Tag Archives: music

The 2014 Tumblr Revival

Certain objects have the power to take us back to specific moments in our lives. Popsicles and grass stains may remind you of playing with your childhood friends in the summer, or the smell of chocolate chip cookies might remind you of your grandma. American Apparel tennis skirts, Doc Martens and Arctic Monkeys? 2014 Tumblr. 

It seems like every month, a new trend surfaces on the internet. Over the past year alone, there were countless internet trends like cottage-core or 2000’s style clothing. Although most trends are a repeat of previous styles from decades ago, like 80’s mom jeans becoming popular in 2016, many current trends have started to draw inspiration from the last few years. With TikTok as the main source for these trends, the time periods from which the inspiration is being drawn has gotten more recent and niche. TikTok’s latest victim? 2014 Tumblr aesthetics. 

If you ask anyone ages 18 to 28 what 2014 Tumblr culture reminds them of, you’ll probably get the same answers. Flannels, black and white album covers and nonsensical “deep” quotes were all pillars of this time period. Countless hours were spent endlessly scrolling through Tumblr, reblogging Lana Del Rey quotes or grainy photos of city skylines. Although many of us who were active in the 2014 Tumblr subculture reminisce fondly about it, no one can believe that seven years later it would become trendy again. Here are three ways that I believe 2014 Tumblr culture will make a comeback:  

Clothing

Fashion is one of the biggest ways I believe we’ll see a revival in 2014 Tumblr aesthetics. When you look up “2014 tumblr outfits,” you are bombarded with tennis skirts, knee high socks and Doc Martens. Each of these items was a staple within the community, and can be seen making a comeback right now. If you sit along Speedway, almost every other person you see will be wearing one of these clothing items. 

Music 

Music was a large part of the 2014 Tumblr culture. Arctic Monkeys, Sky Ferreira, Marina and the Diamonds, The 1975, Lana Del Rey and Lorde were just a few of the coveted musicians/bands that were popular during that time. With the release of a new Lana del Rey album and rumored comeback of Sky Ferreira, it’s hard not to feel like there will be a revival of popular 2014 musicians.

Attitude

For many pre-teens and teens, Tumblr was used as an act of self-expression. Communities were created within the platform that catered to all interests. In particular, a large portion of the 2014 Tumblr community found their niche in grunge clothing, indie music and black-and-white grid patterns. Now on platforms like Tiktok, teens are creating their own spaces for self-expression– similar to Tumblr. 

The 2014 Tumblr revival won’t be a carbon copy of what some of us remember from seven years ago, however, I think that there will be tons of parallels in clothing, music and attitudes. Newer generations will put their own spin on the aesthetics that so many of us grew up on. In the meantime, I think it’s safe to say that you can bring out your Doc Martens, American Apparel tennis skirt and press play on A.M. by the Arctic Monkeys!

All Too Well: A Love Letter to Inequality

Whether you’re a Swiftie or an innocent bystander whose TikTok For You page has been hijacked by Swiftok, you might have stumbled across the cinematic masterpiece: All Too Well: The Short Film. The film acts as the music video for the 10-minute version of the marquee song from Red (Taylor’s Version). Swift wrote the song about her relationship with ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal and many fans across the country related to its sincere and gut-wrenching lyrics, but this did not spare the short film from criticism.

Taylor Swift; courtesy Universal Pictures

While the singer is re-releasing albums to create her music the way she intended, Swift was accused of holding grudges and parodied for being vindictive and petty.

 The short film puts those critics to shame by taking the audience on a visceral journey of a toxic relationship through the eyes of the young woman subjected to emotional trauma. Audiences are able to visualize the intricate imagery embedded in the lyrics of the song. Those who criticize Swift for holding a grudge are able to see how deeply painful the act of remembering this period of her life must be, and those who accuse her of fabricating details are reminded that one never forgets trauma inflicted upon them.

The film has sparked a conversation about age gaps in relationships and their impact on an individual. Swift, herself has been criticized for dating Conor Kennedy, who was four years younger, and Taylor Lautner, who was three years younger. However, the bigger criticism was the fact that Swift was an adult dating a teenaged Lautner. It is also worthwhile to note that comparing these relationships to the one with Gyllenhaal is unfair and inherently sexist, especially since their relationship had a nine-year age gap.

Power inequality in a relationship is often experienced when one partner has more power over the other’s emotions, financial security, or life in some severe cases. The inherent toxicity in Swift and Gyllenhaal’s relationship stemmed not only from their age gap but the fact that Swift was in her early twenties while Gyllenhaal was nearly in his thirties. The profound life changes between those decades not only shape you as a person but alter your perspective and outlook on life. Furthermore, there is a profound difference in confidence and comfort with yourself between the two ages. This means the older partner always has the upper hand in contrast to the volatile and emotional younger partner in the relationship.

A scene in the middle of the film highlights this imbalance in the relationship as the younger actress (played by Sadie Sink) fumes about how her older boyfriend failed to pay attention to her during a dinner with his friends. He dismisses her concerns and anger, calls her selfish, and gaslights her emotions. While the fight is resolved after he apologizes, a particularly telling moment is when the young girl says she feels embarrassed and her boyfriend says nothing. His refusal to admit he was wrong and that he has a responsibility to not make her feel isolated, shows he truly is an emotional manipulator whether it is unconscious or not.

The film does a fair job to portray him not as a villain, but rather as a damaged man who is unable to recognize his problematic behavior due to his own trauma. Despite criticism, the film captured the truly flawed nature of human beings and is a  warning to be wary of relationships with age gaps at different stages of their life. It is not different life aspirations as the final nail in the coffin of these relationships, but rather the older partner’s ability to manipulate the younger one’s emotion because they have experienced similar emotions and feelings in the past.

An Introduction to Y’allternative

Looking for a rocking playlist for class? Never really left your emo phase? Check out this playlist with alternative and rock music from across the Lone Star State— including from right here at UT. Meet musicians from all areas of Texas, from Dignan all the way down in the RGV, to Bowling for Soup all the way up in Wichita Falls. So, go have Breakfast at Tiffany’s, pray to Saint Bowie and Sleep in your Sweater with this rocking playlist.

Rock On Y’all! 

Why “Over the Garden Wall” Should Be On Your Fall Watchlist

As we ease into the fall season, there’s nothing better than cozying up on a chilly night to watch your favorite movie or television show. While most of us will watch Coraline, Harry Potter or Gilmore Girls, I think a new TV show should be added to your fall watchlist: Over the Garden Wall. Even though it came out in 2014, it is still relevant today to UT students looking for a fall go-to show. 

“Watching Over the Garden Wall felt like walking outside on a crisp fall day and stepping on crunchy leaves. The colors and music were perfect for the fall season,” said Melanie Chapman, freshman civil engineering student. 

If you’re still on the fence about watching the show, here are five reasons why Over the Garden Wall is a perfect fall watch: 

1. Soundtrack 

Reminiscent of pre-1950s jazz and folk, the Over the Garden Wall soundtrack is a mix of warm melodies and showtune-esque songs. Each song will have you singing along or running to add it to your fall playlist — or maybe both! 

2. Characters

The characters in Over the Garden Wall are easily the best part of the show. Overly anxious Wirt and his naive step brother, Greg, make a hilarious and heartwarming pair. The show is filled with so many memorable characters. Pumpkin people, frogs in 1920s attire and a heartbroken school teacher are just a few of the eccentric characters in the show. 

3. Length

Over the Garden Wall is the perfect length for binge watchers and casual watchers alike. Each episode is only 10 minutes long, so the total run time for the series is only an hour and forty minutes. Whether you binge the whole series at once or watch an episode in between classes, Over the Garden Wall does not disappoint! 

4. Plot

Set in a mysterious forest called the Unknown, Over the Garden Wall follows two brothers on their journey to escape the forest while avoiding the ominous beast that stalks the two on their adventure. The pair is accompanied by a talking bluebird who helps guide them to a woman who can help them get back home, but as they move through the forest things aren’t as they seem. 

5. Fall Themes 

Over the Garden Wall feels like a warm drink on a chilly night. The show is able to balance a very lighthearted, whimsical theme with mysterious and dark undertones. Beautiful colors and picturesque scenery also adorn the show— perfect for the fall season. 

Overall, Over the Garden Wall is a beautiful, heartwarming show that needs to be on your watchlist! The soundtrack, characters, length, plot and fall themes have earned the show its place amongst staple fall watches. Want some more fall show recommendations? Check out  our recent Instagram post!

Featured image courtesy of Over the Garden Wall, S1 E1 on Hulu