Sit down, kid. It’s time we talked about Jane The Virgin

I watch Jane The Virgin. There, I said it! And I tell you what, the past few years have been absolutely exhausting living this lie, desperately attempting to hide my love for a show my partner labelled ‘absolute trash’. But perhaps out of sheer exasperation for its endless and erratic plot twists – partnered with the fact that I DON’T HAVE A SOUL TO DISCUSS THIS WITH – I feel it is my civic duty to persuade as many folks as possible to jump aboard the JTV train, like some kind of telenovela-hustling Jehovah’s Witness.

Do you have a moment to talk about our lord and saviour, Jane Villanueva?

me, to anyone that will listen

Firstly, I’d like to kick things off by stating that Jane The Virgin is currently rated at 7.8/10 on IMDb, and 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. So, cart me off to the colonies if you so wish – just know that there are other souls out there that devour this drama too, so much so they feel the need to rate it online.

Look, I’ll reason with you… I can’t remember why I pressed play in the first place. Maybe I was all Game of Thrones‘d out and was looking for something light-hearted? Regardless, I was hooked from the get-go.

I think, above all – minus the kitschy narration, and very cheesily animated figments of Jane’s imagination – JTV rather candidly depicts real life. Sure, not a lot of people are accidentally artificially inseminated by their boss, of whom is being investigated in connection to a huge criminal syndicate. But it’s not the major plot lines that I’m talking about! It’s the minor themes that are woven between that lend a pinch of gravity to the characteristic over-dramatisation of the telenovela genre.

Take Jane for instance: she’s a budding novelist, brought up under both the semi-strict catholic regime of her Abuela and the casual-rearing of her single, and mostly scantily-clad mother. All of her conceptions re: romance have been ripped from episodes of her favourite telenovela, The Passions of Santos. And I dunno, you may have guessed from the title, but she’s a virgin – shock horror!

Jane’s life is very hastily T-boned after she goes in for a standard smear and is accidentally artificially inseminated by her heartbroken/alcoholic/heavily distracted doctor… who just happens to be the sister of her traditionally handsome, resort tycoon of a boss. Cue a whole lot of awkward conversations, relationship turmoil and allegations of immaculate conception. It’s the perfect catalyst to kick off a show ironically taking on the telenovela trope.

Jane The Virgin
Image source: Daily Life

But far from being a mere source of light-hearted entertainment, JTV battles issues across all fronts. From delving into the obvious themes of religion (both in support, and against), sex and heartbreak; to exploring the reality of different child-rearing approaches, and dating as a single parent or grandparent. Through Jane herself, we explore the v real life pressure of trying to navigate your passion and balance a career. Ok, that last point might just explain my unprecedented passion for this series.

Perhaps the most blatant theme is the Villanueva family’s rich Venezuelan-Mexican culture. Jane’s Abuela, Alba, speaks almost exclusively in Spanish – which, side bar: has been mildly educational for this gal trying to learn Spanish on/off for the past five years. One of the most serious plots, though, is Alba’s fear of being caught undocumented in the US – which understandably became a pinnacle theme in light of America’s current political landscape.

Jane The Virgin also explores LGBT relationships – most admirably without any dramatic “coming out” scenes. Characters are portrayed realistically, and even if they’re not depicted in the best light (or in one that differs from our own beliefs) it’s done with class and empathy.

Well, I mean, there are some pretty heavy anti-Trump references in the fourth season – but I challenge you to name another show that hasn’t done the same in the past two years.

Whilst Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez) is the star of the show, it’s pretty fucking hard to miss saucy Passions of Santos star Rogelio De La Vega (played by Jaime Camil). This guy is so damn extra, and so mind-numbingly imperceptive at times that you want to dress him head-to-toe in peach, but every tiny detail just lends to his dramatic essence. This exuberant character is so well-crafted, and I gotta admit – nine times outta ten it’s Rogelio’s lines that have me in stitches.

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I’m bloody bursting at the seams to write about this series in greater detail, but it wouldn’t be fun for first-time viewers without the plot twists and cliffhangers. Call it trash, even laugh at the OTT narration – but Jane The Virgin is well worth your time. And I’m sorry, but if there is anyone out there that can withstand Gina Rodriguez’s wit and charm then they’re simply inhuman and there is no pleasing them.

Undercover JTV fans please slide in my DMs, I desperately need to talk about the season 4 cliffhanger.

Featured image source: Tunefind
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Two People dropped a lead single that’ll leave you tied to your speakers

Two People, who? Let me catch you up, friends. Joseph Clough and Phoebe Lou (rhyme unintended), have risen from the ashes of the v v unfortunate dissolution of Melbourne’s ever-dreamy Snakadaktal to bring us another wildly talented musical venture. The pair have spent the last two years curating their forthcoming LP, and have now unveiled their lead single ‘I’m Tied To You’.

Moving on from a minor wig-out that it’s been five years since Sleep in the Water (what the f have I been doing with my life), this track presents a bit of a darker and more synth-laden sound than you’d expect from the guys behind 2013 hits ‘Fall Underneath’ and ‘The Sun II’.

‘I’m Tied To You’ was mixed by Scottish producer Rodaidh McDonald – known for his work with the xxKing Krule, Adele and Sampha. After hearing this track, the dude offered to mix their entire LP – so you know we’ve got a doozy heading our way.

As with any emotional song title, you’d probably be forgiven for thinking this swirling and somewhat urgent track was a lovelorn ode; but you’d be mistaken. According to Phoebe,

‘The words are written about being tied to yourself. There is a fragility and frustrated loneliness in that. It’s a kind of dialogue. Here, the ‘you’ is myself.’

What’s more, the ‘sax’ you can hear weaving in and out of this brooding rave was recorded through their guitar amp and pedals.

‘Joey was improvising in the final stages of production and the room sounded like a big dark cave… we used that initial recording on the album, if you listen closely you might hear us yelling wildly and moving around the room’.

And because I love to be the bearer of more good news, Two People have also confirmed they’ll be taking the stage at Splendour in the Grass in July. So for those out there with lightning fast reflexes/ were lucky enough to snatch up tickets, get your ears primed for a ‘flowing set that exaggerates sound, moment and feeling’. Let’s hear it for Aussie Music, huh?

After a litany of lush reviews from the expert ears in the biz, I wanna hear your thoughts on Two People‘s exquisite lead single. Listen below, and get your filthy mitts on the track here.

Featured image credit: Tim Hardy

City Calm Down unveil new track, add Wollongong show to ‘Echoes in Blue’ tour

Melbourne lads, City Calm Down have unveiled a fresh track ahead of stepping out on the road for their Echoes in Blue tour. ‘Pride’ was released into the wild earlier this week, hand in hand with an enigmatic video clip.

Lead singer Jack Bourke describes the track as a lyrical exploration of,

‘the feelings of lashing out at loved ones due to personal insecurities, pushing them away without explaining why.’

Which, I think, is a feeling that the vast majority of us can level with. The track itself sees Bourke’s deep crooning laid over an ambient beat and some seriously eighties-sounding synth – which could very well be why my ears are finding ‘Pride’ super reminiscent of The Smithereens ‘Blood & Roses’. If you haven’t wrapped your ears around their latest record Echoes in Blue in its entirety, then I’d highly recommend pressing play on that cherry ripe asap.

Catch the vid for ‘Pride’ below. Would love to know what you think, so drop us a line below.

And get on down to the UOW UniBar on June 23rd for the End of Exams party, tickets available through Moshtix. Supported by Woodes + IV League!

Featured image credit: Ian Laidlaw

‘Queendom’ Come: AURORA’s ethereal music clip

Norwegian singer-songwriter AURORA has perfectly embodied the strength and momentum of 2018 female empowerment in the official clip for her latest bop, ‘Queendom’. And is it just me, or is it now the norm for music videos to be on par with full-scale, Oscar-worthy productions?

‘Queendom’ transforms what looks to be a derelict warehouse into an ethereal atmosphere that, at least for my tired eyes, is strongly reminiscent of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. But that far-reaching parallel could very well be a mirage borne of the way in which the sunshine streams warmly through the high windows, Aurora’s attending (and très chic) posse, or merely her keen eye for rich and eclectic fashion. Or, you know, it could just be my annual hibernation instinct telling me it’s time for a cake & Coppola sesh.

The lithe 20-year-old exudes playful eminence as she leaps and bounds between graceful twirls and determined, almost animalistic choreography – all the while donning myriad outfits, most notably a dreamy mohair crop.

AURORA Queendom
Image source: i-d Vice

Despite the title, the track itself is actually an ode to inclusivity,

“about celebrating all the differences in us. It’s about celebrating the women and the children and animals and the men also. The quiet ones and the introverts, where they can sing and be seen. It’s about the shy people and the lonely people and I hope it can be a place where we can come and be lonely together and then not be lonely anymore. Queendom is a place for all of us.”

The choral melody is equal parts uplifting and empowering, lilting over a fierce and punchy beat that drives AURORA’s frenetic choreography.

I’ve gotta be honest, the first few times I heard this track it kind of slipped past my aural sensors. But having watched the video clip more times than one hand can count, I’m picking up the good juju that AURORA’s laying down. I mean, I can’t remember the last time I danced around the kitchen waiting for my toast to cook, so what does that tell you?

Wrap your ears and eyes around AURORA’s ‘Queendom’, and drop us a line below. I’d love to hear if I’ve pulled this Marie Antoinette connection outta my ass or not!