#NewMusicFriday: ‘23’ by Chlöe Howl

If Taylor Swift has the jubilant party hit for 22-year-olds, then Chlöe Howl has the confident, reflective follow-up with 23.

Maidenhead singer-songwriter Howl has never shied away from being honest. Now, in her usual candid and soulful style, the artist explores adulthood and the realisations that come with growing up.

Opening with the fuzzy piano chords seen on previous singles Do It Alone and Magnetic, it’s easy to assume that 23 might be the delicate, personal track on the upcoming EP, Work. Yet with a steady beat, the release is in fact a chilled song perfect for slow dancing at parties.

Though the tempo is standard, there’s still a strong pace to the track as Howl’s words float and experiment with the rhythm of the track. Refusing to descend into the structural and lyrical clichés that come with nostalgic looks back at years gone by, 23 is both a confident and delicate story of young adult life.

23 by Chlöe Howl is available to buy and stream now.


Thoughts on the Exam vs. Coursework Debate

Recently I’ve come to realise that my blog has lacked my “thoughts on” certain topics. So, in order to include this more often, I thought I would share my thoughts on the exams vs. coursework debate. After all, I had my first exam yesterday, and it is exam season.

Firstly, I’ll begin with my belief that exams – in most instances – only test memory, whilst coursework tests comprehension. I appreciate coursework can be longer, but with that you get the chance to improve through a constant re-draft process. With an exam, although it is only one instance, the procedure of spending weeks – if not, months – learning information again to pass exams isn’t really a good practice, is it? Surely we should value our ability to comprehend information (coursework), rather than recall information at will (exams)?

However, there are also examples where the pressures of an exam are appropriate – most likely for its ability to be confidential or unknown. The best two cases of this are so-called ‘unseen texts’ in the A-Level English Literature exams, and the ability to “write on demand” when it comes to Creative Writing. In those cases, the use of an exam is fair enough.

Lastly, with coursework, there is no pressure, which means you can focus more. Basically, the idea of coursework should be encouraged and used more often. Either coursework needs to replace exams completely, or exams as a method of testing needs a complete redesign.

What do you think? Which do you think is better: exams or coursework? Comment below!


This post is a bonus post after I forgot to write a post on Wednesday – sorry!

The Confusion of Journalism

OK, so there may be something in “the life of a thinker” that I’m not really going into detail about. This being education, university etc etc… Why? Well, short answer, it’s quite confusing!

For a while, I’ve enjoyed the normal flow of education. There were years where learning mattered, until “upper school” where GCSE’s mattered. Then, when they’re done, A-Levels give you a nudge, and you take them. Now? I’m awaiting the prod from university. But this is where things get confusing…

Apprenticeships are another option , but before I go into detail about that. I guess I should say first that I want to be a journalist or PR manger. Basically, anything under the large business group of “writing” I wouldn’t mind going into… But here’s the problem, jobs involving writing are very competitive.

So I’ve had a look for all the hints and tips when it comes to landing a job in the PR or Journalism industry. In most instances, what matters most is experience.

Already I’ve got a lot of experience, and I’m still looking for more. But alongside that, I need a qualification of some sort.

Now, immediately, one would go and get a Journalism degree. But in my position, I want a degree where I can get into journalism, but PR as well! So what other options are there?

Conveniently, a small group of universities offer a Journalism and PR course – great! But despite this covering both areas I want to go into, the journalism side isn’t approved by the NCTJ.

Back in the time where I was researching the courses, media organisations always admire NCTJ-approved courses. So theoretically, the Journalism side of the Journalism and PR degree would be a waste of time and money.

So the two options are Journalism or Journalism and PR. But what I’ve come to realise is that an NCTJ approved Journalism is likely to get me into PR. It’s very confusing!

Fortunately, I’ve still got some time to contemplate and make my decision!


Weekly Update: Books and Working!

As the title suggests, there is a reason why this Weekly Update wasn’t posted at 12pm (GMT)… It was because I have been busy working. Once again, this week has been another busy one.

I’ve done a lot of jobs this week, so that means that my blog has been a bit absent and my writing process has slowed down again (by the way, a new “Writing by Numbers” will be up soon!).

But in other news, and linking with the books theme, I’ve re-organised my bookcase!

Yep. The change came when I couldn’t find a book I wanted to read as it was halfway through a series. So I decided that the best way to find it, and make things in my room more organised, is to move books around on my bookcase.

New books have now been taken out of my cupboard, and moved into the bookcase, and old books have moved off my bookcase, into the cupboard. The point of this being that new books can be found easier, and gives me a choice as to what I want to read next. But space is filling up, and I may need another bookcase!

But I shall keep you updated on that, at the moment though, I doubt it is much of a problem…

Have a good week!