I was brought up in op shop clothes and it taught me to find my own sense of style instead of what society thinks is a trend, which then gets mass produced. (Who wants to look the same?!) When you start wearing things that make you happy, whether [it's] a colour, a style or era, your world suddenly opens up and mixing things is an opportunity to express yourself and [it's] a form of art in itself! It's super fun playing dress-ups everyday! Tommy Franklin always says, "life's a catwalk babe, you gotta work it every day".

What's the most important thing I should know about Trash?
That it's a conglomerate of vintage + emerging designers and you never know what's going to be going on in store! We love to collab with many different creative [people] so we are always doing fun shoots [for example].

And most importantly, where can we find Trash if we want to stop by?
3/95 Jonson Street, Byron Bay. [We're] opposite Woolworths on the pedestrian crossing or [find us] online and instagram (trashbyronbay)!