Despite the word ‘dream’ being closely associated with the music of Sir Was, the opening track of ‘Holding on to a Dream’ begins with a sense of urgency; the pop element of his ‘Dream Pop’ being most apparent.

The pop that Sir Was does purvey isn’t annoying and has the right amount of reflection too, this is most apparent in his lyrics which are distinctly upbeat and display his newfound sense of confidence as an artist.

Sir Was or Joel Walsberg needed fifteen years of encouragement to release his debut album, ‘Digging a Tunnel’ and emboldened by the positive reactions he has left the fear behind him saying he is, ‘ready to be clear and outspoken’. Given that he recorded his second album in the serene surroundings of a log cabin in rural Sweden he had the space to achieve this goal.

On ‘No Giving Up’ his message not only mirrors his confidence but his determination too. Within the pop elements of his music is a nod to hip hop and soul and these are some of my favourite parts of the album with track ‘Somewhere’ reminding me a lot of The Internet.

At times, the formula of echoey vocals, synths and sparse guitar riffs can become a little well, formulaic and when he treats us to more recognisable electronic, soulful, spacey sounds is when, for me, he is at his best.

Towards the end of the album he experiments with slowing down his vocals so the tracks are reminiscent of a record being played at the wrong speed. But thankfully with the final track, ‘Pin Me Down’ it’s business as usual and the reflective lyrics and upbeat melodies ensure his intentions and sound, remain clear.

Sir Was – Holding On To A Dream: Out Now (Memphis Industries)


When people ask me what music I am in to, I find it very hard to give a definitive answer because, throughout my life I have been in to all kinds of different music from House to Heavy Metal depending on how old I was, what I was doing at the time and the kind of people I was hanging out with. So I can safely say I am open to most things as long as it’s good but obviously that is entirely subjective and open to interpretation, which I guess is what Silent Radio is all about. However, I would say that overall my alliances lie with Electronic Music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having just returned from Sonar I felt a warm glow being surrounded by so many people who appreciate Electronic Music but there were times when I became a little jaded and questioned its integrity especially after seeing Katy B perform for the 3RD TIME! Will Katy B still be remembered in six years? I doubt it. But I guess that is the nature of Pop Music in particular; some stand the test of time, some don't. I think having grown up and lived in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by the club scene post- hacienda and the music at nights like Electric Chair which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. Basically anything with a groove, I like. But this is not confined to Dance Music I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook such as Wild Beasts, music that captures an emotion and has a heart. While at University I was also listening to music that didn’t really have much of a heart but more of a pacemaker in terms of the emotion it conveyed and that was Electro-Clash, a completely non- sensical and at times ridiculous genre that borrowed elements from House, Italio Disco and Techno and re- formed them in to one fun, but ridiculous package. While at University, I had my own radio Show where I tried to convey some of my musical tastes acquired from up north and had guest DJ's from a night in New Cross called Zombie Disco, with Jamie from Zombie Disco now working with Lindstrom. We also borrowed the services of Rina from Ladytron who had a guest DJ slot. Anyhow, I think it is safe to say I like a wide range of music apart from Katy B, sorry Katy.