Interview: The Life of a Banana, PP Wong

The Life of a Banana

‘PP Wong has blazed a trail for future British Chinese novelists. The Life of a Banana is bursting with original and exciting flavours.’ – Ben Chu, The Independent

‘Life Of A Banana is so refreshingly distinct. Read it, and you will soon find yourself wanting more.’ – The Daily Mail

‘Revealing in its exploration of cultural and generational conflicts and moving in its optimism.’ – The Guardian

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This week I’ve caught up with acclaimed début author PP Wong, the first British Chinese author in the U.K. to secure a publishing deal, with Legend Press, for her novel The Life of a Banana. If you’ve not heard of it already, the question is why not! The book is a fierce and moving story of the life of a British Chinese childhood in London told by twelve year old protagonist, Xing Li.

I asked PP 5 questions about about her novel.

PP Wong

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INTERVIEW

1. When did The Life of A Banana begin for you? Was there a moment of inspiration for the novel itself?

When I was a child, I would max out my library card and have a stack of books next to my bed. I was a quiet nerd – so curling up with a good book was my idea of fun. It still is my idea of fun! I guess the only difference between me now and then is that now I don’t have such a bad haircut! I don’t remember reading any stories about Chinese kids when I was young. I did not have any Asian role models to look up to and in my imaginary games I would pretend to be blonde and white. I suppose The Life of A Banana was a story that I always had at the back of my mind. I had a deep longing to read a book about a British Chinese family – to have characters that I could call my own. I don’t think I had a specific moment of inspiration. It was more of a gradual process. The Life of a Banana was a story that was in my heart for many years. I suppose I hoped one day I would be brave enough to write it.

2. The Life of a Banana speaks candidly about modern-day racism in Britain towards ethnic minorities, what made you use a children’s novel, and Xing Li’s character in particular, as a way to approach the topic?

Even though the protagonist Xing Li is 12 years old, the novel was initially targeted at adults. However, the topics of bullying and prejudices are something many young people identify with too. My novel now comes under the “crossover” genre which means it’s for both adults and children. It has been wonderful seeing the positive impact The Life of a Banana has on readers both young and old.

I’ve spent my life moving between London and Singapore and am a mish-mash of two cultures. In this sense, my book is a mish-mash of opposites. I wanted to play around with darkness and light, humour and tears. The novel covers dark topics like mental illness and racist bullying but the light hearted and innocent approach Xing Li has balances the novel out. I like it that even though Xing Li goes through a number of horrible circumstances, she still retains her youthful, inquisitive nature.

3. You’re also the Editor-in-Chief for the website bananawriters.com, brilliant site! How/when did the site form, and did it coincide with your own experience of trying to get The Life of a Banana published?

It was difficult to get a UK publishing deal. After I signed with a publisher, I thought to myself, “There must be other Asian writers who are going through the same struggles that I’ve gone through. Maybe I should start a website?”

I did not know whether Bananawriters.com would be successful. But I felt that I could at least give it my best – even if I helped to encourage just one or two people it would be worth it. After the first couple of issues (and with many famous Asian authors being so supportive) Bananawriters.com started to explode.

4. Gudrun Jobst designed the cover for The Life of a Banana, did you have a say in the design, and what is your favourite aspect?

My wonderful UK publisher Legend Press included me in the publishing process every step of the way. They always asked for my feedback and were open to new ideas. Something I made clear was that I did not want my novel to have the generic cover that many Asian novels possess. For some reason, the cover of many Asian novels are red with Chinese symbols, cherry blossom or beautiful women with black, flowing hair. All that does is categorize all Asian authors in an “Asian genre” despite what topic or style the novel is written in.

I am glad that my publisher got where I was coming from. The cover Gudrun produced reflects what The Life of a Banana is – contemporary, dark, funny and quirky. My favourite aspect is actually on the back of the book where the tortoise is sitting on the ISBN number. Every time I see that, it makes me smile. I think the cover is like marmite – you either hate it or love it. But at least, the cover has an “opinion” and is not boring.

5. Finally, I hear Xing Li is your favourite character; Grandma is mine. What do you think Grandma would make of you?

She’d probably tell me off for not being too tidy and for my terrible Chinese with the British accent.

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I have to thank PP so much for featuring on Lose & Find,  The Life of a Banana is out in all good book stores and can be purchased for Kindle and Paperback:

Waterstones / Amazon / WH SmithBarnes & Noble

And of course, read more about PP on her website ppwongauthor.com.

But ’til next time folks, it’s bye from me

Charlotte xx

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Another Kind of Revolution: XiaoLu Guo

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A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, XiaoLu Guo

It’s no surprise that from the lines of books on the self, this title catches my eye; I’ve been intermittently studying Chinese all my life, and the dictionary is my best friend. But this brilliant cover, and recommendation from Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club), seals the deal; the past couple of weeks have been hectic, but I manage to squeeze in this novel, giving up entirely on concealing the rather conspicuous cover.

If you’ve ever tried to communicate with someone in another language, learn one or cross-culturally communicate for just a train station’s whereabouts, there is no way this novel can’t speak volumes to you. ‘A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers follows Z, a twenty-something from China, and her studies of English in London from her first person perspective. The narration is dry and witty, and demonstrates perfectly a sense of a ‘foreigner’s’ bewilderment abroad –  but pivotally, expressed in that foreign language.

That is, our language: English. The typeset (pet love, indulge me) of Z’s Times New Roman narration, chapters headed with Arial dictionary references, the referenced handwritten notes, and suddenly baffling Chinese type – then relieving English translation, are not just a clever way of distinguishing levels of English usage and it’s complexities, but also visually illustrating the levels of complexities which Z faces in the physical world of the novel. What am I trying to say? Besides my opinion that font matters, that the novel is not merely limited to narrator’s description, there’s a whole other play of different media forms within the novel that demonstrate the novel’s central theme of communication.

But, the Guo’s choice of a non-native speaker narrating, and the themes it inevitably encounters are not without their challenges for the reader also. Broken English in conversation can be tiring, and in type for some half of the novel it is at times, unfortunately tiring. Not being at liberty to hunker down for a three-hours-straight reading session, stopping and starting the novel at intervals became at times laborious, whereas after a while of getting into it – you begin to embrace the flow of grammatical errors and strange diction that characterises Z’s diary. There are two points to come of this. Firstly, this is not to say that the ‘foreignness’ (is that PC?) of the narrator is ever lost; between constant references to the Chinese homeland, cultural practices and the different-ness (I, like Z, don’t like ‘alienness’) of the philosophies being referred to in English there is an unmistakable core of Eastern knowledge at the writer’s disposal – and it is not wasted nor used wastefully.

Secondly, this kind of second-language is English writing is a fascinating exploration of language difference. Beckett, who chose to write his plays in his second language, French, comes to mind. This may seem paradoxical, as Beckett, in his usual roundabout way, is said to have written in French to “write without style… “, to escape himself, and the poetry of the language, to both draw attention to himself, and weaken his presence (Carrière, 37). Beckett was fluent, Beckett was not writing semi-autobiographical narrative fiction. However, in a converse kind of way, the English here is crucial to the overall effect: the choice to complete the novel as a perseverance of the voice in English is precisely what makes in ‘A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers’ so fascinating; the broken usage of English language, the difficult and direct Chinese-to-English usage, it’s slow move towards native fluency. The English is blunt, with an unassuming poeticism that is as original as it is non-Western-traditional, devoid of self-indulgence or congratulation, capturing a sense of communicational triumph of a non-native tortured by learning conjunctives and nouns that function as verbs.

‘A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers’ is a frank and painful coming-of-age for “an entire generation of anguished Chinese youth”, a generation which Guo champions over and over from her novellas, prose and documentary work (Zhen, 46). It is a work of revolutions, sexual, linguistic, cultural and personal. But I don’t believe it is about the difference between Eastern and Western thinking, practice and lifestyle, as much as it is about the effort and difficulty to understand other cultures – for all parties involved. For me, it resonates a sense of unity; we are guided to empathise with Z and we do, but it isn’t an empathy of her right and his wrong way, it is simply one of their respective pain.

There’s nothing I like more than a novel of originality: where I can’t guess what’s going to happen next. And this is one of them.

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Works Cited

Carrière, Julien F. ‘Samuel Beckett and Bilungualism: How the Return to English Influences the Later Writing Style and Gender Roles of ‘All That Fall’ and ‘Happy Days’. Dissertation. Dec 2005. Online: http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-07282005-174600/unrestricted/Carriere_dis.pdf

Guo, Xiaolu. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. Vintage: London, 2008. Print.

 Zhen, Zhang. ‘”I’m a Modern Peasant”: Encountering Xiaolu Guo.’. World Literature Today , 82.6 (Winter, 2008): 45-48. University of Oklahoma: Oklahoma. Online: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20621416

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I’m currently reading Bill Bryson’s ‘The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way’. It’s fantastic, and if I can, I’ll update you on it!

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Running Track(s)

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I don’t know anything about House, Beats, Dubstep or Electro. but boy are they helping my adjust to my new running regime out here in Taipei #getfitcampaign. As my body sweats unbelievable rivulets in 30º heat (and that’s at 930PM) it’s seems this is what it wants to hear.

It’s been in my head since I starting thinking about going to Taiwan again for the summer, and I’m thinking back to see where this sudden change taste has suddenly sprung out of. After some digging, it seems perhaps it’s not so new. Two years ago, my housemate loved mixing tracks and had her own mac DJ set up where we lived; she went on to DJ sets in Underworld, a too-trendy-for-me basement club in Shida District. Further back still, and grasping at tenuous straws, I spent a fair amount of time shopping in Zara as a very tall child, and it’s got that zaney European, electric-y, beat-with-no-words feel.

Er, does that explain it?

Not really… I’m not going to pretend I’ve picked up any real knowledge at this point; I’m far past being cool enough to pretend to be hipster. I’m quite happily clueless about mixing, spinning or dropping, but having taken an interest in a slightly wackyier type of music of late, here’s 10 pretty cool beats that are hitting some high play counts on my running playlist – with some horrendous commentary. Happy listening, and most  importantly:

Keep Running.

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 1. Only You ft. Synth, Roebuck.


What a mellow start to this tune. I get that feeling in my gut when you know it’s going to build to something good. The beeps tinkle effortlessly over the slow, synth string build-up till the vocals hit in a at 2.30 – retro, old-school and thick-belting over a conglomeration of electric beats that have that Daftpunk-esque sequence. Unfortunately for me, it never seems to hit that umph-bass point that I want it do, something to really punch you in the chest – and that swish and fade out ending makes me cringe. But as far as a bass to keep you running goes, it’s on the playlist.

2.5/5

2. Made To Stray, Mount Kimbie

Yum to the the crackle-back and click percussion in this track. It’s a grower, but Made To Stray is definitely one to re-listen till you can get past the strangeness of those out-synced sliding trumpets. The slow build-up of layering isn’t the most original of openings, but make it to the chords and you may as well finish the song. At points the song does make me wonder at my willingness to listen to repetitive noises (Over and Over, Hot Chip, anyone?)

3/5

3. Get Started ft. Omar, Mike de Clive-Lowe (Full Crate Remix)

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Maybe my affinity for clicking/clapping is actually a genuine thing, (worrying) or at least Get Started make me think so.  This track actually moves into something that makes me want to dance in my pastel coloured room as if I’m co-ordinated  There’s a nice blend of deep, toned voice to electro in this which ranks it up beyond the not so evenly balanced ‘Made to Stray’ and ‘Only You’ and hey, it’s a clap out finish and no fade (pet hate) so cool.

4/5

 

4. Who Am I, Huxley.

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There’s some pretty sexually attractive sounds featuring in Huxley, and I can’t tell if it’s the baseline, the twanged opening notes, the following chorus chords, that’s got my hooked, but hey, it sure ain’t the lyrics. There’s just enough variation in this keep me entertained, and I sure love the rhythm. Hit repeat and keep going.

4/5

 

5. Jagged Edge, Eats Everything.

Mmm to that beat and vocal combo. Yes, it’s odd. Yes, it’s so thick it’s practically blurry. It certainly feels like it shouldn’t work at keeping my toes tingling, but just, yes. The woody glockenspiel is a wicked touch that tones down the straight-out-of-nowhere feel, and it’s is barely tempered by short reprieves in the heaviness of all the sounds. All in all, this is messy, and weird and I love running to it.

5/5

6. That Thing, Golden Boy.

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Ow, my chest. This is SO GOOD. There’s some actual, sexy-smooth, listenable lyrics in this that are mixed in something lovely with the tinny, shake-beat. And someome tell me what that it is about the “Let them kick it to the nick” means for my mild curiousity; I don’t care if it’s nonsense, cause it sounds sick.

5/5

7. Truth With A Capital T, Dusky

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Ok, I’m still out with the jury on the funny, dry-clappy sound over what is a nice beat going on.  And if I’m honest that recycled clip on truth didn’t really catch me either – the melty, sliding synth or cow bells; there’s just so much going on here that seems mished-in with little to tie it together. Ah, I know they’re a big name, so I’m still going to give something else a shot, but this one’s a little too hardcore for me.

2.5/5

8. You & Me ft. Eliza Doolittle, Disclosure.

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Eliza, you minx. I’m such a fan of her velvet voice, and here with Disclosure it’s a neat whiskey shot of beats, tight synth and fabulous chord progressions – with my only criticism being the abrupt finish, perhaps only because I want more. I literally wish I could ingest this in some liquid for cause it makes my head spin.

5/5

 9. Baby I Got That, Bondax.

Cut the first 20 seconds of this tune and it’s something writhingly seductive. Too many stops and starts for my liking, but the sharp piano chords are beautiful and less of that “s’the beat” and it’s a good interim song if you’re ears need a break from all the beats above. It’ll relax those shoulders, definitely a chill out tune.

3.5/5

10. Your Girl, Tourist.

I love this tune, it’s simple layering build up is neat and it’s crisp. Regular enough to keep up the pace, loud enough to drown out heavy, I’m-dying-but-I’m-still-running style breathing. There’s something sweet about the melody in this, it’s a pleasant progression and is definitely an upbeat listen. I got to say, it’s hard to pin down why this one is on my running list, but I think there’s something to be said here for simplicity.

3/5

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There you go. 10 songs for your running playlist. Hit me up with any suggestions to keep me running…

What are you waiting for?

Get going!

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What I’m Reading: Country Childhoods & Cultural Histories

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It seems a bit of an odd shame that for the amount of books I read, let alone the crates stored in old banana boxes under my bed at home, there’s literally nothing to show for it in my books category. By the way of some cheap excuse, for the most part of the year I dread the exhilarating panic of writing essays, speed read through novels to meet the deadline of a seminar, and hunt though endless dusty second hand selves or barter impatiently with other students to grudgingly fork over notes for my reading list; I wonder if becoming an English Lit. student hasn’t somewhat diminished my desire to write about the books I read…

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Still, it would be a certain lie to say that my university years haven’t also made me enjoy reading more (if you’ll excuse the soppy/clichéd/lemming-esque nature of exalting university years). Great tutors, great discussions, great reading lists and historical, cultural and contemporary knowledge – all that jazz. But, I’m no academic (though boy, would it be fun to be that clever), so all I can offer is updates on what I’m reading.

Laurie Lee: Cider with Rosie

Taiwan: A New History, Expanded Edition.
Ed. Murray A. Rubinstein. East Gate, 2007.

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1st Edition Cover

Laurie Lee: Cider with Rosie

Before I started Cider with Rosie, recommended by a friend – and here I feel compelled to say a recent Oxford graduate as if it validates his authority, how depressing – I knew nothing of the Laurie Lee‘s works and had only heard some gleefully recounted flowery quotes of travel writing and countryside incest; an eclectic and bothersomely intriguing sample of Lee’s writing. Not without some coincidence, I needed something word-based to stem the nausea of  a 12hr flight not long after his recommendation, and found myself idly searching online for his autobiographical trilogy, unconvinced (as I wilfully am when it comes to childhood autobiography –  despite adoring J. G. Ballard’s Empire of the Sun, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Adeline Yen Ma’s Chinese Cinderella…) that I would be sucked in by a rendition of childhood in the English countryside. I can be pret-ty stubborn.

But, Queen of Stubbornness though I may be, it was nearly impossible not to be transfixed by Lee’s oscillating chapters spanning his West England country-side upbringing; I said to a friend – first class honours Film graduate, Queen’s Belfast (just to be fair) – only one chapter in to Cider with Rosie, that it was “One of the best first chapters of writing I’ve read in a long time.” Weaving backwards and forward along his own time line, he carves out bundles of childhood stories in a burningly lucid first person retrospective narrative. Although sparse, his colloquial child’s voice that bursts noisily through the dream-like, wordy narrative prose; while there’s heavy use of metaphor and description that sometimes make the prose border on the weighty side, it’s intuitively original and I love it. There’s no sense of flattery of his childhood self (self-raising as we say in our house), and it’s particularly the blunt depiction of childhood roughness – remorselessly investigative – that strike me as great moments in the novel.

Between his reflection of his childhood self, his dabbling descriptions of the town, its folk and festivals, his mother, head of the family unit strikes me as a wonderful mast-head character for the childhood Laurie to ponder, adore and grudgingly follow. I’d love to have a physical copy of the book as here’s where I’d argue about her centrality in the physical copy (Chapter 7 of 13) – backbone of the book – as perhaps indicative of a child’s life, how the book spans around this matriarchal figure and more, however I feel slightly inhibited by my Kindle still, despite it’s undoubted portability. This debate on physicality of digital vs. paper copy aside, Lee’s words paint a wonderful, arresting rather than childishly enchanting, picture of his Gloucestershire life in Cider with Rosie, pulling elements to crystal clarity in the foreground and hinting backdrops to our own imagination.

As I type Cider with Rosie, I keep coming out with the odd Cider with Laurie; it’s somewhat self-indulgently fitting to close my review this way – the book as a sweating, cider pint pub-listener to the 1959 Laurie Lee as I imagine him, chequer-scarfed, heavy coated and with, of course, a writer’s flickering spectacles. It’s a distinctive, clever and strongly characterised voice which reads quietly to me from those pages. And what a truly excellent read it is.

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Taiwan: A New History

Taiwan: A New History, Expanded Edition. Ed. Murray A. Rubinstein. East Gate, 2007

I’ve ambitiously taken this stonker of a history out of my university library several times without being able to conquer my course reading list in time to read it. However this summer, I contrived a cunning plan by which it has now been bought to ‘intellectually enrich’ my family’s knowledge of their own cultural heritage; it hasn’t left my room yet (thanks Dad!). Now that it’s the summer, I finally have time to read all those books I’ve been wanting to read for a while, and there’s quite a hefty list piled up – unfortunately, the problem is usually acquiring them, fortunately, my friends bought me a Kindle for my 21st and between that and Project Gutenburg, my library of books has exponentially and digitally expanded beyond the banana box confines of my make-shift shelves.

As July came to an end, I began this tome of Taiwanese history, and for a fact book (lol) I’m totally hooked. Now it’s hard to tell whether I can say other people will also be interested in this collection of essays discussing Taiwan’s cultural, political and religious history from the original aboriginal tribes and settling of the 17th century Han Chinese, through Taiwan’s extensive foreign domination and political strife ending with (I’m eagerly awaiting) a critical view of the first elective presidents Lee Teng-Hui and Chen Shui Bian as a culmination of Taiwan’s troubled democratization. However, the typeset and text is accessible, with little heavy reading without topic headlines, tables, maps and illustrations giving some light relief and extensive endnotes for (and hey, don’t knock the importance of layout); Chinese is clearly demarcated in, albeit now slightly worn, pin ying – but who can keep up with the constant changes in romanized pronunciation guides these days, for note-worthy terms and phrases of particular use to the bilingual reader.

I’m not far through enough to give you a conclusion, but stay tuned and I’ll keep you updated!

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Next Week:

As a Taiwanese-Northern Irish mix myself, one of my favourite, and narrowly defined, genres of books to read are  translated Asian bestsellers and those of second generations Chinese, ABCs and BBCs to those in the know (American Born Chinese, and British Born Chinese to those interested!). This week, I’m putting aside As I Walked Out One Morning, Laurie Lee’s autobiographical sequel to Cider with Rosie, for a book proudly proclaimed as shortlisted for Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction ’07:

A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. XiaoLu Guo.

See y’all soon!

Happy reading.

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Yes I'll still eat it.

Music: Gimme Some Sweet Soul

Yes I'll still eat it.

Burnt toast. I am truly ill.

So I’ve made it back home after a long twelve week term at University and typically, as soon as I arrive in the door, I’m bowled over by a disgusting cold that has probably been brewing for the last couple of weeks. I’m not quite sure why my good ol’ immune system seems to think any holiday I take, means it can also have a day off (Note to immune system: Er, no you can’t). But it means I’m here at home in a catatonic state of dosed up wooziness: eyes swollen and streaming, endlessly burning toast and constantly making pathetic bids for sympathy with an impressive catalogue of groaning sounds.

Now seems as good a time as any to share with y’all some gushy music only too apt to accompany tissues and streaming eyes. My cold might hide the fact that it’s my standard look when listening to this particular set…

1. Trouble Town– Hudson Taylor | Facebook
Nothing beats starting with my regulars, the beautiful Dublin boys Alfie and Harry.

2. American – Lana Del Rey | Official Website
She gets a bad rep. for being as fake as the inch-long acrylics on her fingers, but I love what Lizzie Grant has done to re-invent her public persona. A little shy and warbling in reality, cold fish to a live audience, but incredibly lost and soulful in the studio. I don’t care how plastic she is, it’s the 21st century – great work Lana.

3. Out of Africa Theme Music – John Barry Orchestra
Ow, my chest. The strings in this piece get me EVERY TIME. I heard this piece first one late night on  Classic FM (Belfast 101.9 FM) – probably post boyfriend argument but I can’t remember now – and it’s stayed with me every since. Beautiful stuff.

4. Youth – Daughter | Website
My best friend, to be hailed and credited for 99.9% of my music tastes [all hail and praise, otherwise she might kill me] introduced my to daughter and I’m hooked. With an already strong fan base worldwide, this soft and wistful sound with a great acoustic beat is quality in it’s quiet emotion.

5. Broken to be Rebuilt – Katharine Philippa | Official Website
OK, so the start of the video is a bit cringy; no-one’s going to be winning any Oscars for that performance. But the music talent in this piece is shockingly beautiful. Wonderfully kooky and individual, Philippa has already supported Daughter in Belfast in January 2013, and I can see her going far. Well worth a wee scout.

6. Dance Me to the End of Love – Madeleine Peyroux | Official Website
This the sultry Jazz voice of American singer-songwriter Peyroux is meltingly soft and sophisticated. I’m in love with this smokey cover of Leonard Cohen’s original love song…

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Six tunes for your eargasmic pleasure – and unfortunately we’re ending here today folks as I’ve just split a load of tea on my pyjamas. Sneezing with a force of 6.1 on the Richter scale, while holding a mug of hot tea is a fun experience.

Any sultry tunes you want to send my way [comments, messages,  or cold cures…?] would be greatly appreciated.

Ladies and Gents, I’m going back to bed!

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The Romantic Life

“I’m not sentimental—I’m as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last—the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

Image: Le Cantique des Cantiques III, Marc Chagall

Life is Love/Love is Life

I don’t want to live. I want to love first and live incidentally.

F Scott. Fitzgerald.

Image: Valentine  – Justine Glasgow

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Music: Summer Tunes

Hope this summer check-in finds you enjoying the glorious summer freedom, whether you’re choosing to spend it productively (you poor, tea-serving interns…) or sun worshipping (you poor, lazy buggers). Either way, here’s some tunes that you may not have heard to stick in your ears for three minutes of zoning out… whether that’s well earned or not!

The Girl: Gabrielle Alpin

You may have noticed this young sprite in the soundtrack of shows such as Made In Chelsea, but if you haven’t stopped to appreciate the clarity of her voice, and the drive of her nineteen year old self, I order you to do so right now.

Where to start? Here with ‘Home,’ then for a sense of her personality, have a listen to her impromptu motorway sing-song covering ‘It Ain’t Me Babe‘ caught on video in a delightfully still summer traffic jam. And if you’re feeling adventurous, check out this interesting collaboration with Bastille covering ‘Dreams’ – strangely catchy mix of two very different artists, but it works.

The Boys: Hudson Taylor

This dreamy, Dublin brothers duo had me at… well their cute photo, but their music is well up to par with some simple but heart-skipping harmonies, and heartfelt lyrics to match. This Irish lilt is known to set me off on a sad day, so watch out for ‘Won’t Back Down.’  But it’s not all slow and solemn, in their eclectic mix is some fab folk-style beats and and quirky lyrics.

Where to start?  ‘Trouble Town’  is a brilliant, beautiful taster to get you going, and mix that up with ‘Chasing Rubies’, ‘Drop of Smoke’. Also, sit down and listen to the lingering chords in ‘Won’t Back Down’ and ‘Hideaway‘; breath-taking simplicity. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you if you happen to get teary…

Got summer daylight to catch, so it’s over and out from me, but plug those earphones in, follow those links, and bask in some summer-esque tunes folks.

Reblog of Summer Tunes, written by me for Razz My Berries Magazine
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