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.
𝘾𝙖𝙨𝙝 𝙈𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙮 𝙃𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙮 - 𝙂𝙧𝙖𝙮𝙨𝙤𝙣 𝙁𝙤𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧
Charles counts his pennies and considers his class. Being broke in the music industry...
As hierarchy, status and class dissolve fast, one vulgar thing unites us all. I speak not of “All You Need Is Love” by Ringo and his mates, but actually of “All You Need Is Cash” by their spoof tribute, The Rutles. It all used to be about class and social standing, here in Britain, regardless of wealth. I gather that in the Ewe Ess of Ay, these are synonymous with money. They come as a package. Traditionally in Britain it had always been about background and ancestry. If one was born into an aristocratic family, that person would be an aristocrat. If one was born into a working class family in a mining town, that person would probably continue the line. Although there is now much considered wrong with this, there was usually comfort in understanding one’s way of life. People were usually pretty happy with their status - one knew one’s place - except for the muddy middle muddle, which has always been lost. I am one of those middlians. Striving for no apparent reason, other than the feeling that it is what I am supposed to do. Modern Britain, along with most of the rest of the world, now makes it simpler. The richer you are, the more successful you are, and therefore the better you are. Money, cash, spondulicks, dollars, pounds, yen and the feebly and unimaginatively named Euro - call it what you will - it runs and rules our lives now. It is everything. And I hate to say this. It should be love, happiness and contentment, but it is pounds, shillings and pence, with emphasis on the larger denomination. We even see it in music. Pop songs used to be about love, but increasingly they are about fame and fortune. Money “Can’t Buy Me Love” - true, but it can buy me just about everything else. Even I wrote a song - Tap When You’re Ready - about contactless payment - God help me - where a spoilt woman wants to know the man is with her at all times, just in order for him to plonk down his card whenever something might pique her fancy (listen on our brand new NAS Rarities, Oddities and B-sides playlist). Money is everywhere. Nay, money is talked about everywhere. It has become less about greed and more about need. The struggle and the compulsion. Long gone are the days of simple subsistence. And don’t get me on to money in the music industry. The Small Faces had it right, with “All Or Nothing”.
Let’s move away from this lowering notion but stay on topic. Money’s mention in music. In good music. Grayson Foster released his latest single earlier this month, Cash Money Honey. Grayson says it like it is. At least how it is for me and many others in the music industry. We dream of better days and higher times; of going places and living a carefree life of joy and sunshine. The ongoing daydream in hope, as we try to make this come true. But that we are regularly tripped back into reality. Standard life costs money. A lot of money, in the form of bills. And sometimes, it can be tough. This constant reminder is what brings us down. The hefty and absurd chunk of dosh that disappears monthly, for a roof over one’s head. All of this can be heavy and somewhat overbearing, but Grayson somehow makes it comforting in his warm indie sound with a sprinkling of country. The Nashville based singer/songwriter takes on a sound not too dissimilar to fellow NAS artist, Skinny Dippers - coincidentally, Grayson started his musical journey at college in a band called The Dipping Skinnies…! Foster keeps it cosy and mellow, fond and familiar. His grasp of melody is natural, and comforting in the knowledge that he will take us where we didn’t know we wanted to go. Effortless rises bring hope and life to an already satisfying song. There is such positivity in this bouncy plod. I say plod, because of the satisfyingly mixed ever-present snare. Almost as if that drum is the constant reminder of our need for money, in the form of a persistent poke.
Grayson is going about pop in the right way. Familiarity, warmth, simplicity, common relatable topics, catchy melodies, beautiful sound and impeccable mixing. What more could one want from a pop song? There is a noble braveness in his upbeat determination to keep going with the struggle in music, with the strong belief that the riches will eventually flow, and he will be allowed and able to enjoy the beautiful side of life. The side that used to cost only pennies but is now a great deal.
My favourite part of the song is a mere 6 seconds long. It comes at the 1:30 mark and consists of almost Simon & Garfunkel-style harmonies, made special by appearing only once.
Broke or not, Grayson retains his class, style and dignity.
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