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.
𝘿𝙤𝙣’𝙩 𝘾𝙖𝙧𝙚 - 𝙋𝙖𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙠 𝘼𝙝𝙡𝙢
Charles is all caught up…
The following piece is simply my views and my views only. It says nothing about the New Artist Spotlight and its views (of which it has none). I promised myself I wouldn’t talk about the war. But since it was only a promise to myself, I don’t feel too guilty for breaking it.
War is everywhere right now. And it seems we are all in the thick of it. I don’t really care whose side you’re on, or what your stance is. I only really care about innocent people. The good. The harmless. The defenceless. What did sweet little Aaliyah do to us? And what about the unassuming Mr. Cohen? Governments make decisions, not people. People have pretty much no say in anything. So why persecute and attack the people? The second you stand up for a certain side, you are lighting a fire. An unstoppable fire that burns no evil. Only good. We all have views and thoughts on things, but others will have opposing views. This is where things can start to get difficult and even nasty. The goal of this current newsworthy war should not be about revenge. Neither should it be about analysis of who is right or who is wrong. We are talking about people, here. Human life. The single most important commodity. The goal should be, to end war, not life. You see, the governments, the media, the protesters, they seem all to care so deeply, but in actual fact it’s a different story. Governments care about principles (not in Britain, however). The media cares about readership figures. Protesters care about rights. Actually, protesters care about protesting. But “care” is a soft word. A fond word. A DEEP word. These three sides of government, media and protesters seem more about greed and vulgarity. They don’t CARE.
The unfortunate thing about war, is that no one wants it, yet it is kinda necessary when in dire straits. Leaders cannot chat over a cup of tea and have an amicable agreement written up by the time the tea dregs are visible. As much as people say this over the years, talking doesn’t solve the problems. Greed and megalomania are stronger than words. And so it always comes down to the usual. War. But war brings casualties of innocent people. It just does. That’s what’s so awful about it.
I am not Jewish. I am not Palestinian. I do not live in Israel. Its history is long and complicated. I have no ties to either side of the “quarrel”. This goes for most of the population of the world. So why involve yourself? Is it cowardly to step back and watch it happen? Is it insulting to either side of the conflict? Not involving oneself does not mean you don’t care. Say I were to somehow involve myself. What good could come of that? I would only endanger myself, and perhaps others. For the sake of humanity, we need not to involve ourselves with things that don’t concern us. Didn’t our mothers used to say something similar? This is the first time that nations all over the world have been heavily split in opinion, WITHIN each nation. This can create civil wars on a global scale, with every country battling with itself. It just isn’t healthy, or civil, to say the least. The biggest danger this time around, is that people these days seem uninformed and unknowledgeable. They just angrily take sides without really knowing what they’re shouting about. People like to follow the crowd these days. But now, there are two crowds. Both with red in their eyes. And when you add the modern arrogant, aggressive nature of people these days, this can only lead to bad things.
No one truly cares about you. Only YOU do. Whether true or not, it’s better to think like this, because then you can make the most of your life, and this way you’ll ultimately be happier. Sometimes it is perhaps better not to care. To force yourself not to care, and just get on with your own life. To simply concentrate on making yourSELF happy. Not meaning you should be selfish or callous towards anyone else - quite the opposite, in fact. Be happy, be good, do your own thing, and be you. Make do with what you have, and keep your chin up.
Speaking of keeping your chin up, let us turn now to music. An altogether satisfying way to escape and shut off the outside world. It is time for Sweden’s Patrik Ahlm to be your balm. To soothe, to heal, to charm. Sometimes in life we hit rock bottom. Where we don’t care about anything or anyone, and seemingly no one cares about us. We feel like mere forgotten blips in the ever-evolving story of the Universe. In such times, we constantly dwell on it all. Just everything. Overthinking the world and our own. Despair is a deep, dark thing best avoided. And sometimes it’s almost impossible to avoid. But talking can help. Speaking one’s mind about oneself can truly make one see everything more clearly, as if it’s all there on paper. Patrik has done just this on his brand new release, Don’t Care. Bear in mind this man is not a native English speaker. Now forget this. It doesn’t make a difference. These words are sublime. Right up there with Dom Piper - whom I feel to be the greatest lyricist on the NAS (okay then, my favourite). But Patrik is fighting for first place. Let’s not fight. Let’s just agree that you’re both just as great, in different ways. You see? The ever diplomatic CC. Actually, let’s try that. Anyone who chooses to write a comment under this article, refer to me as “The ever diplomatic CC” (whether you think it or not). Not just that though (for that would be boring). This way I can tell who actually reads the thing. Ha-HAH! I’ll catch those cheating scoundrels one day. Surely I didn’t digress… How unlike me! Ah yes, lyrics. For once, an artist who actually remembered/bothered to attach readable lyrics to their releases! Have a listen, or simply read them. From the opening line of “Autumn leaves in gold and rust”, through to lines like “Every trace as good as gone”, it is hard to believe this isn’t a native English speaker. An intelligent, culturally endowed native English speaker. But Patrik does pride himself on his grasp of the English language. Never content and always wanting to embiggen his linguistic breadth. He truly USES language. It is far more than simply getting the point across. And it is miles ahead of anything 90% of Britonians could muster. Which saddens me. I shouldn’t care, but I do. It’s only natural. I am involved and it does concern me, in a way. So yes, Patrik’s words hit like a cold yet welcome gust. But this is only the beginning…
Don't Care, is frankly the best song I have heard on the NAS since, well, anything by Kaminski. We famously don’t judge at the New Artist Spotlight, but we all have our favourites. And favouritism is frankly my job here in my very own velvet-clad Corner. “He’s only just getting to the actual song itself NOW??” - Yes. I am only just getting to the actual song itself now. It is masterful. Gorgeous. Rich. Luscious. Superior. Special. Rare. Professional. Proper. High art and high craft. It also has heavy notes of Simon & Garfunkel (or Gumfarkel, as I used to say), and (in the intro) Paint It Black by the Stones that Roll. There are even (to me) specks of Nights in White Satin by The Moody Blues (or Bloody Moos, as I call them) and The Man Don't Give a F**k by Super Furry Animals. But we all have our influences. They trickle down through the ages and land on one’s palm to be inspected and explored. They will leave an impression. The thing is, Patrik goes further. He somehow solidifies this sound as something more whole and wholesome. Something that satisfies modern ears with substance and perfection. There is no doubt that Patrik (who teaches music production for a living) is a perfectionist. It is just so clear from every release with which we are blessed. They all have that Patrik-quality-control stamp, complete with his coat of Ahlms.
Now. This song is not short. At close to 6 minutes, it had better be worth it! It should be too long. It is worth it. It is not too long. In fact, it is weirdly perfect. I think of it as Track One of an epic album by this master craftsman. A man who does the LOT himself. Well almost (more on that in a bit). I think you all know I am a big fan of the DIY artists. But only if they truly, honestly can get the very best of all aspects of the song. Which Patrik does. This can only come from caring. One has to care enough in order to put this much attention, determination and effort into making a song. From the naked acoustic plucks, to the close harmony melody (oh, that melody!), we swoop into Hollywood with epic, atmospheric drums. They’re playing it cool and proving that less really is more. Guitar lines are backed by melodic percussion, giving the whole song a wintery, almost Christmassy feel. Until this point it had most definitely been an autumnal sound, but minute by minute it gets colder, as the storm starts to take hold. Patrik truly understands pacing. It shows maturity and experience, and yet the whole song has such restrained energy. Almost exactly halfway through, the most electrifying yet hauntingly musical guitar bleeds in and stains. It is truly as if David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) was offered the slot, and simply couldn’t refuse once he had heard the demo. But in actual fact (remember “well almost”?), this fabulous guitar solo is played by Patrik’s chum, Daniel Ruborg. Patrik's reason, "It's nice to have someone else's 'voice' for solos", shows his ego is still neatly folded in the top drawer. This is followed by such delicacy as there is nothing but light bells (glockenspiel, possibly) and those beautifully perfect harmonies, before everything is joined together in its rightful place. It got back to where it once belonged. Don’t Care is by far his best song so far. This feels like a new era for Patrik Ahlm. I guarantee the verse’s melody will be stuck in your head for days. That’s a money-back guarantee (just be aware how much you paid). Patrik, please let go of that despair. We care! We do so care, about you.
To all those who ARE personally affected and linked to the dreadful situation in whatever way, my heart is with you, so long as you are innocent.
The piece was about peas. Peas and love, peas and love (as Ringo would say) ✌🏻❤️
PLEASE don’t politically open fire in the comments. While it may be the time, it most certainly is not the place, and I don’t care (for it).
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