2021: the Year of Climate Change Music

For as long as there has been protest, there have been protest songs. Yet the greatest threat to humanity’s survival, an existential emergency facing every last one of us, has wormed its way into relatively little of our music. While Neil Young watched ‘Mother Nature on the run in the 1970s’, Joni Mitchell warned ‘youContinue reading “2021: the Year of Climate Change Music”

The Best Songs of 2021

Looking back on 2021, the achievement I am most proud of has been starting this blog. Having the space to record my thoughts about music has been an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience and I’m looking forward to posting more regularly in 2022. A huge thank you to everyone who has read and liked myContinue reading “The Best Songs of 2021”

The Best Albums of 2021

With long-awaited returns from Adele, Ed Sheeran and Kanye West, blockbuster debuts by rising stars Olivia Rodrigo and Lil Nas X, and quietly confident follow-ups from Billie Eilish and Lorde, the album as a format is as impactful in 2021 as ever before. As a form of artistic expression as well as a commercial product,Continue reading “The Best Albums of 2021”

Review: Lana Del Rey – Blue Banisters

Just the day after the release of her seventh studio album Chemtrails Over The Country Club in March of this year, Lana Del Rey announced her next project Rock Candy Sweet would be out in June. Then postponed until July and retitled Blue Banisters, the album was teased with a collection of singles, before beingContinue reading “Review: Lana Del Rey – Blue Banisters”

Review: Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under

Happy songs are easy to come by. Political commentary is woven throughout the popular music canon. But creating music that speaks truth to power while affirming the very things that make life worth fighting for is a much harder task. Bruce Springsteen could do it, Stevie Wonder could do it, and Sam Fender can certainlyContinue reading “Review: Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under”

Solar Power, Folklore and the Dream of Escape

Whether it’s flinging your phone into the ocean or fleeing to the mountains, singers are calling on us to abandon the digital world and embrace nature. But is this escape into the outdoors a radical act of rebellion or an unattainable fantasy? ‘I’m not cut out for all these cynical drones, / these hunters withContinue reading “Solar Power, Folklore and the Dream of Escape”

Review: Yola – Stand For Myself

Following her Grammy-nominated 2019 debut Walk Through Fire, English singer and songwriter Yolanda Quartey returns with an impressive second album. Much like its predecessor, Stand For Myself is rooted in country, soul and a smattering of rock ‘n’ roll, Quartey’s indomitable vocals coursing through the soundscape of 60s and 70s America. But along with moreContinue reading “Review: Yola – Stand For Myself”

Review: Bleachers – Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night

Maybe it was the dusky blue cover artwork or the vibrant energy of the singles or perhaps just the enticing, twilit romanticism of the title, but Bleachers’ third studio album Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night seemed poised to be their most cohesive and expressive LP to date. And on one hand the albumContinue reading “Review: Bleachers – Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night”

Review: Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever

Last time she was the bad guy, the monster under your bed, revelling in the stuff of nightmares. Now, two years after her award-winning debut When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Billie Eilish returns with a softer, more personal album. Stretching across pop, R&B, folk, rock and even bossa nova, Happier ThanContinue reading “Review: Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever”

Review: Spellling – The Turning Wheel

For Chrystia Cabral, better known by her playful pseudonym, Spellling, music is eternal, ethereal, organic, woven throughout nature. ‘I hear the musical words / in the arc of a rainbow, / in the spider’s harp,’ she sings on the final track of her magnificent third LP, The Turning Wheel. Nature – its beauty, its nurturingContinue reading “Review: Spellling – The Turning Wheel”