Music: Sadcore Sundays

Sadcore Sundays

Sadcore Sundays songs are meant for you to set time to indulge in your sad feels and find relief.

After listening, we encourage you to do one small goal such as showering or taking a walk.

Sadcore Sundays Interviews

Sadcore Sundays: Bryan Santizo of “How Scandinavian” Discusses Developing as an Artist and Finding Your Place

Bryan Santizo is a musician in “How Scandinavian” based in the Antelope Valley and was one of the first people I met after moving from the L.A. area to Lancaster. In the short time I’ve gotten to know him, I’ve been witness to part of his growth as an artist and have become a genuine fan of his music and songwriting.

“Belong Here” is my favorite song of his because it almost works as a time machine for me, as it’s able to take me back to a time in my life when I was young and unsure of myself. As I listen to it, I can relate to my past self and almost feel as though teenage me has been a friend of mine all along. Not living in the past like I’ve imagined, but standing by my side this entire time as the voice letting me know that it’s okay to be scared and that I’ll get through the changes that are to come just like I have before.

I’m excited that Bryan has let me ask him some questions to gain insight on this song and explain where he was coming from as a young kid finding himself through music.

1. I notice “Belong Here” was released in 2011, what was the inspiration for the song back then, and in what ways do you find it relatable now?

Musically, “Belong Here” probably originated in 2010 when I was listening to music on a non-stop basis as a teenager. I think I wanted to write something with lots of melancholy but still had some muscle at certain points. In terms of lyrical inspiration, it all was birthed during that transitional period of being a teenage adolescent to young adult in the summer of 2011. I was about to attend university and was feeling a bit down at the prospect of entering this new, unknown environment.

Additionally, I was heavily affected by either being surrounded by friends who did not care about their futures (some eventually did), or people who actually were going to try to do something once the illusion of being quasi-children ended. Generally speaking, the song is a bit of a reassurance to how I felt then, but it has a lot of self-awareness in feeling sorry for oneself for no real reason. I think the sadness in the song is a bit more complex than just “woe is me”, it is more akin to “well, worse has and will have happened, so let’s get a move on.”

2. Do you have the same mental health hurdles now as you did when you first wrote the song? What’s the same, what’s different?

I suppose my hurdle at the time was being unwilling to be open to change. That’s something that I think I’ll always struggle with and comes naturally with growing up in general. Mentally, I made it be a bigger deal than it was, and, more than likely, wasted more time thinking about how things could go wrong rather than create solutions. Now, I think I am more able to quell any unnecessary anxiety or stress when new situations approach, and thinking things through instead of avoiding realities or problems. Of course, it is always a daily work in progress for me.

3. How has music helped you to confront growth during your transition from adolescence to adulthood?

As a music listener, it served as a reliable form of comfort when I would fall into moods of uncertainty or doubt when growing up. It wasn’t just the familiar form of “oh this is relatable to me” either, but there was/is music that I listened to that made me think, “how in the world can this exist?” and made me want to find that muse for myself. As a listener, it set off a sort of internal desire to create things for my own sake and to continually try to improve.

Once I started songwriting and recording by myself, it was pretty much indispensable as a form of discipline. I started to believe in myself more, and it made me ask myself why I could not do just about anything else. It wasn’t narcissism, but rather, it was a form of confidence that, if I could make music that sounded pretty good to my ears, why was doing good work in other fields/realms not possible either? That discipline and drive helped me throughout my years at university where I studied business and business law. It felt like I knew a secret language or had an ability that allowed me to interpret and see things differently, which I knew was a bit naff, but still helped me quite a bit. Ultimately, it allowed me to be open to learning new things I might dislike and not giving up.

4. Why did you decide to form “How Scandinavian” and how did it help you with your mind obstacles?

I started How Scandinavian because I wanted to understand and create the music that I loved as a listener. I still do. As a result of that, I had to ask myself many times over the years why I even bother to write and record music. There are a lot of reasons, but primarily there is an inherent joy when you begin or complete a piece of music. There is a small wonder that one can imprint oneself into a piece of music, and have it live all on its own. I suppose that helped me find a closer purpose of what I wanted to do with at least part of my life, and that was an obstacle in my mind.

5. What advice would you give to anyone looking to become a musician/songwriter who also deals with similar mind obstacles as you?

My best advice is to challenge yourself, and learn as much as you can. Use your time wisely and focus. It is a very big world of possibilities out there; it seems ludicrous to think there isn’t a place for one’s music to be heard and developed. If you have doubts about your abilities, you’d be surprised at how little people actually know. With focus and sacrifice, I think anyone can be a great musician/songwriter. Whatever is not present in your environment, be it a music community, venue, music scene, then help start one, I am certain you are not alone.

“Belong Here” Lyrics:

living with the spare thoughts
knowing this has grown apart
conscious guilt slowly caught
how willing to run and forget?
to run and forget
to run and forget
to run and forget…

why do you look lost?
cause you belong here
I wish I never woke up
why did i come here?
remember what you once said
nothing that’s correct
why do you look lost?
cause you belong here
I wish I never woke up
why did i come here?
leaving something already left
that long disappeared

it’s hard to say how long it’s been
since i’ve last felt so certain
cause my memories will outlast
yours
so turn away some doubt for once
and we’ll be at the top of all the fronts
without a sense of lonely
hypocrisy

but

i’m going about my way again
i’m going about my way
i’m going about my way again
i’m going about my way

why do you look lost?
cause you belong here
I wish I never woke up
why did i come here?
remember what you once said
nothing that’s correct
why do you look lost?
cause you belong here
I wish I never woke up
why did i come here?
leaving something already left
that long disappeared


What is Sadcore Sundays?

Sadcore Sundays songs are meant for you to set time to indulge in your sad feels and find relief.
After listening, we encourage you to do one small goal such as showering or taking a walk.

Send in your favorite sadcore songs to strangeisbeauty@gmail.com


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Georgia St. Jones is a California broke girl using music, art, and literature as a way to be universal and staff contributor for The Strange is Beautiful.
Follow her here: Instagram, SoundCloud.
See her latest posts here.


Photo Credit: Samantha Lemus

Sadcore Sundays: Sarah May Discusses the Frustrations That Come with Harassment in “Because I Turned You Down”

For this week’s Sadcore Sundays, we get to know Sarah May and her song “Because I Turned You Down.”

With the rise of our voices in the #MeToo movement, it’s always empowering to come across an artist who uses their talents and platform to express the perils of sexual harassment, and who exemplifies strength through demanding respect. In “Because I Turned You Down,” we’re met with blunt lyrics about having to face the cold, and often dangerous responses we receive when rejecting someone with ill-intent.

What mind obstacles do you deal with and in what ways do you cope with them?

I have suffered from depression for most of my life and have had bouts of anxiety too, I’ve had really low self-esteem, anger, panic attacks, and self harming and suicidal tendencies. Growing up I didn’t quite understand (and was also ashamed of) all the pain that was going on inside, and was therefore unaware of how to cope with it in a healthy way, this affected so many areas of my life and I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, which would make me feel worse, and I was frequently being hospitalized for it. It was a real struggle, like everyday was a battle and honestly I just wanted to stop fighting it and just end it all. Luckily, I am well and truly blessed to have such a strong and supportive network around me, and my dog; they have been my backbone, but sadly when you’re drowning and hating yourself you can’t really appreciate how much love and beauty there is around you, so there came a point when I needed to start going inwards and try to heal the problem internally rather than relying on outside factors to fix or distract me. Music has always been a savior for me, particularly songwriting. It has always been a way for me to release and share my vulnerability. I find practicing spirituality, meditating everyday, and appreciating living things and nature does absolute wonders, too. Also having a therapist that I can connect with when I’m feeling overburdened. Though I feel the worst of it is over, it does creep in every now and again, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve accepted that it is, and always will be a part of me. However it is not all of me, and it is definitely not my identity, if I feel a wave coming over, I’m more self aware and able to recognize what is happening. So I allow myself to just address it and feel it for a day or two, but then I have to force myself to take measures to prevent it from hitting a danger zone and consuming me like it used to.

Why did you decide to tackle this topic in your music?

I’m generally quite open and honest about my experiences, and I try to portray that in my music. This topic in particular is something that I have dealt with so much that most of the time it just goes over my head, but there was one occasion when it happened that really affected me. For days after, I felt sick to my stomach and ashamed. I actually felt guilty, too, like maybe I had behaved in a way that lead him on or maybe if I’d just slept with him, he wouldn’t have become so angry and verbally abusive. That’s typical though isn’t it? I’ve seen it happen to other girls and I also studied Criminology and it’s usually the victim that feels like they’re to blame, as well as outsiders blaming them, too; they shouldn’t have drunk so much, they shouldn’t have been wearing those clothes, they shouldn’t have been so friendly to the guy etc. Some people genuinely believe that they are entitled to have any woman they want and that our bodies are fair game, and if we dare stick up for ourselves and say no, then there must be something wrong with us.

I wrote this song years ago and have been performing it live for some time, and it seems to be the song of mine that tends to sticks out the most, I have had so many women come up to me saying that they relate, but I’ve also been told by many men how much they appreciate it. So I decided to release it as I think it is a very important and relevant issue to address.

How have those close to you reacted to your song? How has their overall response made you feel?

Those close to me aren’t particularly shocked with the lyrics, because they know me. A few of my male friends have actually themselves had to step in on several occasions and fend off men who have gotten a bit too handsy with me, and my female friends have all experienced something similar themselves at some point, so they’re all very aware of how real the situation is.

What change do you hope to bring about with this song and your music in general?

If someone feels like they can relate to any of my songs, then I hope that it can give them comfort in knowing they are not alone, and also make them talk about those feelings to someone else, but also I’d like people to think twice about how they treat others. We sometimes cause a great deal of hurt to each other and may not be aware we are doing it. I hope that me singing about some of these painful situations make people think about whether they may be doing something similar to someone.

What message do you have for anyone who has had similar experiences with sexual harassment?

This is tricky because of course every individual has their own perception and personal limit of when a boundary is being crossed, but I guess I would say don’t blame yourself. It is your body and you have a right to speak up when you don’t feel comfortable and also remember that you are more than just your body. Don’t let someone objectifying you take away your power as a human being. Don’t keep it to yourself either. Talk to someone you trust about it, you’d be surprised how many people have experienced this. Also if you have male friends, talk to them about it, the more we all communicate openly about this topic, the more we, as a collective can recognize and tackle the problem.

“Because I Turned You Down” Lyrics:

Can you try to understand
I don’t hate you just cause you’re a man
I just hate the way you think
And the way you treat women
Yeah, you’re simply a d**k
To you it comes as a surprise
That a girl can go out drinking with the guys
And end the night in her own bed
Without giving you head in the taxi ride
Do you think that’s how you pull a girl
Buy her a drink and throw your cliche lines at her
Just cause I’m drunk, doesn’t mean that its okay
So take your hands off me, please pull yourself away

And because I turned you down, you say that I’m a b***h
I must be a lesbian or some kind of hardcore feminist
I should feel lucky that you showed interest in me
Cause I’m ugly, I’m not worthy of your time
I’m some kind of hippie freak

Yeah you need to stop the game
Cause not everyone is the same
One day you might fall in love
And you’ll realise her worth
But she’ll leave you because
You’ve treated women like dirt
Your black book is about to burst
You really think you got this right
And that you’re mighty fine
Watch when you get hurt

Do you think that’s how you pull a girl
Buy her a drink and throw your cliche lines at her
Just cause she’s drunk, doesn’t mean that its okay
So take your hands off her, please pull yourself away

And because she turned you down you think that she’s a b***h
She must be a lesbian or some kind of hardcore feminist
She should feel lucky that you showed interest in her
Cause she’s ugly, she’s not worthy of your time
She’s nothing more than her skirt

And because I turned you down, you say that I’m a b***h
I must be a lesbian or some kind of hardcore feminist
I should feel lucky that you showed interest in me
Cause I’m ugly, I’m not worthy of your time
I’m some kind of hippie freak


What is Sadcore Sundays?

We’re defining “sadcore” as anything you listen to when you’re sad. Sadcore Sundays is meant for you to set time to indulge in your sad feels and find relief <3 We encourage you to set an intention after listening to do one small goal such as showering or taking a walk <3 <3 <3

Where can I listen?

You can listen on our Sadcore Sundays blog features and interviews or Sadcore Sundays Youtube playlists.

Sadcore Sundays Blog

We feature a Sadcore Sundays song or music video on our blog each Sunday, some of which are accompanied by interviews of the artist. Below are our most recent Sadcore Sundays posts. Click here to see them all xoxox.

Send in your favorite sadcore songs to strangeisbeauty@gmail.com


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Georgia St. Jones is a California broke girl using music, art, and literature as a way to be universal and staff contributor for The Strange is Beautiful.
Follow her here: InstagramSoundCloud.
See her latest posts here.

Sadcore Sundays: Analiz Castillo Opens Up About Friendship Heartbreak in “Possibly.”

I met Analiz Castillo in a creative writing class, and knew before talking to her that she’d be an awesome person. There was a coolness that followed her around, and it wasn’t until after we got to know each other that I found out she was even cooler than I had thought. Besides being a writer, Castillo is a spectacular pianist, guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and identifies as a bisexual, Mexican and Puerto Rican woman.

“Possibly,” Castillo’s latest song, is a candid exploration into the afterthoughts of a friendship heartbreak as she processes the exact moment of realization and self reflection. For those struggling with loss, she sets a good example of living in our truth, and using the pain from understanding ourselves as a way to move forward.

1. What does the song “Possibly” mean to you? What is it about?

I wrote “Possibly” in a very vulnerable moment in my life. I was losing one of my closest friends and it was tearing me apart. I was the reason why we were ending and I was feeling extreme guilt over it. I had asked them if we were ever going to work out, and they said “possibly.” Possibly? I knew they meant no, but they didn’t want to let me go at that time. That word got stuck inside of my head. So I had to write it out in a song. To me this song was my last effort at keeping them with me. I felt like I was begging them to stay. I felt pathetic but I knew I had to try.

2. In the song, there’s a one-sided phone convo (or voice message) that shows your vulnerability during a relationship and seems like a very specific choice in how you express that part of the song’s story. What was the drive behind that decision?

The day that I wrote “Possibly” I went to a party, and said friend was there. I’d noticed that they were hanging out with another particular lady. I knew something was going on, I just knew it. They were sitting together, playing a game. I felt a knot in my stomach (I feel it right now just thinking about it), so I left the party quietly. I think I just wanted to know that they would notice, and care, and maybe text/call me to see where I’d gone. But they didn’t. Instead, my homegirl called me to tell me that I was right about my suspicions. I got home, and I recorded that voicemail. I knew I’d lost them. So I wasn’t afraid to add it to the song. I knew they’d listen to it, and know what I was talking about. But by then I just didn’t care anymore. I was really hurt, and I wanted them to know.

3. What is your creative process like in writing such personal songs?

Each song is different. This song is especially specific, even the key that it’s in matters. I usually write out the chord progression first and then i come up with the melody and words simultaneously. I’ve been very inspired by Daniel Caesar, and his album “Freudian”. I really like how some of the songs are very short, and straight to the point without repetition of a chorus or refrain. Sometimes I feel afraid to post such personal songs because I’m afraid of judgement. It’s scary to write your heart out and share it with the public. Like hey, here’s my soul, I hope you like it. Sometimes it takes months for me to let the words out, sometimes it takes about an hour. “Possibly” was written in the course of about 2 hours, recording and everything.

4. Other than music, how do you manage your mind obstacles?

Within the last year I’ve gotten into roller skating, and it’s been the best decision ever. Whenever my mind feels full and heavy, I just skate it out. It’s great exercise and I can really think things out. I’ll skate The Strand, and just focus on the sound of the ocean, and the stars. It’s almost like therapy.

5. In what ways are you hoping your music will help others who experience mind obstacles?

I want people to feel understood. Sometimes we go through really strong emotions and feel completely alone. I want people to feel like someone understands them and where they’re coming from. I want my music to comfort them in their dark times, just like many artists have comforted me.

“Possibly” Lyrics:

Let’s take some time
Make some space
Away from each other
Maybe time will erase
All the things that took place in the summer
I ask you if you will stay
And you say possibly
Well I need more security

“Hey sorry I left the party early.
I didn’t mean to say not goodbye
Or maybe I guess I did.
I just
I wanted to see if you would notice
If I was gone
But I guess not
I’m sorry I’ve been acting so weird
I guess I just
I feel like I’m losing you
But I guess I’ve already lost”

I don’t wanna beg for you to stay
I don’t beg for you to stay
I know it’s wrong of me to ask you, but won’t you stay?


What is Sadcore Sundays?

Sadcore Sundays songs are meant for you to set time to indulge in your sad feels and find relief.
After listening, we encourage you to do one small goal such as showering or taking a walk.

Send in your favorite sadcore songs to strangeisbeauty@gmail.com


Interviewed by Georgia St. Jones
Intro edited by Shannen Roberts.
Featured image by John Lopez.


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Georgia St. Jones is a California broke girl using music, art, and literature as a way to be universal and staff contributor for The Strange is Beautiful.
Follow her here: InstagramSoundCloud.
See her posts here.


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Shannen Roberts (she/her) is the Peruvian-American, founding editor-in-chief of The Strange is Beautiful, musician and yogi.
See her posts here. 

Sadcore Sundays: Yvette Young talks eating disorders, and creative ways to let go of perfectionism.

Nobody’s perfect.

No matter how many times we hear that, for some reason it can still be difficult to let go of perfectionism. For artists, this is often the case, as they strive for their work to be, well, perfect.

This was an obstacle Yvette Young, a 27-year-old Asian-American musician and artist from San Jose, California, struggled with, especially when she had an eating disorder. Currently the frontwoman of rock band Covet and a solo musician too, we had the pleasure of interviewing Young about how American and Chinese cultures affected her eating disorder, how she coped with suicides within her family, and more. To help you heal, she offered advice, created art and music activities, and a playlist so you can practice letting go of your own perfectionism.

How has your Acoustic EP versus Covet let you express yourself and relieve emotions in a different way?

I think that my Acoustic EP was more like just a way to make an album about feeling. I had a lot of depression back then, and I was trying to tackle themes like escapism and trying to kind of disappear or be somewhere else, or feeling like you don’t fit a mold or something. I wanted to address those themes. Lyrically, I think with Covet, I’m literally going to another place. Like I want to actually transport people with music and singing about it. I want to actually write instrumental music that can tell a story and if you want to leave for a little bit, you can just listen to the music and be taken somewhere.

As an Asian-American musician, have you ever felt as though traditional Asian ideals posed as an obstacle to your career?

I don’t think it has ever been an obstacle. I will say I have faced discrimination sometimes, like people assume certain things about me because I’m asian. People like to make the joke like “oh, damn asians are good at everything,” but I think that just show all the effort I put into my craft. I don’t take it too personally, but I wish that people would stop assuming that just because you look a certain way, you have certain skills. At the end of the day it’s all hard work. Actually, at the end of the day I would say that my upbringing helped my career, because it gave me discipline. I think that’s something in a lot of asian households, like responsibility, accountability, discipline, to work hard for something, and you’re not allowed to quit, I think that actually helped me work harder and have that same mentality when playing something, like I can’t quit, I can’t give up.

How has American culture and Chinese culture has affected your past eating disorder, if at all?

Yeah, I think that a lot of first generation kids probably experience what I experienced, which was cultural misalignment with parents. I think that parents that came over from China have different expectations, different values, different morals, and on one hand you’re raised by them, but when you go to an American public school or a private school, you’re exposed to American culture and it’s more individualistic and more liberal, and I think like open-minded about some stuff, so there’s definitely some classism there. I think part of the reason I got sick was because I didn’t have an outlet to express myself. I was just kind of following what my parents wanted, and I didn’t really have much of an identity for myself. I think a lot of people explore it different ways, some people explore it through body modification or something, or like a hobby or having some kind of outlet. I think it’s really important to have an outlet for that kind of stuff. My eating disorder came around because I didn’t have control over my surroundings and myself, so I kind of turned to food and exercise so I could have something to control. It’s kind of like self harming a little bit, I would hurt myself through not taking care of myself, and it was gratifying in a masochistic way. I think, going back to the culture thing, I think it kind of brought me and my parents closer and we understood that some things weren’t healthy, like total obedience. I think on the whole, our relationship improved a lot because we went through a hardship together and we went to therapy, and we kind of understand each other more now.

In one of your ask.fm questions, someone had asked about your tattoo “to exist in the world but not live in it.” They were curious about what it means, and you said you’re still trying to find words to explain it. Do you have any idea what it might mean to you today?

Yeah, you know, I’m really glad I got this tattoo because the more I live my life, the more I realize that it’s completely applicable to a lot of situations. Like, I got it originally to remind myself to not compare myself to others. I don’t have to conform to whatever the world wants me to do. I am an independent, autonomous person and I can chose to represent myself in whatever way I want and have standards and morals that I think are right. It’s just a reminder to myself that even though everyone around me may be doing something different, I don’t have to compare myself to them and if I disagree with something, I can stick to my guns. Even in the industry, I think that recently something I’m bummed out by is that it feels like a lot of selfish and backstabbing and manipulative people get ahead because they’re okay with stepping on other people to get what they want. That aggression and that individualistic mindset is kind of rewarded in American culture and in certain industries, like in the music industry I feel like aggressive people always get noticed. People tell me to be more aggressive, but it’s just not in my nature. I believe that you can be a good person and not screw someone over and still find success. I guess that success is also relative and subjective, but yeah, I think that recently I’ve been thinking about that and it’s like man, I don’t want to conform to manipulating or stepping on people. I want to exist in this space, in this industry, but I don’t live in it as in I don’t have to become that. I can still try to resist it and be a good person, or however I define myself as a good person.

Also in your ask.fm questions, you mentioned that a lot of your family members chose suicide or attempted. How have you coped with that?

I mean I struggle with suicidal thoughts myself all the time. Well, not really anymore, but I went through a really depressive period, so I think that just focusing on the losses in my family, I just remember that suicide is a permanent end. You can’t undo that. But if you kind of push through the hardest times, you never know what’s waiting around the corner for you. When I was going through my suicidal and depressive episodes, of course you’re not in the mindset to think that everything will get better. You think like, this is life, life sucks, like everything is bad. It’s a chemical imbalance too, but you know, you just have to remember that sometimes thinking about it in a very sterile way, like this is just a chemical imbalance, these thoughts aren’t real, like I wouldn’t feel like this if I wasn’t chemically imbalanced. Thinking about it that way is actually quite comforting because you know like once you snap out of it, everything will be better, and you never know what great opportunities are waiting for you around the corner. So just stick it out and no matter what, something good can happen. But if you kill yourself, then there’s nothing. You don’t have any more opportunities. Any of those opportunities that might have been there for you are gone.

How has your self care routine evolved overtime to let go of perfectionism?

I think I started realizing that I wasn’t enjoying experiences. I’m also a perfectionist with a lot of things, like music especially. I just want to get it perfect every time, and I think touring really taught me how to let go of hang up I have with getting, like a perfect set every time. In life, there are so many things that are out of your control, like so many parameters you have no influence over. I found that going out and playing in different places every night, having some bad shows where it wasn’t my fault and having shows where it was my fault taught me how to let go of trying to make it perfect every time, and it was kind of like an attitude change. I realized I wasn’t really having fun or enjoying the performance part, but the people in the audience were like super stoked even if I thought I messed up. So I discovered it is better to have an attitude that I did my best, I did what I could, and just focus on the positives, and of course keep track of what you can improve on. Just changing my mindset about it really helped me enjoy my performance experiences more, and now I actually enjoy performing whereas before I dreaded it.


Get Creative with Yvette to Let Go of Perfectionism

For a self-help sesh, here are some ideas from Yvette to help let go of perfectionism.

Musical Activities:

1. Record Freely

Honestly for this one, I just sit down at an instrument with the mentality that I am not here to have an end result or write anything and this whole session is about the process and exploration. I usually do this for 30 min-1 hour and I record the whole session. Then I’ll listen back and choose the moments I like the best and in future sessions I’ll expand and revisit those. This takes a lot of pressure off because you don’t have to think about having an end product to show and helps me view making music more like playtime/exploration time rather than work. Even if nothing sticks, it’s fine because you at least tried. The more times you try the more opportunities you have for something to stick and become something more! I do this most often on piano or guitar!

2. Jam Sesh

Another activity I like to do involves other people! I just find a friend to “jam” with or write stupid music with and it’s a lot of fun. We just improvise and make up lyrics and purposely make something sound really “bad”. Sometimes writing joke music can be really refreshing because it helps me realize that music doesn’t have to be a serious thing and you can just use it to socialize or have a good time with someone while at the same time building your ear! Sometimes we will record the joke song just to have a laugh and a positive memory.

3. Switch it Up

Sometimes in my band we also trade instruments and it’s a fun time as well! It’s like having a carpet pulled from underneath you and sometimes not having the comfort of familiarity can be really eye-opening!

Visual Art Activities:

1. Watercolor Washes

I do a lot of watercolor washes just to get ideas out for color play. You can do it with acrylic too! Basically you just get a bunch of colors on a palette and let your mind and eyes wander. You don’t have to think where you put the colors and you can let them bleed into each other or drip in an “ugly” way. Sometimes I even sprinkle salt over the watercolor to further “disrupt” the even-ness of the stroke and the result can be super surprising and cool. This is a great way to relinquish your desire for control because the end result is always unpredictable!

2. Make it You

I also sometimes buy thrift store canvases and “Enhance” them in playful ways…like I paint new characters or I just make it into an abstract mess. Sometimes I try to change the “meaning” of the painting if there even is one. This takes off the pressure of having to work on a completely blank pristine surface. I really enjoy the idea of working on something with a bit of history or the concept of a palimpsest. It’s kind of like a remix ;)

3. Make it New

I do this with my own old work too! I paint over a lot of old work I don’t like anymore. It’s OK to not cherish everything you make if you see an opportunity for something better!


What are three positive things you like to think of to uplift your mood?

I like to look at pictures of cute birds, that always helps. That’s one. And I always play music. Sometimes I don’t feel like performing, or I don’t feel like writing, but when I push myself to do it it feels so good. It like transports me somewhere and when I go to that happy place in my mind– it’s not even like a happy place, it’s like a peaceful, neutral place where I just think about the notes and how it makes me feel and like the textures and stuff. It really calms me down. I remember recently when I went to Japan, right before my performance I was having a panic attack. I was hyperventilating because I had a really weird altercation with someone and it was just scary. I’m also really sensitive, so I was just having a panic attack, and then I had to go onstage in like a minute. I literally wiped my tears off, and then my bandmates hugged me, and then I went onstage, and I played my heart out. At the end I was like, I feel so good, I don’t even remember my panic attack. I just felt really good to enter the music and forget about myself. Drawing makes me feel the same way, just creating something. Number three is finding good friends. Good people and good company, finding friends that don’t take from you, but like help you. I know that sounds really obvious, but sometimes I feel like I have had a lot of friends where I was giving them my time and stuff, but it wasn’t really reciprocated. So I think having good company really helps, like people to support you and people who push you. And people who will be honest with you and not just tell you what you want to hear. I think that’s really important, because it makes you feel like you have a family, and everyone needs a friend to lean on.

Do you have any advice for those struggling with an eating disorder or body image issues?

Yeah, stick to learning new skills. Learning any skill actually, whether it be dance or poetry or archery, pottery-making- anything where you use your hands and your mind to make something out of nothing. I think that any sort of outlet like that, any creative outlet, gives you a lot of power. And I think for those who feel out of control with their body or their lives or who are stuck with an eating disorder, I think that instead of focusing on yourself and your body, honing yourself into a skill and having an outlet is so much healthier because it gives you a voice first of all. Art and music for me is my voice. I’m not the best talker, I think that I’m often times soft spoken on some things, but I can express those things through my music and my art. It’s easy because I can put it out into the world and it’s not like I’m out there saying it, it’s like my work speaks for me, it’s an extension of me. I feel very powerful when I work on stuff like that because it makes me have a voice and I’m doing something. But I think in general it’s good to focus on something that aren’t external appearances because looks fade, everything fades, but if you have a skill, you’ll have that for life.

For a reflective and meditative playlist created by Yvette for when you need to feel calm:

Thank you to Yvette for taking the time to interview with us. She provided some really great insight into the mind obstacles she dealt with in the past and her career as an artist. She also gave us some really great creative activities to help let go of perfectionism, as well as a playlist for when you need to be in a calming mood. Thank you Yvette!

Listen to her latest EP below:


Interview by Nataline Ziola.
Edited by Shannen Roberts.
Artwork by Divya Seshadri.


Nataline Ziola (she/her) is a bi-racial writer who loves Marvel, pizza, and the beach.
Read her posts here.



Divya Seshadri (she/her) is an Indian feminist, currently living and working out of Austin, TX, fighting one stigma at a time.
See her posts here.


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Shannen Roberts (she/her) is the Peruvian-American, founding editor-in-chief of The Strange is Beautiful, musician and yogi.
Learn more about her here. 

Sadcore Sundays Features

Sadcore Sundays: “Kill” by Ivo Dimchev

A mix of gothic dark pop, creepy orchestral arrangements, and eerie falsetto, Ivo Dimchev’s “Kill” fills souls with sadness and a shift of perspective simultaneously. Sadness to see people lose all faith that there is love left in the world, lose all strength to be positive, and fill up, survive on rage. The shift of perspective takes place there, the rage. An awareness of how depression can express itself as anger and harm of others is crucial to healing. Stress and oppression from the world want us to suffocate ourselves in our own rage. Rage can be used as a tool for good, it can be an ally. But when not harnessed, it can cause distortion of how we see and live in the world. It can cause us to lose the ability to enjoy anything or anyone and to only see the negative in everything. This song could be interpreted entirely differently, that a wounded heart can lead to violence, deaths, and killing. I don’t see this song as that, but instead, as the confusion of rage that has piled up for too long and continues to grow like weeds. An infestation of anger unable to be digested or used for good and transforms into a deterrent.

“The only real source of love is in your little wounded heart, your little wounded heart, but I know that you won’t listen.”

Listen to your pain. Your true self is not anger, you are still in there, always and forever. Find yourself.

See Ivo Dimchev at The Hotel Cafe August 31st in Los Angeles. Tickets are here.

Lyrics to “Kill” by Ivo Dimchev

oh you little boy, you little piece of joy, and you little girl,
little wonderful world of loving,
why you’re crying now ooh oooh oooh I know,
I know ooh oooh oooh I know,
I know you crying for the blood of those you love you crying now
because your world is gone and I’m trying now to prove you’re wrong
cos the only place of love,
the only real source of love is in your little wounded heart your
little wounded heart but I know that you won’t listen and there’s no
one that you believe in cos all your
pain is real and makes you want to kill.
I know you won’t make it
little lives I see them take it
cos already the gun’s in your hands, the gun’s in your hands,
the gun’s in your hands
the gun’s in tour hands lalalalalala, lalalalalalala lalalalalala


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Shannen Roberts (she/her) is the Peruvian-American, founding editor-in-chief of The Strange is Beautiful, musician and yogi.
Learn more about her here. 

Sadcore Sundays: “Grieving Spell” by The Bedoom Witch

For those who have lost a loved one and are going through the grieving process, The Bedroom Witch is with you to feel your sadness and depression. Take a few minutes to feel all that is coming to the surface with “Grieving Spell.”

Lyrics to “Grieving Spell” by The Bedroom Witch”

estarab, afsordegi 
esghi, yadegari 

i’m losing sleep at night to question what’s real 
is loss a definite part of the deal? 
cause grief has been marked here 
i’m standing in quicksand, it’s taking me under 
(tongue speak the grieving spell) 
and i walk alone now 
(tongue speak the grieving spell) 

don’t talk out of it, the senses are real 
don’t lose sight of it, this is to feel 
cause there are ghosts inside me 
(threatening to bleed) 
for a world collapsing 
and i’m still not ready for it 
I know the drought will come 
when my eyes are starting to weep 

I saw a vision that begged to reveal 
changes so desolate, crumbled and concealed 
how long have I been here? 
I wanna give up now, this is surrender 

don’t talk out of it 
don’t lose sight of it 

don’t talk out of it, the senses are real 
don’t lose sight of it, this is surreal 
cause there are ghosts behind me 
(watching me leave) 
for the gates to nowhere


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Shannen Roberts (she/her) is the Peruvian-American, founding editor-in-chief of The Strange is Beautiful, musician and yogi.
Learn more about her here. 

Sadcore Sundays: “We Had to End it” by Cuco

In honor of Cuco playing a block party in Los Angeles today, we’re featuring his song “We Had to End it” for Sadcore Sundays. This is for anyone who’s been through a breakup recently and feels like the world is ending and there is no more reason to live. Cuco feels your feels <3

“We Had To End It”

Me and my lover came to an end
I didn’t want that
But I guess she did

Sleepless nights have only begun
Swear I thought she was the one
The girl of my dreams

All my nightmares came to ruin my life
Mercy had no time
And time had no mercy on me

I felt so dumb thinking one day you could be my wife
Never thought you would lie
When you said you loved me

Nothing can bring me back to life
After you left me to die
On a road far away

Love and lies shine so bright
‘Cause they both made me blind
And I crashed as I looked away

Ghost of my past haunts my present
As there he welcomed
My agony and pain

He said I’ll be gone before you know
Just finish this song
And you’ll be where you belong

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Shannen Roberts (she/her) is the Peruvian-American, founding editor-in-chief of The Strange is Beautiful, musician and yogi.
Learn more about her here. 

Sadcore Sundays: “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)” by The Raconteurs

My boyfriend played me The Raconteurs’ new song “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)” in the car and he said it reminded him of me lol. ACCURATE. I feel like this so much, too much throughout my life. It’s so easily relatable. My favorite lines are:

“But somedays I just feel like crying
And somedays I don’t feel like trying”

And

“I’m here right now
I’m not dead yet.”

Those last two lines really get me. It reminds me of pushing through all the bullshit life throws at me, pushing through the pain that my own body gives me, and pushing through any challenges and obstacles to remember that hell, I’m fucking alive. I’m ALIVE. I’m still here, I exist, and that’s something to celebrate. Yeah it’s hard for me to get out of bed sometimes, yeah I sometimes cry and give up on everything, but I’m not dead yet, so that means I can’t give up. I have to keep trying. Thank you The Raconteurs for accurately singing my feels. I hope they comfort you tonight and give you the strength to just be, to just live in this present moment, no matter how shitty it is right now, because you’re not dead yet, and you shouldn’t die yet because the universe still needs you and loves you.

Lyrics to “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)”

I’ve got so much to give
I got a lot a heart
Yeah only trouble is it’s doomed from the start

And I’ve been riding this thing out since I was 8 yrs old
And if you could just see inside of me you’d see a heart made of gold
And I try to live a good life and keep an open mind
Gave up everything I love and kept it all inside

But somedays I just feel like crying
And somedays I don’t feel like trying
But somedays I just feel like crying
And somedays I don’t feel like trying

But somedays I just feel like crying
And somedays I don’t feel like trying
But somedays I just feel like crying
And somedays I don’t feel like trying

Somedays
Somedays
Somedays
Somedays

I’m here right now
I’m not dead yet

I’m here right now
I’m not dead yet

I’m here right now
I’m not dead yet


Photo taken from here.


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Shannen Roberts (she/her) is the Peruvian-American, founding editor-in-chief of The Strange is Beautiful, musician and yogi.
Learn more about her here. 

Requests and Submissions

Send in your Sadcore Sundays requests
to strangeisbeauty@gmail.com or DM us on Instagram @thestrangeisbeautiful.

If you’re a musician or band who would like us to feature your song or music video or be interviewed, please email your pitch to strangeisbeauty@gmail.com.