Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Winding Down

As of today, The Album Wall will no longer be updated on a regular basis. I've been posting three blogs a week - one on Monday, one on Wednesday, and one on Friday - for nearly four years now, and while I'm proud of myself for sticking to that schedule so rigidly, I've had a think and I've decided that it's time to stop now.

I started this blog in 2013 because I had loads of things to say about the music I was listening to; these days, by contrast, I often feel like I'm only listening to music so that I've got something to blog about. I'd better have a browse on Badncamp, I'll find myself thinking of a weekend afternoon, so that I've got something for the blog on Monday.

I've loved writing The Album Wall, and it has not been without its perks. I've heard loads of great music that I probably wouldn't have come across otherwise; I've been lucky enough to speak with some of my very favourite bands and songwriters; I've had countless great conversations with fellow music fans on Twitter and broadened my horizons in all sorts of different ways. And I still get a thrill when somebody shares the words I've written, or when one of my followers buys an album on my recommendation, or when an artist thanks me for taking the time to write about their songs.

But I'm afraid I can't keep this up any more. For one thing, writing three blog posts a week uses up a surprisingly large portion of my spare time - I do have a full-time job outside of The Album Wall, and doing both puts a real squeeze on how much time I have to relax and do all the other things that I enjoy (like playing games, reading, writing non-blog stuff, and making music of my own).

More importantly, I fear that I'm losing my ability to enjoy music in the pure, simple way I used to. Nowadays, whenever I'm listening to an album, I'm always trying to come up with an angle - a hot take for the blog - and I want to relearn how to appreciate and lose myself in music without feeling the need to pick every sound apart and probe each lyric for some deeper meaning.

I'm a horrible judge of my own work, and so I'm honestly not sure whether I'm going out on a high here or simply burying the dead horse that I've been flogging for far too long. The Album Wall won't cease to exist entirely - I still have a few things in draft that I'll be publishing at some point in the near future, and I'm sure the blogging itch will revisit me every so often when I discover an album I really love or hear a song that really makes me think. (I'm listening to 50 Song Memoir by The Magnetic Fields a heck of a lot right now, and I may well have to put pen to paper - or finger to keyboard - once I've organised my thoughts on that.)

For now, though, I'd like to say au revoir and thank you very much for reading The Album Wall and indulging my over-thinking these last few years. Every read, retweet, share, comment, submission and recommendation meant a whole damn lot to me. I don't want to name too many names because I'm bound to miss somebody out, but extra-special thanks are due to my girlfriend Vicky for bearing with me on all the evenings when I came home from work and leapt to my laptop to frantically finish off that day's post; to Jamie from Audio Antihero for his encouragement and for all the great music; and to all the lovely people who ever wrote guest posts for The Album Wall and gave me an occasional day of rest.

Goodbye for now - keep an eye out for the odd new post, and do bear in mind that I'll still be semi-active on Twitter (@TheAlbumWall) if you ever want to say hi or tell me about the awesome new album you've just heard.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Many thanks - I have enjoyed reading and dipping in and out