Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙈𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙝𝙞𝙥𝙨 - 𝘼𝙧𝙣𝙤𝙡𝙙𝙤’𝙨 𝙇𝙞𝙯𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙨
Charles has a birthday - of sorts - and so will blether on even longer than usual.
We all have a birthday. It is something we ALL have in common, bar none. But how many of you can boast two…? Aside from the Queen, of course… Would it surprise you to learn that I have two? Yes indeedy. Well okay, this isn’t exactly true. Today marks a rather special occasion. My 50th review! All right then: more of a landmark figure. But wait, there’s more. Due to a little break we all had from the internet at Christmas and New Year, this actually marks the one year anniversary of Connolly’s Corner, despite this not being number 52. And so lies the reason I have two birthdays. Okay, fine, I have one birthday. But you get my point. I cannot imagine how many words I’ve written, but certainly more than enough to fill the largest pamphlet ever known to man. ‘Pamphlet’ is, and will always be a very silly word indeed. “I’ve got to see the doctor about my pamphlet”, “Our special of the day is a delectable side of roast pamphlet”, “Two squirts of our patented spray is enough to get rid of the pamphlet growing on your shower curtain”, “The Impossible Case of Mr. Pamphlet”… And so you have seen the kind of nonsense with which I fill these reviews, week in, week out. Maybe a somewhat individual and possibly ridiculous way of writing about music, but nevertheless, to quote Sinatra, “I did it My Way”.
How many brand new tracks have I intently (and intensely) listened to? One or two. Maybe even a few. Actually, no doubt thousands. But I could only ever pick one a week. The greatest unsigned, unknown artists from the New Artist Spotlight have been my life for a year. I have barely listened to anything else! There is barely the need. How many hours have I thinked (let me), pondered and wandered? Before having started writing these reviews, I had never written a word of anything in my life - except lyrics. I’m not even sure why I started or why anyone wanted me to start. But I did, and they did. And I am very pleased indeed. I love having the pressure of writing a review every single week. I am naturally lazy. Can’t I just sit and enjoy the music? Can’t I just slack off this week and do bugger all in the sunshine? And after every review - no matter how I was feeling beforehand - I am content. That feeling of having achieved something. But coming back to my unanswered question: how many hours have I spent on these reviews? One or two. Maybe even a few. Actually, no doubt hundreds. I always make a point of keeping it a surprise for the artist. Many are delighted. Most are pleased. Some are satisfied. And the rest, I have yet to hear from…! But I do what I do with a doo-doo-doo - to coin a phrase. Like Led Zeppelin, I ‘Ramble On’.
There is quality in music - or not, as the case may be - but the way I choose a song is basically purely subjective. What I really like. This may not seem fair to some, but there is really no other way. Art cannot be graded. What I cannot stand could be your preferred tipple. And what I adore, you might think is pretentious, cacophonous rubbish - not that we would EVER have such a thing on the New Artist Spotlight…! My “job” is simply to bring further awareness to certain tracks by certain artists, in an ever-growing field of perfect poppies. Apologies. I just called you all perfect poppies. The good news about myself being chosen for the role, is that I have a rather eclectic taste in music, and so am able to review all sorts of genres. Therefore I am not just stuck trying to find the greatest songs within my preferred style of indie-alt-jazz-metal-hyper-baroque-finger-neofolk-rap-Byzantine-cottonsticks, in the key of grey. Not to say I am rare in having a wide and varied taste in music, I simply got here first. So HA!
Now the sunstruck ticker-tape parade has crossed over into the feeling of evening, let’s REALLY get this party started. How’s about a review for your delectation, hm? For old times’ sake? Well I’m going to do it anyway, because “it’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to”. You would cry too, if it happened to you… Despite these quotes from ancient songs, I am not an old man. I was just brought up less like a son and more like the best friend of an ancient man and an ancient woman. Right. Enough joshing. ON to the music - tah-ran tah-rah (go the bugles)!
Two of the latest cool cats in town strut their stuff and make one thing clear: they know what they’re doing. They slice through the warm air with a rocking disco beat that slams. A faceless drummer grooves like meerkat - bopping its head to the tempo of the kick. Jack Dimensions (frankly the coolest name in the world) is at the helm on our left. He digs in to the fat bass strings while bopping in a similar vein to the meerkat. His face is screwed up to the lips, as though he is trying to release a string of meat from between his teeth. This is a good look in music. From our right, Alvare Goco - our leading lady - sways and swaggers to centre stage. The cordless microphone lollops by her thigh, bracing itself before inevitably being catapulted towards a pair of red lips at the ready. Please welcome tonight’s star of the show, Arnoldo’s Lizards, with the lead track from their debut album, Satanic Attack or Divine Punishment. The song is called Motherships. No jokes about my mother’s hips, thank you very much.
Last week, we went to Argentina. Well I liked it so much, I stayed there, and have decided to bring you all back with me (I’m paying). Alongside Mr. Guazzelli (from last week’s review), Jack and Alvare are two of the best musicians Argentina is lucky enough to have. No more background, let’s get back to the music. The lights are flashing, the crowd is dancing and seemingly only semi-sober. The fast analog synth floats with purpose, chicaning around each of the wide-eyed spectators. The full fat clean and determined guitar chops its way through any nonsense in a funky fashion. The slide guitar heightens the energy as it raises in pitch. Time to release that mic and let the synth take a breather. What a VOICE!! Such gusto! There is something of the old English folk about Alvare’s holler. But there is also something French, something Spanish and all backed by something American. There is a richness and honesty in her voice. She copies no one. It is contemporary and insistent, yet also brings back a see-saw of straight/warble from Debbie Harry and even Edith Piaf!
A tremolo synth rigged to 16th notes brings reinforcement to the pulse and rhythm in the verse two. Soon after the second minute we switch from minor to major for a chorus, and Abba is reborn, to an extent, maybe with a sprinkle of Blondie. But at around 2:40, oh MY! A change that I truly did not see coming. Straight-out heavy prog rock! Guitars in unison with an elaborate melody line, synth waves of all shapes spiral one another like a strand of DNA, as the meerkat thrashes like a long-haired dude. The disco vibe is not happy to have been usurped, and somehow manages to sneak back in. They find that they can co-exist in harmony - as it were. Funky times back a full-on tapped guitar solo, complete with some subtle whammy-bar heaven and just the right amount of feedback. We go in for a final uplifting chorus - Jack and Alvare resting shoulder to shoulder as the audience stomp their tired feet like they’ve been told it’s the last song they’re ever allowed to dance to, and the grass beneath them has been very naughty indeed.
As the sun sets, a dusty smoke rises from the trampled blades of yellow-green. The show is over and all are satisfied. What better way to feel at the end of a birthday celebration? The three of us are sipping bottled beer around what seems like a small table, but in actual fact is a bass drum on its side - skin up. We look up and contemplate the stars. It turned out there were 50 of them. What a beautiful coincidence.
Happy birthday 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿! I couldn’t have spent it with a lovelier bunch of people. Jack, Alvare and all of you at the New Artist Spotlight.
Here’s TO ya, Ed (Mr. Eagle)! You made it all happen. Mucho love.
Listen to 𝙈𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙝𝙞𝙥𝙨 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
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Have a read of all my reviews HERE!
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