Culture

Swimming Lessons

Issue section: 

The Skints’s sound combines punk, ska and reggae. Their recent tour promoting new album Swimming Lessons offered the audience a blast of emotions, whether they were jumping around to some songs, or swaying slowly to others.

They have made a name dealing with political issues. On the Short Change EP, “The Cost of Living is Killing Me” was an exploration of the deteriorating quality of life under a system intent on destroying the welfare state that Labour built.

Cheap Queen

Issue section: 
Author: 

King Princess burst onto the scene in 2018 with singles “1950” and “Pussy is God”, which unambiguously rejected heteronormative sexuality in a pop packaging, as in the line, “I hate it when men try to chase me”.

The newly minted queer young icon releases her debut album Cheap Queen to much anticipation. Now 20 years old, the title and cover photo where her face is painted like a drag queen are nods to a lineage of underground LGBTQ+ culture.

The debut album is more interesting as a window into King Princess’s emotional exploration than musical journey.

Kiwanuka

Issue section: 

Home Again and Love & Hate, Michael Kiwanuka’s first two albums, were both nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Little wonder then that his eponymously titled third release was eagerly anticipated.

Born in Muswell Hill, north London, to parents who fled Idi Amin’s Uganda, Kiwanuka’s music similarly has a multicultural inheritance.

Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How to Fight Them

Issue section: 
Author: 

Inspired by the Icelandic Phallological Museum (yes, that’s a penis museum), the director realised there was no female equivalent and organised a public fundraising campaign.

Unlike its Icelandic counterpart, it’s not a traditional museum with exhibits of vaginas through the ages. Rather, it’s a series of changing exhibitions. The first one, “Muff Busters”, is really an information source.

The Irishman

Issue section: 
Author: 

The Irishman, the latest film by the legendary American director Martin Scorsese, has been eagerly anticipated. Now that it has finally hit screens large and small (the movie is a Netflix production, and transferred to the online streaming service shortly after its cinema release), it reveals itself to be a genuine masterpiece.

Five things to do or see this month

Issue section: 

The Irishman
In cinemas 8 November, on Netflix from 27 November
Widely being hailed as Martin Scorsese’s best film in 30 years, or possibly ever, The Irishman is adapted from a true-crime bestseller. It tells the story of Philadelphia mob killer Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran and his part in the mysterious disappearance of Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa in 1975. With Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, it’s one to watch on the big screen if possible.

Early

Issue section: 

Joy Crookes is hugely talented emerging artist from Elephant & Castle in south London with Irish and Bangladeshi origins. Her husky tones make for some very easy listening. “Early” is her first collaboration with Irish hip-hop artist Jafaris. An excellent blend of hip-hop and soul, this track is about love and bad timing, a theme few people won’t have experienced.

Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-insides Remix Album

Issue section: 
Author: 

Scottish-born, LA-based experimental pop producer SOPHIE turns over her groundbreaking debut album Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-insides to further transformation in this non-stop, club-ready remix album.

For the album’s release in 2018, SOPHIE shocked fans by appearing unobscured and singing to camera for the first time in the video “It’s Okay to Cry”. Previously altering or obscuring her image and singing in eerie high-pitched vocals, the video and song were a celebration of her coming out as a trans woman.

All Mirrors

Issue section: 
Author: 

One of Angel Olsen’s most memorable lyrics is “Guess we’re just at the mercy of the way that we feel”. To an extent, Olsen’s fourth album All Mirrors centres around that simple fact.

All Mirrors features extensive use of a 12-piece string section to add a dramatic film soundtrack quality. Olsen takes inspiration from the music of the 50s and 60s, but her use of synths and 21st century subject matter is thoroughly modern.

Pioneers: William Morris and the Bauhaus

Issue section: 
Author: 

This free, one-room exhibition is the latest in an abundance of programming marking the centenary of the Bauhaus. It brings together over 60 objects to explore the link between the influential design school of Weimar Germany and the Victorian socialist, writer and artist William Morris.

Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius noted the influence of Morris and his contemporaries such as John Ruskin on the school.

Pages