Our own Ronan released an album. Ronan is lyricist for Josephmooon. You can read the story of their distributed collaboration on their blog:
Here’s the story.
Early in 2020, as a pandemic encouraged people around the world to “stay home,” Josephmooon was created as a stage name and music project for the lyrics by Ronan Boren.
Ronan is autistic, and his imagination is vast, as revealed in the songs featured on the debut josephmooon album, “So Far So Good,” released on October 1, 2021, on all digital download and streaming platforms.
The lyrics are Ronan’s, edited and set to music by his music teacher, Bill Paige. The recordings were created at Rocky Head Studios in Hua Hin, Thailand, where Bill currently lives. Joining the Josephmooon team to make the music are the studio proprietors – Ronnie Nice, 17 years old, who has framed the songs with a fresh but familiar rock aesthetic, playing guitars, bass, drums, and producing. He has been taught well by his father, Ian Nice, a respected U.K. studio musician and solo artist who has recorded his own version of the Josephmooon song, “Every Right Now.”
Source: Josephmooon – “So Far So Good”
These songs resonate with my autistic, bipolar, and disabled life. I’m super excited to add them to my favorite playlist, Chronic Neurodivergent Depressed Queer Punk: Punk Rock, the Social Model of Disability, and the Dream of the Accepting Community, where they will become part of my everyday coping.
Listen for free on the Josephmooon website, purchase in their shop, listen on Spotify, listen on Apple Music, and order on iTunes.
Listen now, and then read ‘The Neurodivergent Experience in Josephmooon’s “So Far So Good”‘ over at Stimpunks for my interpretation of these songs and how they resonate with my life as a neurodivergent and physically disabled person. They cover such ground as intense interests, insomnia, rumination, and spoon theory. I share lyrics from each song and relate them to my own, and the broader, neurodivergent experience using selected quotes from community writing. Excerpts:
One of The Five Neurodivergent Love Languages is listening to someone infodump. “Floats Boat” is an invitation to infodump about your SpIns.
“Floats Boat” offers a “sign of caring and friendship to encourage someone to talk to you about their SpIn.” It also offers subversion.
“One Word” reminds me of a high school crush I could never talk to because of the tidal immensity of exposure anxiety and rejection sensitive dysphoriaand the resulting situational mutism in their presence.
Rejection sensitivity and exposure anxiety generate a lot of regrets and rumination on those regrets. My regrets come as flashbacks that travel in an instant from the long ago to “right now right now don’t you know.”
“Long Ago” captures my yearning to unhook from rumination on what can’t be changed and live in the present. “Now is now and not forever.”
Up All Night
Insomnia is a research priority for autistic communities. At Stimpunks, we keep the hour-of-the-wolf.
Out of Tune
Feeling out of tune with myself and the world has been a fixture of my autistic, bipolar life. “Out of Tune” resonates broadly across neurodivergent experience. It makes me cry.
It concludes hopefully, though.
I could interpret this as being about depression and reactivity, but I’ll let it stand as a good old-fashioned outlaw murder ballad.
“Busybodies” reminds me of the “Make it Stop” campaign.
In the video, an autistic student navigates a gauntlet of questions and sensory overwhelm.
There are entire industries of Busybodies pathologizing neurodivergent life, applying bad framing, asking the wrong questions, and “talking trash about me and probably about you too”.
High in the Sky
I love that second verse. It’s a flash of the autistic sense of justice. I often want to disassociate from a bomb dropping world that is way too intense.
Avoiding meltdown and burnout requires managing sensory diet, and sometimes that means retreating into your head and heading High Up in the Sky, detaching from an intense world designed against you.
“Cost Time” speaks directly to chronic spoonie life. Spoon theory is a popular metaphor for energy expenditure in the disability community.
“Reusable Money” is a rollicking fantasy about having as much money as you can spend and traveling the world.
Beneath that, though, I feel the weight of our journey fighting for scraps in systems designed on “artificial economies of scarcity“.
I’ll reach for a neurodiversity angle by saying: I would not belong in the Stone Age either. I need my computer. It connects me with other cloudy ice folks who “help me sing my song”.
So Far So Good
Here at Stimpunks, we live in a Cavendish bubble of respite that is designed by neurodivergents, for neurodivergents.
We’ve been living So Far So Good within a remit of inclusion, access, and constancy.
But wolves are at the door in this world of time.