The last ten years have taught me two main lesson that I feel qualified enough to pass on.
The first is that you will adapt. You all have natural skills to adjust and work within almost any situation that life puts you through. If you ever catch yourself thinking to yourself or even expressing out loud that you could never imagine yourself surviving a certain event, or that you could never pick yourself up after some traumatic experience, or that you could never live with a certain physical condition that you try not to stare at as you pass someone in the street. Trust me, you almost definitely could. I’m a weak willed toxic mix of Generation X’s chronic apathy and the Millennials’ fragile narcissism. I wasn’t able to survive two days without my phone while it got fixed last week, so had to desperately insert my SIM into a friend’s spare phone just so I could WhatsApp my latest vacuous opinions to as many people as possible. I couldn’t survive anything. And yet here I am. Will you like you’re new circumstances? Maybe not. But you’ll survive. Your dumb body and your subconscious mind will force you to make the best of the situation, even if you’re not consciously trying to. You’ll survive.
They came number one hundred and twelfth in 2016?! Sorry, I’ve just made myself feel a little ill by reminding myself of how many fucking albums I used to include on this dumb year end list that nobody reads. I did one hundred and seventeen albums in total that year, in one of the greatest years for music of the last two decades at least, so The Joys were unfortunately near the bottom of the pile with easily their weakest album. Dead bottom was Damian Lazarus who – and you’ll like this – actually slagged me off on Twitter because of the review!! I mean, fuck me, I know these days I am The Most Trusted Voice in Music™, but back then I think I had about 300 views in total across the whole year!! I had only just started my current Twitter account and had nine followers!! Damian Lazarus, you absolute fucking muppet.
Mmmmmmmmmmlet’s talk about cultural appropriation.
Zeal and Ardor are one of my favourite bands. In fact, I’d go as far as calling them my favourite Swiss band. They combine black metal with ‘negro spirituals’, the bracing gospel music sung by the black slaves in the early 19th century. What’s your initial reaction to hearing that? Are you OK with it? Are you straight up against it? Do you think that merely the fact that the band are Swiss makes any use of music born from American cruelties automatically cultural appropriation? Do you want to fnd out a little more about the band before deciding your reaction? Are you immediately against it because you assume the band is white?