I have a joyful weekend of essay writing and mildly panicked Christmas shopping ahead of me. In the midst of it, here are a few things I'm looking forward to. As it happens they're all about ladies.
Cam's Untamed Album
I've been a fan of Cam's brand of country music since she popped up on Bobby Bones' radio show back in the summer of 2014 doing a cover of Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass, just for laughs. I'm not a massive admirer of the original, but I properly fell in love with Cam's pure country voice during it. If you want an indication of how easily she jumps into whatever's thrown at her, the recent acoustic cover of Adele's Hello made me proud to call myself a country fan. Trust me, that's not always an easy path to tread. Her first full-length album is all Cam's own work, combining all four tracks from her earlier EP and adding seven more. It includes Burning House, the tender apology to a former boyfriend that's been the trigger catapulting her fully into the public eye, picking up a Grammy nomination along the way. Released today, Untamed is a combination of heartfelt longing with jolly and almost 90s-country-inspired shoulder shrugging on the absurdities of modern love, family and friendship. Half Broke Heart is the catchiest of the lot, having been stuck in my head for months. Village is the most stunning song on losing someone but knowing they carry on building who you are when they're gone. The writing throughout is what makes what could just be a brilliant performer into a growing star. As an album, Untamed has done nothing to quell my Cam girl-crush, but most of all, it's just great to see her finally earning the recognition she deserves. Hands up for the women making it big in their 30s! Buy now from here.
InSeXts is a new comic book series launched by the fledgling publisher AfterShock Comics, written by Marguerite Bennett and illustrated by Ariela Kristantina. Marguerite has become one of the most trusted female writers in mainstream comics, particularly when writing women themselves. She's straddled both of the big two, taking on DC Bombshells and, a favourite of mine, Marvel's A-Force with G. Willow Wilson, to name just two series. InSeXts is Marguerite's first full-length original project and she suggests that it's entirely unfiltered with regard to sex, violence and its depictions of women; the most free she's been to do what she wants in her career to date. So what's it about? Set in the Victorian era, it follows two female lovers who have the ability to morph into creatures from The Occult and use their skills to go on quite the killing spree. By all accounts, it's about as deeply filed under the erotic-horror category as it possibly could be. Penny Dreadful without any of the constraints set out by mainstream television. When it comes to tackling sexuality and taboo themes, Marguerite is unafraid of saying whatever she needs to, though she wants it to be clear that this series will be as much about romance and darkness as it is about eroticism. I hadn't realised InSeXts wouldn't be available digitally until it was released on Wednesday. I've got my fingers crossed the hard copy I've ordered as the result arrives tomorrow. When the artwork is that pretty, I'd like to be able told it in my hand anyway. Buy now from here or pick it up at your local comic shop.
Saying you love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler is a bit like saying you love getting birthday presents. Of course you do! And for me, in particular. If ever there was someone who fits their fan profile, it's me. I was gutted when their limited edition action figures cost a fortune. I remarked earlier in the week that Tina Fey has been my style icon since 2008, but on closer inspection it goes back much further. Nobody rocks a pair of thick-rimmed glasses and a cardigan better. Tina's alright too, I suppose. (Insert your own side-smile-emoji here.) It's been a while since Tina and Amy have shared the same big screen and now they're back with Sisters. Amy plays Maura, little miss perfect who finds letting her hair down a chore she avoids at all costs. Tina plays, well, the opposite. Kate could do with reigning things in a little. When they're both called upon to empty their teenage bedrooms on the sale of their childhood home, their adolescence rears its ugly head again and they aim to relive a few things while they still can. In some cases, do things they should have gotten out of their systems years ago. It's guaranteed to be silly, sweet and a couple of hours of brain-off high-fiving sisterhood. It also features John Cena as a tribal tattoo emblazoned bad guy. Come on! What else do you need? And if you're worried about it clashing with a certain other film released in just a few days time, they would like you to know in this Force Awakens spoof video that #YouCanSeeThemBoth. Sisters is released nationwide this weekend.