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Reflections and aspirations

Happy 2024! It’s that time of year when we tend to look forward and make resolutions. In the interests of not starting the year with my perfectionist brain in hyperdrive, I prefer to reflect on what I achieved in 2023, and think about some aspirations for the year ahead, without getting too carried away!


Since August 2022 and right through 2023, I have been slowly launching the songs from my first solo album, Oxytocin & Adrenaline. This process is now complete, with all 12 songs available on all the streaming platforms (and you can also purchase the physical CD or download the songs here). It has been really exciting to watch my profile on Spotify grow as the year progressed. Apologies to those of you who are not Spotify users – I love you all and am very grateful that you listen to my music on any platform. But Spotify is where the vast majority of my listeners find my music, and so I’m going to share some of their statistics.


My profile on Spotify has partly grown so fast because of Discovery Mode, a tool designed to help artists find new listeners. It’s really worked! In my Spotify Wrapped, I discovered that I’d had over 12,000 listeners and 206,900 streams from 115 countries over the past year. Even just this past month, I have had 2,414 listeners from 75 countries. I now have more listeners in the US, the UK, Germany and Canada than I do in Australia. That’s really exciting.

I’ve also released seven videos on my YouTube channel this year, thanks to the help and support I’ve received from my friend Greg Taylor, who has edited all of my videos. My most popular videos for the year have been Inflamed and Breathe again, although neither have reached as many views as 2022’s Unsubscribe. If you haven’t checked them out, please do – or revisit them if you already have! Each one is carefully planned and storyboarded, and I’m proud of what we have achieved.

As well as releasing the rest of the Oxytocin & Adrenaline songs, I’ve released one stand-alone single featuring my niece Dee Palethorpe (Rainbow world), and have featured on a song by Rachel Hardy (One step at a time). I’ve also been involved in many musical endeavours with my other groups, Sass & Grit, Adder’s Fork, the Challis Singers and Cantrice.


So what are the plans for 2024? Well, my problem is never a lack of ideas – it’s trying to limit myself to what is feasible and achievable! That’s why I’m a bit wary of New Year Resolutions. However, there are some things that I really do want to achieve musically next year. Here are a few of them.


Firstly, I am working with my friend Rachel Hardy on her debut album. I’m co-writing, arranging, mixing and producing the songs, and am really excited by what we’ve achieved so far (check out her first song, One step at a time!). Stay tuned for more Rachel Hardy songs in 2024.


Secondly, I’m working on my second solo album, Dopamine. I have several songs written, several kernels of ideas composting, and some demos gradually coming together. I don’t want to count my chickens too soon, but I hope that the first couple of Dopamine songs will come out in 2024. In the meantime, I hope to release one or two stand-alone singles, so stay tuned for those.


Thirdly, given that songwriting and music production is sometimes a rather lonely endeavour, I want to communicate more about what I’m doing – so I’m committing to a monthly blog this year. I also hope to increase my YouTube presence by releasing at least one new video every month this year as well. So it’s definitely worth subscribing, if you haven’t already!


Finally, I want to play more live music! This sounds simple, but it is actually much more complicated than you might think. Finding gigs is surprisingly hard, and we’ve had a few changes in our band, which has stopped us from searching for gigs until we were settled in the new configuration. As well as performing with the band, I’ve decided to get out there and do some solo busking as well.


Piece of cake, right? And this is me being restrained! This is why I go with aspirations instead of resolutions. But whatever happens, I look forward to a year of music making and creativity, in amongst the family time, the snailing, and everything that comes with it. And I wish you all a wonderful 2024 as well.

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