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 music from House to Heavy Metal. So I can safely say I am open to most things however, I would say that overall my allegiances lie with Electronic music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having grown up in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by nights such as Electric Chair and Mr Scruff which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. As far as bands are concerned, I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook and a heart such as Wild Beasts. While living in London in the early noughties, I was also listening to music that didn’t really have a heart, more of a pacemaker. I was listening to Electroclash at nights such as Erol Alkan’s, Trash. I love writing about music and believe you can be honest about why you don’t like something without being disrespectful, a skill I am still learning in real life! But ultimately I understand that music needs to be experienced first, rather than intellectualised but why do one, when you can do both?