“Solastalgia” and the sound of the 2020s

Rafael Anton Irisarri is a bit of a legend in the world of “dark ambient” music. I return to his album Solastalgia (Bandcamp link, streaming links) often because it so perfectly describes the 2020s vibe for me:

Solastalgia is a neologism, formed by the combination of the Latin words sōlācium (comfort) and the Greek root -algia (pain, suffering, grief), that describes a form of emotional or existential distress caused by environmental change.

More on the origins of the word:

The word was coined by philosopher Glenn Albrecht in his 2005 article Solastalgia: a new concept in human health and identity. He describes it as “the homesickness you have when you are still at home” and your home environment is changing in ways you find distressing.

And if you want to know what it sounds like without listening to it first, the album cover art will give you a pretty good idea:

Rian van der Merwe Elezea // The B-Sides