Hi, I'm Clara. I'm a music critic, and on Sunday 12th June, I tore my eardrum.

On Tuesday, I wanted to listen to gloomy pop music. Particularly, I wanted to listed to 'Outdoor Miner' by Wire.

There are two reasons for this. First, I had got up at 6am that day to have time to stand pointing a hairdryer at the still-damp patches on the only smart dress I own. I'd put it through the wash the night before, having suddenly remembered in one clammy, horrible moment that I was due to attend a work event held at the Canadian Embassy the next day. I arrived at work, tired and wearing a dress whose fabric had gone kind of crispy, to quietly learn when the office iCal opened that I had got the date of the event wrong. I felt like wallowing.

Second, a few weeks before the perforation, my friend Tom Clayton had made me a stonkingly good mix CD of post-punk songs, so I had that music as a first point of reference in my mind when I found myself hankering for something swoopy and marshy I could listen too to get a sense of privacy.

Do you know what I mean by gloomy-pop? It's pop music in that it's heavily structured, but it's got an irony to it. This summary would fit all indy pop, so to distinguish further, the subset of gloomy pop does structure and self-awareness over guitars rather than xylophones. Rather than biting lyrics over sweet and twee tunes, it's biting lyrics over soft guitar. 'Outdoor Miner' is exactly this. The opening is what I would play were I looking for an archetypal song to use to teach a seminar on indy pop. It zzhuzhes you up as though some pop-punk is coming, then slides into rhythm and jangle and defeat and humour in one 3-second descent.

I like remembering the line from it, "He lies on his side/ Is he trying to hide/ The fact its the earth that he's known since birth?" I suppose I've often lain on my side, trying to feel cool and separate from whatever has just happened to me, rather than self-conscious and involved. Often as a subset of feeling awful and embarrassed and drunk.

So, today marks another case of finding the connection between my life and what I wanted to listen too obvious. I felt embarrassed about having organised my life around an event that wasn't happening. I didn't feel ready to laugh with my colleagues about it yet, or even chat to them. I wanted to metaphorically "lie on my side" and feel separate from the whole thing. But I couldn't; I'm only 2 bloody days into my 30-day headphone ban. I had to join in with the world right away and talk about the office Euros sweepstake. I've got Germany.