Introduction to WILT

Welcome to What I’m Listening To. This is the column on my website I’ve most wanted to start - unfortunately it is long overdue. I started writing it in 2020 and planned to release my Albums of the Year list, but wanted to write an introduction before I did - and I simply never finished it. Today I’m making a commitment to write this first article, and hopefully keep this blog alive! Part of the reason for reviving this idea is because of some of the excellent albums that have come out recently - I really wanted to write about them, so here I am. It shouldn’t be too hard to publish blogs for the first few weeks, because I can harvest all of the half-baked articles from two years ago - so stay tuned!

I’ll be the first to admit that I know very little about music from a technical sense. I can’t keep a rhythm or force a note out of really any musical instrument, and I certainly can’t sing (although that helps when belting Like a Rolling Stone).

However, I really like the history and stories behind bands and albums. I find that a lot of my favourite albums have something about them, besides the music, that compels me (and leads me to lecture my friends about). The stories that unify a set of songs thematically, or give context to the mindset of the artist at the time, are my favourite things to dig up when I discover new music.

Usually, I use Pitchfork or Anthony Fantano to do this for me - and that is something I’d like to clear up about this blog series. I’m not trying to start a serious music review site, and won’t claim that every bit of background info I talk about is from a personal interview with the band. I just want this blog to be a tribute to some of the albums that resonate most with me, and share some of my own stories about where I was at when I found them.

It’s also worth noting that I won’t really be ‘reviewing’ albums in a critical sense - I am only planning on talking about records that I personally enjoy, and giving my thoughts on them without diving too deep into their pros and cons.

With that said, I hope you enjoy this series. I plan to talk a bit about some of the albums that have affected me most throughout my life so far, from childhood nostalgia to My Chemical Romance; the albums that inspired me to write art of my own; and the albums that got me through some difficult life experiences. I’ll also talk you through some of my favourite live albums, and hopefully do some (semi) deep dives into new music.

Some articles will cover lists of albums, and some will focus on a single record. I’m going to do a piece on every record I own (at the moment I’m buying them much faster than I’m writing these blogs), and I might even throw in some live performance reviews while I’m at it.

For now, I hope you enjoy my first piece - my review of Widowspeak’s 2022 record, The Jacket!