It's been a busy past few months of planning and promotion of the band's new album and I'm really happy with how it's all going - hopefully the band now has a busy summer of touring ahead of it.
What all this has meant to me is that my mind has been given some licence to explore again. It's hard to really explain how hung up you can get on the creative process and how you don't even realise to what extent, until you can do no more - but that's what happened to me for most of this year, and now my mind is free.
In this time, I've been giving myself a(hopefully!) creative refresh.
I've finished a couple of great books which I can highly recommend - East of Eden by John Steinbeck and Veronika Decides to Die by Paolo Coelho. Both do what I think great books should do; make you ponder your own situation.
I've watched some great documentaries that, again, leave you questioning and inspired - Senna, Pearl Jam Twenty, Upside Down: The Creation Records Story, amongst others.
And, of course, I've been listening to a whole bunch of music, rediscovering older acts like Primal Scream, Leonard Cohen, John Lennon's solo records, Sublime and Supergrass as well as a host of new albums, the highlights being:
* Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire (like this wasn't going to be here!)
* Frank Ocean - Nostalgia/ultra
* Grand Rapids - Faintheartedness
* The Horrors - Skying
* Bonjah - Go Go Chaos
* Mariachi El Bronx - II (summery fun)
* Active Child - Your All All I See
* Terius Nash - 1977
* Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know (the love continues I know..)
* Wilco - The Whole Love
* The Jezabels - Prisoner
* Feist - Metals (surprised me!)
I'm lucky a fair few of the above artists are touring New Zealand early next year - so exciting viewings are ahead! I'd recommend you check out ALL of the above artists if you are a fan of melody, stories and soul.
All of these things inspire me and without inspiration I'm pretty lost - so here's to more discoveries this summer and the freedom and time to express that feeling!