Espen Kraft (who has a wonderful YouTube Channel by the way) released his latest album Dreams at the end of last year. It's a great trip down 80s synthwave nostalgia lane. I'm loving the instrumental track Lullabye that closes out the album.


Ghosts Again

Today Depeche Mode released Ghosts Again from their upcoming album Momento Mori. In January I mentioned I have a complicated relationship with the band but ultimately I was cautiously looking forward to the new material.

And here it is. And I must say, I love it. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up in a way no Depeche song has done in a long time. So bravo gentlemen.



I have a complicated relationship with Depeche Mode. But first some history.

The very first Depeche Mode song I can remember hearing was Shake The Disease back in 1985. I must have been eleven years old? There was a boy who lived across the street that I was friends with. He was a couple years older than me and had bought the song on 7" single. I can distinctly remember him bringing it over and we listened to it on my Dad's record player in our living room.

I didn't know it at the time, but that would change things forever. I'd found the exact song, the exact band, the exact type of music that would become the soundtrack of my youth.

One of the first albums I ever bought on vinyl with my pocket money was The Singles 81→85. I played that album to death. And it was the start of my teenage Mode vinyl addiction that spread to buying every album and 12" remix of any song I could get my hands on. Any excuse to go into a record shop to look just in case there was a rare mix I didn't own.

It wasn't just vinyl. I'd go on to buy every single VHS tape of videos or concerts – eventually wearing out my copy of The World We Live In And Live In Hamburg. Over the years I'd end up seeing them live six times, the best of which on the Devotional tour at Crystal Palace in London 1993.

So why a complicated relationship?

The Depeche of the Alan Wilder golden years is my favorite band of all time. Hands down. Not even close. To me, this body of work will never be bettered:

Construction Time Again
Some Great Reward
Black Celebration
Music For The Masses
Songs Of Faith And Devotion

Alan left of course. The band continued without him and would release a further six albums. All of which I still bought, because Depeche Fucking Mode.

But herein lies the rub. Any long time fan will tell you the albums of the later years are (whispers) not great.

And so we fast forward to the year 2022. Two major things happened. Fletch passed away. Dave and Martin announced a new album.

So, yet again, even after being burned so many times before, I find myself looking forward to a new Depeche album. Maybe this time it will be good?

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Music Report 2022

I've been a music stats junkie ever since I heard about in 2006. And every year I look forward to the end of year review. Unlike Spotify with their 'Wrapped', actually do this correctly by acknowledging that December is a month in which people still listen to music.

So how did it shake out? 20,493 scrobbles – a slight increase over 2021 – but I'm still listening to less music than I used to. Podcasts are 100% to blame here. And there are only so many hours in the day for competing media attention in my ears.

No surprise Depeche were the top band. Fletch's passing meant I went on a bit of a nostalgic re-listen to their body of work. A decent year for synth acts overall and I'm really loving Korine at the moment. Kinda funny that stalwarts Rammstein still make an appearance in every one of my end of year lists. And I really really really loved Suede's new album and played that a lot.

Here's to 2023 in my ears!

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Without a doubt, a passing that has hit me the most. Depeche Mode wrote the soundtrack to my youth.

Alison Moyet today on Twitter:

I have just heard the news. Since we were 10. Same estate. Class mates to label mates. He who kept faith with all the old gang and they with him. It doesn’t compute. Fletch. I have no words.

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Half A Million Right There

Half A Million

I discovered 16 years ago and is one of those services from the olden times I still enjoy to this day. Being able to look back on my music listening habits over that time frame is a wonderful thing.

Today marks a bit of a milestone with 500,000 tracks scrobbled. And the track that nudged the count across the finish line none other than Pet Shop Boys' We All Feel Better In The Dark. (don't we though?).

Here's to another 500,000 tracks and/or 16 years, whichever comes first.

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