The observant few that read my end of year lists might have noticed I didn’t do one for 2016. Sorry. It’s March now, so that’s over. But, I did start writing something, so I’m going to post it here anyway:
2016 was not a great year for many of us. From widespread political discontent, a strengthened far right, atrocities committed across the world, as well as our personal, intimate struggles. The loss of loved ones, the mourning of cultural heroes. There’s neither merit nor sense in believing adversity is good or necessary for great art – the price is far too high to pay – but the solace, hope and resistance we find in music is something I hope reached everyone this year. However, I’m not here to answer the big questions today. I’m here to talk about some records.
Beyoncé – Lemonade
Joyce Manor – Cody
Muncie Girls – From Caplan to Belsize
Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost
I Love Your Lifestyle – We Go Way Back
Martha – Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart
Tiny Moving Parts – Celebrate
Forth Wanderers – Slop EP
Touché Amoré – Stage 4
Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
The reason I didn’t produce something ‘proper’ is that I got pretty busy at the tail end of 2016/start of 2017 with a big job change and a nasty bout of tonsillitis (ew.) Also, around that time I wrote my first piece for Track 7 an essay called ‘Why I’m no longer a punk rock ‘cool girl’‘.
The essay was something I had in my head for a long time. In fact, I had started writing it a year or two ago, with the intention of posting it on here. But, anxiety talked me out of it. I felt I couldn’t write it without being 100% open and honest, and in doing so, it would become a very personal piece. The vulnerability that came with that felt a little too much.
By pitching it, I was forcing myself to write it. Turns out that’s what I need in order to do the things that scare me.
Down to the incredibly supportive Track 7 editorial team, it ended up taking off and reaching a lot of people. For a couple of days, my phone was going off constantly with people (mostly women) who had reached out to say they had read it and identified with it. Amazing and terrifying, equally.
Among the people who reached out were 404 Ink, an independent publisher, who approached me to include it in their ‘Nasty Women‘ book – in the company of some of the most talented writers, artists and activists.
Having my work published was an absolute life-long dream, and receiving that book yesterday with my words in it made me do the most embarrassing dance in my kitchen. I’m committing all of this to a blog post, if for no other reason than to remind myself to always do the things that scare me.
Looking ahead, I’ve got a few pieces in the pipeline that I’m really excited about, as well as all of the things that have yet to manifest. Hit me up with any ideas.