Why does music no longer strike a chord with me? | Matt Mohan-Hickson

According to my Spotify wrapped – a record of my listening habits through the site for last year, I listened to something insane like 90,000 minutes of music in 2020.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 8:35 am
BTS at iHeartRadio Theater New York on May 21, 2019 in New York City. Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

To put that in perspective, it works out at around 62.5 days, or about one fifth of a year – or more than two whole months’ worth.

Obviously this was completely padded by the pandemic and being trapped at home for the majority of the year, so I was able to have music playing out loud in my room while working.

But it wasn’t like I just had background sounds playing, elevator music to drown out the sounds of Fratton Road, my gluttonous music consumption in 2020 was driven by a real love for music.

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I would fall for a song for 24 hours and play it on loop until I couldn’t bear to listen to it anymore. Or find a new album and play it back to front over and over.

There was so much new music that I discovered and helped me through the endless months of lockdown and quasi-lockdown.

From Spanish Love Songs’ Brave Faces Everyone, which felt as if it captured the experience of being trapped in a pandemic despite being released before the world fell apart, to both of the albums released by BTS in 2020.

It felt like I was gorging myself on a real feast of music throughout the year.

But fast forward to March 2021 and I have barely listened to any music since the double album I wrote about earlier this year, which I can no longer listen to now.

It is not for lack of trying, I have tried my old favourites and classics but I can’t make it more than a few seconds before giving up.

I have tried to find new songs to consume greedily, but nothing strikes a chord – pardon the pun.

Once upon a time all I would listen to is pop-punk, but now the genre leaves me cold

I have been blindly searching through playlists like ‘The Indie List’ or ‘The Rock List’ or ‘Discover Weekly’ but it all leaves me feeling empty.

The worst part is I have no idea what type of music I actually want to listen to – pop, nope. Rock? Nah. Country? No way Jose.

It is like I am trapped in the musical doldrums and it leaves me wondering if I have lost my passion for music completely. Or if it is just a phase.

Is football finally coming home?

Can you remember that glorious summer of 2018? When the sun was shining and the World Cup was in full swing.

England were winning games and the good vibes were all around – there were calls for big screens to be put up on Southsea Common for the final.

Kieran Trippier scored that free kick and it felt like it might finally be coming home after all – before the inevitable happened.

My hype for the 2020 Euros – as I think they are still called – hasn’t exactly been very high. Football has seemed like a shadow of itself so far this season, with no fans and constant VAR despair.

And yet there is talk that UEFA now want the tournament to take place all in one location instead of across Europe – and the prime minister has offered England up as the host.

The thought of a summer of fans in stadiums across the country, the sun shining and the possibility of the Three Lions actually being a decent side is a tantalising one.

I was too young to remember Euro 96, but if we host the tournament this summer I’m sure it would live on equally as long in the memory.

I am feeling completely restless

Can it just be June already? The possibility of meeting friends I haven’t seen for more than a year, shooting the breeze and enjoying drinks is more exciting than Christmas at this point.

Let alone being able to just do things in general – visit museums, have day trips or even be able to travel with my girlfriend back to her home in Spain.

It is such a tantalising thought. Yet right now it feels so far away and a bit like we are stuck in a holding pattern.

I just want it to be a few months down the line, enjoying the sunshine and have had the jab.

Heck, I even want to be able to commute to the office again – just to be on a full morning train with other people, followed by getting to see my colleagues again.

It is making me feel totally restless, like I want to wish away all of March at the very least – and maybe just skip all the way to May or June, if I’m really being honest.