Melanie Martinez

2

The creepy cute world I live in is pretty small. It takes a lot for a music artist to captivate me sonically and visually. I like a lot of music, but I don’t necessarily connect with every song I enjoy. Even if I can relate to the lyrics, the artist might actually bore me. I know that sounds bad. I really believe that music and visuals are of equal importance. That’s how a story is told. I could never be that artist that just gets on stage with their guitar and sings a couple songs. I respect that, but those aren’t the artists that generally inspire me.

I haven’t come across such a unique artist as Melanie Martinez in quite some time. Not long ago, I stumbled upon her music video for “Dollhouse” and was mesmerized. It brings back memories of discovering Bubblegoth singer Kerli for the first time, creepy dolls included. The song itself starts out sounding like a demented carnival, similar to the iconic Crispin Glover’s “Clowny Clown Clown”. The visuals aren’t as creepy as that video (thankfully lol), but they’re still spooky and stunning. The lyrics are really smart as well. The song explores the concept of perfection and how people may look like dolls to the world, but behind closed doors is where their flaws come out. Dad is cheating on mom, who’s an alcoholic. And the brother is a drug addict. But, the family hides these secrets to the world. Check out the video below:

carousel

Melanie first came into the spotlight on Season 3 of the U.S. singing competition “The Voice”. For her audition, she sang an alternative version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic”, which was really cool. Playing the tambourine with your feet is pretty badass. Melanie only made it to the Top 5 on the show, but that was enough to build a loyal fanbase called the “Little Bows”, suitable as Melanie always wears cute bows in her hair. Melanie’s appearance is very interesting. She has a large gap between her front two teeth, is known for her two-tone hair, and she is clearly influenced by Lolita with her fashion in the “Dollhouse” video. Melanie is an indie artist and has been compared to Lorde, though she reminds me more of Marina and the Diamonds. She plays the guitar and does acoustic performances quite well. I can’t believe she’s only 18!

melanie martinez

Hopefully Melanie’s first album will be released this year! I really stand behind this girl and I think she’s going to be a huge star. I can tell when a musician is just being edgy as a strategy to make more money. Quirky is who Melanie really is. She’s proving that weird can be just as marketable as sexy. Remember: don’t let them look through the curtains…

Top 13 Albums of 2013

2

Happy New Year all! Last year I did a post on my favorite songs of the year. This time around I’m sharing my favorite albums of 2013. We have a lot to cover, so let’s jump in!

13.) Jewel – Greatest Hits

I know I’ve done a whole post on Jewel, but I have to mention her again. This album exemplifies all that is perfect about Jewel. From her folk roots to her country present and some pop goodness in between. Her updated duets with Kelly Clarkson on “Foolish Games” and Pistol Annies on “You Were Meant For Me” are extra powerful. I recommend this to first time Jewel listeners and long-time fans.

Jewel Greatest Hits

12.) Millionaires – Tonight

Filthy, silly, and fun, Millionaires know how to party. This album could disgust some with its sexually explicit lyrics. You have to be familiar with these girls’ previous work, though. This is tame for them. Trust me. Their electropop rap music is meant to be played on a night out to the club. I love singing to this album in my car. I especially enjoy the song “Drinks On Me” which is all about alcohol. Pour me another shot, girls.

11.) Blood On The Dance Floor – Bad Blood

Definitely my venting album. Bad Blood is a great record to blast when you’re pissed at the world or having a bad day. Sometimes I partake in screaming offensive song lyrics as loud as possible out my car windows. BOTDF always delivers. The hard electronic beats and hardcore lyrics are pretty epic. A negative is when the pair try to be inspirational. Excuse me, but calling someone a basic bitch and then trying to positively influence fans doesn’t work for me. Other than that, this is a solid brutal electronic album.

bad blood

10.) Lorde – Pure Heroine

With a fresh sound and a badass artist name, Lorde has mixed reviews, it seems. I think she’s wonderful. Pure Heroine tells an ordinary story in a novel way. The electronic instrumentation is simple, allowing the listener to interpret the lyrics. Not an album one would expect from a teenager. “Royals” was just so unique to anything else on the radio. None of the other big female names in pop music are singing about the things that Lorde is. Intelligence has nothing to do with age. Give Lorde a try.

9.) Ayria – Plastic Makes Perfect

Industrial dance pop starlet Ayria is virtually unknown to a mainstream audience. Her music is exactly what I would want to jam to in a Goth club. It’s got the perfect mix of pop melody, edgy lyrics, and a darker dance sound. In fact, when I fantasize about being a singer, I would want to be like Ayria. Normal enough to attract an audience, but different enough to stand out. Plastic Makes Perfect is a gothy taste for a typical pop fan.

Ayria Plastic Makes Perfect

8.) Krewella – Get Wet 

Euphoric EDM music embracing love and freedom. Some of you may remember my obsession with their song “Alive” about a year ago. It’s still my mantra, but the rest of this album is equally inspirational. I’m critical of dance music because I love it. These girls and guy take me to another dimension with their crazy beats and epic message of living in the moment. I also really appreciate their presence in a genre dominated by male DJs. A Krewella rave is exactly where I want to be.

7.) Britt Nicole – Gold

I listen to Christian music. Shocked? Yeah, me too. That’s how good Britt Nicole’s music is. Dubstep, rap, and ballads all appear on Gold. I really love the mix of EDM and uplifting lyrics. This album is just a super positive soundscape all around. Britt could be a huge pop star, but she’s chosen to stay true to her Christian roots and that’s admirable. I will never be a religious person, but Britt and I have the same mission: spread love and light. She’s inspiring a lot of kids and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

6.) Skylar Grey – Don’t Look Down

Skylar is a smart girl and a brilliant songwriter. I looked forward to this album for a long time. I didn’t even need to listen to it to know it would be amazing. Her previous work had already convinced me of her talent. Skylar goes against the pop star grain. Her song “Religion” reminds me of Alanis’ “Ironic” in the lyrics and vocal styling used. Don’t Look Down is a no bullshit pop album with bite. Skylar is an underrated gem and that needs to change.

SkylarGrey-DONT LOOK DOWN-Artwork

5.) Charli XCX – True Romance

This album contains many things I love: dark synthpop, dramatic lyrics, and rapper Brooke Candy. The title, True Romance, is fitting as this album explores all aspects of love. The standout track “You – Ha Ha Ha” is a catchy break-up song, while “Take My Hand” describes getting high on love. There is a perfect balance between mainstream appeal and a novel sound. “Deep in black roses, dateless doses”…Charli makes my gothy heart sing! Oh, and the album cover is drop dead gorgeous. Charli’s rad fashion sense would stop me in my tracks if I saw it in a store.

True Romance

4.) Natalia Kills – Trouble

Natalia Kills, the Queen of Dark Pop, returned this year with her second album Trouble. She explores some pretty dark themes, like a broken childhood on the gorgeous song “Saturday Night” and the dangerous influence of the media on “Television”. The awesome thing about Natalia is she will have you singing and dancing to disturbing stuff when you stop to think about it. Her songs are like mini dramas that could easily unfold on film. The Alice in Wonderland inspired “Rabbit Hole” about teenage sex takes me back to the song “Wonderland”, my favorite from her first album. Who doesn’t want to sing about screwing like rabbits? lol

3.) Britney Spears – Britney Jean

Britney Jean feels different from a typical Britney album. At the same time, it’s definitely a Britney album. It’s sexy, catchy, danceable, and a bit personal. Or, at least as personal as can be expected for Britney. The songs “Alien”, “Perfume”, and “Passenger” come from a genuine place. They feel real. Fear of infidelity, surrendering control in a relationship, and feeling like an outcast are all universal experiences. Fierce “Work Bitch” Britney is great and that fills the other half of the album. “Til It’s Gone” has that David Guetta dance sound I adore, making it my favorite on the album. This is definitely some of Britney’s best work. Bitch worked. Hard.

2.) Panic! At The Disco – Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die

Synthpop heavy and filled with theatrics, I feel like this newest album from P!ATD is inspired by Depeche Mode. And I fucking love it. The distorted vocals fit nicely with the dance beat backdrop. The haunting “Far Too Young To Die” conjures up images of a dreary day walking alone in the city. It’s a lonely and desperate song, but it’s beautiful. “Nicotine” equates bad love to an addiction and “Girls/Girls/Boys” discusses the confusion that comes with love. The lyrics of the album are strange at times, but that’s typical Panic! style. I really like the direction the band took with this album. It’s exciting when artists you’ve loved for a long time switch it up.

1.) Demi Lovato – Demi

I would have never guessed this album as my favorite of the year. I bought it on a whim and I don’t have any of Demi’s other CDs. I heard her first single off it, called “Heart Attack”, got obsessed with it, and thought the album might be equally amazing. I was blown away. Every single song is spot on amazing and relevant to my life. This is a pop album through and through. I get bored with music quickly, but I probably played this album for a month straight in my car. Demi is a Summer album for sure. It’s full of energy, light, and is super easy and tempting to sing along to. “Neon Lights” is a rad dance track I naturally gravitated to. Slow songs like “In Case” and “Shouldn’t Come Back” are heartbreakingly sincere. Demi is a tremendous vocalist and very honest in her music and life. Unlike some other Disney stars, she was absolutely born to sing. Albums rarely entrance and inspire me. This does both. Thank you for sharing your remarkable journey, Demi.

Whew! Those were my picks. I had such a hard time placing these albums with numbers. They all feel like my children, so how can one be better than the next?! haha

I know I’m beyond terrible at posting here, but I’m looking forward to a great 2014. This is going to be the year of elevation and hard work. I don’t know what to expect and that’s really fun! This is just the beginning for Asylum Attendant. I haven’t even opened the asylum doors yet…;)

Lots of love,

~Asylum

Messy Life

3

I feel like I only blog when I have exciting news or something interesting to share. I don’t usually post through the lulls. So, I’m switching it up. This is going to be a life updates post. It’s probably going to get personal as I listen to Lorde. Damn, she’s brilliant.

My job is really stressing me out lately. I don’t feel appreciated by management and I also don’t agree with the way the agency is changing. There is no incentive for advancement. The workload keeps getting higher, but the pay is still dirt. Certain coworkers are becoming especially unbearable. I seriously had a nervous breakdown this past week because I didn’t get an internal job I interviewed for. My job description has changed and I was forced to interview just to stay employed. In my mind I know it’s time to move on. Either use my degree or do something else. I just suck at making decisions. I was never that kid growing up that knew they were going to be a fireman as an adult. I like too much. And I get bored with stuff really fast. Just because I like something doesn’t mean I’d like it as a career, either. I’ve been looking at other jobs in my field and it just frustrates me. None of them interest me. I think my parents are ready to beat my indecisive ass.

I guess I’m going to discuss something darker now. Someone close to me relapsed on drugs recently. He actually tried to kill himself by overdosing on pills a few days before my birthday last month. I understand addiction very well from all of the research I’ve done and personal experiences I’ve had. Regardless, I’m fucking pissed. When you take someone into your home for 6 months and provide them with everything they could need, it’s a huge slap in the face. It’s like he didn’t give a shit about the sacrifices my whole family made just for him. But, then I start feeling guilty, too. Maybe I could have spent more time with him, tried a bit harder to connect. Shit, I had therapy sessions with him. The helper in me always wants to take care of others in any way. I thought that I was a negative, depressed person but he’s on a different level. No one has it easy in life. Some just cope with problems better. Getting fucked up on pills isn’t going to fix anything. My family has had to let this person out of our lives. It’s horrible. I don’t want him to end up dead, but I can’t help him anymore. Fucking mental illness.

The rest of the stuff I have to say probably sounds stupid now. My body isn’t cooperating lately. This might be TMI, but I’ve developed this terrible skin rash all over my body. I don’t know if it’s from stress or weather change (though I can’t believe eczema could be so bad). I’m treating it with creams and it slowly seems to be getting better. It makes me super self-conscious. Thank god I don’t have a boyfriend. How embarrassing. My eyes are also jacked up. I’ve always had super high eye pressure, which can be an indication of glaucoma. I already have terrible vision, so I’d prefer not to go completely blind. I see an eye specialist to monitor and lower my eye pressure. During my past visit, the doctor was concerned with how high my pressure was. They used a special laser to lower it in the office, which they’ve never done before. Afterwards, my eye hurt so bad I couldn’t go to work. I just hope it worked.

In other lighter news, my hair is driving me crazy. It’s freaking orange. Nobody wants orange hair. I got portions of my hair bleached the last time I was at the salon. This was so the pink and purple dye would be more vibrant. Um, when that shit faded oh-so-quick I was left with a nasty orange color. Orange is my least favorite color. I don’t ever want to bleach my hair again. Or dye it random colors. I kind of want to go back to my natural color, medium brown. Or I’ll just do allover black as usual. I just love pastel hair, but it might not be for me.

Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed everyone, I’m gonna go. I should be filming a Hot Topic haul video very soon. Good idea? I got some super cute things. Lots of “Under the Sea” stuff. It’s prolly going to include a fun rant on their shit customer service, so I hope I don’t swear profusely. I don’t have a filter.

Until then,

~Asylum