Short essays, miscellaneous musings, and other madcap experiments in writing about (mostly) music.

Surprise! Surprise!

On surprise, newness, Arthur Russell and Richard Dawson.

A Steel Sea Lapping

On pop music, fishing, sex, and the ambient pedal steel of Chuck Johnson and Daniel Lanois.

The Instrumental

On the meaning of the word ‘instrumental’, and music by Jasper Lee, Arca and Forest Swords.

A Quiet Return

On the new name of the blog, and the idea of music’s ‘quiet return’.

Melted, Removed, Beached

On ice and masks and whales, in memory of the blog’s former identity.

The Blues are Still Blue

On the colour blue.

Hidden Tracks

On the idea of the secret track, and the possibilities of the CD format.


On the ways we choose what to listen to, faced with the almost unlimited choice of streaming.

In the Streams

On the implications of streaming music, and how it changes how we listen.

He Tried to Escape Once in a Balloon

On the wonder of hot air balloons, and the early music of Midlake.

Skeletal Chancers

On skeletons, the internet, chance, and the music of Laurel Halo and Oneohtrix Point Never.

The Nicest Jam

On ‘jams’, ‘jamming’, and the music of Animal Collective.

Sugar Hiccup My Cheerios

On misheard lyrics, and finding the balance between meaning and sound.

The Withdrawing Room

On the idea of music as a place to withdraw into, and the music of Mary Lattimore.


On ‘twin albums’, the double albums which aren’t quite double albums.

Dancing About Architecture

On the difficulty of writing about music.