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2019 Favourites: Music, Art and Books

So it’s late October in 2019, and this year has been wild. I’ll talk more about my year as a whole in December but for now I’m going to be talking about my 2019 favourites. So basically, my favourite music, art and books that I found in 2019 and absolutely love. Pretty self explanatory.

Music: This year I came across 2 Japanese artists on YouTube. I don’t know how to define their genre of music so I’ll be referring to it as J-Pop, although I think it’s more alternative, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve always liked music from other cultures and countries because I find it tends to be more interesting, and if I don’t know the language, I’m not too focused on the lyrics and more on the tune.

The artists are Yoh Kamiyama and Eve. Kamiyama’s songs are pretty catchy and I love listening to them whilst doing school work and revision, but I don’t know the English translations for them so I don’t know what any of the songs mean. For quite a few of his songs, I started listening without knowing how I felt but the more I listened, the more I enjoyed them.

The thing that drew me to Eve’s songs are the animations in the music videos. I don’t know who does the animations, but they are beautifully done and absolutely amazing. In some recent videos, the animation is so good, it looks like it could be an actual anime or cartoon. In others, the style is more sketchy and poetic and really suits the tones of the songs. Luckily, the videos have English lyrics, which adds a whole layer of meaning and symbolism that I absolutely love. I’m a sucker for deep stuff like that.

As for art, this year I came across an artist called Myriam Tillson on YouTube. For someone whose art is amazing, she doesn’t actually have a lot of subscribers compared to other artists I follow, which is really surprising. She does very symbolic, meaningful, often dark pieces of art usually using gouache or ink. Her work ranges in sizes but they’re usually very detailed and unique and follow a certain concept or idea.

As for books, there are 2 that stand out to me from this year. There’s ‘Snowflake, Az’ by my favourite author Marcus Sedgwick, released this year, and ‘Butter’ by Erin Lange.

Snowflake, Az was a very interesting read. It touched on the subject of chronic illness that I’m very close to and shined light on a variety of perspectives. It shows you just how much chronic illness can affect both you and every other aspect of your life without pitying the characters. They’re unique and quirky and you learn so much by reading this book. It also broke my heart at certain points. I literally cried whilst reading and it’s going to stick with me for a while.

Butter was a book I found in my school library and wow, it was so impressive. Although the protagonist isn’t particularly likeable, you sympathise with him so well no matter who you are. The author Erin Lange did an amazing job of conveying emotion through the story. It frequently made me laugh as well as gasp in horror and cry. The premise was very morbid and I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but it really sucked me in from page 1. Overall, it’s a very emotional story that is scarily real and I don’t think I could forget it if I tried.

As a quick update, I’m 3/4 way through my fifth novel, I am to have it completed by the end of November. The future of this novel is pretty uncertain currently, so it may or may not be out by Christmas, I just don’t know currently.

I plan to do a Favourites post every year! Possibly every season depending on how much new stuff I discover, but I’d highly recommend checking out every one I mentioned in this post if their work interests you.

Published by Alexandra Killworth

I'm Alexandra Killworth, YA author, freelance artist and photographer and mental health activist.

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