A Good Day For Music, A Bad Day For Everything Else

by Thomas Blake

Hannah Diamond – one-time PC Music breadwinner – today released her first proper new single in two years. Contrary to what many people expected (and, perhaps, hoped for) it is a cool, understated ballad about the natural end of things, about distance, disappointment, the faint possibility of renewal. It’s not a brash Charli XCX/GFOTY-style banger, it’s not overly blippy, glitchy, wonky. It’s not ironic. Not even Alanis-ironic. It’s vulnerable, wary: a frozen, starving urban fox of a song. It gives up its secrets unwillingly. Listening to it feels like accidently tapping someone’s phone. Of course, it’s a very good song. But in the weird world it feels like more than that: like an immensely personal statement that somehow applies to us all. Diamond asks: what do we do when hope ends? We listen, because we don’t know the answer, and because we trust music, we trust art to find a way to bring things back from the dead.

Also today, Hen Ogledd released their latest album. And, strangely for a band so steeped in the ancient and the eldritch, it sounds every bit as new as the Hannah Diamond single. Where Diamond chronicles the loss of hope in a bizarre digital end-time, Hen Ogledd leave clues – cryptic, often bonkers clues – as to where hope might remain. The answer is: in the deepest darkest corners of strained human minds and in twisted landscapes. Hope and creativity are like water: they find the smallest holes, and form immense underground lakes.

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