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July 2020 Favourites

I really enjoy watching monthly favourite videos so I thought I'd do the blogging equivalent. I've spent a lot of time eating art this month so I have had to narrow down my choices to stuff that I have a lot to say about


The biggest item on this list regarding music is the fact that I spontaneously bought a record player, which I'm considering an early birthday present to myself. 

A record player on a wooden surface.

The main reason I even decided to do this was because I spontaneously bought Orla Gartland's vinyl record (pic and link) with both of her most recent EPs on it. I love Orla's music so much and I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to physically own her music. 

A record cover for the album 'Why Am I Like This?' by Orla Gartland. It shows various pictures of the singer in different modes of dress, styled as she was taking a school photo in each.

This sparked a desire to build a physical music collection. I'm very excited to be able to play music without using the internet. I've spent a good chunk of the end of this month listening to Why Am I Like This? and Freckle Season on repeat. I am unsure how much damage is done to vinyls by doing this. Will have to look this up. 

I made an effort during quarantine to listen to more albums in general. Whilst I love making playlists (and trust me, I've made a lot whilst trapped in my house), I like hearing what one artist has to say over one project. Musicians place songs in a particular order for a reason and I want to hear what story they have to tell.

One that had a significant impact on me was Manic by Halsey.

The singer Halsey is placed in front of a gradient background. She has a glittery blue eye, styled to look like a bruise. The text reads 'Manic' 'Halsey'
Source: Wikipedia

In my opinion, this album is her best album. This is the most honest and raw I've heard her be since Badlands. It is somehow able to make its vulnerable elements accessible, teetering the line of pop in a dedicated way and, as a concept album, it takes a much more adult look at her previously explored themes such as heartbreak and mental illness. Manic doesn't try to be sugarcoat anything. It is gentle when it needs to be and it is violent when it needs to be. It takes the teenage elements of Badlands and retrospectively satirises them. There is so much I connected with here.

As for playlists, I have three that stuck with me. I've made a monthly playlist on YouTube rather than Spotify because I already make a yearly playlist, which I will link here if you are interested. (pic)

A youtube playlist titled 'july 2020 music faves'.

A playlist that I followed and enjoyed this month is called 'my ethnicity? 100% dumb bitch'. Yes, I too love this title.

A spotify playlist titled 'my ethnicity? i'm 100% dumb bitch'

This month has been difficult and I've been keen to find respite wherever I can find it. In this playlist, I found songs that are very girly and very arrogant, which is fun when your brand is low self-esteem. Being able to indulge a bit in femininity and proudly singing Bubblegum Bitch is just fun, making this playlist perfect for moments when I've needed a mood boost.

A playlist I created this month is playlist where I ranked Lorde's songs from worst to best.

A spotify playlist titled 'forgive and not fight'

I was inspired by Julia Cudney's video ranking every Taylor Swift video and didn't even manage to finish the video before I was trying to work out how I was going to do my own ranking. I used a tier ranking website, which I am not going to link because it has tons of ads on it and it kept crashing. However, it was useful in working out which songs I preferred to listen to. 


I watched a lot of really good films this month and have made a significant dent in my watchlist. Here are a few that really stuck with me.

Palm Springs (2020) 

An image of a man and a woman in flotation devices floating on a pool in the middle of a road. The text reads 'Palm Springs'
Source: IMDb

This film is genuinely funny comedy that I wasn't expecting to hit as hard a note with me as it did. It explores the time loop trope with protagonists who have become disconnected from their lives and try to work out what it is they are meant to do, both with different interpretations on why they are stuck the way they are. Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti have great chemistry and make what could be a tired trope interesting and profound. 

Exhibit A (2007) 

A video camera covered in blood in a police evidence bag. The text reads 'The Camera Never Lies...' 'Exhibit A'
Source: IMBb

I was legitimately surprised with how much I liked this film. I found it whilst searching for something to watch at 2am and I clicked on this found footage horror, expecting it to be forgettable. However, I felt that, whilst it did cling to many tropes of the genre, it was able to build legitimate tension, with the impending murder being offered in the opening credits and the audience just sitting and waiting to see how the patriarch of the family present is going to spiral. No spoilers but a death scene towards the end of the film is so uncomfortable and tense that I'm still thinking about it. 

Excision (2012) (pic)

A girl in an old fashioned regal dress sat in a chair with a bottom of her dress covered in blood. The text reads 'Excision'.
Source: Wikipedia

Now. This film is bizarre and if I'm being honest, I think it might be an objectively bad film. That doesn't mean it hasn't stuck with me and that I don't have an intense urge to write pages about it. This is a gory film telling the story of teenage girl attempting to convince her family that she is a psychopath, and depicts the methods she goes to do this. Like I said, there are so many elements that are overacted and cliche and done for the sake of shock. I still rate it highly because the emotional impact it had on me has continued. 

To end this section, I have linked to favourite film list of mine, 'films i have rated 5 stars'. This is a list that is ranked based on my personal opinions and gives a pretty clear indication of my tastes.

A letterboxd titled 'films i've rated 5 stars'


I have made a whole list of videos I liked this month which I will link here though here are some of my faves in detail. 

A youtube playlist titled 'july 2020 fave youtube videos'

Debunking Asexual and Aromantic Myths

Rowan Ellis is a video essayist I've watched for a while and who I enjoy because of how she does media criticism through a queer lens. In this video, she invites author Alice Oseman to discuss ideas held about people on the asexual and aromantic spectrum. As two ace people, they are able to discuss the subject expertly and refute myths that have been perpetuated. This is required watching if you know nothing about this topic and wish to be more empathetic to those experiences.

The Last Bronycon: a fandom autopsy

Does anyone remember bronies? Because I do, and so does Jenny Nicholson, who was a part of the early community. I've been watching Jenny for years now and I'm a fan how she tackles reviews in general. I was excited to see her evoke the same amount of cringe I felt when I first encountered people who were way too into My Little Pony. If this is also your perspective, you should definitely watch this video because it completely changed my view of bronies and the culture surrounding them, providing a well researched history and balanced point of view on why people might have attached themselves to passionately to something seemingly so innocuous.

Dear Haters of Mamma Mia.

Now this is just for me. Would you like to see something explain why Mamma Mia is a good film and why it deserves legitimate critique rather than being dismissed simply because women like it? You probably do, yeah.


I honestly didn't read that much this month. One book that did have an impact was the graphic novel, Bottled by Chris Gooch.

The top of the image shows a person sat on the edge of a bed in front of a window at nighttime. The bottom of the image shows two people in the woods, one of which is wearing a mask and holding a knife. The text reads 'Bottled' 'Chris Gooch'
Source: Goodreads

This is a dark book, both in aesthetic and in theme. It tells the story of a friendship on the edge of breaking, with the protagonist feeling ignored and abandoned by her friend, then seeking drastic measures to get revenge because of this. The imagery is beautiful and connects the body expertly with the high emotions of the book, even going so far as to have it physically break apart with the fallout. With questionable characters and a highly emotional plot, I enjoyed this book so much.


This section is for stuff that didn't really fit into the other categories.

So first, I would like to recommend the site Unconsenting Media. I found this site on Tumblr and it has become a wonderful resource when trying to navigate the film watching I've been doing.

The website 'Unconsenting Media'

It is a database that documents whether or not a piece of media has scenes of rape or sexual assault, helping those who could possibly have an adverse reaction to scenes of that nature. I feel like this is an invaluable resource that not enough people know about.

Another fave of mine was a print I bought from ffionart on Etsy of one of my favourite films, The Handmaiden.

An etsy product named 'The Handmaiden Art Poster' by the shop 'ffionart'

I put this on my art wall and it's just so nice to have physical memorabilia of a good film. I love detailing and the cherry blossom falling. It looks so dreamy.

I also found this zine called 'We're Not Flying Rats' by QuerstretArt on Etsy.   
A zine sits on top of a wooden surface. The cover is some drawings of pigeons. The text reads 'We're Not Flying Rats' 'Elizabeth Querstret'
Source: QuerstretArt

It's about pigeons and how they are greatly misunderstood creatures. The art is beautiful and the zine offered a perspective I hadn't really considered. (Unfortunately, it is no longer listed on their shop so I've just linked to the full shop rather than the specific zine).

And that was July. If you check out anything here, let me know what you think. Will be back soon x