Music and Mental Health: What makes the industry so vulnerable and what can we do to make a difference?

pexels-photo-551588.jpegWe’ve lost more than a few music icons in recent years, and far too many of those deaths have either been self-inflicted or the result of people battling addictions as some form of coping mechanism. These tragedies have far reaching effects, and shed a light on how even those that seem to have everything can be suffering in ways we can’t imagine. What often isn’t brought to people’s attention however is how the music industry as a whole is such a vulnerable target for mental health issues, particularly those individuals at the bottom of the ladder who are trying to make ends meet. But what makes musicians so susceptible, and what can artists, and us as music consumers, do to improve the situation? I’ve narrowed it down to three key issues.  Continue reading

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Small But Mighty: Why we need more small festivals

pexels-photo-164829.jpegIt’s a peculiar time for the music industry. Streaming services are showing record figures, but there are still struggling up-and-coming artists being paid mere pennies. A recent report showed that live music attendance in the UK is at an all time high, yet grassroots venues up and down the country continue to close. Our music industry has experienced a massive boon in recent years, but it seems that only those at the top are reaping the rewards.  Continue reading

Sad Songs Make The Sweetest Remedy

pexels-photo-374703.jpeg“What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing
with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will
take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally
thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I
listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I
listened to pop music?”

Continue reading

Lament for a Fallen NME

nmeFor years I had the same routine every Saturday. I would head into town for a spot of lunch, look around HMV and the record stalls in the market, buy the latest copy of NME and chill for an hour or so in my favourite cafe. Over the course of a very large pot of loose leaf tea I would read every last article and feature. That seems like an age ago now. Pardon the nostalgia, but with the announcement that Britain’s most iconic music publication will cease printing by the end of the week after 66 years in circulation, I’d rather remember it as it used to be rather than what it became.  Continue reading

Norton’s Rule

nortonWe all need words to live by, a guiding light to show us the way. This can be something our parents have instilled in us from an early age, some words of wisdom passed on by a caring teacher, or even something that a kind stranger said in passing that struck a chord with you. And yet, sometimes words of wisdom pop up in the unlikeliest of places… in this case, Graham Norton’s commentary of the 2013 Eurovision song contest. No seriously, bear with me on this one!  Continue reading

Cell Solutions: The Phone Dilemma

pexels-photo-106400.jpegJack White’s latest tour has been making headlines with it’s no phone policy in order to promote a more “human” experience. This is nothing new, as his previous tours included a message asking fans to put their phones away and rely on the professional pics from the tour photographer to satisfy their social media needs. The difference this time around is the fact that a humble request has escalated to actually enforcing a venue-wide ban, which has been seen as a very heavy-handed move and prompted others to question the problem surrounding the use of mobile phones at gigs.  Continue reading

Belwood Music Awards 2017

belwood awardsSo here we are, another year over and a chance to look back on all that 2017 has brought us. Thank you to all of you that have supported Belwood this past year; our readers, industry colleagues and all the wonderfully talented bands and artists that have shared their music. Before we look forward to all that 2018 has to offer, lets take a moment to cherish some of the most memorable music from the past twelve months: Continue reading

Top Ten Albums of 2017

top ten albumsIt’s that time of year again where we look back on all the amazing music the past twelve months have given us and gather together the ten highest rated albums on the site in 2017. This has been the closest year yet for albums, and with some Belwood favourites like Algiers and Wolf Alice missing out on the top ten, it’s also been a year that has offered its fair share of surprises.  Continue reading

Top Ten EPs of 2017

top ten epsWe’ve had top lists of singles and albums since the site started, but we’ve neglected an increasingly important part of the music industry: EPs. They are a chance for new artists to show the world what they are all about, and hence by looking at EPs we can see where music is headed and who might just be the next big thing. They also offer an opportunity for established artists to take a chance and explore something new without dedicating all their effort to a full album. Simply put, EPs are the lifeblood of the music industry, and here are the ones that impressed most in the past year:  Continue reading

Top Ten Videos of 2017

top ten videosI have a bit of a love-hate relationship with music videos. Sometimes they feel like a relic of the MTV days that we cling to because everyone else is doing them. Other times however, you find such a well conceived and brilliantly executed video that reminds you how they sometimes still have the power to make a band or artist a household name. There’s been a fair few great videos in 2017, and here’s a run-down of some of the best: Continue reading