‘i hope you don’t mind me writing’ album review

Kristin

While basking in the ocean air on the Oregon coast last week, a song caught my ear from a nearby seafood restaurant. SoundHound retrieved the song as Lucy Spraggan’s ‘Fight for It”. Nothing gets me going like finding new artists, so I was excited to have a new name to scout out. I was enchanted instantly with her ethereal vocals and almost Ingrid Michaelson-like sound.

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Before I knew it, I was cruising through her Spotify listening to her most recent album “I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing” and I was blown away by the thoughtful words, and unique sound. My big thing with musicians is difference; how are you setting yourself apart from other musicians? Lucy has this airy feel that is so delightful but also so entirely her.

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If you need a calming album to get you through your week, I’ve got just the link for you. Check out the album below and follow her on her social accounts to stay up to date with what she has going on!

LISTEN HERE.

Instagram stalk HERE

Hit the official website HERE

metaphysical album review

Kristin

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One of my all time favorite bands, The Technicolors, have released their brand new album ‘Metaphysical‘ and it GOES. I can’t even explain their sound really, because it is so unique from anything else I have ever heard. To be honest, there is something almost transcendental about this album. This record proceeds through with confidence and gains an energetic momentum and satisfying rhythm as it moves from one song to the next. Everything from the lyrics to the layout feels very intentional, and I really appreciate that.

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From the song itself ‘Metaphysical’ to ’26 on a Tuesday’, the band moves through what feels like a monopoly board of sounds; finessing punk-like chords in ‘Metaphysical’ while simultaneously putting out melodic, Sunday morning pop vibes in ‘Little Charmer”. This album perfectly showcases The Technicolors’ vast musical skill set and further defines their position in the industry as an alternative-rock powerhouse. They are effortlessly cool and entirely authentic and because of that, they are a force to be reckoned with.

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The Technicolors first began releasing music with 8123 studios in 2015 and since then, have toured and released music what feels like nonstop. Each song that comes out seems more fitting for their image and style than the last, and it’s safe to say that they will only continue to grow into their sound as time goes on.

I will definitely be playing Metaphysical on repeat for the summer, and I look forward to seeing where they go from here.

star spangled babes playlist 

Kristin

You heard it right, V+V is now on Spotify! We will be bringing  you playlists full of our favorite songs regularly, helping you expand your own library and keeping the good vibes going.

To kick it off we have our 4th of July playlist, clad with all kinds of classic rock favorites. Go fourth and conquer Independence Day babes with these jams as your anthem! Be sure to follow us and stay up to date with new releases!

hopeless fountain kingdom review

Kristin

The highly anticipated Halsey album dropped on June 2nd and to no ones surprise, it absolute slayed.

Stream it here, and give it a listen!

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Her album told the story of getting out of a toxic relationship, and in true Halsey fashion the lyrics were intricate and genius. Halsey’s first album was full of spooky almost ethereal vibes, and this album stayed true to her sound while showcasing her growth as an artist both emotionally and professionally.

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I have been a huge fan of Halsey since her Room 93 EP and to see her come into the badass chick she is has been inspiring to say the least.

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Give her new EP a listen, and follow her on socials!

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the story behind tattoos

Kristin

We had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with outlaw country rocker Boo Ray. At V+V, we are always seeking out interesting ways people tell their story. We got lucky enough to sit down with Boo, and talk to him about his own creative adventure and how his tattoos help tell his story as an artist. Check out the interview below!

IMG_7243VV. Tell us a little bit about who you are as a musician. As an artist, what have you done to define yourself?

BR. As a musician, i reckon I’mpretty song oriented and driven. I consider it a privilege to have someone’s ear and attention for a few minutes and feel obligated to make the best of that time; melodically, rhythmically, lyrically and sonically….  As a recording artist I’ve released 3 albums since 2010 that’re all geting radio play. As a live act I’ve been doing shows coast to coast for 10 years. I’ve had a coupe of good bands in that time and right now I’ve got a smokin’ hot band that I’m crazy about.

VV.  Tell us a little bit about your music. What has lead you to pursue the type of music you have?
BR. Guitars, pedal steel, backbeat trap set drums, flat-wound Muscle Shoals type bass, electric Wurlitzer/Hammond B-3 and Levon Helm/Tom Petty type vocals… I suppose that’s my pallet. I’m glad the kind of music I make and the kind of songs I write are popular and gaining momentum.     
VV. How have tattoos tied into your definition of yourself as an artist? What kind of statement are you making with them? 
BR. Tattoos are definitely tied to the music for me. Not sure I’m trying to make a statement though. But the artists and images I relate to and identify with are kinda rockabilly and trucker… Slap-back echo on vocals & guitars says tattoos to me. Cash’s “Ring Of Fire”, Waylon’s ’66 “Mental Revenge”, and Willie Nelson’s ’62 “Funny How Time Slips Away”, those are all tattoos to me, figuratively and literally. When I wrote “Bad News Travels Fast” with Colin Linden I realized that those moments in songwriting when the right phrase is coined and paired with the right melody that an emotional situation is catalyzed and expressed in a permanent way like a tattoo. 
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VV. What are some of the wildest stories behind your tattoos? 
BR. I got one of my 1st tattoos at 3am in a cow field at a motorcycle rally in Franklin NC. While I was sitting in a chair getting tattooed my buddies were up on the hillside setting off quarter sticks of dynamite trying to scare the tattooist so he’d screw up my tattoo.
VV. When did you get your first tattoo done? Was it nerve-wracking or exciting? 
BR. I honestly can’t quite figure out which was my 1st tattoo but i definitely didn’t have any hesitations and was way into it.
VV. Do you have a specific style of tattoo you get doneor is it more random? 
BR. I’ve only been collecting black & gray work for last 10 years or so. I do have a few color pieces but mostly black & gray.
VV. At velvet + vinyl, we believe that the most amazing stories are told through creative means. As a song writer and tattoo-connoisseur, what kind of stories are you telling? 
BR. That’s a great question. I think they’re stories of transformation, moments of grace, accounts of tragedies, confessions of sins, testimonies of triumph, affectionate homage payed to guardian angels, admissions of struggles and diaries of searching journey.
VV. Would you consider yourself a “bad boy” because you have a lot of tattoos? Would you say other people classify you as such?
BR. How’s that line go? “If you wanna have a hard head, you better have a tough ass”… I think that’s kinda been my experience anytime i got to thinking I’m some kinda of badass. I got tired of learning that lesson you know.
VV. Any tattoo artist recommendations?
BR. Absolutely. My friend Cole Seigel is great and has an excellent shop “The Order” in downtown LA and Space Ghost is an excellent tattooist there. Also Freddy Negrete’s son, Isaiah Negrete is doing excellent work at Mark Mahoney’s Shamrock Social Club. I’ve seen some great work in Nashville from Chris Saint Clark at Kustom Thrills.
VV. Do you believe that all tattoos should have significant meaning behind them? Why or why not?
BR.You mean as opposed to randomly waking up one day and deciding to get an ear of corn tattooed on your thigh or something like that?… No person can dictate tattoo criteria for someone else. It’s just too personal of an experience. I aint saying I’ll never do it, but I haven’t done that yet and doubt that I will ever wake up one day and get that ear of corn tattoo though. 

love your mother mother

Kristin

Every now and then, we have the chance to meet individuals who have a particularly interesting and insightful view on their life and the industry they work in. In the creative world, it is always rejuvenating to talk to these type of people because they remind us why we create in the first place, and why we must always be open to continuously feeling inspired. We were lucky enough to connect with a musician whose introspection, uniqueness and utter genuineness did all these things for us.

Ryan Guldemond, lead vocalist and lead guitarist of indie-rock 5 piece Mother Mother, just kicked off tour with The Kongos. Right before Mother Mother hit Portland, velvet + vinyl had the chance to chat with him a little bit about song writing, Mother Mother’s abstract approach to creating music and how they as a band set themselves apart in such a vast industry.

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Check out our interview with him below, and take a peek at the photos from their show at Hawthorne Theatre in Portland. If you haven’t given this band a listen, you are most definitely missing out. Every song is so different, yet Mother Mother does an excellent job maintaining a uniform, recognizable sound. Perhaps one of the most difficult qualities to master, always innovating but never straying too far from what people like about you, Mother Mother no doubt delivers different flavors of their music while staying true to their roots. Dynamic performers with a great stage presence, don’t make the mistake of not seeing them when they come to your town! You can buy their *stellar* new album “No Culture” HERE and check out their tour schedule HERE!

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VV: How is tour going? Which places are you looking forward to performing most in?

R: It’s going really well. We just got off of a big headlining tour in Canada, so it’s quite fun and healthy to switch roles and be the opener. We will do some headlining shows of our own once we part with Kongos, whom I might add are some of the nicest people we’ve toured with, and fantastic musicians. I’m always excited to perform in the places we haven’t been, so on this run that would be Crystal Bay, Nevada and Las Vegas. 

VV: If there a certain place you write from? Do you write from a happy, sad, angry, stressed place? Or does it vary?

R: Not so much angry or stressed, but the others work well in getting an idea off the ground. And I’m really all about antonyms and opposites and creating balance, emotionally within a song. If it’s a sad song, there’s got to be a silver lining, and if it’s a happy song, then it needs a dark twist, or sense of irony. Big on irony. 

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VV: How is the music scene different here than in Canada? How does the energy differ at all?

R: Who knows!? We show up and play music, and people rejoice, in their way. Sometimes it’s timid, and sometimes tumultuous, but the variance I find to be human conditional rather that geographical. Maybe Americans are a little more pronounced and gregarious over all. 

VV: How and why do you choose to set yourself apart as band? You’ve approached music a unique way with your sound and videos. 

R: We’re not choosing as much as we’re doing what feels natural, then making logical decisions on how to package that. It’s like having kids, makings songs, you don’t really get to choose what they’re gonna be like. They come out how they come out, but then as a parent it’s your job to steer them in the right direction, based on their set of unique proclivities. Our music is naturally a little strange, otherworldly, and quirky, so things ought to follow suit: videos and aesthetics etc. 

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VV: How much attention do you give social media? 

R: We take part, and could get better at it, but it’s not anybody’s born talent. I’m not sure social media is making the world a better place, but maybe it’s a platform to help make the world a better place from?

VV: What food do you guys eat a lot of on tour?

R: We’re pretty healthy on tour and shop more than eat out, so grains, tofu and vegetables, sweet potatoes. I probably eat too many Quest bars. Those are all the rage right now. 

VV: For those just getting started in the music industry, do you have any advice to offer them? What are things that “people don’t tell you” when you’re getting started that you should prepare for?

R: Less is more.

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VV: What has been the most pivotal or monumental moment for you as a band? 

R: We haven’t had one of those moments, where something happened and then everything changed, and turned way bigger. It’s been a million little moments adding up to now. I hear about these moments. They sound exciting, but no, we haven’t had one. Maybe it was our first open mic, when people stopped talking when we played? That’s probably as good as any. 

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VV: What are you hoping people take away from your newest album you just released? 

R: I’d like to leave this cycle having seen more of the world and having made headway in the territories we’ve nurtured over the years, namely Canada and the US. Would love to grow as a musician and writer during this album cycle. I believe chapters of life are, in a sense, instructions for the next chapter, and on and on it goes. So I’d like very much to be informed by these experiences promoting No Culture, of what we’re meant to do next. I want signs and symbols to appear. I want guidance. 

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i love you, los angeles 

Kristin

Sometimes, people feel like they are born in the wrong time period. 

For me, I was born in the wrong state.

Los Angeles has had my heart for the last 4 years, and every time I go back a little piece of me is left. 

Here’s a little Los Angeles mood board that hopefully brings you babes feelings of happiness and warmth the same way it does me. Enjoy. Xo

shop talk with fyohna 

Kristin

We had the opportunity to chat with electro-pop duo FYOHNA. They’re playing a show at Hawthorne Theatre in Portland this week, and we are looking forward to keeping up with them on their tour! Check the interview below for more info on this badass duo.

vv: Tell us a little about yourselves as a group. What do you want people to know about you?

f: We are a duo from Los Angles and we are just really excited to be get to share our music! We hope people like the EP and we are just hoping to meet a lot of people/make some new friends on this tour, so if you make it to one of our shows and like what you hear, please come say hi! vv: How did you get the name FYOHNA? 
f: We wanted our band name to be something that represented both of us. FYOHNA is sort of an alter ego, someone who can take responsibility for all the things that I say.  

vv: What was the inspiration behind your single “Ghost Heart”? Tell us what went into making this single the success it is with 189,000 streams on Spotify, and recognition from online ‘zines all over the web?
f: I don’t really like telling people exactly what my songs are about because my favorite thing about writing music is seeing how other people interpret it. For me, that is where the real magic happens, and I don’t like to mess with that. I will say that “Ghost Heart” is inspired by a personal experience and it’s all about unapologetic empowerment.  

vv:  Do you believe that style plays a role in who you are as creative individuals and as a band? If so, how? If not, what does give you your “creative edge”?
f: Style has so much to do with who we are as a band. We both love visuals. We love coming up with ideas of what our music looks like. When we were making the “Ghost Heart” music video and coming up with what people were going to wear, I remember thinking “if “Ghost Heart” was an article of clothing, what would it be?” It was incredible to watch the music take on a new form, it was as if we were writing the song again, but instead of creating music and lyrics we were creating a style.  

vv: Who do you look to for creative inspiration? This could be ANY kind of inspiration; music, art, fashion, writing, Instagram related accounts, nature, articles, magazines, whatever!

f: We love St. Vincent. Everything about her. Her music, her visuals, her outfits. Everything. 
vv: How has your West Coast Tour been thus far? What are the best parts and most difficult parts about being on tour?
f: So far our tour has been great! We love it. The best part is getting to be somewhere else and experience new things and meet new people. We have loved connecting with people and just sort of becoming a part of things for a little while. The most difficult part of being on tour is just being able to adapt to and quickly work out anything that’s not going as planned. There haven’t been too many hiccups so far, but we did have a show get canceled in Seattle and we had to quickly find somewhere else to play. But we did it, and it worked out.  

vv:  What advice can we give you guys about playing a show in Portland? What (most likely) weird things have you heard about this city, and what are you excited about?
f: Please tell us the best places to eat! We love food. I haven’t heard any super weird things about Portland, but I have been wanting to visit Portland for a very long time. I know I’m going to love it and I know we are both very excited to get to explore the city.  

vv: How does song writing work for you guys? Does one person write? Do both of you write? What is your creative process for writing?
f: Our songwriting process is very fluid. We often trade roles. I almost always write the lyrics, but everything else if very collaborative. Sometimes I’ll start a song and Elliot will add his side to things and sometimes he’ll start a beat or instrumental and I’ll add to it.  

vv: The upcoming EP that is coming out on April 28th. How excited are you guys to release it? What can you tell us about it?
f: We are SO EXCITED to release the EP. We have worked really hard on it and just can’t wait to share it. Our release show is going to be April 30th at The Echoplex in Los Angeles.  

vv: Tell us about what you see for the immediate future of FYOHNA. What should we be looking out for? More tours? Music?
f: We have definitely been writing a ton of brand new music and even making new videos. We definitely have some exciting things in the works. We love playing, so you can definitely expect more shows in LA and tours.  

drinkin’ with chelsea bain

Kristin

Today, country rock artist and badass babe Chelsea Bain released her first EP, Drinkin’ Alone. A true country girl raised on a farm in Arizona surrounded by horses and Nascar, she has an authentic sound to boot.

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Chelsea has that refreshing but powerful voice that is reminiscent of current artists like Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, but also has that old-school Pam Tillis vibe. Listening to her EP has me wishing for a “Maybe it was Memphis” cover.

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Considering current country music is gravitating towards more of a pop sound than traditional country, Chelsea’s soulful and heartfelt sound will no doubt remind us why country music is the anthem of the USA. With clever lyrics and a likable melody, you will no doubt find yourself singing these songs to yourself throughout the day.

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Chelsea is also an artist that mixes equal parts of country and rock. She caters to many different music lovers and will blow the socks off of anyone who thinks they dislike the genre. A badass girl with a badass sound, there is nothing delicate about Miss Chelsea Bain, and we honestly can’t get enough.

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I’ll be the first, but certainly not the last, to say that Chelsea Bain is giving current country starlets a run for their money. We look forward to seeing where this firecracker talent goes from here! Check out her EP on Spotify + iTunes

when everything converges

Kristin

As young creatives, it is not uncommon to find ourselves at the center of a schedule tornado. Job duties, activities outside of work, portfolio building, school perhaps, a second job perhaps, more creative work, errands.

Sometimes, it all converges at once.

In times like these, when I feel completely overwhelmed with stress, oftentimes the first things I eliminate from my overbearing schedule are my dabblings in fashion and music.

Although fashion and music are my greatest passions, when I’m posed with busy situations that require the elimination of one or two activities, my ventures in fashion and music often feel the most expendable. But, these are the things that feed my soul and at the end of the day, these activities are equally as important to my mental health as my job duties and school activities are to my financial and professional health.

So when everything converges, how can we as fashion and music lovers alleviate some of this stress? How can we maintain fashion and music in our daily lives when we really feel like we have no time at all?  Here’s how I do it.


First, it’s absolutely imperative that as a creative person, you give yourself an outlet. When I’m feeling stressed, I take *only five* minutes to doodle. It can make a big difference in settling my brain.

Getting stuck in a rut can give me massive amounts of insurmountable anxiety. By hopping on hype machine or checking out my Spotify discover every Monday or checking out who the FADER is raving about is always a sure way to keep me from getting stuck in a too familiar pattern. Also, new music is never a bad idea.


Personally, I am predisposed to sad music. I like music that makes me feel, and oftentimes artists like PVRIS, Elliot Smith or OG Halsey will do the trick. But-steer clear of music you KNOW perpetuates sad moods. I know we have a tendency to seek our sad music to help us revel in our self pity, but avoid doing this when you’re stressed or overwhelmed. Sad or dark music is okay. Music that deliberately makes you sad probably won’t help you overcome your stress.


As a student and lover of fashion, I think I speak for most like me when I say I feel my best in a composed, thought out and stylish outfit. For some it’s sweatpants and a teeshirt. For me, it’s my Zara jeans, my Alexander McQueen tunic and my r.soles London boots. As a fashionista, when you find yourself in the heart of the storm, GET YASELF TOGETHER. Wake up, put something on that makes you feel GOOD, and walk out the door. When you feel as though you have no control over your life, fashion will ALWAYS hand you the reigns to wrangle it back. You get to decide everyday how you look, so even when you’re tired, choose confident. Your whole outlook on the day will change if you start with a deliberate choice.


Who else does that thing called taking a nap or sitting on Instagram when you have a million other things you should be doing? Do your best to plan ahead when you’re busy, so you have time to take care of yourself and do something creative in your downtime. I’m the biggest perpetrator here, but I’m working on it. Put together a written list of things to get done, and the times to get them done by. This will help you keep accountable and leave you time to do more fun things later.


Find musicians, artists or fashion pioneers you admire, and read a biography or article about them. What you’ll most likely find is they had to persevere through extreme trials and undergo a great deal of stress to get where they are. Use these people as an inspiration to carry on. My suggestions would be Blood Beneath The Skin, an Alexander McQueen novel, the Lemmy documentary on Netflix (Motörhead), or any Chanel bio you can find.


This works every time. If I can find twenty minutes in the midst of my running around, I will find an antique shop or second hand clothing shop and just wander. There is something liberating and extremely reassuring about being in a place that sees value in things that have been used, or are “tired.” Remember, no matter how used up to tired you feel, you have value and you will overcome.