The 2011 Soundtrack

December 31, 2011 Candace Morris 0 Comments

The albums that carried my soul through this year, in order of appearance:

It's been a very electronic year for us.  I wore myself out on indie/folk last year, and have been comforted by the solitary sounds of synth and motherboard.  However, if you've not gravitated towards this type of music, do know that it's not all dance/techno (most of which I despise).  All of this music is very Depeche Mode inspired, albeit a bit less serious.

Walking on a Dream
This album is just good, clean fun.  It will make you feel so very good.  Yet another Australian band!

The Sound
Joel brought this one home and started playing it.  While I didn't appreciate his immature lyrics, I began to resonate deeply with his themes:  a willing loss of control, such determined hope, and damn good mixing!  This album held me close through a very rough summer and fall wherein my soul insisted on challenging my marriage and encouraged me to release my rigid notions of romantic love, as well as coaxing me into the transition of realizing we wanted to start trying for a baby. Such a deeply spiritual and beautiful album.

Equatorial Ultravox
I am quite proud of this one, because I heard it on KEXP and texted Joel to listen.  We fell in love with it, especially the first song, Now That I'm Real.  It's EPIC.  My one criticism is that the entire album isn't remarkable, only two, maybe three songs.

Idle Labor
Another KEXP find, this album was on INTENSE repeat for an embarrassingly long amount of time.   THE.ENTIRE.THING.  It is swooingling romantic, intensely sad in its glorious pop-style, and boasts such a filling sound.  It's definitely a summer fling.  If you ever loved the Pet Shop Boys or ABC, you'd love this album.

Beach House 
(super hard to see the album art, but it's there)
Teen Dream
There is nothing like the sound this sister/brother duo puts out.  So calming, distant, and moving.  It is an album to paint to, to drive to, to make-out to, to drink to.  Equally sad and hopeful, it's the perfect soundtrack to a 30-something life.

I revisited my love for Bjork right around July/September.  The themes of releasing control (notice a pattern anyone?!) and abandon to the realities of life continue to speak to me, 10 years later.  There is no one like Bjork, nor will there ever be.

You Are All I See
I rarely love an album immediately.  From the instant we played it, we both became immediate fans, obsessed and infatuated.  Joel was able to see him play (a total surprise to him) when he opened for M83 in Atlanta.    With his professional harpist skills, this is one of the most hauntingly melancholy albums I've ever loved.  It's musical perfection.  

I think I saved the last for my favorite!
This album is only available for pre-order, but thanks to Spotify, we've been enjoying it non-stop since October.  An homage to The Joy Division and New Order, this band sounds perfectly 80s with newly existential twists in lyric and theme.  It gives me chills. As Joel says, it's one of those bands that's going to BLOW UP and you'll end up hating yourself for loving.

You can listen to any of these tracks on Spotify, which I highly encourage you to download if you haven't already.  

And you? What has your 2011 Soundtrack done for you?



December 29, 2011 Candace Morris 5 Comments

One of my favorite gifts from Joel this year is this star projector lamp.  It is hanging out with a vinyl copy of "The Music of Cosmos" that I bought him.

  We are crushing on the universe this year.

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”  Carl Sagan, Cosmos


a small service announcement

December 22, 2011 Candace Morris 3 Comments

For those of you who purchased my book of poetry the last few weeks, I wanted to apologize for the delay.  The proofs came and I was simply unhappy with the product.  I have resubmitted the order with my fixes and expect to receive the books by January 15, at which time I will send them right off to you!

For those of you didn't snatch one up, I have 12 books left for purchasing.  See button on sidebar to the right.

Thank you for your patience and support of this lady.


on quiet and joy

December 21, 2011 Candace Morris 4 Comments

For one of the first times in my writing life, I have very little to say.  It doesn't feel like a dry spell or block. Instead, I feel a heavy blanket of peace and quiet.   Joel and I have spent our December evenings cuddling up with Christmas movies and video games, with gumption to do little else, to see no one.  We have no real travel plans, I finished my shopping over a week ago, and aside from some baking and a few presents to wrap, there isn't any pressing matters.  This holiday has almost zero stress.  How did I accomplish this?  I would love to put the prescription in a bottle and sell it to this harried country, but in the end, we are responsible for our own schedules.  Let's face it - every one of us is exactly as busy as we want to be.

I've enjoyed a few conversations with far-away friends, but mainly feel like listening.  My end remains quiet and contemplative, but nothing too deep or melancholy.  The only real ache I have is for my sister and Clara, who kept this house bustling last Christmas.

In my home, it's dark aside from a vast array of holiday lights and very quiet save the cracks on the floor as the cat wanders by.  I've not picked up my real camera in ages, and since publishing the book of poems (upon which I am still waiting due to a glitch in the first edition I simply had to send back), I've not lifted a pen and paper.  I feel distracted and painfully private and for this Christmas, I am giving myself the gift of just letting it be so.

If you see little of me here, know I am well.  Know that I am grinning like a child at Christmas lights and glorying in naps and puzzles.

Happiest of Holiday Seasons, revelers and religious alike.
There is much sharing to come, I need my rest.


Pre-Order Option Available

December 08, 2011 Candace Morris 6 Comments

A few of you have requested to pre-order this book.  

 nightwatch the cover

Click on book or  here to purchase.

There are 25 copies available, and you can expect to receive them no later than January 1.  I will order more copies if necessary.

Thank you for your overwhelming support!


a thoroughly enjoyable experiment of the bookish kind

December 06, 2011 Candace Morris 2 Comments

For those of you who have had the pleasure (commence eye-roll) of conversing with me regarding modern fiction, you know I make no bones about reading classical literature versus the bestseller.  For the most part, I've not felt any sense of loss to disassociate myself from certain adolescent bestsellers, as entertaining as they may be.  

My decision was justified in 2007 when I decided to read The Road.  Although I enjoyed the plot and theme (despite it being unoriginal - I can tell you 5 novels off the top of my head written pre-1980 that deal with the decaying nature of humanity vs the enduring nobility of same during apocalyptic/traumatic times), I was mortified by McCarthy's use of language and the strange occult following the novel produced.  The trend irritated me to no end, and although now I can see McCarthy's mode, I still cannot say that my first experiment with reading anything published in the last 10 years was a rewarding one.  I engaged in so many subsequent defensives on my hatred of the book that it became an entirely exhausting experiment.  

I've endured many interpersonal changes in that same time span, and quite proudly say that I've learned to be less rigid, and have allowed myself to be less narrowly defined by standards I imposed upon myself during my sadly-lacking (in modern literature) Christian education.  I still stand by my voice that modern fiction is sub-par in word choice and cadences as classical literature, but I've found a way for the modern voice to be just as important, inspiring, and informative to culture.   

All of this to say that last month, I did something I've absolutely never done before.  I went to a NEW bookstore in pursuit of a novel published weeks prior.  I then proceeded to purchase this book for $30! (I've not spent more than $10 on a book in 10 years).  

I have this dream about wandering into a bookstore and picking a novel based entirely on my mood, how much I want to shop, and the cover, applying the nonchalance I use to pick out a red wine (even if I limit myself to the Italian section these days).

I am not quite there yet.  This recent trip to the store was still premeditated and I picked this book based on a "Fresh Air" interview with the author.  But still, I am growing!

The Marriage Plot

From the moment I started The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides (some of you may know him for his Pulitzer Prize winning, Middlesex), I not only absorbed each word like a precious Belgian truffle, but I was rather challenged with his vocabulary, and not just a little bit impressed with his skill as a writer.  It helped that his heroine is a disillusioned English major and his two beaus are 1) a manic depressive and 2) a religious studies major.  How could I resist three areas of my own personal interests?!

The Marriage Plot: Bedstand

It feels so good to be a part of a self-experiment gone terribly right.  I completely recommend the book.