Is ‘New Wave’ The Best Musical Period?

Over the last century, trends in music have altered significantly ranging from classical blues up to the rise of mumble rap. But is the multi-influenced new wave a reigning style?

New Wave is influenced from multiple places pulling in artistic traits from all aspects. It originally gained popularity in the UK during the 1970s and 80s, offering a refreshing post- punk scene, influenced by the likes of the Sex Pistols – arguably the most recognisable punk band in history. Although punk influence is prominent in many aspects of New Wave, the rock and roll had soon been incorporated into aspects of disco and electronic pop throughout the period. It’s rock, but, with a lil synth. The ranging stylistic differences, makes New Wave attractive to a majority of groups in music. Bands like the Buzzcocks – who remained in the post-punk scene, Blondie – who were a mixture of punk, disco and reggae and The Cure who are considered ‘gothic rock’ are all considered New Wave although have significant stylistic differences.

the genre is appealing to a majority, not to mention how cool New Wave actually is. New Wave became a cultural staple particularly in European countries like Germany. The “neue Welle” , led by figures like Nena (99 Luftballons) revolutionised the music scene as well as society. 99 Luftballons became an anti war anthem during the Cold War. This is similar to the anti-establishment post-punk scene. The angry adolescent tone resonates with that of the Sid Vicious. Figures like Jilted John (Graham Fellows) and the Buzzcocks became popular with songs of self pity and adolescent rebellions like “What Do I Get?” and the self titled “Jilted John”. All this whilst still being in the same scene as “Too Much Too Young” and “Ghost Town” by the Specials – a band heavily influence by reggae.

On the basis of my own preference, New Wave is exciting. The genre is legendary with iconic names like Debbie Harry and Robert Smith. It’s genuinely impressive how many different bands and acts fit under the same category – and the majority of songs are still BOPS.

if you want to explore a little new Wave for yourself – I’ve made a playlist for you to enjoy!

image – sourced from the blog humanizing the vaccuum


The Case of the Haysom Murder

APRIL 3rd, 1985 – Derek and Nancy Haysom are reported dead to the local police of Bedford County in the state of Virginia. They were found in their family home – Derek in a doorway and Nancy in the bedroom – were they had been slashed and stabbed to the point of almost decapitation. A break-in was quickly made out of the question as the Haysom’s house did not bare signs of a forced entry suggesting the Haysoms knew their killer and had in fact invited them in. At first their murder was a mystery as the couple were well regarded in the local area and well respected by many people in the neighbourhood; it seemed completely out of character for the couple to be so brutally murdered. Six months after the murder, their daughter Elizabeth Haysom and her boyfriend Jens Söring were arrested in the UK for cheque fraud charges where when questioned by police they admitted to committing the murder. Their flee and the lack of damage to the house lead to suspicion surrounding their daughter Elizabeth being the main perpetrator.

Elizabeth had had a rough childhood and a rocky relationship with her parents. To Jens and then later in court she admitted to her mother sexually mistreating her and forcing their own wishes on her career path. Elizabeth travelled to Europe and went on a binge of sex and drugs until she ran out of money and was forced to return to her parents. Her parents were dismissive over her lifestyle and attempted to get Elizabeth to give up the drugs which only infuriated Elizabeth further. She kept a diary where she detailed how much she despised her parents and her desire to get rid of them. Her intelligence and experience attracted the attention of German student Jens Söring who studied at the University of Virginia. Jens quickly fell for Elizabeth becoming completely and utterly in love with her. Elizabeth often told Jens through letters that she hated her parents, Jens agreed along with Elizabeth which led to many how followed the case to believe that Jens hated her parents and believe they were stopping Elizabeth from being with him.

Jens Söring was born in Bangkok, Thailand as the son of a German Diplomat, Klaus Söring. He moved around lot as a child meaning as he often was torn away from friendships. As he grew older he became less sociable and introverted. He moved to the US in 1977 and met Elizabeth when he went to university. His relationship with Elizabeth was something very different to his life leading up to university as he suddenly had someone he was extremely close to, that wasn’t his family. This lack of sustainable friendships was another reason that many how followed the case believed he may have gone to some extreme lengths to protect his and Elizabeth’s relationship – like murdering her parents.

LATE MARCH, 1985 – Jens and Elizabeth travel to Washington D.C for a mini-holiday. According to Jens, Elizabeth told him that she anted to give up drugs but had an outstanding payment she needed to make to her dealer. To cover up her interaction with the dealer Elizabeth asked Jens to buy two cinema tickets and go to see the film whilst Elizabeth met the dealer so that he would know what happened in the film so if her parents asked what they did they could recall the details of the film. Elizabeth returned to their hotel room in the early morning and told Jens she had murdered her parents and she needed him to be her alibi. In a later interview, Jens explains how he suspected that their trip to Washington D.C was already part of Elizabeth’s plan to kill her parents. An old friend of Jens described him trying to be the ‘Democratic Hero’ and save her from the death penalty. This will to be the hero led to the confession of Jens Söring as being the murderer of the Haysom parents and Elizabeth escaping the death penalty and being charged only with association. As the couples trial began, the mutual affection vanished as Jens tried to contact Elizabeth but she cut him off. Elizabeth pleaded guilty and then testified against him. At Söring’s trial in Virginia he revoked his confession saying he had only admitted to committing the crime to protect Elizabeth from the death penalty. His rewritten statement was compiled of more precise details about the films shown in the cinema which shifted the attention back to Elizabeth. Jens later admitted that he had assumed he would’ve been extradited in Germany due to his father’s position where he would have been given a sentence of less than 10 years.

The most confusing aspect of the case is the involvement of evidence. Although Jens was undoubtedly involved in the murder whether it be direct participation or the alibi but 42 pieces of genetic evidence were found at the murder scene and none of them belong to Jens Söring. A shot glass and a bottle of vodka were found with finger prints that also didn’t belong to Jens. Four blood types were found at the crime scene. The blood of: Derek Haysom, Nancy Haysom, Elizabeth Haysom and an unidentified male who is not Jens Söring. The only evidence that could’ve led to the conviction of Jens Söring is a bloody footprint that matches Jens size and his revoked confession. In the documentary ‘The Parent Slashers’ the interviewee states that “the murders were overkill, and whoever committed them had a large amount of hatred for Derek and Nancy”. Returning to a previous point I brought up that Elizabeth often talked about how much she hated her parents and once expressed her desire to get rid of them. Jens’ father Klaus spoke out about his son’s behaviour and said that if Jens did commit the murder then that level of anger and aggression was “out of character” and that he had been completely innocent and law abiding up to the point of meeting Elizabeth Haysom. Whilst in Elizabeth’s case her rough childhood and brutality of the case seemed to match up according to some protesters of Jens’ innocence.

Although the evidence at the crime scene point to Elizabeth as the main culprit, Jens was given a double life sentence for first degree murder and Elizabeth was given 90 years for her association with the murder. The Virginian and Bedford county communties seemed to be in favour of sympathy towards Elizabeth considering the highly regarded nature of their family. Jens was easier to blame as he had confessed to the murder and was a complete outsider to the community. the news station WDJ7 referred to Jens Söring as a “convicted killer” whilst others believe the case is a misconduct of justice. This is a popular belief as Jens was involuntarily extradited to the US in 1990. He has also been eligible for parole since 2003 but has been denied it a dozen times. Earlier this year a 19 page report was conducted by Albemarle County Sheriff J. E. “Chip” Harding. He concluded that Jens Söring is innocent and asked Governor McAuliffe to pardon him. Elizabeth is due to be released in 2032 at age 68.

Do you think Jens is innocent?

 leave your opinion in the comment section 🙂


the importance of openness 

hello – it’s been a minute since I’ve posted on here but I’ve been distracted by personal matters and those that affect all of us. 

Last week Manchester suffered an attack on young innocent children leading to 22 fatalities and many more injuries. The healing of that attack is still underway but the immense support of those who could help is what’s making everything more bearable. As someone who regards Manchester as a second home, it hit hard but the sense of community and brotherhood Manchester possesses and displayed last week, made everyone in the country feel the pride and passion for Manchester as a Mancunian would. 

Last Night, We as a country suffered again with 3 attacks on London: London Bridge, Vauxhall and Borough Market. It is distressing to watch people have to crawl under tables in a bar in fear of being killed by selfish individuals who know no more than hate. We offer our support it seems over and over again but the rate at which these attacks appear on the news is rising and although we fight through each one together, it is getting no better. 

Each attack only spreads more hate among us but we can’t let it take our sense of community. The way many people today regard these attacks are those that are religiously motivated and committed by immigrants (which the scapegoating of has increased since the refugee crisis started and the attacks in Paris in 2015). Muslim people cannot be held accountable for the selfish actions of individuals that inflict pain on our country. Our community is full of Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Atheists, Catholics and people who just don’t know what they believe and we should be proud of ourselves instead of turning on one another as this is a route of the problem. 

Terror becomes a reoccurring issue if we choose to use hate to combat each event. political parties like UKIP constantly present immigrants as the route cause to terror but as they preach this hate and their words become recognised by those who choose to listen, THEY are subsequently causing radicalisation of young impressionable people. YOU CAN’T BEAT HATE WITH HATE, YOU CAN’T BEAT FIRE WITH FIRE. By using power and control to scapegoat groups within society you are only making those you target develop hatred towards that power. This only encourages radicalisation as they will turn to alternative for support which may in unfortunate cases be groups whose aims are to inflict pain on others who see differently. 

We see it time and time again – in two years I’ve seen more pain and suffering than I have in my whole life leading up to 2015. Since 2015 we’ve had Paris, Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, Nice, Wurtzburg, Munich, Ansbach, Reutlingen, Berlin, Istanbul, London, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Dortmund, Paris, Manchester, and now London again, in Europe alone. Obviously I don’t believe that attacks are completely avoidable as in many cases they are completely spontaneous like that in Norway a few years back and those who commit these atrocities are clearly a threat but suggesting they are all part of the same group not only endangers innocent people within our society but also endangers those you accuse of being responsible. Attacks on important European countries is becoming more and more frequent and it would help a hell of a lot more if individuals didn’t feel targeted by their governments and felt accepted and didn’t NEED to fall back on the support of radical groups. Being accepting and loving can prevent an increase in homegrown terrorism.

 They are part of this world as much as you are

I’m sick and tired of people’s lives being ripped to shreds by selfish individuals who create hatred among religious groups who weren’t involved at all and create an environment where people are skeptical of everything and trust is virtually nonexistent. WE ARE 16 YEARS OLD BUT WE FEEL OBLIGED TO DO SOMETHING TO SAVE OUR COUNTRIES – which should be the responsibilities of politicians, rather than them, discouraging our multicultural societies, seperating us more than any terror attack ever will, scapegoating the innocent subsequently creating more terrorism, and doing nothing about it. it’s infuriating because as a collective I believe we are more compassionate and more understanding than those who currently have the power to make a difference. As a teenager the only difference I can make is by sharing my opinion and retweeting information in the hopes that is helps somebody in need.

it is CRUCIAL that we stay positive and rather than trying to find an easy target to blame for these atrocities we should come together and offer the help we can give. offer love and aid where you can, strive to bring people together rather than driving people away through hate. Positivity sometime feels like a hopeless cause after a tragedy it rests on us to help those affected and rebuild our communities. 

bleib lieb, wir sind hier zu helfen ❤

Prince Nelson : A Year On

21, April 2017 marks the one year anniversary of the death of Prince : a genuine icon in the music. He was defiant, symbolic character that not only brought forward different aspects of masculinity but also femininity in a way only he could. 

What makes his case all the more sad is the fact that someone so iconic was found collapsed inside of a lift – it seemed as if the death he was given, in no way suited his personality type and flamboyant flare everyone fell in love with. 

Prince was one of a kind; there are some things Prince did that if anyone else were to do it, it would be weird. For example Prince was able to make crawling out of a bath look good, he pulled off make up, frills and heels better than most people will ever be able to. Although his persona was so flamboyant and glamourous there was still an element of ambiguity surrounding him. For example, although the majority of his music was centered around sex he was a devout Jehovah’s Witness and spoke many times about the strength he received from his faith. 

Prince is still recognised for his androgyny, sexuality and femininity; regarded as sex symbol and a man who was able to shape the music industry from then on. His symbol, named the ‘love symbol’ features the symbol for both genders in one arrow which many associate with his inclusion of many women in his band and as background singers.

Songs like ‘Kiss’, ‘Cream’, ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘Head’ are renound for their explicit references to sex and help normalise the conversation of sex as a more acceptable recreational activity (not that it was heavily needed it after the late 1960s summer of love and the introduction of readily available contraception for all women and men!).  although he explored sex through his music he was still able to bring us to tears with it in songs like the world famous ‘Purple rain’ which I can’t listen to without crying. 

Prince will stay defiant even beyond the grave and continues to touch hearts around the globe with his incredible falsetto and pure musical talent.


Little Richard, Big Impact

Little Richard, even now has the reputation as a true rock ‘n’ roll revolutionary along side the late Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis.

 His popularity blossomed in the early 1950s merging the authentic sound of New Orleans with gospel and heavy, passionate piano. Although he produced alongside other greats nobody could compare to the electric, soulful vocals of Richard that shakes you from song to song. His distinctive style sets him apart from the rest of 50’s Rock n Roll which gave him a spark to inevitably light up the future of music. Even in 2017 most of us are able to recognise the bullet-like vocals of ‘Tutti- Frutti’ and sing along as if it were released last week. The sax-oriented, happy go lucky, classic hits filled with ‘woo!s’ is an inescapable burst of energy no matter what age.

Little Richard was not only a legend for his musical success but socially too. Richard openly talked about sexuality and explored orientation a particularly contraversial topic at the time. He performed as a Drag Performer in the early 1950s after dressing up in his mothers clothes since he has a small child. His sexuality and experimentation lead to his father kicking him out on the grounds of his homosexuality. Although Richard had a religiously centered upbringing, he believes that “I’ve been gay all my life and I know God is a God of love, not hate”. His kind-hearted and liberal attitudes on life gained him a lot of support and admiration from other future musicians and important figures; the most memorable being Lemmy Motörhead who Richard was an inspiration for. 

Although a lot of his life was plagued with tragedy and drugs he still goes down in history as a legend and an icon –

 Long Live Rock n Roll x 

Run DMC – the most popular unknown group of the 21st century 

The group Run DMC were founded in 1981 and quickly became one of the most influential hip hop groups of its era. The three group members : Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels and Jason Mitzell from Hollis made music that is still considered cool (which is an achievement in itself). 

The groups most well known song is “it’s tricky” (from their 3rd album Raising Hell, one of the first hiphop albums to reach mainstream listeners) which has been featured in many films and follows the infamous guitar riff of 1979, The Knacks “My Sharona”. I mean – nobody can resist the temptation to sing along as soon as they hear “this speech is my recital”, it’s almost infectious.

The group also found success in their collaboration with Aerosmith on “walk this way”, able to combine 80s rock with the hip hop of Queens. The Christmas hit “Christmas in Hollis” also made its way into the new traditions of Christmas music.

There is no denying of the groups success considering the lack of ‘mainstream’ hip hop at the time but why do they still remain a rather forgotten about group? Popular departments stores stock their merchandise and they become more of a clothing brand than a well known influential hip hop group. Department stores have always used popular brands and music groups on their clothing ( like the 1990s band Nirvana) but I find it slightly depressing seeing a 5 year old girl wearing a Run DMC shirt from H&M without her being able to enjoy the fact that her shirt symbolises the invention of mainstream hiphop and the development of modern music. That five year old girl may have an in depth knowledge on 80s Hip Hop groups which would be awesome but the chances are slim. I don’t have an issue with the selling of the merchandise in the department stores, in fact I believe it could help bring popularity back to the group, I just find it funny how the title “Run DMC” can mean two different things (particularly through generational splits) : 1) a hip hop group 2) the name on my t-shirt.

my main message her is just – listen to Run DMC, they’re cool.

even Run DMC wear Run DMC shirts


 now that the light is fading

This year, up and coming artists have been taking centre stage and the regular award winners are making way for lesser known artists and although I consider myself a fan of more aged music and film – I’m glad this change has come around. It’s brought around a new love for an artist named Maggie Rogers whose taken 2017 in her stride finally releasing her EP ‘Now That the Light is Fading’. 

I discovered her through her most successful song Alaska in 2016 and found myself looping it over and over again. Maggie Rogers was discovered by Pharell Williams at a masterclass and we are all glad he did because the Ep is a work of art. 

The five songs included are: 

1) Color Song – a fantastically harmonised acapella piece with crickets in the background which just add to the depth of the piece, and just adds the touch of charming character that most ‘chart’ music seems to lack.

2) Alaska – her first single which rose to a lot of viral hits and continues to be one of my favourites, the song manages to maintain a chill and mellow vibe whilst also containing a quite modern sound with the solid drum beats 

3) on + off – probably my favourite on the Ep. It contrasts a modern sound with Rogers’ more soft voice which is not only interesting, but beautifully crafted. 

4) dog years – this track has a very ‘woodland’/’summer camp’ feel to it, with its bottle chimes, bird calls and music video featuring girls with kanoe paddles. 

5) better – the last track on the ep has a soft electronic backing to compliment her voice. It’s also backed with bird calls and multiple voices to add depth to a more electronic piece. 

The Ep, in my opinion, sounds as if it were based on an Alaskan summer camp, or national park. The crickets, harmonised vocals of Rogers’, bird calls, glass bottles all add to the original beauty of her music, which makes her so special. It has a balance between mellow and upbeat that allows it to be amazing for both mellow evenings and more lively atmospheres – truly a work of art.