Happy Holidays!

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Happy holidays everyone! I hope you’re all having great times with friends and family. I had a wonderful Christmas and I am thoroughly enjoying a nice long break from work. To celebrate the festive season, I wanted to record a Christmas cover this year. I was researching which song I wanted to cover and came across an Erasure classic called “She Won’t Be Home”. I’d never heard the song before, but instantly become entranced by the melancholy lyrics and synthy goodness. Plus, I adore Erasure, so it was a no brainer to take this on. The recording process was quite interesting. First, I wanted to finish it before Christmas. That didn’t happen. When I finally went to start recording vocals, I noticed that my computer wasn’t recognizing my professional microphone. I did some research and found out that the Windows 10 update could be the culprit. Whatever I tried, I couldn’t get the mic to work and ended up accidentally breaking it. Hooray! Granted, the mic was probably five years old, but I loved it and that sucks. So, I was forced to record my vocals trashy style on my camera. Please excuse the imperfect quality. Also, my vocals fall behind the music at the end. It’s annoying and editing was a bitch. Anyways, I hope you guys like it. At least I look cute, right? lol

I just got my hair done as well. I’m dyeing it colors according to holidays (I got the idea from LeahMouse on YouTube), so I picked pink for Valentine’s Day. I’m bringing the Gothic My Little Pony look back! I seriously love the color. I thought the makeup I paired with the new hair was pretty, too.

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My family is doing really well and I’m taking a voluntary demotion at work to decrease my stress levels in the new year. 2016 was truly an insane year and I learned a lot about myself and the quality of life I want. I’m exploring career options outside of my field of study and freelance writing gigs that pay since I’m taking a pay cut along with my demotion. I realize that I’m at a dead end in my current job and I’m ready for something new. I was offered a supervisory position, but I really have no desire to supervise people. I’ve found that people just don’t work as hard as me or care as much as I do and it really bothers me, so I don’t need the headache. I’m going to be a bit selfish and look out for myself first and foremost in 2017.

Last month, I met one of my favorite music artists of all time, Jennifer Parkin from the group Ayria! Her show was phenomenal and I danced and sang my ass off to all of my favorite songs. We shared a heart to heart after the show. I told her what an inspiration she was to me and how her music got me through some tough times. My teenage years were a trip, let me tell you! She encouraged me to keep working toward my dream of becoming an artist like her. Jennifer was super sweet and I’ll always treasure this night.

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Me and Jennifer! Ignore the fact that I look like a sweaty puffy coke whore. 😛

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Baddie alert! Me and my bestie Ali.

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The Cybergoth concert look. Jennifer loved my sparkly jewelry.

My family adopted a couple of families in need for Christmas this year. It was so much fun to shop for the kids and it’s one of my favorite things to do for the holidays. I enjoy giving gifts so much more than receiving them. I did get some really awesome gifts as well. A new bookcase for my office, an electric fireplace to fix the drafty back room of my house and my Nightmare Before Christmas hoodie that I wore in my Christmas cover video. My sister knows me too well! I got my technologically challenged dad a tablet and he hasn’t put it down since Christmas. haha

I always have some new music artist discoveries to share. I seem to have fallen back into a Swedish Pop obsession and I kinda love it. The Swedes just do Pop best, I’m sorry! Dolly Style is a sickeningly sweet trio with influences from Japanese cultures like Lolita and Fairy Kei. Their names are Molly, Holly and Polly and I can’t get their songs or fashion out of my head. One of them (Polly with the purple hair) even looks like a BubbleGoth doll. I can’t!

I’m really addicted to Swedish Idol contestant Charlie Grönvall. I think I stumbled upon one of his videos after a Dolly Style video. I’m sort of superficial and when I saw his emo glam look complete with painted nails, black fringe and eyeliner I melted. He totally reminds me of Adam Lambert. I guess his grandfather is a member of the legendary Swedish group ABBA and his parents are both famous singers as well. Now, it usually bothers me when people with famous family members come on competition shows because I question their motives. That’s not the case with Charlie. He comes off as super genuine and you can feel his love for music. He’s been in a couple of other bands over the years (Bracelet and Little Great Things) and the music is really great. Sadly, he came in third place in the competition, but I’m sure he’ll have a successful career. I’m already planning a trip to Sweden to abduct him.

I hope everyone is pumped for 2017! It has to be a better year than 2016, right!? I’ve watched so many bloggers give up on their blogs during my five years on WordPress and it’s really sad. Some have disappeared and we’ve completely lost touch. I don’t want to be one of those people. Blogs might be a dying art form with attention spans diminishing and instant gratification on the rise, but sharing my life in writing is so therapeutic to me. I love to read about other people’s adventures and challenges as well. Never give up!

I’m excited to create more music, continue writing for Carpe Nocturne, make some career moves, and share it all with you! This is just the beginning.

Much love,

~Asylum Attendant

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2016

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New year, new perspective. Yes, I’m here. I’ve decided to stick around here on WordPress. Thank you all for your supportive words on my last post. I don’t know why I’m so fatalistic sometimes. I hate letting fear take over, but I’m trying to overcome it. I’m striving to accept my quirks and let my freak flag fly high. I have a strong feeling that this will be a very pivotal year for me.

I’m days away from moving into my very own home. I’ll share tons of photos and details in another post. I’m so thrilled! Broke as a joke, but beyond happy. I’m also about to begin another new job. Don’t worry, it’s with the same company. I actually accepted the promotion about three months ago and my new job duties will finally be starting on Monday. I got about a $3.o0 an hour raise, which started a while back. I’ll be the Administrative Support Coordinator. Fancy.

I’ve also decided that 2016 needs some structure and a lot more creativity. My plan is to laser focus on making music. I’m not getting any younger and I’ve put off my dream for far too long. I’m going to release a new song cover with an accompanying music video every month this year. Feel free to hold me to this. I need to get in the habit of recording and honing my craft on a regular basis. That’s the only way I’ll become better at making music. I’m very particular with everything I do. I spend a lot of time picking the perfect instrumental track, recording and editing vocals, filming a video and editing that…I don’t play around. Dare I attempt to compose an original song? You’ll have to wait and see. 😉

I would also like to post weekly on this blog. Write for enjoyment. Eat healthier. Actually have a workout routine. Meet new people. Go on dates. Learn how to apply makeup. Have my first professional photo shoot. Perform live. And be happy. That’s the basis for everything else.

Happy New Year everyone! Carly Rae Jepsen invades my soul, I swear.

Top 13 Albums of 2013

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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