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

Lady Gaga Cover

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A new song cover and music video after almost a year? That’s right! Lady Gaga is actually a big inspiration to me and “Poker Face” is my favorite one of her songs. The vibe of it is dark and sexual, which is really appealing. I had a clear vision for the music video. I wanted to show off my two very different sides: the normal me that I portray at work every day and the eccentric artist I transform into. I think this might be the first time I’m sharing both of the worlds I inhabit. Some of you may have never seen the subdued me before, but that’s what I show to society most of the time. The normal persona is my poker face. Most people never get to see the makeup, the fashion and the glam. Which side do you prefer? I really love that this song touches on bisexuality. My sexuality is a substantial part of who I am and showing it in a playful way is quite fun. This is also the first video I’ve filmed in my new house, so you get to see some of my humble abode. You can download the cover for free on my Soundcloud page below.

More music is soon to come! I think I’ll try a ballad next. I can be serious sometimes. 😉 I also have new posts on a hair dye review and my house transformation in the works. Happy Spring!

Photographic (Depeche Mode Cover)

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Surprise! Guess who’s making music again in a big way?! I knew my first music video and return to music would be a Depeche Mode cover and I made it happen. “Photographic” is dark and robotic, the perfect soundtrack to an 80’s horror film. The synths are insane. I spent a lot of time recording vocals and filming/editing the video. You can see me arm dance, randomly adopt a British accent and bring out my inner Britney Spears. Yes, she’s responsible for any slut that jumps out of me. The process was so much fun. I sing and dance all the time in my bedroom. This video is simply that with a camera on.

You can download the cover for free on my Soundcloud page. I really hope everyone enjoys this. I’ll probably record a more modern song next time with just as much synth action and potentially less clothes. 😉

Visage

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About a month ago, the lead singer of 80’s new wave band Visage, Steve Strange, tragically passed away from a heart attack. He played a major role in the New Romantic music and fashion movement and embraced androgyny, makeup and eclectic clothes. Steve was certainly a visionary and I wanted to pay tribute to him and his band Visage with this post.

Visage are best known for their synthpop hit “Fade to Grey”, released in 1980. The somber dance tune features the voice of a woman speaking in French and Steve singing about what sounds like death. The spoken French is actually the same words sung in English. The visuals in the music video are eerie and display Steve’s gender bending ways. He was definitely one of a kind.

Steve turns into Little Lord Fauntleroy in the video for my favorite Visage song, “Mind of a Toy”. The song tells the story of an old toy that’s no longer loved and is essentially thrown away. The creepy music video was actually banned because it was deemed too scary for children. There’s a disturbing rocking horse, a life-like marionette and a dollhouse fire. The sound of a music box in the outro is fitting. Steve’s aristocratic outfit and quiff hairstyle made him a fashion icon. The concept of personifying a toy is also very intriguing. Good stuff, indeed.

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I only discovered Visage this past summer, but Steve captivated me right off the bat. I love a smart song and a dark visual. Rest in peace, Steve. Your colorful influence will never fade to grey.

Yazoo

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80’s British synthpop duo Yazoo proved how polar opposites can join forces to create something completely unique. The duo formed in 1981 when synthesizer player and songwriter Vince Clarke left Depeche Mode and won over bluesy, soul singer Alison Moyet, who was not a fan of synths. Alison had placed an ad in a music magazine to find musicians interested in forming a blues band with her. Vince was the only response she got and he wanted to work with her because he knew what a powerhouse vocalist she was. Alison fell in love with Vince’s song “Only You” and the two released it as their first single, becoming a hit in the UK. This electronic ballad was truly groundbreaking as well as heartbreakingly beautiful. Vince thought Alison could deliver lots of emotion with her voice and he was spot on.

The pair continued crafting songs in uncharted territory and released their second single “Don’t Go” in 1982 just before the release of their debut album Upstairs At Eric’s. “Don’t Go” was a feisty dance track that highlighted the strength of Alison’s voice and the originality of Vince’s synth melodies. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I liked this song, but I quickly started to love it. It’s super fun to shout “don’t goooo!”. The spooky music video is also adorable.

Yazoo quickly rose to fame, but they split up as soon as their second album was released in 1983. The only single released from You and Me Both was “Nobody’s Diary”, my favorite Yazoo song. The song is very innocent lyrically and drives along with bouncy synths. To me, it almost feels like it should have been their first single ever released. I suppose that’s because Alison wrote it when she was just 16, when the fear of heartbreak is all too real, but not yet understood. There’s a sweet naivety to “Nobody’s Diary” that I adore.

Alison and Vince both found success after Yazoo. Vince went on to form Erasure (whom I love) with Andy Bell and Alison has had a successful solo career. It’s weird to think that there would be no Yazoo without Depeche Mode and no Erasure without Yazoo. I love all three groups so I can’t imagine that. Vince Clarke is a genius in my eyes and my number one dream music collaboration. He’s just so talented.

Thanks to Yazoo, I came to the realization that synthpop is my favorite music genre. Synthpop incorporates lyrical hooks and pop themes with the predominant synthesizers that set the genre apart. Often times, it can sound dark or mysterious. I believe synths can evoke emotions, too. Many synthpop stars are feminine men. I just think that’s really cool and inspiring. It’s as if this genre was created for me. However, I couldn’t resist gothing it up a bit.

There’s going to be a lot more synthpop talk on my blog moving forward. Over this past summer, I developed an obsession for 80’s synthpop music and it hasn’t gone away. Stupidly, I guess I never realized that some of my favorite artists, such as La Roux and Shiny Toy Guns, actually cite Yazoo as an influence. I remember hearing La Roux’s “Bulletproof” on the radio a few years ago and being mesmerized by the electronic sound of it. Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” also blew my mind. I didn’t know it was actually its own genre of music called synthpop until much later. Or that it originated in the 80’s. It’s embarrassing, I know. I only lived through three months of the 80’s, though, so forgive me. lol

I feel like it’s my duty to put synthpop back on the musical map. I can actually understand now why goth model Adora Batbrat named her children after synthesizers. lol I hope to introduce a synthpop cover series on my Youtube channel in which I sing songs from the past and present while dancing around with full glam garb on. Insane idea? Probably. That’s why I’m doing it! I’m so sick of being serious. No time for it anymore. 2015 is the year of FUN. Get with it or move along.

Icehouse

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I did almost nothing but discover and listen to 80’s synthpop music yesterday. It was a very enjoyable experience. During my exploration, I came across a very eerie song and music video by the Australian band Icehouse entitled “Icehouse”. The name alone caught my attention. There are haunting, unsettling parts of this song and also poppy components. As the title suggests, “Icehouse” is a cold, synth-filled love song of sorts. A girl is waiting for love that will most likely never come. As long as she stays within the Icehouse, love cannot find her. That is so hopelessly sad, yet beautiful.

The music video is a depiction of a little girl’s nightmare. It reminds me of both the movie Nightmare on Elm Street and Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” music video. However, Icehouse came out before both of these in 1981, believe it or not. I really think that it was groundbreaking and a grossly underrated music video. I’m genuinely scared by the “Icehouse” video, but it’s not gory or done in bad taste like some 80’s horror films. There is fire, hands reaching up through the water, many strange people trying to grab the little girl (including a very creepy old woman in a rocking chair), and a huge white cube made of white neon tubes of light. The nightmare never seems to end.

Perhaps most fascinating to me is the backstory behind the “Icehouse” song. I don’t know whether this is true or not, but I read that in Australia icehouse means the same thing as insane asylum. Obviously, that makes me like the song even more. Iva Davies, the lovely lead singer/songwriter of the band, wrote the song about his time living in a flat in an old two-story mansion that was always cold no matter what he did. Being in his early twenties and a musician to boot, he kept late hours. Sounds a lot like me. I always feel more creative at night. Anyways, the dilapidated house across the street always had its lights on, even in the dead of night. People would come and go at all times and never stayed long. Apparently it was a half-way house for psychiatric patients and drug addicts. Hence, “Icehouse” was born. Iva is a genius.

Another fun tidbit is that the band started out with the name Flowers, but changed their name to Icehouse after the release of their first album, also called Icehouse. Everything comes full circle. I love their choice. The name is warm and cold at the same time, which suits the band’s sound perfectly.

Have a synthpop-filled day everyone!

Too Dead To Die

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Andrey Deviance a.k.a. Too Dead To Die has crafted an electronic sound on his debut album “Murder On The Dance Floor” that can be described as both brutal and catchy. I believe I stumbled upon this guy a couple weeks ago on Spotify and have been entranced ever since. This album is jam-packed with danceable synth pop and fierce, but positive lyrics. The imagery conjured up with the album song titles is very dark, but the tracks themselves are fun and empowering. Fans of Aesthetic Perfection, Blood On The Dance Floor, and Ayria would enjoy Too Dead To Die.

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Andrey’s journey to music is pretty interesting. He comes from Russia and went to school to be an engineer. Instead of doing the sensible thing and becoming an engineer after he graduated college, Andrey decided to follow his dream of making music. I think that was a great idea. This album sounds like anarchy and anti-establishment, possibly stemming from Andrey’s rejection of corporate employment. My favorite song on this album, called “#Loud” (gotta love hashtags), is all about having your voice heard and fighting adversity with strength, not running away from your problems. Sadly, I can’t find this song posted anywhere, so I can’t share it. There are many positive messages such as this strewn throughout “Murder On The Dance Floor”.

Aw, “Nltl” talks about trying again and again and never giving up to reach your goals. Even sweeter when those lyrics are thrown against pulsating synths and followed up with Russian growls. Andrey has a way of showing both vulnerability and power in the same song. Imagine how hard that is when English isn’t your first language? My only complaint about this album is that I can’t understand the words sometimes through Andrey’s accent. I commend him for making an all English album. I wish I had a lyric book to follow, that’s all. I also love to collect physical copies of albums and his album isn’t even available in the U.S. So, I bought it electronically on Amazon. I really like to support new or unknown artists in any way I can.

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As with any musician I adore, I have to mention Andrey’s visuals. With his jet black hair, DIY skills, cyber gothy outfits, and use of skulls, spikes, gas masks, blood, and war imagery in his photos, Andrey is a lot like me. His first music video for “Another Sin” will be coming out soon and I’m excited to see these visuals come to life. You can see a smoking nun, dancing girls, and Andrey creepily holding a skull in the preview below. I can see from Andrey’s Instagram that he makes a lot of the props for his photos and such and I love that. He’s like a one man army. I think he looks similar to me, too. We’re both hot bitches. 😉

Too Dead To Die’s music could easily find its way into the music libraries of avid dance fans, Top 40 listeners, and cyber goths alike. “Murder On The Dance Floor” is a non-stop electronic assault that will get you singing along and stomping your Demonia boots. I personally use it as music for my workouts and it keeps me going strong all the way through. I’ll end this post with perhaps the lightest dance pop track on the album, called “The Only Summer”. Live in the moment and make this a great summer! And check out Too Dead To Die’s album! It’s perfect summer party music for us darker folks.