It’s certainly taken me long enough. Between June and July of last year, I spent some time travelling around Peru. And now, almost a year after the fact, I’m finally getting round into publishing this travel diary of sorts.
Rather than posts on what to do in different parts of the country and how to posts, this series is going to be more of an honest reflection of my trip. Simply as I enjoy writing these accounts of my trips a bit more.
Welcome back to ‘In My Ears’, it’s not about earworms, wax and whatever else you may find in your ears (I don’t know your life), but about 5 tracks that I’ve loved throughout the month. Catch January’s edition here, and keep on reading for the 5 songs I’ve fawned over this month.
Lizzo – Juice
This song is one of the greatest bops of the year already. Lizzo’s brand of killer confidence and self-love and acceptance is something we should all adapt, and she’s making sure we do by creating absolute hits like this. I love Lizzo, she seems like one of the coolest musicians around. ‘Juice’ is endlessly fun, I can’t get enough of it. It’s got that sweet summer sound, I think Lizzo is the reason we’re having an unusually warm February. And also because the planet is slowly dying. But back to the positives, nothing is as good as ‘Juice’. It’s incredible. And makes for a great workout soundtrack.
This one wins my meaningless award of ‘Song of the Month’.
Welcome to the inaugural ‘In My Ears’ post, it’s not about earworms and wax, but about 5 tracks that I’ve loved throughout the month. In 2017 I documented the best tracks of the month, in 2018 I documented some of my most listened to tracks every now and then, for 2019, we’re switching things up again with a reeling off of 5 songs that have been ‘big’ during the month for me. It’s January, it’s cold, and everything sorta sucks post-Christmas. Back to work, back to the gym, but it’s freezing out and raining 90% of the time and dark by 6pm. January can do one. Let’s get into these tracks then:
Lana Del Rey – hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have
‘I’ve been tearing around in my fucking nightgown’ is such a beautiful line. Lana has already outdone herself in 2019 with this beautifully melancholic 5 and a half minute odyssey inspired by Sylvia Plath. Lana is known for her macabre lyrics, yet there’s a distinct feeling of resilience and hope in this track. A track with a name that puts Fall Out Boy and The 1975 to shame. She really needs nothing but a few piano keys and her own voice to make an infectious song that locks you in its grip. With a chorus that is repeated many times, the song continually feels fresh and otherworldly. We love u Lana.
The Killers – Bones
This song might be 13 years old, but I’ve been obsessed with it as of late. It’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of The Killers, but for some reason this one track has been stuck on repeat. I find with this track, it’s clear Brandon Flowers isn’t naturally an amazing vocalist. He’s got a good voice, don’t get me wrong, but he possesses something much better: a true command over his voice. His ability to push his voice to it’s limits, limits which aren’t conventionally ‘pleasing’ to listen to, cannot be overstated. It’s absolutely sick, and this song is a true modern rock classic. It’s a simple concept, brought together with blinding horns, backing vocals for days and a mood which builds and builds.
The Vaccines – All My Friends Are Falling in Love
This month I’ve loved no one more than The Vaccines. I love British indie, especially those that popped up in the late 00’s/early 10’s, and The Vaccines fully fit that bill. This non-album track is a belter. ‘All My Friends Are Falling in Love’ is an anthem of desperation and disappointment made to sing in the shower, car or in the club. The lyrics are painfully relatable for everyone in their 20’s and 30’s, watching the circle of friends they know fall into their own love lives and split off as your’s can remain largely the same. Just with less people in it. I can’t stop playing this song, and don’t think I will for a long time. There’s no one who quite knows how to make an addictive indie banger like The Vaccines.
Florence and The Machine – Moderation
I described ‘Moderation’ to my friends as a song that would play in a haunted house in the 80’s full of kind ghosts who just want to befriend the teenage girl who is running around the house looking for an exit. It’s creepy in tone, loving in lyrics and a little bit of a disturbing experience. Along with its B-Side ‘Haunted House’, ‘Moderation’ is a massive left turn from Florence and The Machine‘s current sound and aesthetic, though it’s a majorly welcomed one. I’ll happily take more ghostly soundtracks that pop up seemingly out of nowhere- it’s only been 6 months since their last album High as Hope dropped.
Foals – Exits
If ‘Moderation’ is what the friendly ghosts play, ‘Exits’ is what the ghosts from the mid-00’s who are a bit burned out play. Foals return to the stage comes with two versions of ‘Exits’, both being absolute earworms at a massive 6 minute length. I could listen to them all day though, this indie tracks feel like they’ve been sprinkled with a bit of glitter, bad vibes and a bit of deceit. I’m super excited for what else Foals have coming up, it’s gonna be a big year with 2 album releases, the first of which is just in a couple of weeks. Have a nose around some other music posts if you fancy it. Find these 5 tracks in the ‘In My Ears’ playlist below on Spotify.
Lisbon is known for being one of the hilliest cities around, in fact it’s known as the City of Seven Hills due to the seven largest inclinations in the city. It’s no surprise that a city like this has a billion amazing view points from which you can gaze over the entire city, or just certain little chunks of it. Keep reading for three viewpoints dotted across the city, which each provide their own unique take on Lisbon.
Castello São Jorge
Named for the hill atop it sits, Castello São Jorge has become one of Lisbon’s most popular tourist destinations. You can experience history, see a little bit of wildlife and experience some of the greatest views you’ll find in the city. Plus you won’t be able to get higher than this whilst in the city, São Jorge hill is the highest in Lisbon.
This fortress was built by the Visigoths in the fifth century, it was later enlarged and modified in the eleventh century by the Moors. Later it was transformed into a Royal Palace, heavily damaged by an earthquake and only restored in the late 1930’s
It gets crowded, so plan your visit carefully and allow enough time to fully explore the castle. Watch out for pigeons, my mate got pooed on whilst we were eating lunch at the castle.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Located in Belem, this extremely large sword represents the Portugese Age of Discovery, the 1400-1500s. This monument has been around since 1960, but it was only in 1985 that the public were able to experience the cultural centre and climb to the observation deck.
It’s only a few Euros to enter, and can be visited on the way to or from Belém Tower.
This is such a bizarrely unique place to visit, so I can’t recommend it enough. We only had enough time for the viewing platform, not the main museum, but the platform itself is kinda wild. It’s so thin, the railings aren’t THAT high, it’s super cool.
Alameda Santo António dos Capuchos
This street was very close to our Airbnb, and we found some of the best views in the cities weren’t those from tourist attractions, but from Lisbon’s famous tight streets and alleys. I spent a few hours walking aimlessly around the city, up and down this narrow streets, taking in views of beautiful, pastel buildings, washing blowing in the breeze and a real view of life in Lisbon.
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