Friday, April 19Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Music

Punk’s Not Dead
Culture & Literature, Music

Punk’s Not Dead

‘It's weird, on TV I see American high school bullies as the outcast punk kid, but every punk I've met has been the opposite of that. Violence is important, but we pick our battles wisely.’ Punk. It’s a movement that comes all the way from the throbbing heart of underground venues, where music becomes more than aesthetic expression. A culture that uses left-wing lyrics as scripture, and from there political presence as progressive change. Punk dwells loudly on the urban streets of anti-fascist, anti-establishment, and anti-consumerist action – the core values in which its anarchy is borne. It’s been fifty years since Punk became a fundamental part of the alternative scene, and still it resonates within contemporary society. Growing from its neo-liberal roots, Punk has now become a...
GGP Hour Has Arrived!
Culture & Literature, Music

GGP Hour Has Arrived!

In a time where everyone has an opinion, and no topic is left ignored, unique content can be hard to find within what is constantly being pushed out into the world. With podcasts popping up here and there full of controversial takes and passion filled rants, the range of voices seem to gain their stamp of  individuality from that sole aspect. Cancel-culture continues to run rampant, views and opinions are carefully dissected before being put out into the world, and it has become evident that many would rather follow the trend of thinking and appeal to the masses. Unique voices are far and few between. Will  Insanity radio’s newest talk show bring about any change?  GGP Hour hosted by second year student Kayla Mae Garcia Fernandes is a laid back hour filled with debates s...
Everything You Need to Know About the 64th GRAMMY Awards
Culture & Literature, Music

Everything You Need to Know About the 64th GRAMMY Awards

It’s awards season again! Those whose Spotify Wrapped lists were graced with the likes of Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, and Olivia Rodrigo may already know a bit about the nominees for the 64th GRAMMY Awards. But if that’s not you, never fear: here is everything you need to know (more or less) about this year’s Grammys. The Grammys is the most prestigious music award ceremony in the world, recognising brilliance every year across almost all genres of music (seriously – there are eighty-six categories). The four main categories are record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, and best new artist. These groups are typically dominated by pop music, and this year is no different, with Taylor Swift nabbing a second consecutive album of the year nomination (she won last yea...
How to Capture Stunning Cityscapes at Night
Culture & Literature, Music, Visual Arts

How to Capture Stunning Cityscapes at Night

There's something mesmerizing about cities at night. When the sun is replaced with a stream of fluorescent lights and neon signs, it’s completely different to anything you’ll see during the day. Capturing this on camera may seem hard, but shooting nightscapes can be very simple, and something that every budding photographer should try. Most smartphone cameras now have a long exposure mode, so you don’t even need a professional-level camera to get those Instagrammable photos after sunset. Equipment Most tutorials will tell you to buy both an expensive tripod and high-quality ND filters, but neither of these items are necessary. A tripod – which can be bought second hand for as little as £10 – is advisable for keeping the camera still, but you could always stabilize the camera by rest...
Back to Live, Back to Reality: Bloodstock Review
Features, Music

Back to Live, Back to Reality: Bloodstock Review

It took a long time to get to Bloodstock festival. There was a four hour train from Egham, but that was nothing compared to the two years I had been waiting for live music to return. The journey was long and arduous; there was so much at stake for the performance industry who had suffered greatly at the callous hands of the pandemic. Yet there was no greater joy than standing in a field in the Midlands for the UK's largest metal festival. Festivals were the glorious beginning of bringing live music back. The government introduced pilot events to test the spread of the virus, with festivals such as Latitude, Download Pilot (A downsized version of the Donnington giant) and Tramlines. Fortunately, there were only 28 positive cases of COVID-19 amongst the 58,000 people who attended these t...
From Wiz Khalifa to The Wellerman: An Interview with Nathan Evans
Culture & Literature, Music

From Wiz Khalifa to The Wellerman: An Interview with Nathan Evans

We spoke to Nathan Evans - the viral TikTok star, whose sea shanties have sent waves crashing throughout the global charts. At the time of writing (26th February 2021), Wellerman sits third in the official charts, its fourth successive week in the Top 10, peaking at number 1 in both Germany and the Netherlands and second in land-locked Switzerland. Where did the idea of sea shanties come from? Have you always been into them or were they suggested to you? It was actually suggested on TikTok. Someone left a comment underneath one of my videos saying “There’s a song called Leave Her Johnny, it’s a sea shanty and I think you would be really good at it if you want to try it”. So I went away, listened to it, sang it, and the comments underneath were just amazing and it was like “Can you d...
The Art of the Playlist
Culture & Literature, Music

The Art of the Playlist

I adore playlisting. My music platform of choice is Spotify, and although I was gravely disappointed to find out my premium student membership had expired (there’s a four year limit), I still happily pay for premium- it’s somewhat of an essential now. I used to almost exclusively listen to albums from my favourite artists, buying them in charity shops or using an iTunes gift voucher, only discovering new music through friends’ recommendations or by browsing the charts, but then came music streaming services. Suddenly I could listen to anything I wanted, but how on earth would I choose? How could I listen to everything and decide what I liked? And most importantly, how would I organise my music? The simple and beautiful answer is the art of the playlist. A mode of curation completely...
American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story by Kevin Abstract
Culture & Literature, Music

American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story by Kevin Abstract

In 2016 Kevin Abstract, aged barely 20, released his second studio album American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story. At the time, the album did not get spoken about or reviewed very much, and did not receive the recognition or love it truly deserves. With the world still swept up in the genius that was Frank Ocean’s Blonde, American Boyfriend slipped under the radar. Despite being criminally underrated in a year of fantastic music, American Boyfriend manages to be not just one of the best alternative R&B albums of the year, but one of the best albums of the year entirely. Coming-of-age in media is absolutely everywhere, from the entire genre of YA fiction to the best works of John Hughes; but nothing does coming-of-age quite like this album. Upon foundations of teen angst, desire an...
Can listening to music really help us concentrate?
Culture & Literature, Music

Can listening to music really help us concentrate?

We have all heard the theory that playing Mozart to babies will make them smarter (insert that scene from the original Incredibles movie) and frankly, I have realised there may be a lot of truth in that concept. Not necessarily that listening to Mozart will help you get a 1:1 in your second year mock exams, but that listening to the right type of music might actually help you concentrate a bit better.  According to study.com, there are both benefits and drawbacks to listening to music whilst studying. Some principal benefits include the fact that music can soothe the mind of a stressed student; background music can motivate us and help us to keep going when we are about to give up; and some students even link the music they are listening to the information that they are trying to ...
Mental Health in Pop Music
Culture & Literature, Music

Mental Health in Pop Music

Clarissa Philpott Author’s note: Please read this at your own discretion. TRIGGER WARNING: There are quite a few direct mentions of sexual assault, substance abuse, self harm and suicide. Lady Gaga - Replay from Chromatica - life dealing with PTSD (to be honest the entirety of this album is amazing at telling stories of trauma and healing!) Despite its upbeat melody and EDM rhythm, the twelfth song on Lady Gaga’s latest album Chromatica called Replay, is actually about Gaga’s PTSD. Whilst a lot of song writers have tended to stray from direct meaning in their songs, and prefer to use metaphors that listeners can interpret themselves, Lady Gaga is almost always straight to the point, in particular when it comes to stories of sexual assault. As a rape surivor herself, she is...