EDEN, formerly known as The Eden Project, is the performing alias of Irish producer and singer-songwriter Jonathon Ng. Under the title of The Eden Project, Ng focused primarily on the production of EDM tracks, specifically dubstep and electro-house, but gradually began to show his talents for lyricism and arrangement and made more use of his amazing voice. With the name change in 2015, EDEN pulled the focus away from dance-oriented tracks into the realm of indie pop-rock, while still retaining the liberal use of electronic sound design. His music incorporated more organic instrumentation layered over ambient soundscapes reminiscent of a band like M83, and he forced much more of the listener's concentration on his lyrics and vocal arrangements.
i think you think too much of me is the second EP released by EDEN, the first being 2015's End Credits EP. Ng makes it clear from the first instant of this project that he's moving even further from his strictly electronic roots, starting off the opening track “sex” with a thumping drum beat (from an actual, irl drum kit) and huge sustained piano chords. It's pure indie pop that would find itself in good company with the likes of Bastille or Walk The Moon.
That first track just lies on one end of the wide spectrum this album provides, however. The other end of the spectrum comes immediately after with the track “drugs.” In stark contrast to the opener, this song is brooding and chaotic with heavy electronic synths. Somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, or maybe on a different spectrum entirely, lies the second half of side A, “and” and “rock + roll.” “and” is almost more experimental and sparsely produced, while “rock + roll” shows some heavy influences from classic rock and R&B.
Side B is a bit of an oddity, as it contains three remastered versions of songs Ng penned as The Eden Project. These versions are better than their original releases, with rising star Gnash even filling in on the previously instrumental-only second verse of “Fumes,” but they seem a bit tacked-on in an attempt to extend the album's run time. Since End Credits EP featured nothing but original songs (7 in total), it's a bit of a disappointment that we only get 4 originals from EDEN this time around.
Where this EP really shines is in its lyrics. All of the songs, even the 3 on side B, are incredibly focused on that aspect, which Ng must now realize is one of his greatest strengths as an artist. The songs are all lyrically-dense and brutally honest. You could pull pretty much any single line out of any one of these tracks and see its depth, even out of context (and it gets even deeper when you add the context back in). “sex” and “XO” are similar in that they're almost anti-love songs. In both, EDEN presents himself as the member of a relationship who isn't really putting in the effort to keep it strong, and the two songs almost offer a different perspective about how that starting point may evolve. “rock + roll” and “Circles” are my favorite offerings lyrically, as they dive deep on introspection about how to navigate life and live up to expectations.
The production is immaculate on every track, although Ng seems to enjoy adding distortion to his voice in sections where he's shouting. This can get a little heavy-handed to the point where you can't tell what he's singing, which is a shame since those parts are often the most emotionally intense. And even though each track sounds fantastic, there's little to no thematic glue holding them together. Other than the sequential titles, side A may as well be a collection of singles much like side B. This is especially disappointing because End Credits EP was incredibly well constructed as a whole, with excellent transitions between tracks and recurring lyrical and instrumental themes.
If you've never listened to any post-EDM, “indie electronic” music, then EDEN is definitely a fantastic starting point. The two EPs he's put out under this project name are absolutely at the top of their class. Even if ityttmom doesn't quite live up to it's predecessor (which is available for free download, so there's really no excuse), it's laudable in that it shows EDEN stepping even further away from the comfort zone of EDM and demonstrates to a listener better than ever who he truly is as an artist.
Favorite tracks: rock + roll, Circles, drugs
Least favorite: none
I was dropped off at Hostal las Vacaciones, where I was staying. Really nice hostel. Nice beds, decent fans, they make a solid breakfast. My only issue is the wifi was all over the place. Sometimes good and sometimes non existent which is really annoying when no one mentions that in reviews (Someone make an accommodation site solely based on wifi for me).
Leon similar to Granada, is a colonial town so it's a great place for a photo opportunities. The central areas can get chaotic with traffic and people but that just adds to the vibe of the place. You'll find plenty of locals and tourists roaming around the place.
I checked the Revolution museum and went up to the top of the cathedral. It's handy as both of these things are right next to eachother. The museum was cool but the guided tour wasn't great just because it was in Spanish only, so it was pretty hard to follow but I got bits of it. A few people did recommend to go to the museum about myths and legends. I didn't in the end but something to think about if you visit.
The main reason I came here though was to go volcano boarding. At my hostel I was able to book it for $21. I was picked up at 8am. The trip felt like 45 minutes to the entrance where you pay a $5 entry fee. From here, we got a bag with some water, googles, overalls and gloves. I highly recommend you bring a bandana, I just forgot. In total, making your way to the top of Cerro Negro probably takes an hour as you take some breaks waiting for others and go to other areas at the top before you actually board down. On the day I went up, the wind was insane. It was so strong that I had to stop in places, otherwise I'd probably have lost the board or at least fallen a few meters in whatever direction the wind took me. Seriously it was strong.
The board you get it a bit strange, it's probably the size of a snowboard but wider and has 3 pieces of wood going horizontal, you sit on the last one and grab the steering wheel, which is a rope. To go faster you just lean back and to go slower you sit forward. Only other thing is you keep your legs to the side, that's what keeps you steady, if you put your feet on the board you'll probably just fall off.
I was a little worried initially when I saw people go down as they were going really slow I thought. Fortunately it was just them. I made it a mission to at least go down as fast as I could and I don't know how fast that was but I was easily the fastest according to everyone else since I went last. I just leaned back and tried to keep straight basically. You have ash and tiny rocks flying at your face (where the bandana comes in handy). It was a load of fun and you look like a person who's spent a week in a coal mine after it. Believe me, the following shower was a long one with the amount of things stuck in my hair! And with that I loved it and definitely suggest anyone to do volcano boarding. Even if you're worried about it, you can just take it slowly.
And now I just have to wait for my bus to Honduras (La Cieba specifically) which leaves at two in the morning. I've really enjoyed my time in Nicaragua but I just feel like I didn't have the best time because of being a little sick. There are a load of other nice places to go to for relaxing and surfing and everyone mentions the Corn Islands but I just don't have the time or right mentality for that right now. Maybe it's a sign of travel fatigue kicking in but I genuinely thinks it's more so being a bit sick. Hopefully I recover soon as the main reason I'm going to La Ceiba is to dive!
That's everywhere I was in Colombia. Just a small bit on some things I tried.
I'm after realising I didn't really try a huge amount of Colombian food but I think that's just because a lot of it is very similar to what I already had in other places in South America. Empanadas, some form of meat with rice and beans, cerviche (I do still love cerviche).
In fairness, some of the empanadas were pretty damn good and the other thing I had were arepas which is basically a lot of dough with cheese, or at least that's what I was getting and they were pretty good with all the sauces they usually have to choose from.
In Taganga I did get this really nice limonada de coco which was just super refreshing.
Four and a half months later and I've finished with my travels in South America. Next stop is Panama in Central America. For Panama and Costa Rica you do need proof of onward travel. I did this by just using the site flyonwards, renting the ticket for the day of my flight and bringing the reservation and booking code so they can verify you're on this flight. Then once that rental is over, flyonwards will void the ticket so make sure it's not void when you grab your flight. It costs 10 dollars for 24 hours.
Anyway, thanks for reading the blog. I know it's pretty awful but it's a useful thing for me to have at least.
So I went for four days and three nights and it cost $260. This didn't include the transport from Quito to Nueva Loja which is roughly a 7 hour bus journey and it ain't a particularly nice one whether you go with a private bus or public bus. I went public as it was cheaper and I thought I'd have a better chance of sleeping on it but the bus was insanely hot and ya... I don't usually do that well on nightbuses anyway. After that, just get a taxi to the meeting spot and wait there for the rest of the transport.
So due to that I was seriously struggling on the first day of the tour as I was absolutely shattered. So every so often I kind of struggled to stay awake as we made our way on the boat to the lodges. Still, we did get to see some cool wildlife. Birds, monkeys, snakes and turtles. So I was already loving it but when we did get to the hostel and ate something, we were given the opportunity to rest before going to the lagoon that evening to watch the sunset and spot pink dolphins possibly. Unfortunately for me I was hard out. I fell asleep and there was no waking me so I missed all of that on the first day. The good news is we got to go out two more times so it wasn't a big deal!
So really the second day was the proper start of the tour. There was four of us in total so it was a pretty small group and our guide didn't have the best english but we didn't mind that too much as it gave us an excuse to improve our Spanish a small bit. First thing we did on the second day was get a boat out to do a day hiking trip. So this can be a totally mixed experience really as it all depends on what you see. So we were a bit unlucky that we didn't see much wildlife. Lots of insects, some frogs and a squirrel but it was still cool. Ate some ants that tasted like lemon, swung on roots like Tarzan, and had to traverse through swamps so it was still really cool.
But it was the second part of the day that was unforgettable for me. We went back to the lagoon to watch the sunset again which was amazing. The lagoon was so warm and nice to swim in. You could see the sunset on one side and the moon on the other, lightning in the distance. It was all just really beautiful. So we were out there for about an hour just swimming around the place. Then we got back on the boat, dried ourselves off and went searching for kaimen in the night. Spotting the kaimen in itself was a fun challenge but it was those times that you got up close that you were able to see them hunting or just staying perfectly still. It was just such a cool experience.
The whole of the third day was spent with a community in the Amazon and we joined up with another group of people who arrived the previous day so there was 16 of us now. Again we still got to see cool things just making our way over. More of the same along with sloths, an anaconda, lizards, tarantulas, a toucan. At the community, we got to pull out yuca plants, grate them and make bread out of them. Then we got ourselves a nice history lesson before the shaman appeared to talk to us and do some rituals. He did some healing and spiritual ones. I was picked out for having low spiritual energy, I'm not sure if he fixed that or just verified it! :) Either way it was fun to watch and understand the lives of these people. That night we went on a night trek where we got to see some more dangerous creatures up close. Mostly spiders and snakes but it's amazing how close you'll get to them. One annoying thing about that (which goes for everything here really but in particular there), loads of mosquitos. Make sure you're covered up and have repellent as you're going to need it for sure.
The final day we got up very early to do some bird and monkey watching so we got to see a lot more activity at a different time which was cool. After that we had our breakfast and back on our way to civilisation. It's been a while since then so I'm probably missing out on some details but I do want to emphasise how amazing the experience was I just loved it, loved being surrounded by all the greenery and noises that come with that. So highly recommending it to everyone!
Big Rock Brewery | Calgary, Alberta
English Brown Ale | 5% ABV
This is an old standby. Here in the prairies we simply call it Trad. After a couple of really nice treats these last couple days I'm quite happy to have a simple night in with an old favourite!
Pours a clear reddish brown with just a sliver of head. Small amounts of lacing. Perfectly standard.
A pretty light smelling beer. There are some bready malt aromas followed by toffee. Slight earthiness. Quite pleasant, if underwhelming.
Trad is pretty sweet, and of a moderate intensity. Toffee and nuttiness make up the majority of the flavour. This is backed by some nice spicy hop flavour and hints of citrus. It's very tasty, but I feel there could be a little more spice to balance things out.
It has a medium-light body, enough carbonation to excite, but not distract my tongue, and feels quite slick going down. A little bit of warming in the back of my mouth. Very nice.
Trad is pretty great. It's my standard for a reason. It's nutty, relatively low carbonation, and light enough that I can drink quite a few at a time. I don't think it's a spectacular beer, but it suites my tastes beautiful. I'll admit it is a little boring, but I think everyone needs a nice boring beer to keep them grounded (and to keep a little bit of money in my wallet). New Castle may get a little more love from me from now on, but Trad will be a part of my life for the foreseeable future!
And the end to another country. Peru actually feels a bit weird to me as realistically I just spent a lot of time in Cusco. If I'd been a bit more intelligent and had some more energy for treks I probably would of gone to Arequipa and Huarez too but overall I absolutely loved Peru and could see myself going back to check those places I missed.
The trip to Machu Picchu alone was worth it. An absolutely incredible experience I'd recommend to everyone.
Hopefully you enjoyed these posts and if you've any questions, just let me know.
Thanks everybody for sharing! I know it can be a little daunting to share things from your personal life on the anonymous beast that is the internet, but again, I think we're part of a pretty stable community here.
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