From electronic dirges to orchestral masterpieces, from gothic balladry to mystical surrealism: here’s a whistlestop tour of Spellling, the musical artsist here to blow our minds.

Spellling is the stage name of San Francisco based artist Chrystia Cabral, who independently released her debut album, Pantheon of Me, in 2017. She then signed to Sacred Bones, where she has released two, near flawless records — 2019’s Mazy Fly and the recent The Turning Wheel. Over the course of just 3 albums, Spellling has transitioned from the mistress of doomy electronic goth-soul to a lofty, expansive pop maestro of almost mythological proportions…


For today’s Mandy In-Depth, I take a closer look at my second film Man Around the House — a surreal kitchen sink/home invasion hybrid. Expect Velcro, synthesizers and many a production blunder.

My favourite shot from Man Around the House, and what I wished I’d used for the thumbnail.

In October of 2020, 2 months after the release of The Bedsit Tapes, I started on a follow up. I ran through and scrapped a few ideas before landing on Man Around the House, a surreal home-invasion/kitchen sink hybrid. MATH cemented what I now retroactively call my ‘Isolation’ series, films about characters confined in small spaces alone, with only their thoughts to keep them company. Given that each…


Some know me as Joe, but most know me as Mandy Sweats — a surreal, drag adjacent abomination and short filmmaker. In this series, I’ll be explaining a little about each of my films, their influences and my creative process. Here, I go back to the first Mandy short I made — a creepy little black comedy about isolation, self-destruction, regret and mildew called ‘The Bedsit Tapes’.

Shot from The Bedsit Tapes — the mask was too big for my face, leading to this perfectly eery shot where it slid away from my eyes.

In the Summer of 2020, I was losing my mind. In fairness we all were, but I found myself alone in a basement flat in Leeds with no job, no friends, no money…


Instagram, on the surface, seems like it should be a dream platform for artists and activists alike — a captive audience, inbuilt sociability, and a clear focus on visual artistic expression. Then how come so many artists and activists are unhappy with the platform? The answer comes down to corporate greed.

Those of us who regularly use Instagram, whether for personal or professional reasons, will no doubt have seen a few infographics floating around that mention the Instagram ‘algorithm’. These nifty little posts generally consist of a few pictorials labelling each of the app’s engagement buttons — like, comment, share…


Valley of the Dolls is the ultimate ‘guilty pleausre’ movie — that you shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying!

I am a devotional fan of Nigella Lawson. Often when I tell people this, or when they meet me and I’m wearing my Nigella Lawson t-shirt, they assume I am being ironic. They underestimate the sort of deference a 24 year old man would have for a famous TV-chef, but I have the bookshelf — all of Nigella’s cookbooks, nestled alongside my Orwell and Ballard — to prove it. It is my love for Nigella has led to me considering why the concept of ‘ironic enjoyment’ aggravates me so much. There’s several conflicting notions at play here — is ironic…


From guerrilla style puppet shows, to punk rockers and club kids, subcultures have always sought avenues that allow for a more fiscally conservative approach. Whether it be to circumnavigate the pressures of arts funding, to rally against a capital driven society, or simply to try and create something out of nothing, there are many examples of cheap art that have fundamentally diverted art history.

With online mediums such as YouTube and Instagram dominating the amateur arts field, there has never been such a huge pressure on artists to spend a pretty penny in order to be seen. We aren’t just…


It’s the phrase that sends a shiver down the spine of many a prospective employee. But we are right to wary of the company that sells itself as ‘one big happy family’. Beneath the veneer of comfort and support, there lies a host of exploitative tactics that are driving us further into a capitalist nightmare.

As we all know, job interviews are a slog. Unless you’re applying for your dream job, job interviews can feel like a theatrical performance — rehearsing your lines, dressing the part, getting into the mindset of someone who genuinely loves meeting sales goals. It doesn’t…


My mum tells me that ever since I was about 8 years old, I always made it clear that I couldn’t wait to be an adult and live on my own. In my teenage years, that dream was compounded by a burgeoning obsession in queer media — tales of young queers running away from their small towns to the big city, finding their tribe and carving a niche in a fantastic, fabulous nightlife full of crazy and colourful characters. I devoured books such as City of Night by John Rechy and Dancer in the Dark by Andrew Holleran, classic pieces…


From chainsaw wielding psychopaths and Russian family dramas, to French provincial maidens and AIDS activists in 1980s Manhattan… I have managed to cover a lot of literary ground in 2020. Here, I compile the best of the best.

On New Year’s day, 2020, I set myself a challenge — to read 50 books over the course of the year, and write a little something about each one. When I set myself the challenge, I of course had not a slight inkling of what was to come. I predicted that I would not manage to reach my goal, but that I…


In a year where venues have been closed and dancefloors off-limits, it stings even more to sit and reflect on what has surely been an incredible year of music. Whether it be the swaggering disco-indebted returns, indie-pop masterpieces or uncompromising sonic adventures for unprecednetd times, music this year has seen a broad range of exceptional releases. This is my Top 10 albums of the year. I hope you enjoy!

Chaos and a Dancing Star — Marc Almond

Black Sunrise/Dreaming of Sea/The Crows Eyes Have Turned Blue

Joe Corr

Blending deep-dive analyses of popular culture, politics and gender studies with autobiographical anecdotes and opinions.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store