Dear friends and followers of GoldFlakePaint,
I (Tom) started this website eight years ago, on May 14th, 2010, with the help of a couple of friends, a simple click of a button, and no idea at all what I was doing. I’d never written, well, anything at all, until a couple of months before. I didn’t work in the industry or know anybody that worked in the industry. The town I lived in at the time didn’t have a music venue, and still doesn’t. I had no grand ideas at all, but I needed to give my life a shake and this seemed like a way of channeling my musical passion in to something productive and tangible. And now here we are.
Sitting here and writing this I can’t quite believe it’s been eight years, all that time seems to have disappeared in the blink of an eye, an ever-present background hum while so many other things (people, places, loves, lessons) drifted in and out again. And then, suddenly, I remember where I am now and where I was then, and, in truth, it feels like it’s been a lifetime and more.
Given that I didn’t know what I was doing in those early days, I made the simple decision to work as hard as I could at every aspect of this funny thing until I felt like I knew what I was comfortable enough to not let other people down. Through all the dizziness of seeing people respond, mostly positively, to something we built from the ground-up, I slowly and assuredly learned to write in a way that felt real and natural and, occasionally – honestly – jubilant. Jubilant in ways I never imagined I could forge for myself; a buzz that those very same songs and albums inject in me; the power of creation and creative freedom, of community and support. I don’t know how I ever got by without it and the truth is I didn’t, not really.
And so, skipping a few beats, I’m also here to tell you that today is the last day of GoldFlakePaint as a daily music blog. What does that mean? Well, at the moment I’m not too sure. Some things will remain, and some will change. I’ve arrived at a couple of conclusions, both of which relate to the other, but also that exist in and of themselves. Firstly, that this site on its own isn’t ever going to provide a full-time income, and eight years is a long time to be doing something like that. That might seem like a pretty obvious thing to most of you, but with Sammy’s spirited, invaluable help, we’ve been trying to get to that point for the last couple of years, but to try and achieve that requires a minute-to-minute attention that I’ve simply lost the energy for. Secondly, though closely related to that last point, I’ve learned that the day-to-day running of the site – arranging content, liaising with bands/labels/PRs, the endless chase-ups, the weird and rocky world of social media – is no longer favourable to either my health or happiness. Such a thing makes huge decisions like this rather simple indeed.
So, from today, GFP is no longer A Music Blog but we absolutely live on regardless. The idea, for now, is to stop short track reviews/premieres and standard album reviews, but continue to turn our written attention to long-form features only (in-depth interviews and essays), and to keep our various mixes (Sunday Slowdown, new music monthly recaps) because we still love that side of things. We have a current clutch of writers that continue to produce work that we know to be both powerfully important and deserved of its place at an ever-shrinking table and we want to highlight that more than ever. The other idea is to keep some of that written work to one side and then publish them as a physical collection of essays, published two or three times a year. A magazine you can touch and sniff, the one thing we’ve always wanted to do.
So this isn’t the end – not at all – it’s a just a short shift of things which will mean you might not see us around as often as we are right now. But it is a big change, and one we’re incredibly excited for – by the idea of more fresh air, for starters, but also by the idea producing something tangible and more considered – and I hope you join us on this new ride too. I (Tom) recently started writing a book (about music, of course) and I’m also about to finish a book of photography portraits (of musicians, of course) so please do keep an eye out for further details on both of those things, if they sound at all interesting.
Thank you to the writers who have leant their time and energy to keep us moving forward. Thank you to the artists, and the teams behind them, who have believed in this site enough to let us share their work with the world. We’ve never once taken that privilege for granted. Whether unveiling something brand new, or wiping the dust off something old, we were deeply honoured from the first to last. Thank you to those who have held doors open for us along the way, allowing us access in to rooms we never expected to visit. Thank you, with the greatest sincerity I can muster on a webpage, to anyone who took the time to read something we wrote, listened to something we recommended, bought something we recommended, shared something we took the time to create, shared work with us, or suggested our work to a friend along the way. I leapt in to this blog-life because I was someone who was deeply, profoundly moved by songs, and the impact that they can have upon a day, a moment, a life, and I step back out of the all-encompassing surge of it even more strengthened in that belief. Which is just about the most I could ever have wanted for.
This isn’t the end so I won’t say goodbye, but try and remember us from time to time, and we’ll see you around, new but old, still wide-eyed in wonder.
Be nice to yourself and others, as often as you can.
Best wishes to you all,
Tom, Sammy, and everyone else at GoldFlakePaint