My mother, Jacqueline Dornan
There isn’t a person on this planet I could care for more than my mother. The woman that gave birth to me, the woman that raised me, that gave me every advantage that she never had, the woman that taught me so many important life lessons, the woman that stood by me no matter what, the woman that didn’t tell me she had cancer until I had finished my exams because she thought I had more important things to worry about. She is the strongest woman I’ve ever met in my life, I could never ask for more in a mother and there’s no way I’ll ever be able to pay her back in my life. I’d be nothing without my mother.
“The thought of your hands on his chest makes my stomach itch, And I see pictures now of the two of you and it makes me sick” - Party Song
Most well known for his illustrations, Keaton Henson to me however is the most emotively powerful singer-songwriter of my generation. An incredibly shy young man, that doesn’t particularly like talking to anyone and doesn’t answer any questions about his entirely heartbreaking album of private agony “Dear…” and the prospect of performing his music in concert is entirely frightening to him as he only ever intended to give the songs he recorded to his best friend as a gift.
The album’s stark honesty and topics of isolation, lost love and vulnerability hit home to me more than any album I have listened to in my life, upset me more than any break up I’ve experienced and entirely crushed the air out of my lungs as when I first heard Keaton’s fragile yet powerful voice over his sparse, delicately finger picked melodies.
This is why Keaton Henson is my favourite artist.
Why don’t you listen to: Frightened Rabbit - Keep yourself warm
Frightened Rabbit set themselves apart from being just another folk-rock band from Glasgow with their rough-edged guitar jangle and dishearteningly honest lyricism with emotionally powerful delivery from their frontman, Scott Hutchison.
Often regarded as their masterpiece as it is viewed as a showpiece of Modern Scottish music, their second studio album, The Midnight Organ Fight, is described by Scott as being “quite relationshipy and a lot more intense” than their first album, Sing the Greys, as after the album was completed it took Scott around a month for him to be able to listen to it.
The album recieves astounding reviews and accolades from critics and musicians alike as Josh Model of the A.V Club states “it’s Hutchison’s utterly believable desperation and frank lyrics that push the whole thing from good to great. It doesn’t make for easy listening, but nothing this flatly honest and powerful ever is”. Death Cab for Cutie bassist, Nick Harmer considers the album his favourite release of 2008 and has stated “It’s lyrically perfect with words that hit you right in the heart. And coupled with Scott Hutchison’s vocals, the whole thing just kills me.”
Frightened Rabbit fun fact: The album title Midnight Organ Fight is a euphemism for sex.
Edgar Allan Poe, to me, will always be the best author, poet and most important member of the American romantic movement. The way he commands the reader, keeping them guessing and asking questions in his mysterious and macabre stories making them read more and more is second to none along with his tactics of using vagueness and lack of detail when concerning time and space.
His gothic work that is generally considering part of dark romanticism as a reaction to transcendentalism, which Poe considered to be “obscurity for obscurity’s sake”. Poe was also a writer of satire, humorous tales and hoaxes as well as being regarded for reinventing science fiction and writing about emerging technologies in “The Balloon-Hoax”. His work has inspired the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, who essentially wrote Poe fan mail as he sent him a sequel to his novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket called An Antarctic Mystery, also known as The Sphinx of the Ice Fields, and most recently the inspiration for the movie, Inception from his poem, A dream within a dream.
In popular culture he is thought of as a “mad genius” or “tormented artist” based on his writing (in part because of his use of first-person narration) and personal struggles.
A horror series will never top A Nightmare on Elm Street for me. Every one of them is pure gold. The social commentary the film provided on the fear of serial killers in the US in the 1980’s and as a reaction to the growing trend of families moving to suburbs and the perceived innocence of American suburbs, the character of Freddy fitting so well to fueling the fear of Parents not being able to protect their children. The theme of the loss of innocence, the way sexuality is presented through Freudian images with the way Tina’s death visually evokes rape and Freddy’s glove between Nancy’s legs in the bath scene and the fact that the original script actually called for Krueger to be a child molester, rather than a child killer and the editing of this in the 2010 remake to play to the recent fear of pedophiles in our society makes it quite possibly the best horror franchise of all time.
Horror films need to take a lesson from Wes Craven and make the genre more about fear again rather than just about gore.