Category Archives: Music

Monachopsis, Imposter Syndrome and the dissatisfaction of following the right path

Monachopsis is defined as the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place. It is also a made-up word. Probably, anyway. It comes from a subcategory of new language and words attempting to define feelings. Unique, niche feelings, granted, but feelings nonetheless. Notwithstanding the dictionary work from wordsmith John Koenig who penned The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, there is little else on this new form of dialect. Monachopsis does, by definition, encapsulate an odd and unique feeling of sorrow. It specifies a time and place for an individual, and the experience felt by that is distinct enough to not need or have a word. It does have a phrase, though. Imposter syndrome. A rare beast, but one that cements itself when success is thick, fast and incomprehensible.

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Vandebilt – The House that Vandebilt Review

Whether The House that Vandebilt is a play on words of the Lars von Trier feature, The House that Jack Built, is completely unknowable. What is knowable though is that the music featured on this recent release from Sunderland-based band Vandebilt is great. There is a presence felt throughout that most bands are still searching for. To manage that on a debut, that’s just showing off. The House that Vandebilt is a showy album. A great one to mark a strong debut for a promising line-up, who provide anthems of hitting the town, painting it red and getting home in time for a bit of reflection.

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Bob Dylan – Street-Legal Review

Buoyed by divorce proceedings, the death of Elvis Presley and custody battles, Bob Dylan took himself to new places and different moods on his 1978 album, Street-Legal. In a long series of reinventions, a constant, shifting ideal that the 81-year-old would employ time and time again throughout his career, Dylan pairs himself with pop power and big groups. A bounty of female backing vocalists accompanies Dylan on his first album after the strong work found on Desire. A shame then, that the recordings proved problematic, the album a critical dud at the time. Despite that, a commercial success. Built, perhaps, on the desire people had to still hear Dylan. One of the many albums he would release that would prove itself over time, rather than immediately.

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Suede – 15 Again Review

If listeners are to take note of the sleeve that comes along with 15 Again, then they should expect Suede to mark a chaotic moment of reflection. An infectious rage that would pass over the band as they dare to look back on where they were all those years ago. The line between sincerity and pastiche drew close for comfort on so many tracks that wish to do so, but with the latter taking precedence for those lucky few. Suede is part of the lucky few, a band back on top form ahead of the release of Autofiction, their hotly anticipated new album. With singles She Still Leads Me On and now 15 Again releasing, it’s desperately impossible to get away from the length of time there is still to wait. 

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Bob Dylan – Planet Waves Review

A first-time album release between Bob Dylan and The Band was surely set to be a big one. Audiences no doubt know how great lyricists, paired with excellent musicians, are in the business of making brilliant music. They proved that with their earlier recordings from the late 60s which soon became The Basement Tapes. But it wasn’t the case for Planet Waves, where much of the album is spent finding a groove, understanding the efforts or outlook of the other party, or just missing the beat. With a flurry of problems and some glimmers of hope, Planet Waves starts to look like a project solely reliant on a handful of sparks, rather than the boom there was to be seen between the two artists just a few years later on that infamous release.

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Pulp – His ‘n’ Hers Review

As forbidden the term “Britpop” has become, there are surprising links between the supposed big four of the genre. Producer Ed Buller, whose work on His ‘n’ Hers was preceded and followed by collaborations with fellow Britpop troupe Suede, understood, vaguely, what that sound could be. His ‘n’ Hers, for all its sexually charged lyrics and usual mannerisms and sly jabs from frontman Jarvis Cocker, is an explosive, relatively unique piece of new wave synthpop that Suede would lean into far more than Pulp ever would. That’s the Buller effect, whose only collaboration with Pulp marked a great success for a band whose album is a near-perfect run-through of iconic indie tracks and deeper cuts.

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Bob Dylan – Dylan Review

Barely scraping in at half an hour of music, and Bob Dylan somehow begins to pull a thread that would unravel his image as a trend-setting, electrifying performer and lyricist. Where Johnny Cash’s buried recordings had promise to them, the Johnny 99 days quite remarkable considering the active fight the Man in Black had against his record label at the time, Dylan’s smaller works do not have that same appeal. They are not as electrifying as his proudest works and not all that worth seeking out, as are the works of other artists who were fading at a time when Dylan was rising. Stunted growth appears on Dylan, an album that feels strangely bereft of what makes the man’s work so great.

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Bob Dylan – New Morning Review

Understandable it is for an artist to feel spent after releasing their masterwork, Bob Dylan managed to release five masterclasses and a handful of other great bits and pieces in his first decade of work. Burnout, for anyone, would set in after releasing nine albums in seven years. Those cracks started to show with Nashville Skyline, not out of quality, but out of changes to the technical merits and vocals. Dylan expired himself so fast that he clamoured for new sounds, new ideations of his sound. New Morning, his first album from the turn of the 1970s, feels like a necessary change for the legendary singer. Not in how he sings, but in what he chooses to focus on. A refreshing change of pace that can be blamed for a hefty downfall in the periods to follow.

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Pulp reunion confirmed by frontman Jarvis Cocker with 2023 tour planned

Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker has confirmed the band is back together just days after a cryptic Instagram post hinted at the legendary Britpop troupe’s return.

Cocker confirmed the news of an upcoming Pulp reunion, with tours slated for next year.

Specific dates are yet to be announced, but drummer Nick Banks took to Twitter and attempted to calm the tides of frantic fans.

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Sloppy Jane – Madison Review

With baroque pop moments of religiously-infused wonder, Sloppy Jane’s articulation of theme throughout Madison is a strong, intense revelation. Eccentricity is at the heart of their live performance and movement of lead singer Haley Dahl, with a grand gusto and effective, unique quality to her presence as a stage artist. Somehow, Sloppy Jane has recreated that feeling, that thriving movement, on their latest album. A similar context to Madison’s recording as Jarv Is’ live set during lockdown. Or at least, a similar feeling and need to thrive in an unusual place. A cave-recorded album, taking in the beauty of echoes and the underground without having to deal with the unusual fear of being locked down in the depths. But that is to the strength of Sloppy Jane’s work here.

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