Read More “Goldfinger – “Wallflower””
“Wallflower” came to be… I was at the end of writing this record, which I think we’re gonna call Don’t Look Back. We’re still in the process of deciding an album title. But I came to the end of it. And my manager, my wife and my label, these people were like, “You know, maybe we have something.” There are a couple of songs that people were considering. But I’m like, “Fuck it. If we’re not 100%, let me write a song specifically for the idea of a single.” Give the fucking people what they want—give me what I want. Because I am in a ska-punk band. No matter how you break it down: We play ska, we play punk and that’s what we do. I’m gonna write a quintessential half-time jumpy chorus.
It’s with a heavy heart that I write this week’s newsletter. The news out of New Zealand is absolutely heartbreaking, and I can’t stop thinking about the direction our world is going in. So much hate and anger cheered on by the worst people. My thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy.
My birthday is on Monday (gah, I’m getting older) so I’ve decided to make this edition free for everyone to read this week. A little celebratory gift, from me to you. If you like it, please think about becoming a supporting member of the website, the support from readers makes up the lion’s share of my income, and it’s how I get to keep running this website, and writing things like this, each week.
This week’s newsletter contains first impressions on upcoming albums from The Maine and Charly Bliss, as well as thoughts on other music I listened to this week. It has my usual media diet rundown from the past week, ten songs I loved, and a list of music I sent my sister when she asked about stuff to check out after not paying attention to new music for a few years. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.
It’s easy for end-of-decade years to become an afterthought in terms of the music they produce. Most music publications dropped their “best albums of the decade” features in early October. At Chorus.fm, we held off until December 9th. Still, when you spend months of the year reflecting on past years, and on the albums you loved from throughout a whole decade, the music from the year you’re currently living in can get overlooked, forgotten, or short-changed on listening time.
I suppose we were guilty of that sin ourselves, as our “albums of the decade” list ultimately lacked a single entry from 2019. Call it anti-recency bias, or maybe just an occupational hazard of having to start planning and compiling these lists months before any readers actually lay eyes on them. But therein lies the beauty of still being able to revert to old routines: to end the year with a proper tribute to everything it had to offer on its own.
And 2019 certainly had plenty of riches to offer, from old favorite bands delivering some of their sturdiest albums in years, to one of the strongest slates of debut talent I can remember getting in a single 365-day timeframe. Taking in the scope of a decade and all the music it gave us is a fulfilling experience; it’s certainly something I invested a lot of time in this year. But there’s also something wonderful about being past that now, and about being able to take things day by day again: week by week, release day by release day, album by album. Making lists is fun, but listening and discovering will always be the greatest parts of being a music fan. Here’s to the 25 albums that we discovered, listened to, and loved most in 2019. [CM]