Saturday, October 21, 2017

Introducing: The Creatives Project



Meet Archie, my potted plant. He's five months old and quite the introvert.

Hello there, my people!

One of the things I love most about writing is that it lets you tell someone else's story. This is a big part of why I got my degree in journalism: I love to get to know what makes people tick, what they are passionate about, and who they really are beyond the surface. While I may never get the chance to interview any of y'all face to face, this gnifty little thing called the Internet connects us! So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to.....

The Creatives Project!


*throws confetti*


(No? Just me?)

The Creatives Project is a series of short interviews with other bloggers and creatives, hosted here on the blog! I want to get to know y'all, hear about the projects you are most passionate about, what you're currently writing, baking, creating, etc. What artists inspire you? What are your biggest creative roadblocks? And how did you get into blogging?

If you can't tell, I'm pretty excited about this!



That's where you're wrong! Can you bake? Sing? Knit? Write? Dance? Paint? Maybe you love photography or filming YouTube videos or maybe you're a poet. Or maybe you have a loving, encouraging heart! Whatever form your creative passion projects take, I want to hear about them! YOU are creative.

So how do I get involved?

It's really simple to be a part of the project. Here's what you need to do:

Email me at acousticerin [at] gmail [dot] com
with the subject line "The Creatives Project: [Your Name]"
to let me know you're interested! Then I will put you on
the list and send over your interview questions!





For this project, I would like to incorporate 2-3 photos into the post, either of your personal photography, pictures of poems you've handwritten, etc. I will also need (1) head-shot of you for the post. If you're not comfortable with sending photographs, I'll ask you to send me a list of keywords that match your "aesthetic" so I can find or create visual content for the post! 

But what if I forget to answer the questions?
Is there a deadline for the project?


Me interviewing you except not really.

Nope, no deadline! The series will run for as long as there is interest. It may feature 2 bloggers, 3 bloggers or 45 bloggers! WHO KNOWS. It may even feature bloggers that I don't know yet! That's the beauty of this project. There's no rules, no guidelines - we are a community that is ever growing, learning and creating. I want to hear your story!  

What about you?

Do you want to be a part of the project? Is there something that you are passionate about creating?Any one have any fun Fall plans for this weekend? Love y'all! 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

7 Simple Ways to Stay Inspired for NaNoWriMo All November Long

Hello, humans!

Somehow, impossibly, we are 2 weeks away from NaNoWriMo! I don't know how we're halfway through October already, but here we are. I know a lot of the blogging community participates in National Novel Writing Month in November, but there can be a lot of stress involved in writing 50,000 words if you don't pace yourself. WE HAVE TO STAY CALM, PEOPLE. Here are 7 glorious ideas for staying inspired (and keeping your cool) all November long!

Make an Aesthetic Board


There is nothing harder than writing a book without visual inspiration! Pinterest is literally a lifesaver for these types of things - you can find all kinds of inspiring pictures of people, places or pithy quotes to capture the theme of your novel. This is the most recent board I made for my novel-to-be, Dreamland, and it is keeping me motivated. Bonus tip: Print out some of your favorite images and hang them on your bulletin board!

Create a Playlist

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How can you be moved to write scenes without music? I don't know about you, but listening to music before or during my writing helps bring out the emotional intensity of my words and ideas. Use Spotify or iTunes to loop albums or handpick songs in a playlist. Or go old school and make a mix CD! AND THEN SEND IT TO ME IN THE POST I WANT TO HEAR THE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC

Branch Out a Little
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Every now and then, find a new place to put down your pen. Sure, you can write at home or in the same old coffee shop as usual, but taking one day to visit a new writing spot can be inspiring! Treat yourself to a different kind of latte than you'd usually drink and try some place new. You never know who you might meet or what might inspire you!

Limit Your Social Media Time


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It's great to communicate, but with all the words you'll be writing in November, you might need to step back. From your blog, from Twitter, from all semblances of reality and the life you had before...ALL OF IT, GONE. Just kidding! But don't waste precious creative juices, people. You need time to recharge and social media can be draining.

Don't Compare Yourself

Remember, this is for fun! A lot of the joy of NaNoWriMo can be connecting with other writers and discussing the writing process, but WOWZA, don't stress because you're not as far along as someone else. This is your story and your journey. Enjoy the month! And enjoy life. 

People Watch



This is an actual quote I overheard in the library one day....OUR?!

People say the darndest things, yo. My Creative Writing professor said something in my freshman year of college that has always stuck with me: "Always have a little notebook on hand to write down ideas." You will be surprised at how little details and snatches of conversation can find their way into your novels! I have a bunch of mini notebooks that I rely on whenever I need a character name or pancreas-related line of dialogue.

SLEEP

I think this one speaks for itself.

What about you?

How do you stay inspired during NaNoWriMo? Have you ever participated before? Tell me all about the novels you are planning to write, friends!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Let's Talk Blogging: Do You Delete or Keep Your Old Posts?

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Today I want to discuss something any blogger who has blogged for a while will have to consider: deleting or hiding old posts. Backstory: For any of you who follow me via the Blogger Dashboard, you may have noticed that a *huge influx* of old Acoustic Erin posts were recently uploaded and flooding your feed...I CAN EXPLAIN

FOR REAL THOUGH NO ONE WAS SAFE






I'm sorry Kara Lynn. :( YOU WERE JUST ANOTHER CASUALTY OF BLOGMAGEDDON 2017.

For a while now I have been thinking about where I want this blog to go, what I want it to look like and how it can provide value to y'all's lives. And, because I am an indecisive human, I hid a lot of my older content for a bit before deciding to make it available again. 


I want you to think back with me to the moment you decided to start a blog.

For me, this was back before I knew what Instagram was or how to use the rule of thirds or that any of you glorious people existed. All I knew is that I wanted to start a blog (whatever that was) to write words and keep a record of them. I posted about Andrew Garfield and Bob Dylan's hair (true story) and didn't think much about it. I just wrote.

RIP my old logo


Now that my blog has grown to be more than just a personal journal or place to write about random things, I considered hiding all those old posts.

But maybe I was naive to do that. There are so many different aspects to consider.

Why Should We Keep Our Old Posts?



They show how we've grown. Or do they? DUN DUN DUN
They're gloriously nostalgic. Exhibit A: Throwback photos of old travel adventures.
Maybe someone can learn from them. I don't honestly know what is lurking in the archives of this blog, but perhaps there are older posts that actually have a gem of wisdom. THE WORLD MAY NEVER KNOW

Why Would We Hide Them?



They're cringe-worthy. Maybe not to y'all, but to me, my old writing makes me squirm.
They don't reflect the style of the content I want to write today. But maybe that's okay! Maybe blogs are always ever-evolving and ever-changing with their authors. And maybe that's a beautiful thing.

What do you think?

Have you ever deleted or hidden your old blog posts? Do you ever go back and read old posts from bloggers you love? I know I do. Which camp are you in - to keep or delete old content? That is the question! 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2017

Happy October, friends!

Can you believe September is over? I can't! Just waiting over here in FL for it to get cold enough to wear sweaters and combat boots....but I DIGRESS. If you're familiar with my blog, you might notice that this is a *new* kind of post for this space. I usually don't post monthly wrap-ups, but I wanted to give it a try. LET'S DO THIS YO

What I've Learned This Month


Be yourself. A lot of people are trying to be like other people, and that's a shame. You don't know how refreshing it is to see someone being unapologetically themselves. It's electric. It's attractive. You don't have to "be the best" or look like anyone else...just be you. :-)

On that note: Confidence is E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. For so long I allowed myself to live in a place of comparison and insecurity, and it tainted my relationships with God, myself, and my family. I'm grateful for a new start, and even though everyday has its ups and downs, I'm moving towards positive thinking and seeing myself the way that Christ does. #That'sWhat'sUp

Gratitude. Hurricane Irma was a doozy, but not nearly as bad as she could have been, at least where I live. Going without power for days and enduring some small complications made me realize how grateful I am for everyday life! And that thankfulness does the heart good.

Things I Loved in September

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We Are the Best! I adore movies about music and adolescence (Sing Street, I'm looking at you), and this indie film from Sweden did not disappoint. If you don't mind subtitles and punk rock, then give it a watch, yo.

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The Beach Boys. So much love for The Beach Boys. I enjoyed some of their singles when I was younger, but I never really listened to their albums all the way through, and WOWZA, life is just beginning for me now, y'all. I love finding old gems that feel fresh.

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My hometown. Getting to work, study, and create in a city that encourages the support of small businesses and musicians is just the best thing. Love the town you're in! Find a new coffee shop or park to call your own and get to know your community, y'all.

This amazing post by the fabulous Olivia. This post makes my heart ache in the best way possible.

This verse. I'm reading through Ecclesiastes right now, and IT AIN'T NO JOKE.

October Goals

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Learn More Music. I want to get better at guitar and maybe learn the ukulele? My sister and I are also trying to write a rock opera...We'll see.

Minimize. I've been reading about minimalism lately, and it's inspiring me to clean! I don't know what it is about getting rid of excess stuff that always inspires me, but it definitely clears my mind. Is anyone else like this?

See a concert. It's been FOREVER since I last experienced the joy that is live music.

Unplug. I want to spend less time on social media this month, folks. October is all about pumpkins and canoeing and going on real-life adventures. I definitely want to step away from the screen to feel more inspired and in tune with daily life.

The Month in GIF-Form

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What about you?

How did September treat you? Good, I hope! What are 3 things you are thankful for today? Is there anything you are excited for in fall? Have a great month, friends!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Playlist: September Grooves






Can you believe September is almost over?

September has been a doozy, y'all. A complete drive-by month. I don't really have any words to describe how fast it has flown by, or how odd it has been, but thankfully I have some glorious tunes to show for it. Here are the songs that got me through September. Enjoy! 


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YO, ALLOW ME TO FORMALLY DECLARE MY LOVE FOR ALVVAYS. 
 This indie Canadian outfit has a gift for pairing dark, eccentric lyrics with upbeat beach-y guitar melodies. Ya can't beat it, y'all. Their new album came out midway through this month and I have been DIGGING it. Their songs are perfect for sunny Saturdays or chill mornings cleaning your room. Such good vibes!



I seriously have so much love for this band. They are one of the best! Even though "Sacred Hearts Club" came out a while ago, I've still got it on repeat. It's one of my favorite albums of the year by far. I've also been spinning the "Supermodel" and "Torches" albums and looking into some of Mark Foster's solo music. You really can't go wrong with these stellar grooves, friends.


Image result for otis redding  cover greatest hits

Oh, my soul. I don't know what it is, but I've been in a soul mood lately...? This song is warm and honest and everything lovely. It's a perfect song for a slow dance or just watching the morning sun come up as you sip tea in your favorite coffee shop (guilty). Give it a listen and you're sure to smile!



Image result for younger now miley cyrus lyrics

I know, I know, I know - it's Miley Cyrus. JUST LET ME HAVE MY DISNEY CHANNEL MOMENT. While I don't exactly know what has been going on with Miley Cyrus and her music post-Hannah Montana fame, WOWZA, "Younger Now" is a jam. I love how Miley's voice is sultry and a bit old-school. She seems to be a great singer live, too?! I dig this track, even though it took some warming up to. Kinda stoked to see what she writes next.



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If you're looking for peaceful, whimsical folk, you've found it, sister! It took some time for me to come around to The Oh Hello's tunes, but once I did, I was hooked. Their lyrics are honest, filled with Biblical allusions and an equal measure of optimism and heartbreak. Perfect for an early morning run or writing a novel set in a woodsy town. You'll want to have the whole album playing in the background the whole day long!

Image result for bleachers music

First off, Jack Antonoff just seems like a wonderfully awkward sir, and that makes his music all the more enjoyable. "Take Me Away" is feverish and apologetic and a little manic all at once, in a low-key sort of way. Like a bruise forming beneath the skin.
BUT STILL GROOVY.


Image result for beach boys smiley smile

This song is classic. It's worming its way into my heart and quickly becoming one of my favorite Beach Boys songs. Can't beat it. Give it a listen!

What about you?

Please, please, PLEASE for the love of all that is good and sacred, comment a GIF of one of your favorite musicians or bands doing something hilarious. Or leave a song recommendation if you're a gem! What is your favorite album right now?

Friday, September 22, 2017

How to Be Your Own Kind of Creative



Yo, my people!

As bloggers, artists and writers, creativity is something we adore. We live for it, obsess over it, and are constantly seeking new outlets to express it. Creativity is a beautiful thing! But not every creative soul is the same. What works for one person in the way of artistic process may not work for everyone. So how do you hit your own creative stride? Here's what I'm learning about being your own kind of creative! 

Don't compare yourself.

WHY DO IT. No, really...why do it?



Know this: EVERYONE compares themselves. Even that musician you love. Even that actor you aspire to be like. EVERYONE DOES IT. I don't know why we do. Hey, it's a fallen world. But just know that being your own kind of creative starts with just that - realizing that the Lord has made you unique and that He has plans for the creative life only you can lead!

Embrace all types of creativity.

Creativity isn't limited to words on a page. You can be a writer, yes, but you can also explore painting, cooking, fashion design, learning about science, etc. Even loving others can be creative! Do you have a tender heart? Make someone a birthday card or show them you care by babysitting and coming up with fun games for the kids! There is not one cut-and-dried "type" of creativity. So don't stress if you're not one certain kind of creative. Embrace you!

Discover your creative rhythm.



When and why do you get lit up about a creative project? Learn to identify patterns in what things encourage you to make your art and when you are most creative. For me, I always get super inspired after running in the early morning. Or, conversely, super late at night. (Wha?) Know when you are most productive and tap into that. After all, it's your own creative process. Know what works for you!

Remember that no one's perfect.

Oh gosh, no! I know that social media and the Internet makes it really easy for other creatives to appear #flawless, but YO - that's not true. Never pursue perfection in creativity - it's impossible and just ruins the journey. I beat myself up so much about making my novel "perfect" that I had to put it aside. Ask yourself what is more important - attempting to make something flawless or learning and experimenting with your art along the way. It truly is a journey!

What about you?

What does being your own kind of creative mean to you? What kinds of ways do you pursue creativity outside of writing/blogging projects? Is there anything you wish you'd known earlier in your creative journey? Let me know down in the comments!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Falling in Love with Christ Again

Good morning, y'all!

I write this post by hand in a coffee shop before the world has woken. Hurricane Irma left my family safe but without power for roughly 3 days, and during that time I re-visited what it means to create in the analog sense. Writing by hand is beautiful and time-consuming! BUT I DIGRESS

I wanted to remind you of the LOVE that is in the Father.

I have been forgetting lately that the love of Christ is a relational love. There is a reason He is called our Heavenly Father, folks. He wants an intimate relationship, not religion.

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'" 
- Romans 8:15

Lately I have been viewing God in a way very apart from who He is - as someone stoic, judgmental, as if He were looking down on me. God has to judge sin, of course, but He came to earth to SAVE and to LOVE and to DRAW NEAR, and that is something I've been wrestling with. When I feel guilty, I choose guilt and my own thoughts over grace, which is just not the truth.


Beautiful cousin is beautiful.

"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through Him." 
- John 3:17

If you are in Christ, the Lord is not counting your flaws against you. I love when He sends me reminders like this, even in a coffee shop. I guess I just need to dig into His Word more and absorb what He is trying to tell me. Because without Him, I'm a mess, yo.

So that's it!

Just a quick reminder that I am loved and so are you, and that the Lord's love gives us strength. We have all the hope and peace we will ever need, despite what our brains try to tell us. P.S. Did you notice something different today? *dances and points to URL* FREE PIE FOR EVERYONE! If you have any trouble accessing things, please let me know!

What about you?

What do you love about the Lord? How do you grow your relationship with Him? Is there anyway I can pray for you? P.S. Thanks for everyone who reached out during the hurricane! Means a lot! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Living the Artistic Life Everyday of the Week

Hey there, friends!

Today I want to talk about living artistically. I know a lot of you are creatives, and often it can be hard to juggle school, work, family, relationships and all of the other things life throws at us. How do we make time for creative pursuits in the midst of daily life, not just on the weekends? Here are some of the ways I tackle this in my own life.

Listen to music.

Yo, for real though. This might seem like a simple tip, but adding music to your day can make your life feel like a film that you are the star of. Walking to and from work, I always try and listen to music that inspires me or makes me happy, like the Beach Boys. Listening to good music can get you ready to tackle the day, calm you down and feed your creative side.

Unplug after a pre-determined hour.


This is so important, y'all. All day long we rush around, tapping away at our computers, completing assignment after assignment in the digital world. Devoting an hour or two before bed to completely unplug is magical. It helps your brain recharge. Take the time to write your thoughts in a journal, pick up your guitar, or paint. Often we feel like we have less time than we actually do because it's eaten up with so much technology. UNPLUG!

Keep a notebook.

Even if you're not a writer or "the notebook type," this tip can help you hold onto ideas you didn't know you were losing. I don't know how many times I've overheard some wonderful snatch of dialogue or gotten a great idea for a story/song on the fly. Having a notebook on you at all times ensures that you can be creative wherever, whenever. It's fun to write down your ideas on actual paper and not just on your phone because then you will have a full volume of all your cool ideas in one place!

Read.

One of the things that keeps me constantly inspired and growing is reading. Read everything - magazines, novels, the newspaper, websites, other people's blogs, your own blog, the back of soup cans...you get the point. You would not believe the inspiration that can come from reading other people's work and learning about the world. Especially if you're not taking classes! Reading is one of the biggest ways to learn on your own.


The windows are boarded up because of Hurricane Irma. I can't wait til FL is safe again!

Support your local creatives.

Get out in your community and meet the people who are pursuing their dreams and creating wonderful things in your town. Rubbing shoulders with those who do what they love can help you form meaningful connections and inspire you to move forward in your own creative pursuits.

Devote time daily to your passion projects.

This could be anything from baking cookies to learning photography to writing your novel. But the important thing is that you move ahead. Even thirty minutes a day towards a project is still PROGRESS. Take that time you would have spent checking and re-checking your social media and devote it to your craft. Creativity doesn't just have to be for the weekend. If you can't find the time, try going to bed at a decent hour and waking up one hour earlier than usual.

What about you?

How do you stay creative during weekdays? Are there any websites or makers who have been inspiring you lately? Is this a type of post you'd like to see more of?
Let me know in the comments!  

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Pursuit of Perfection


Hello, my people!

Today I want to talk to y'all about perfectionism! Perfectionism, comparison, and insecurity are things that I struggle with periodically and that have been on my heart a lot lately. I am going to do whatever it takes to make 24 a year of confidence, but I'm not there yet. I wanted to get y'all's thoughts on this.

For me, perfectionism can manifest itself in the form of creativity.


Being creative is a glorious thing. (Other glorious things: pumpkin spice candles, movies in the theater, black skinny jeans...the list goes on.) But what if the art you make isn't P-E-R-F-E-C-T? What then? I put a lot of pressure on myself to make things that meet my very high standards. This is something I've struggled with in regards to my novel and most recently, this blog.

What's wrong with a little mess?

The thing about perfectionism is that it never leaves you satisfied.
There is always something new to fix, improve upon, chase. This struggle leaves me feeling either super prideful or super insecure, neither of which I want to be. I don't want to hold others or myself to ridiculous standards and I don't want to feel paralyzed by so much self-awareness. It's not always as intense as I'm making it sound, but yo, it can be a real thing.

It can be a real thing and it can keep you from dancing in joy before the Lord.


I don't think social media helps. There is nothing wrong with art or expression, but when we try to control our image so much that it starts to consume us, we lose ourselves. I'll be real with y'all, I put a lot of thought and time and planning into this blog and sometimes it kills me that it's not "perfect." Part of me wants to delete everything and start over, which is the timeless Ye Olde Blogging Struggle.

But I'd rather be honest than perfect.

I'd rather be real than perfect.

"When I felt secure, I said, 'I will never be shaken.'
O Lord, when You favored me, You made my mountain stand firm;
but when You hid Your face, I was dismayed."
- Psalm 30:6-7

In a world where much is false, I want to love.
After taking some time off from blogging this summer, I realized that that is what I want in life. To create, yes, but not to pursue perfection. My legs are weary from chasing unrealistic ideals for too long. I want to be filled with others and not self, and keep in mind that the ones who appear most polished are often the most broken.

This is my prayer.

What about you?

Is perfection or comparison something you struggle with? What are ways you combat that? Have you ever thought about deleting your blog and starting again? 
Happy Friday, friends! 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

24

Good morning, my people!

So today's the day. 24. Incredible! It's become a bit of a tradition for me to celebrate my birthday on the blog (see 21, 22, and 23 for reference), and this year is no different. Though I can't believe I'm 24(!), I'm super inspired to see how the Lord will change me and work in me this year.



One thing that I love about birthdays is that they signify a fresh start. In this 24th year, I want to put my past behind me, and move on to the glorious N E W things that the Lord has planned. I really want to make this year about growing Christlike character, creating, praying, and spending time in nature.

No song better to listen to on my birthday then Switchfoot's "24."

Dear Lord, let's make 24 a year of confidence, celebration in You, victory, and loving others with a full and open heart. Thank You for every second of my 24 years! 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Playlist: August Jams





Happy Saturday, blogfolk!

Today I want to talk to you about music! Listening to music and writing music and BECOMING ONE WITH THE MUSIC are some of my favorite things, and I want to incorporate more of that here on the blog. Each month (or perhaps more frequently), I will be compiling playlists of the songs I've been listening to recently. Get ready for some glorious August jams, my people!



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I was watching Pitch Perfect the other day (I know) and was mesmerized by this soft and airy song playing in the background. "Open Season" is the perfect soundtrack for writing or taking an early morning drive along the coast. It's very wistful. I'm looking forward to researching more about this band and discovering more of their music!



Image result for cold little heart michael kiwanuka

This song is such a groove. Empowering yet pained, it feels both old-school yet fresh at the same time. I can't listen to this song without literally dancing, y'all. I need to check out more from Michael Kiwanuka, because this is a solid jam.



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So much love for this song. The lyrics go straight for the jugular, sharp and honest. I highly recommend listening to this one multiple times to catch all of the lyrics. It's raw and blunt and regretful and I DIG IT.



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I recently discovered the happy-sad glory that is The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, and W O W. This song reminds me of love and hope and the shore, and I can't get enough of it. It's by far one of my favorite songs on the album, and closely rivals "Wouldn't It Be Nice," my all-time favorite song by this awesome band. 



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If you're searching for an awesome work-out song, search no further. The video for this song gives me chills....okay, all of Sia's music videos give me chills! This one seriously makes me wish I could dance. It's poppy, motivating and a little dark, and I totally dig that. I think Sia has one of the most incredible voices - crackly and emotive and always right on the edge of breaking. Beautiful!



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I would be remiss if I didn't include Taylor Swift's new single. At first I wasn't sure what I thought of it at first, and it's still growing on me. I love the move to a new, darker sound, because I like most of my music to have a little edge, and "Look What You Made Me Do" definitely does. My favorite part has to be the spoken bridge towards the end of the song....dying to hear y'all's thoughts on this one, since fan reactions are a mixed bag.


What about you? What songs have you been listening to lately?
Leave your fave tunes down below!