Spiritually Geared Up

It’s that time of year again! Spooky season, which means it’s one of my favorite times on my blog. I love looking at old b-horror movies because God uses them to teach me things about life and fear. You see, people give this season too much power than it needs when it comes to Halloween, I like to take that power away and help you learn what scripture says about fear and spiritual warfare. One of my favorite tropes in old horror movies is the moment where our protagonist isn’t sure how they are going to handle this threat. Zombies, vampires, ghouls, goblins, and creatures of the night; the odds can be very stacked against our hero. Sometimes in life we can be in the same spot. Satan keeps attacking, keeps throwing fears your way. “you aren’t good enough.” “You’ll never make it.” “Just give up” You’ll never be remembered.” Real fears that creep in. The truth is, these can really weigh us down, and if we aren’t careful, the bloodsucking fiends will win, but we have a God who gives us a chance; and that chance is all we need.

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Tea and Tracks #3

Hello again and welcome to the latest edition of tea and tracks, and I’m very excited to share these tunes with you today. The feel of the albums today is very dramatic and ambient, yet still peak the intrigue while you listen. I hope you enjoy these albums and give them a listen, stay tuned to the end to have a new flavor of tea that pairs very well with these albums. Remember to support the artists and share it around if you dig it!

The first album up is titled, Night Drive, by the “Chromatics.” This band from Portland, Oregon uses a variety of sounds mixing indie rock and synthpop with a little bit of Italian disco elements to create their own unique sound. Night Drive was released in 2007 and was the bands third studio album which departed from their early punk sounding music. The band includes Nat Walker who plays the drums, Johnny Jewel who plays the rest of the varied instruments used in their recordings, and vocalist Ruth Radelet. The album opens as a women is about to meet up with her boyfriend, but then decides to take a drive alone instead. That feeling resonates throughout every song as each is a perfect soundtrack to a late night drive. One of the most recognizable tracks is titled, “Tick of the Clock,” which was featured throughout the 2011 film called, Drive. The album gives off that intriguing neo-noir thriller sound, which creates vivid imagery while you listen. My favorite track off the album is, “Running Up That Hill,” which is a cover to Kate Bush’s original song from the 1985 album, Hounds of Love. Check it out!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/night-drive/id630262470

The next album continues in the vein of synthwave styled music with a movie soundtrack feel, Visitors, by “Lazerhawk,” is incredible. Producer, Garrett Hays, creates music inspired by the cyber-punk stylings of the 80’s, yet keeps his tracks fresh and fast-paced. Released in 2012, Visitors, encompasses the feeling many children have as they look up at the stars and wonder what might be out there. The album explores that idea and culminates into a sci-fi infused electro album creating that cinematic feeling. The synthwave movement includes several up and coming artists who are incredible at their craft, this movement definitely has the potential to reach the masses but is currently a very little known genre of music. My favorite track off the album is, “Shoulder of Orion,” which is a perfect representation of this emerging style and cinematic qualities. Check him out and support the movement of synthwave music.

https://lazerhawk.bandcamp.com/album/visitors

The next album is called Ring, by Glasser, which takes a break from the heavy uses of synth, yet still uses the electronic pop styling to keep her album fresh. Female singer-songwriter, Cameron Mesiro, incorporates tropical pop, tribal percussion, and electronic beats here and there to create a sound like none other. Her 2010 debut album, Ring, put her on the radar of many reviewers out there, and with good reason. The album is an incredible piece of art where you can tell that each track was written and created with specific intentions and just what she wanted it to be. Overall the album is very easy to listen to and has that free spirit sense throughout each song that many love and can connect to. MY personal favorite track is, “Tremel,” which shows off her style of music and her incredible vocals. I encourage you to give it a listen!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ring-bonus-track-edition/id391962016

The final album we will be looking at today is titled, Beyond Dreams There’s Infinite Doubt, by Azure Blue. This album by solo artist, Tobias Isaksson, creates that 80’s pop utilizing lighthearted synths and creating the imagery of things that are going to be better on the horizon. The album has the mind wander into the daydream of the good times in life, focusing on friendship, nature, and love. The album is a truly wonderful piece of work and I highly recommend that you listen to it for yourself to fully experience this very talented musician. My favorite track is titled, “When Love is Pure and True,” which is a beautiful song and shows off all that this artist can do. I highly recommend this album.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beyond-dreams-theres-infinite/id722307975

And now for today’s tea of choice that goes right along with our music today, Twining’s Jasmine Green Tea. Green tea not only tastes very smooth, but it is great for being able to sit down and relax in our chaotic lives. Green tea has a very rich history in Asian culture and in Japanese culture especially, with ceremonies that take place to drink it. This is a great choice of tea that definitely goes well with the albums we have looked at today. I hope you have enjoyed this third installment of Tea and Tracks, if you liked it feel free to share and comment! Stay awesome.

-Joshua Thomas

Tea Fun Fact: Green tea uses the same leaves as black tea, except, green tea is steamed and black tea is roasted.