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.
𝘾𝙤𝙡𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙤𝙛 𝙒𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙧 - 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙖𝙛𝙚𝙩𝙮 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙙
Charles makes it clear…
You remember when people used to use Facebook to document their entire life in public? Sorry: you remember when people used to use Facebook? It was rather ahead of its time. And believe it or not, it still exists today! I know, impossible but it’s true. Still sitting there with its dated blue and white F logo. This logo is regularly redesigned for millions of dollars, but as with most redesigns, no one notices. Because no one cares. Because people don’t use it anymore. But in the noughties, oh MY it was popular. Went on a bit of a bender last night? Stick the embarrassing photos up on Facebook in the morning, for the world to see! Or even direct from the drinking hole itself! I’ll tag myself with my exact location right now so that everyone can stalk me - a splendid idea and a wise use of technology. Playing “Words With Friends” (poor man’s Scrabble) on Facebook with someone on the other side of the world who you met once at a party - bafflingly brilliant. Status: “feelin groggy heres a pic of my puppy she looks so warm i wish i was that fluffy”. We actually wrote this guff, as if anyone would care. But hey, it was new! It was the beginning of the modern era. I believe some even still do this - God help them. The problems started arising when they introduced something called Relationship Status… What a dangerous little info box this was. In a relationship. Single. Engaged. Marred. Sorry, Married. And then there was the classic: “It’s complicated”. This screwed with everyone. It was so clever, yet so detrimental to so many. Lover’s tiff? “I’m changing my relationship status” - NOOOOOOO!!!! - said the partner. “It is NOT complicated, I beg you! It is oh so simple. I love you and you love me! How is that complicated??”… But the thing is, this little info box was a feast for the gossipmongers. “Ooh, did you see Lucy’s changed her status to It’s complicated. I know! I thought they were going to be together forever!”. Suddenly something so private was there for the world to see. Well, the mini world that cared at all. It only made things far more complicated than they already were (probably not complicated at all). A live real-life soap opera.
But things have changed. We’re now pretty much doing the complete opposite. The world around us is complicated in different ways as we try to seek safety in privacy.
“Get your filthy paws off me, Zuckerberg, I don’t know where you’ve been!”
"Ah, but I know where YOU'VE been", the creepy man replies...
Social media as a whole is now basically a large advertising platform for anything and everything, or it is used to try to gain followers, views and likes. An arbitrary number system that has no meaning and equals exactly zero, yet because it is considered that numbers going up is a positive thing, people seem to care. Obsessively. Some people. Others though, tend to hide away. They had their fling with Facebook, they put up some retro snaps on Instagram, and now they live life as a hermit. For fear that someone might steal their identity. I am, I suppose, talking about people of a certain age - probably my age. Older people probably weren’t too into Facebook in the first place, or recently picked it up, thinking it is the height of fashion. Younger people laugh at how archaic it was and is. But the middle ones are uncomfortable. Stuck in limbo, being neither old nor young. Being a bit part of the old way, and a bit part of the new way, but never fully immersed in either. Just drifting, slightly scared like a log on occasionally choppy water. Sometimes we roll and get a bit wet, but we’re not ever really fully submerged. But neither are we bone dry. Fear is a common feeling among my generation. Fear that the old days have almost gone, and the new days are simply not so bright, but actually rather dangerous. We simply crave safety.
Going back to nature, I sit on the grass and stare out at the still water. It is both calm and calming. Simple knees. Needs, sorry. Peace and unchanging surroundings. Complications float away, as if I am watching another poor deserted log on its pointless little journey to nowhere. Because most complication is needless and easily helped. But still I stare at this water. It is brown. Leaning over the edge (carefully), I cup a handful then recycle it back to whence it came by splaying my fingers. It was simple. It was not complicated. It did as I expected it to. It did not hover midway nor rise to the sky. It plonked back down into the rest of its pool. But it was also not brown. It was the colour of my hand. Except for the droplet on my jacket, which was the same colour as my jacket. Oh, if only everything could be this clear. If only there was no hidden agenda and life could be as translucent as it used to be. I suppose there’s always music…
For there is, always music. While the industry remains a cold, hard business (getting colder and harder), the heart of the idea remains the same. A way for artists to express themselves in a musical way, with the simultaneous hope of earning a living by it. To give us all musical treats. And ‘GIVE’ truly is the right word these days. Gone are the days of paying for music. And almost gone are the days of artists making a living from it. Artists slave over a hot stove for weeks, in order to prepare this complimentary feast for our very own delectation. May I present to you this week’s founder of the feast: The Safety Word. This Australian duo has caught my ear many a time with previous releases of theirs, but they have never quite managed to find themselves in my Corner. That is, until now. Feel the duvet-clad safety of their brand new release, Colour of Water, and let your mind drift downstream.
Although Josh Rousvanis and Simon Quinn tend to opt for more synth-wave pop based renditions, they have gone for an altogether more subtle, more dreamy landscape this time. Think modern retro lo-fi meets late 90s/early 00s trip hop, but still keeping their quintessential melodies and hooks intact. After the initial gorgeously warm and mellow synth intro, so stripped of vibrato it feels as though it is coming from within a dream, the vocal enters, drenched in an eerie rainy reverb. It is a voice so fragile and weary. I cannot work out if this song is cold and bleak, or cosy and warm. It really is kind of both. But up to this point it feels perhaps like one is sheltering from danger and is genuinely safe, but not somewhere particularly homely. Of course safety is paramount, right? A little like coming back from war; you are wrecked and exhausted, and there is little left, but you are still alive. The brightest beat smashes in to give the whole place a wave in tempo. A groove. Followed by THE HOOK! So simple, yet SO effective, and so affecting. It is haunting with its “Give it time, give it time” refrain. Glorious in a heartbreaking sort of a way.
As the chorus is whipped and smoothed to a neat finish, the beats become subdued and truly lo-fi, as though we have found a chamber below in which to cower. Subtle inspired synth motifs show their beady red eyes from the corner, occasionally flying from one side to the other like bats. But we are safe here, I am sure. I’ve got it! An opium den! THAT’S what this song makes me think of. Ahem. What I assume one to be like. As one’s body sweats and is unusable, the mind is in a state of euphoric bliss. One doesn’t mind the bats; one simply observes them until they become part of one’s consciousness. The overall sound is crisp and bright, yet with such depth and layers in a darker substance. Complexity wrapped in a foil of simplicity. A disguise to hide one’s real feelings, for they are too dark for the outside world. Let me stew for a bit in order to find myself. But first, I must lose myself; away from others. Give it time.
A truly moving song that could easily pass you by if you don’t give it the attention it deserves. On first listen it might appear as “a nice little lo-fi tune”, but as you let it drift over you for a while it becomes something rather special. And my God, you will be humming that refrain for a while, believe me. I think it’s the honesty that floats to the surface here. And speaking of cover art (I’m sure someone was), this has got to be the first time I truly love an A.I. piece of artwork as a single's cover. Or at least, I assume it is A.I. Very much reminiscent of Björk’s Biophilia artwork. Colour of Water really has made such a confusing impression on me, being hot and cold, simple and complex, rich and stark, positive and negative, yet I feel I have formed a relationship with this song. Which reminds me: I must rush to Facebook…
Relationship Status: It’s complicated.
Listen to 𝘾𝙤𝙡𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙤𝙛 𝙒𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙧 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
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