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.
The plot thickens as Charles moves forward…
Each and every week, I not only have to pick a song to review, but I have to work out what in God’s name I’m going to talk about. The good thing is, I can talk about absolutely anything. The bad thing is, I can talk about absolutely anything. There are no real limits. Only that it somehow has to tie in with the song (or the artist). There have been many songs that I have been close to writing about, but the song itself has given me no obvious lead or plot. You know how I write these things - not a standard review, really. And so, it got me thinking about writing in general. I write things about things that artists have written. Writing about writing. It made me think about THEIR writing. Or more specifically, their lyrical plot or even title. This could frame the feel of the music, and it could also have nothing to do with the music - a certain contentious style of juxtaposition. Happy music, sad lyrics. Happy title, moody music. But usually things just fit together to complete and compliment one another.
Songs predominantly used to be about love. Almost all the great songs of the past are about love. This has not gone away, for love never leaves. But in the increasingly difficult and obsessive search for newness, we find ourselves branching out more and more. Love is not enough. I never thought I would say those words. Good title, actually! Right, that’s copyright ME. No nabbing. Back to songs and their plots. Some artists write about dancing and having a good time. Some write about being happy or chilling in the sun. Some write about loss and sadness. But let’s face it, that is basically a love song. Broken love. Ooh! Another decent title. My copyright. Some writers will immerse their plot in darkness and crime. Some will write about money. Some will write about getting angry at this or at that. Some will write about writing a song. Or even about not being able to write a song. And then there’s quirk. Take for example, Our House by Madness. Or The Stripey Tent by New Artist Spotlight member, Mel Randall. Quirk is just as important as the serious stuff. It’s what makes life fun! And what is life without fun?? Here’s looking at you, Macklemore, with his song, Thrift Shop. There are just SO many things that an artist can write about. Like my reviews, the plot is technically limitless. But aside from the ongoing theme of love, there is one thing that seems far more present in song plot than at any other time in the history of music.
Last week, I took you with me into space. The song was an incredible fantasy vision, and I set the mood in a planetary fashion. I mentioned NASA and its forward-thinking ideas of the future, should Earth crumble or sink. I personally think NASA is an absurd waste of an absurder amount of money, that could be used much better ON this planet, rather than outside it. The amount of money they pour into things just to get a couple of nice pics, seems to me - he blindly says with no real knowledge of NASA and its purpose - a complete and utter waste of time and MONEY. The kind of money that could almost certainly turn back the clock on climate change. My point here, is that I’m thinking about it. We are all thinking about it these days: the future. It is on our minds. To many, more than the present. This just didn’t used to be a thing to wander across the open plain that is our echoey mind. We weren’t thinking about our future grandchildren, we were thinking about ourselves, right now, and whether or not we can fix the sink ourselves or whether we have to pay a small fortune to get someone else to do it. It used to be about our own life on Earth. So we are seemingly kinder these days. Huh! Who woulda thunk it! So what with this being so much a part of our conscious concerns and musings, we artists therefore feel unconsciously driven to writing songs about it. There must be a reason so many of us are writing about the future… The reason is the present.
Fast forward 118 years, and what do we imagine to be our existence? Picket fences and trots to the post office for a natter about matter with Mildred…? Well those days are already long gone. Let’s ask New Artist Spotlight member and moderator, Mercury Teardrop, for the answer. Brad Bauman is the man behind the silver pear. As with much of Brad’s back catalogue, he likes to visit the future in all sorts of ways. Not only does he have a “thing” about the future, but he likes to get the most out his own songs. Two years ago, Brad released an album called Blinded by a Dark Star - an already futuristic title, if bleak. It contained a track called Epoch. The song itself is rather special, but lacked that THING that makes me all tingly and forces me to write about it. I instead waited a while and opted for a single from last year - his immense 10 minute opus, Abyss. Rather than reviewing it, I wrote some poetry. Bloody weird thing to do, but that’s what I did. Should you wish to have a look at that (afterwards), you’ll find it HERE. These days, I still find myself listening to his 2020 album, and in particular, Epoch. It’s still great, but - to me - still missing that SOMETHING. Until now. Brad decided to go back to the future once more with Rosalie Sonsalla, to make Epoch 2140. The song that Epoch should have been. The depth in space is what makes the whole piece so airy yet so full of punch, it’s almost like watching a nuclear bomb in slow motion, without even so much as a singe to show for it. As if one is watching from the safety of one’s own pod in space, while half of Earth is consumed by water, and the other half eaten up by flame. Looking through the perspex window, one wonders if maybe they’ll meet in the middle for some very wet fire indeed… Maybe not.
There is something about Brad and the way he makes music. Aside from his professionalism, he always seems to be able to make his music sound as though it has always existed. As though we as listeners are permanently in the future, looking back at new releases for the first time. Which of course doesn’t make any sense, but it might have made you think a little. Once Brad’s impeccable writing and production is paired with Rosalie’s unworldly reverb-laden voice, the pie is complete. And I like pies. Particularly when crammed full of slamming drums and deliciously refined guitar lines. The heavy, woozy beat sends you upwards like the effect of a happy knock to the head. It is much like being dehydrated on a hot, sunny day. Most would think of this as stifling, but I am rather partial to the feeling. It brings me back to my Glastonbury days. When the guitars are at their heaviest, they own me. But I am always grounded by the safety of the rich bass. Brad keeps control of the bass, and in turn the bass keeps control of me. The music becomes a part of me in comfort, allowing Rosalie to mesmerise and hypnotise me like a temptress. In short, I am seduced by Mercury Teardrop, once again.
Let’s spread the word! I’m just off to the post office now. Wait till Mildred hears about THIS!
The future is now. The future, as we don’t know it.
Listen to 𝙀𝙥𝙤𝙘𝙝 2140 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
Listen to 𝙀𝙥𝙤𝙘𝙝 2140 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Apple Music playlist HERE!
Watch the official 𝙀𝙥𝙤𝙘𝙝 2140 video HERE!
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