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

On Monday night I went straight home from work to discuss the latest developments in my housing crisis with my flatmate. Our lease is up for renewal, and the landlord is trying to increase the rent. Last year around this time the landlord in question told us we could stay for the same amount as the year previous. He emailed us a contract, which we signed and sent back to him, which he told us that he had also signed. Three days before the old contract was due to end and the new, identical contract was due to kick in, he rang to tell us that we had to leave as he had found someone else who would pay more money for the flat. After we incredulously replied that we had signed a contract to stay for a year, he calmly held it up and said, 'but I didn't'. He had taken the copies we signed away, used them as evidence of what he could get for the flat as a minimum to show his financial backers, and continued to look for someone else for the flat who could pay more.

Far too poor and unconnected to even consider getting a lawyer, and facing homelessness when we both had job commitments in London to honour, my flatmate and I negotiated to stay for one year on the condition of paying a rent increase equal to that he had secured from other potential tenants. We assumed that considering the horrible injustice and sick-making anxiety that dealing with him last year caused, this year we'd be getting the hell out of there. But then we started looking around and realised how impossible living in London is in general.

My landlord story isn't the worse I've heard. My flatmate Dan knows someone in London who had a chunk of their bathroom roof blow off. His landlord didn't even cough up for a tarpaulin, so for the month remaining of the lease the tenant toiletted beneath open skies. Rumour has it that at one low point he was literally snowed on in the shower. He is said to have comforted himself with the idea that the whole thing was a perfectly formed miniature of the state of London in general – attempting to wash off snow while it's still snowing; attempting to build a life in a place where the conditions of basic financial survival provide such continual struggle that it's impossible to build towards anything because you're so consumed with the daily rat race.

Living in London has given me more moments of brilliance than anywhere else that I've lived, more lights-popping-behind-my-eyes level good gigs, more interesting one-off encounters with new people from all over the world, but the expense and the uncertainty it causes makes it difficult to ever feel at home. There's a lot of the slow brilliance of making secure homes and friendships that you miss here. Sometimes, you get bored of novelty.

I blame myself for living a life of so many high-octane but dead-end experiences. I forget that this condition in general because the culture in this city is to appear deeply calm at all times. Unruffled, secure enough to enjoy fun rather than so stressed you resent it. I get frustrated with myself, that I've not managed to save up enough initial cash-flow to pay the fresh deposit and contract fees involved in moving into one of the odd places I've found that would overall be cheaper for me and allow me to live better, live easier. For finding myself again attempting to negotiate with a man who openly lied to us. I feel like at my age if I'm fucked up it should be because of seeking joy too hard. Drinking too much, doing too many free-time projects, loving too hard. I quietly feel a sense of failure that the stress that’s fucking me up is about seeking an inaccessible stability. I'm chronically anxious about council tax. I feel like I am bad at being young.

Later, after my crisis discussion with my flatmate she returned to her room to have a slow cigarette, and I returned to mine to calm down with loud music. Then I remembered that I can't do that anymore. So I lay on the floor watching dust motes and thought about loud music instead. About the album Alopecia by Why?.

Why? are funny. They're wordy too, and self-deprecating. There's definitely a lot of millennial 'what the fuck am I doing with my life' sentiment there. A tonne of good bands have that. What made me think of Why? is that in the stories that they tell, the young protagonists don't necessarily not have their shit together because they're out on the lash every night. Sometimes they don't have it together because they've been staying in too much, both taking themselves too seriously and procrastinating. That age-old trope of the perfectionist deadbeat. The painfully polite protagonist of 'Strawberries' reminisces about every time he might've ever been rude: "the things I said to hotel managers haunt me." I don't know Why? personally, but my inkling is that their music has come from a group of people whose parents aren't paying their council tax for them. They make me feel not-alone in having all my fuck-ups not be the fun story kind.

Lead singer Yoni Wolf has a sleepy, nasal singing voice with an evident cockiness about it, and in equal measure, and evident artifice to that cockiness because of what he's singing about. That his macho puff and bluster are only there to cover desperation and defensiveness couldn't be clearer. Why? make sweet, carefree sound laid under words about secretly caring too much. They summarise the sentiments of my social group. We're struggling, but yeah of course we're chill, haha, lol.