Musical Lowlights of 2019

One of the benefits of running your own music blog is that you can choose what you write about. I generally don’t write entirely negative reviews and I aim to be a place of positivity and advocacy for good music by women. Despite that, I do think it’s important from a critical perspective to be honest about what you didn’t enjoy or what really disappointed you as a listener.

Firstly I’d like to point out the limitations of this post since there will be endless amounts of bad music out there that I just haven’t heard. I don’t listen to the radio (except 6music and specialist country music shows in the U.K.) so I don’t stumble across bad music that way. Sometimes though, thanks to streaming, I do try popular albums and songs out of curiosity and also give a few random things a listen. Inevitability, I don’t always like what I hear. Continue reading “Musical Lowlights of 2019”

Recommended 2019 Albums for Serious Self-Care

After writing about the overwhelming paradox of choice that comes from the tidal wave of music released in 2019, I started thinking about how I could recommend some of my favourite albums of the year in a different way so that no one is sent into a tailspin of anxiety about what’s cool, what’s good or worrying about what you’ve missed out on.

We should never underestimate the importance of music as self-care. I believe it is vital in helping us to deal with this tumultuous, chaotic world. While I do still plan on writing traditional ranking end of year lists too, read on for recommendations as to how 2019’s best music can be used as serious self care. Continue reading “Recommended 2019 Albums for Serious Self-Care”

Music Blogging and the Paradox of Choice

My mother once told me a story about visiting a library when she was a young girl. She walked in and immediately felt overwhelmed. Where did she even begin? Which of the thousands of books should she choose? Shelf after shelf, stack after stack the place was suffocating. She wandered around in a daze, left empty handed and didn’t return.

What she was suffering from is what philosopher Barry Schwartz calls the ‘paradox of choice’. Humans crave choices and the right to freedom but too much choice and the magnitude of the decision becomes paralysing and detrimental to our social and emotional wellbeing. The result is that we often fail to choose at all or go for the safe option and deeply regret our choices, adding more stress to the next time we have to decide.

Continue reading “Music Blogging and the Paradox of Choice”

The Little Eva Who Could

Legend had it that when Carole King heard her newly hired babysitter Eva Narcissus Boyd sing she yelled, ‘Stop! We must record that voice!’. Another story often told is that Eva’s dancing around her living room inspired the lyrics to The Locomotion. Truthfully, King and her husband Gerry Goffin knew exactly how good a singer Eva was when they hired her as a babysitter, since she had been singing on demos and working with their girl group the Cookies. Continue reading “The Little Eva Who Could”

Women Win Big At the Americana Music Awards

Last year at the Americana Music Awards many women were nominated but only Molly Tuttle took home an award for instrumentalist of the year. Before this year’s ceremony Margo Price, who had been one of those 2018 nominees, tweeted that she hoped things would be different in 2019 and the headlines would finally read that women had won big. Thankfully I can report with some delight that her wish has indeed come true and women won an equal share of last night’s awards including the big prize of Artist of the Year. Continue reading “Women Win Big At the Americana Music Awards”

The Highwomen Are Finally Here! Thoughts On ‘Redesigning Women’

Last Friday we finally heard the first new music from the country music dream team The Highwomen. This project has been much talked about, with endless teases in interviews and hype on social media to the point where I began to worry the weight of expectations was going to crush the whole thing before it even began. I’m pleased to report that so far, so damn good. Continue reading “The Highwomen Are Finally Here! Thoughts On ‘Redesigning Women’”

‘This is Real. This is Me.’ Kacey Musgraves on her career and new exhibition ‘All of the Colors’

Welcome to my TED talk on how awkward I am,’ said Kacey Musgraves in typically self-deprecating style at the beginning of her interview for the new exhibition honouring her career at the Country Music Hall of Fame. All of the Colors, lives up to its name with an array of stunning artefacts and costumes from across her life and career.

Continue reading “‘This is Real. This is Me.’ Kacey Musgraves on her career and new exhibition ‘All of the Colors’”

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