Monday, August 22, 2016

Music Monday: Milk & Bone

I feel like I've been slacking again with my Music Monday posts because I've been away such a lot so I wanted to pick something extra special today for your listening pleasure, and something that could inject a bit of sunshine into your Monday.

So let me introduce you to the dreamy sound of electro-pop duo Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin who go by the name Milk & Bone, from Montréal; the beautiful French-speaking part of Canada.

The duo first met as music students at Cégep de Saint-Laurent, and later performed with David Giguère's touring band. Together, they decided to begin writing and performing as a duo after being brought in as guest vocalists on Misteur Valaire's 2013 album Bellevue. In 2015, they then released their debut album 'Little Mourning' which was then longlisted as a nominee for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize.

If you're a fan of Shura, Oh Wonder, Broods and so on, you are going to love this collection of 8 tracks from Milk & Bone brimming with sweetness, light and shade to delight any electro-pop fan's ears. But at the same time, Milk & Bone are also delivering something fresh and innovative. The dreamy harmonies are there, the soaring hooks are there, but also, in this collection of gorgeous songs, you hear subtle little treats that illustrate how Milk & Bone are pushing the electro-pop boundaries. So, just as one example, you can hear the use of unconventional electro-pop instruments such as the ukulele on 'Easy to Read'.

And again, listen carefully and you'll notice that although on the outset their sound may appear to be whimsy, Milk & Bone fuse lyrics and music videos of quite evocative imagery, and yet they word-paint this in such a way that is soft and dreamy, and yet musically painted that is very deliberate in intention. This is particularly evident on tracks such as 'Pressure', one of the stand out tracks from the album, and the video for the above track 'Coconut Water'.

It is the above charm that will make you want to listen to the album really very intensely. Whilst it serves as epic background music, it's also wonderful to stick your headphones on, somewhere really peaceful and escapist, and give it your complete attention to hear the enchanting vision Milk & Bone want you to hear come to life.

I have decided to pick their song 'Coconut Water' to introduce you to what Milk & Bone do so beautifully. It's a true summer song, (I mean with a title such as that how could it not be!) and the melody is as sweet as Coconut Water itself. The lyrics are for longing, kind of like the sweetness again most of us adore about coconuts, but the mellow, hazy vibe of this dreamy song will have you either feeling blissful enjoying the sunshine or reminiscing on summer days long gone as we head into autumn.

I really hope you fall in love with Milk & Bone as much as me and if you love the sound of 'Coconut Water' above I highly suggest you listen to the whole album. For more information about this gorgeous duo head here and to their links below. Also, they have just released their beautiful new single 'Natalie' that I'm already head over heels in love with.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Friends Box, My Little Box, August 2016

"Friends are the family we choose for ourselves" as Edna Buchanan once said. Well I know that's certainly the case for the special friends in my life, and I'm sure it is the same for you. So this month My Little Box are honouring this special bond we have with our friends and using that as the theme for the August box.

Firstly the box print, designed by the My Little Box in house illustrator Kanako is so bright and summery, you would immediately want to share it with your friends. Plus the inflatable donuts and flamingoes are without a doubt the 2016 must-have summer thing to own (and I absolutely want both for my non-existent pool!). I normally keep my boxes and use them for storage but this will be the first box I give away to a friend for a birthday present with lots of goodies inside. Parfait!
Lifting the lid on the kitsch cover I'm already crazy for, a card reads, 'In Girlsquad we trust' and on the reverse a lovely little bit about the history of girl power. Underneath this card is the 'My Little World' magazine full of all things continuing the girl-power theme with interviews with friendship power duos, beauty how-to tutorials and lots more.

Next up is a packet of Propercorn 'Sweet and Salty' Popcorn. I've tried this popcorn many times and it's simply divine. It's also gm free, wheat free and vegan so I highly recommend you pick up a pack if you see it for a guilt free snack. And what says friendship more than sharing popcorn?!

Another friendship must-have? A cute photo! So enter the next lifestyle item: a clip on fish eye phone camera lens. Shamefully I'm not sure I understand entirely what it does or how it works as I never ever take selfies or photos of myself, but I know for sure one of my friends will know just how to work this, so it will be a fun bonding exercise to figure it out and I'm sure it will produce a lovely snapshot we will treasure.
Finally lots of lovely beauty treats. The first is a very sweet nail kit from My Little Box themselves. I'm not entirely sure how this sums up friendship because when I think of friends and nails I think of simply painting each others nails at a sleepover aged 13! Nevertheless, ignoring the theme for a moment, this is such a sweet addition and this kit is going to be perfect for travel. It includes a file, clipper and more, and it's extremely portable. Plus the print is ever so darling.

Next up, in a sweet heart drawstring bag, is a bottle of Batiste's Stylist Hairspray. Batiste are of course iconic for their dry shampoos so I'm really interested to see them venture into other hair styling products and how successfully this works: I will let you know! Then a very interesting looking moisturiser from Kadalys called 'Comforting Cream' that promises to restore hydration levels and nutrition to the skin and soothe the skin thanks to the beneficial properties of Yellow Banana, mango butter and hyaluronic acid. The ingredients sound so exotic and I always adore trying new French skincare so this looks très exciting indeed.

But last, but certainly not least, is this cutest flamingo printed lip tint. This is a fabulous balm/lipstick combo that glides onto the lips like a dream to leave a pretty sheeny watermelon stain and is also packed with a helpful dose of SPF 15 to protect your lips during the summer. And I did mention how cute the packaging was, right?! *insert all the heart emojis* !!

Yet again I think this box is a triumph for My Little Box. Obviously because I'm a total coconut fiend the July box was hard to beat for me, but this is really lovely as usual and I am excited to explore everything as the month goes on. If you're interested to see what other My Little Boxes look like take a little trip down memory lane if you please with my previous My Little Box posts here.

What did you think of this box? Would you tell your friends about it? Let me know what you thought below!

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