• Josh Hughes

THE CACTUS PARADOX: JANUARY ‘22 UPDATE



Hello there. Josh here. Happy new year to you all. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Firstly, I want to apologise. I’m sorry for leaving whoever gives a shit about this blog in the dark, but early October up until mid December was quite a horrid rollercoaster, akin to the one found in Final Destination 3. I was made homeless due to financial complications completely out of my control. I lost my friend to his battle with mental health. I’ve been to hell and back trying to sort my shit out, but I’ve come back a lot stronger and more determined than ever to make this work. Writing about music this past year has produced some of my happiest moments in years. The tingles down my spine when I hear an absolute rammer that’s yet to be released, the serotonin that leaks out of my brain when a musician has done something incredible with a chorus or melody, the passionate thumping on my desk when I feel like I’ve found one of my new favourite artists; it’s all been delivered to me by writing. Even typing this sombre update out on my phone over the month of January makes me excited to sit back down at my desk. My only downfall is probably overpromising and trying to do a lot of stuff when, behind the scenes, I already had multiple fires to put out, and I'm sorry for promising so much and delivering so little. All I can promise for 2022 is that I will do better.


Even with the debut year for TCP being a rocky one for sure, it’s achieved a lot in just under 12 months. We reviewed EPs and albums through request, leading to us get inundated with submissions over on SubmitHub from all over the world. We did our first interview and didn’t completely stuff it up, so we’ll be doing more of those. The chicken wing reviews have been a hit, with multiple people asking for more, so there’s more of that on the way. Halloweezer was a bigger success than we could’ve ever imagined, so plans are in the works to make next year even bigger and better. But personally, the biggest achievement was our Fresh Meat series. Many artists that we featured contacted shortly after articles went live to let us know that they’d had a few sales on Bandcamp or they noticed a few more streams than usual. It means the world to be able to write about tunes from around the globe, but even more to know that the blog has had an impact on how their music is being consumed, even if it's just a couple of sales.



So what's coming in 2022, except for the aforementioned interviews, wings and spooky Weezer happenings? Firstly, Fresh Meat and Vinyl Retrospective will be sticking around, coming at least once a month but they're open to being as frequent as life allows them to be. The record collection has become sizeable, so there's plenty to go through! There's also a backlog of discussion pieces and mini essays that have been brewing since last year, so expect those to appear sporadically across this year. As for the first posts of 2022, there's a mammoth Top 100 Songs of 2021 on its way very soon, and there will also be a look at the films I watched in the year. Secondly, the Patreon will actually have stuff on it this year, but the higher tiers are being scrapped. Instead, it'll be one low price for all of the revised incentives, so you can support the blog without missing out on anything. Finally, we'll be stepping back from promoting gigs for the time being. It's an absolute passion to put on shows, but I've decided to focus more on my own band Thunder and the Giants for 2022. After everything that's gone, I need to sink my teeth in and push what I eventually want to be my career. Moving forward, I'm open to putting the occasional show on, and trust me when I say that Halloweezer II is going to be a big one, but I'm otherwise on promoter hiatus.


That all being said, it looks like 2022 is finally the year. We all thought 2021 would be it, but it was very much the year of gathering ourselves together, shaking off the cobwebs and cracking our knuckles, ready for a bombastic year. I, for one, am happier than I've been in years, and I thank each and every person who's been by my side during the rough times.

Viva la The Cactus Paradox!



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