Monday, December 10, 2012


music is extremely personal. which means that many of you will scoff at the list that follows. but i'm archiving my picks for favorites of the year anyway. it is as much a silly list as a journey into remembering this last year and appreciating how far i have come. if there is one thing that i have learned this year it is this:

A || L O T || C A N || H A P P E N || I N || A || Y E A R.

TOP TEN ALBUMS OF THE YEAR (in no particular order):


father john misty "fear fun"
released may 2012

j. tillman kills it on this solo debut under this moniker. his voice and sound are timeless and daring. an album i listen to start to finish.

(okay so maybe this is my #1 but i just can't commit to saying it).

     alt-j "an awesome wave"
  released may 2012
  infectious records 

i get a text from my friend, and fellow music fanatic, ashley camper that just reads, "alt-j". that is what lead me to this album. this is a hell of a release from this band out of england. and it is currently on repeat on my stereo.

 alabama shakes "boys & girls"
released april 2012

i am in love with brittany howard's deep, soulful, powerful vocals. this album is a stand out for me. i haven't had the opportunity to see them live yet, but i'm told they are exceptional live. to me that's a mark of a band with staying power.

dum dum girls "end of daze"
released september 2012
sub pop records

i mean, what's not to love about the dum dum girls. usually an EP kind of sneaks under the radar without much recognition. but this one did not. this is an evolution of sound. much more intimate and daring. it is worth a listen (or twenty).

sharon van etten "tramp"
released february 2012

i have nothing but wonderful things to say about this woman and her form of artistic expression. and apparently i'm not the only one, because the industry is singing her praises all over the place, landing this album in many top of 2012 lists. and then my roommate has to go and blow my mind by telling me that she was playing small shows in NYC with her not that long ago. le sigh. i love this album.

king tuff "king tuff"
released october 2012
sub pop records

yet ANOTHER stellar album coming out of sub pop headquarters. i mean how do they do it??

play it loud my friends.

beach house "bloom"
released may 2012
sub pop records

i have to admit that the first time through the album i wasn't convinced that this was the best of the year. but another listen or two one day, alone in my car, driving on a gorgeous summer day, it hit me. and then i saw them live. it was a thing a beauty. art really. forever hooked.

michael kiwanuka "home again"
released march 2012

soul singer from the uk. some tracks sound like they are from a different time. i could get lost in this album. it's an easy listen on a sunday morning.

tame impala "lonerism"
released october 2012

this aussie band is a force to be reckoned with. i have been waiting for this album, perhaps not even realizing that i was. it's a must for this list and a plethora of others for the best of 2012. be expecting a tour in the coming year. you won't want to miss it.

the evens "the odds"
released november 2012
dischord records

this album came out very recently, so i've hardly had the time to marinate in it like some of the others on the list. but it's grabbed my attention. already. this discovery was the product of yet another text message from a music friend. a more forceful, "listen to this now if you know what's good for you", sort of a message. the effect is the same.

▷ "homeland" + "girls". power female roles for claire danes and lena dunham. both freakin' geniuses in my book. 
▷  coconut oil.
▷  the cedra sessions: the radio version and the blog. thanks for the support my friends!
▷▷▷  maui 02.2012.
▷  shazam + instagram.
▷  marriage equality moving forward state by state.
▷▷▷  lavender chai.
▷▷▷  road-tripping with my cousin: tetons, the bend fireplace, and ocean rolls from sparrow bakery.
▷  the end of this year honoring my namesake, cedra. a woman that has molded my very being. loss is part of learning. 
▷  that single reiki session that changed my entire world.
▷▷▷  watching my friend from college, nicholas david, compete on 'the voice'. a true talent with a stunning gift. 
|| T E A M || N I C K ||

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


for me this time of year is less about the religious meaning and more about the overall feeling of love that envelops me when i think of friends and family. this year is very different. while i've spent many winters waltzing through our tropical backyard on christmas morning, passed our koi pond with coffee in hand, and staring at palm trees while unwrapping gifts, most of my life experience with the holidays was molded in winters cold embrace. snow capped mountains, ice skating on the local pond, skiing, and sipping hot cocoa by the fire. this year i've traded snowflakes for raindrops, but the nostalgia is still the same. it boosts me, makes me smile, a smile that starts on the inside and works its way outwards.
as a child, each year brought a new type of christmas. some years we would fore-go the traditional christmas tree and decorate the large ficus tree by the window instead. other years we would save the scrappy 'charlie brown' tree from the back of the lot and give it some meaning before it was returned to the earth. while each year was different in terms of celebration and decor, one tradition remained the same: dinner was always grandma cedra's famous lasagna. never ham. never turkey. always the most amazing deep pan lasagna. and every year she would follow up the first bite with the same sentiment, "aww it's alright. it was better on the east coast". this is the first christmas without her. perhaps i will dig out the handwritten recipe and give it a try. in her honor, knowing that it will never be as good as she made it.
this playlist is inspired by the love i have for this season, but my general distaste for most holiday related music. start the fireplace, grab your cider, gather your friends and family, and decorate the tree. just press play. 

oh >>----> and 'happy holidays'. love, cedra xo

❄ senor santa ||| y la bamba
❄ star of wonder ||| sufjan stevens
what are you doing new year's ever? || the head and the heart 
❄ just like christmas ||| low
❄ come on santa ||| the raveonettes
❄ christmas wish ||| she & him
❄ christmas in the city ||| everest
❄ blue christmas ||| elvis presley
❄ winter wonderland ||| bob dylan
❄ please come home for christmas ||| willie nelson
❄ the midnight clear ||| sufjan stevens
❄ baby, it's cold outside ||| ella fitzgerald & louis jordan
      ❄ frosty the snowman ||| fiona apple
❄ a change at christmas (say it isn't so) ||| the flaming lips
❄ auld lang syne ||| jesca hoop and friends
❄ no christmas for me ||| zee avi  

CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY from thecedrasessions on 8tracks Radio.

photo credit: two//free people blog ; four//not without salt;;


photography: Amanda Leigh Smith///model: Skye Sengelmann///styled by: Tami Snodgrass

well it would appear that tami + chloe of sugarhigh + lovestoned have done it again. their winter collection of velvet, studs, top hats, and creative hand drawn graphics have me swooning. and tomorrow night in portland, oregon the babes will be gathering at solestruck for a night of magic and whiskey induced mayhem. complete with tarot card readings + photo booth madness, it is a night not to be missed. 
so i was flattered, to say the least, when tami asked me to create a playlist for the nights event. inspired by the photography of amanda smith and the words from the babes at SH + LS headquarters, i dug into my music archives. maybe it was the hot cider and jameson that really set the tone. but whatever it was, it feels good. 
i'm not giving the written playlist with this one. you will just have to take the journey with me. press play if you dare.