Volume 1, Issue 2 – Oct 2017

Riffs: Experimental writing on popular music 

Issue 1 Vol. 2, October 2017

A song can be about anything

About peace or war, or the sins of industry

Or the discontents of fame, or of obscurity

Or how we first met, on the warmest day

And how I hadn’t planned to love someone until you came

Or how we survived on happiness and sleeping on the floor

Or how you used to love me but you don’t even know me anymore 

– Dan Wilson, ‘A Song Can Be About Anything’ from Love Without Fear


Editorial – Simon Barber (Birmingham City University)

Dropping Pebbles – Brian David Stevens

Mimesis (1, 2 & 3) – Tom Pierard (The Eastern Institute of Technology, New Zealand)

About About: A Songwriter’s perspective – Tom Wilson (Royal Holloway College, UK)

UNBROKEN CHAINS: the fascination of psychedelia with bicycles and the long strange trips that ensued – Camila Asia (London South Bank University, UK)


El Tren Fantasma: A Familiar Journey into Unknown Narratives – Fiamma Mozzetta (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)

Bone Machine (1992). What the hell is Tom Waits singing about? – Adriano Tedde (Griffiths University, Australia)

How can you sing a song if you have no voice? Disabled musicians, activism, technology, and the authenticity of creativity – Leon Clowes (University of Huddersfield, UK)

Aotearoa: Picturing the lyrics of the land – Katie Rochow (Wellington University, New Zealand)