Categories
Culture Literature

Problematising martyrdom of NHS workers

CW: anti-Blackness Gwendolyn Brooks’ marvellous poem Negro Hero is a dramatic monologue for Doris ‘Dorie’ Miller, a Black American sailor honoured ‘for distinguished devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety during the attack on Pearl Harbour – December 7, 1941. The poem is significant as an early entrance of Black […]

Categories
Culture Literature

Poem of the Week: manifesting lockdown frustrations in Simon Armitage’s 1997 ‘The Mariner’s Compass’

Simon Armitage’s 1997 poem “The Mariner’s Compass” begins with something many of us are now agonisingly familiar with – ‘living alone’ – and ends the same way many of our hopes did last week: ‘Under the rules, close contact / with another soul means disqualification’. The poem, written a lifetime before lockdowns blotted out our […]

Categories
albums Music

Touché Amoré meet high standards with ‘Lament’

In a recent interview, Touché Amoré frontman Jeremy Bolm commented on his producer’s willingness to front the costs for the band’s most extensive recording process ever, on their fifth album, Lament: ‘I would say, “I don’t want to be taking advantage of you”and he would say, “You’re not, I’m living for this”. He simply didn’t […]

Categories
Culture Literature

Poem of the Week: Geoffrey Hill’s ‘The Guardians’

Dealing with generational conflict has never been easy, but I also don’t think it’s ever been this hard; even before the emergence of a virus which aggressively discriminates on age, the atomisation of Western politics around the 2016 EU Referendum and US Presidential election had strong links to age. It’s easy to see how someone […]

Categories
Music

Pinegrove mark their return with ‘Marigold’

Content warning: mention of abuse Three stars. New Jersey alt-country outfit Pinegrove have returned with their first release written after the year-long hiatus self-imposed on the band after an ‘implicitly manipulative’ relationship which culminated in frontman Evan Stephens Hall being accused of “sexual coercion” which was “not of a physical nature at all” by an […]

Categories
Music

‘Sea of Worry’ is not Have A Nice Life’s best

Connecticut-based experimental two-piece Have a Nice Life have never been afraid of innovation. Their reverb-drenched drone and gothic rock sound covers so much space that it often feels easier to describe the band through the immense emotion their music evokes, rather than the alien techniques used to get there. It’s easier to enjoy the mythos […]

Categories
Music

Sunn o))) return with titanic ‘Pyroclasts’

If you haven’t heard of Sunn 0))) (pronounced ‘Sun’), picture a self proclaimed ‘guitar band’ whose music sits in the liminal spaces at the edge of music itself. For 20 years now they have been producing some of the loudest, slowest, most powerful noise achievable, straddling genres such as hyperslow drone, metal, sludge and noise, […]