cher lloyd

JUST WATCH ME: Cher Lloyd is Getting Activated

How blessed we are to be alive in this, the second #summerofCher, even if it is kind of getting more into the #autumnofCher. I like fall better anyway, so I’m pleased. At any rate, the new season of Cher Lloyd is finally upon us.

Cher Lloyd is very good at this thing which I love, which is the use of straight up nonsense syllables to express emotion. I find something very pure and kind of transcendent about that – the idea that your love, or rage, or whatever else, is too much for language. It started with “Want U Back”, ramped up on Sorry I’m Late with “Dirty Love” and “Just Be Mine”, and now we have “Activated”.

The other thing about this song that makes me really excited for the album is the lack of a traditionally recognizable chorus. I’m seeing it more and more – “Dangerous Woman” is a good example, 5H’s “Flex” and Little Mix’s “Move”, Selena’s “Same Old Love”, Demi’s “Cool for the Summer”, and both of Meghan Trainor’s new singles. There’s still a recognizable refrain, which you can classify as the chorus: they like ‘ooh’, they like ‘ooh / baby just wait on it / when I do the damn thing just watch me. But it’s not as separate from the rest of the song as something like, say, the chorus of “You Belong With Me”. It’s more subtle, less musically distinct. Some of these songs even use the same lyrics as the bridge rather than introduce a new element, simply changing the pacing or the pitch. It makes for a different kind of listening experience, I think, because it’s more difficult to say when the song “should” end. I could listen to “Activated” on a loop for several hours, probably, before I got tired of it or really even noticed that it was repeating. There is nothing to snag, nothing to hang you up in the flow of it. You all know I love Taylor more than life, but you know when a Taylor Swift song is over. This song – and others like it – are less in-your-face. They’re not exactly background tracks; they demand more attention and care than that. But they’re not something that you have to drop everything to focus on. “Activated” is predictable, but in a different way than something like “Sirens” is. It’s difficult to describe, but if you listen to it, you’ll get it.

“Activated” feels more mature than Cher’s earlier work somehow, and that might just be me, but I am so ready for this album, for the direction she seems to be headed in. Hopefully we’ll see more from her soon, and in the meantime, you have this slinky neon video to watch.

Help Me, Sporty Spice: A Workout Playlist

Amy Schumer has a bit about masturbation & she says if the temperature changes, she loses it, her concentration is broken, just never mind. That is how I feel about working out. My ability to workout hangs in the balance & if even one element goes off, I’m done (for weeks, honestly). The key component of my workout success is what I’m listening to (& how swishy my ponytail is) so here’s a playlist. I had a really good workout this week & now I think I know shit.

Beyoncé:
“7/11”
I don’t advise starting your workout with Beyoncé because you’ll go too hard & exhaust yourself within the 3 minute space of this song & you’ll wheeze your way through the next 57 minutes on the elliptical – okay 27 minutes, fine. Also, just look at her legs. That’s it.

“Run the World”

“Flawless” Beyoncé feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda’s spoken section lights a fire under my ass like nothing else. I have also cried in the gym while listening to this, running the fastest I’ve ever ran.

Cher Lloyd:
“Swagger Jagger”
Made for riding an exercise bike, looking cheeky, winking, blowing kisses & waving patronizingly.

“Talkin’ That”
Cher has no chill & that’s what I need when I’m working out. I feel like I’m in a music video & it’s just jump cuts of me pulling faces & wearing pigtails.

“Over the Moon”
Her lil brat voice makes me feel very punchy. She also partially raps & partially sings so I can go hard for like 30 seconds during the verses & then take it down during the chorus.

“M.F.P.O.T.Y.”

 

Destiny’s Child:
“Survivor”
There is nothing to say. You know.

 

Grimes:
“Go” feat. Blood Diamonds
Grimes wrote this track for Rihanna but she turned it down so Grimes recorded it herself. You have to pedal fast during this track. Sometimes I listen to it twice per workout.

 

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj:
“Bang Bang”

I am often worried that a member of gym staff is going to tap me on the shoulder & ask me to calm down because I’m dancing on the elliptical & they could get sued if I fell off & brained myself.

 

Little Mix:
I save Little Mix for the last 15-20 minutes of my workout because they are seriously the only humans capable of giving me enough energy to finish an hour on the elliptical. Without Little Mix, I probably wouldn’t work out. I low-key do the choreography from their videos. I particularly like listening to “Word Up!” because they are in gym clothes & Jade is rolling her eyes on an exercise bike + Sporty Spice is there kicking & leaning to the side with her arms crossed. I wish it was safe to work out in velvet platform trainers.

“Salute”

“Wings”

“Move”

“Word Up!”

“Stand Down”

“A Different Beat”

“How Ya Doin’?”

 

M.I.A.:
“Y.A.L.A.”

 

One Direction:
“Little White Lies”

I mostly don’t get down to 1D when I’m working out because I don’t want to think about them while I’m sweating within an inch of my life, underwear up my ass, glasses slid down my nose but Zayn’s echoed “what we came to do” makes me forget about all of that for a blissful 20 seconds. Then I snap out of it & disgustedly scroll away from them as fast as possible.

 

Taylor Swift
“You Belong With Me”

DO NOT listen to this while you are trying to run. You will stop & go home.

Three of Cups

Happy March! We’re going to start out the month with something light and fun and uplifting, a relatively simple card, the Three of Cups.

cups

 

 

Remember, Cups are the water suit: emotions! creativity! feelings! friendship! All these things are contained within the Cups, and nowhere more joyfully than in the Three.

I have talked a lot about friendship on this site already, and I will continue to do so, because I think it is truly the most important thing that exists in this world. Love is so often associated only with romance, but there is a purity and a deep unwavering perfection in the love that exists between friends, between true and good friends, that cannot be matched by anything else. Friendship is maybe the best gift we have been given. It is something terrifying, to share your heart and mind and soul and body with another person, something ancient and strange and powerful, and it’s easy to see why close friendships are so often coded as something other, something threatening, something more. It is easier to understand romantic love than it is to understand friendship because friendship defies things that romantic love cannot withstand. Friendship is weird and eternal and deeply personal, and it is so beautiful, and it is so necessary.

Wherever you go, just always remember
That you got a home, for now and forever
And when you get low, just call me whenever
This is my oath to you
“Oath”, Cher Lloyd

The Three of Cups is the friendship card, the community card. When you see the Three of Cups, reflect on the relationships you have with others, these small, perfect connections. Revel in them. The Three of Cups is telling you that whatever you are looking for in your life, at this moment, can be found within your community, with your friends. They are there to support you, to give you what you need, and it is easy to forget that in times of trouble, but this is your reminder. The Three of Cups also means that you are entering a period of sociability, that you will be spending even more time in the company of those you love. If you have long-distance friends, this is a push to schedule that trip, to make that call. And as for your friends nearby, it’s probably time to hang out, if they’re not already sitting on your bed as you read this.

‘Cause everyday there’s a war to fight
And if I win or lose, never mind
As long as you’re my shelter every night
I used to cry against the wall
But now I’ve got a shoulder that I can lean on
Swear to me you won’t be gone
I’m ready for the good times
Ready for the Good Times“, Shakira

The Three of Cups is, as my friend Keelin describes it, “the party card”. It is a card of celebration, of joy over your accomplishments, an outpouring of love and success. When you see the Three of Cups, know that whatever period of turmoil or trouble you may have been facing is over, and with its end the good times are coming. This difficulty is often related to interpersonal interactions; the Three of Cups is the card of harmonious community, which means that any strife you may have been having will be resolved through compromise and cooperation. It is a signal to share the positive energy that you have, both closely with your friends and more widely with those who enter your life for a variety of reasons. It is a card of common goals, of unity and of working together, and of celebrating the success that comes from such good work. The Three of Cups means that the good times are coming, that you have earned them, and that you should feel nothing but good about kicking back and reveling in them.

So I told myself if I’m given the chance
I won’t hold back anymore
I’m not gonna keep it all in
Not gonna keep it all in
When the Nights Get Long“, Jukebox the Ghost

The Three of Cups is a card of outpouring in many senses, but one of the more important ones is that of creativity. The Three of Cups is a sign that any blockage you may have been experiencing in artistic endeavors, whatever they may be, is coming to an end. Embrace this, and use it as a motivator to pick up any projects you have put aside waiting for inspiration: the Three of Cups is telling you that your muse is returning. If you’ve never had a muse; if you’ve never thought yourself an artist – the time is now! The Three of Cups is a signal that there is creative potential locked inside you. Let it out.

The very obvious but still very real darkness of the Three of Cups is simply its reversal. If the Three of Cups appears to you reversed it is a sign that your relationships need mending, that your creativity is blocked, that you are spending too much time enjoying yourself and not enough time working for what will bring you actual joy.

There is not a lot of hidden meaning here, which is nice; the Three of Cups is a very straightforward card in all senses. It is a bright and  beautiful thing, to be reminded of what is good in your life, to be told to simply stop and take it in, to appreciate what you have worked for. There is nothing wrong with recognizing your accomplishments; sometimes you need to be reminded of that. Sometimes you need to be reminded that there are people in your life who love you, who miss you, who want to hang out and have a drink, who want to revel in the glory of the love you have for each other. These are all beautiful things; this is a beautiful card. Yours is a beautiful life. Enjoy it.