GoldFlakePaint: 2010 – 2020

10 Years of Tears


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It’s one of those still and bright blue mornings today. Not only by Glasgow standards; it could given any morning a run for its money. The sun is warm through the window, a breeze ruffles the plants into a dance, things are stirring into life. In the background a gentle record plays, one that makes you feel like you’re in a story unfolding. I’m writing this now in case it’s raining tomorrow. 

By the time you read this it will be 10 years to the day that we switched on Gold Flake Paint for the first time. We launched with a Frightened Rabbit live review on May 14th 2010, and somehow, miraculously, we’re still here. Somehow, miraculously, we’re still writing about the music we find that leaves a small impress upon our day, that breaks through the wider noise to remind us we were and are here; like a photograph, like a tea-stain on a page.

When we started, just a couple of us then, working jobs we didn’t want to work, we had no grand plan, no goals to strive for. We just wanted to share, and enthuse, just enough to reach a couple of people who maybe needed reaching. 10 years later and that goal remains the same. We write about what we love and we hope it grabs hold of someone and leads them to love that same thing. We’ve been criticised by some for only ever cheerleading, for being anti-criticism and part of a wider movement within music writing that avoids conflict. The truth is I’ve just never viewed music in that way. I believe in criticism, absolutely, but I’ve never felt that our voice needed to be the loudest in a conversation. I’ve never asked a friend to recommend a record they didn’t enjoy. I’m far too tired to pull things apart in that way.

If you’re one of those people reading this, who has found comfort in something we’ve written or some collection of sounds we’ve shared, thank you. With all the sincerity I can muster via a page on a website: Thank you. Thank you for taking a step outside of your path to join us for a little while. Thank you for caring about our words, and about other people’s music. Watching this strange and loose and shifting community slowly build around us over the years has been the most significant and enriching adventure of my whole life. There have been stand-out moments within that time that will stay with me forever but that foggy feeling of belonging, of being a part of something bigger, a genuine connection free of barriers, is something I can’t really put into words. It’s bizarre and beautiful. When I remember to remember, it feels like true magic. 

We began as a somewhat ugly blog and we sit here today, ten years later, as an award-winning magazine. I don’t say that as a birthday-justified boast but as a reminder to myself that it’s real. When I think about the place I was in, the person I was on that day back in 2010, and where I am now I allow myself to feel proud of what GFP has achieved – and what it’s allowed me to achieve.

I struggled for such a long time in my life, flailing around trying to find something tangible to grip. I slipped often, but from the moment I began this thing all those years ago, I suddenly found something to hold on to, a point of focus. It’s consumed so many hours of my life but I can’t even begin to think where I might be without it.

We’ll be celebrating the anniversary in a few different ways over the coming days and weeks. We initially had lots of exciting plans, involving a small festival and some live shows elsewhere, but then the world changed. I think we’ll mostly just spend the day reflecting, raising a toast to the then-and-now, playing some of those songs we’ve collected along the way, that feel tied to our own story just because they sang just loud enough to reach us.

As with most publications right now, we do, of course, need your help to keep going. It’s a strange and terrifying time to be doing this but we’re determined to see it through. If you’re in a position to help us carry on, please head here and have a read. There are also some links below. Thank you so much for considering. We appreciate it’s a difficult time for everyone.

So again, in conclusion, with all of my heart, thank you for reading Gold Flake Paint, whether you found us yesterday or 10 years ago. Thank you to every person who’s written for us over the years, every label and PR that has valued the work we do, every blog/publication/podcast fighting alongside us, and every artist we’ve featured for their moments of musical magic without which there would be little point in anything.

Thank you to Sammy, who’s been helping me out for nearly 8 years now, and to the current team who make it such a wholesome and beautiful adventure. You changed my whole life!

We’ll see you in 2030 to look back on another ten years of tears…..if not before.

Be so good,

Tom & everyone at GoldFlakePaint


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