𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 - this week: Ethereal - Buyer Beware
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.
𝙀𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡 - 𝘽𝙪𝙮𝙚𝙧 𝘽𝙚𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙚
Charles is lost for words…
You know when you’re speaking and you suddenly pause because you’ve either forgotten what you were going to say, or you’re not quite sure how to say what it was you were going to say? You know when you’re struggling to find that specific word you mean, but can’t get the word? When you come up with a list of words it’s not, leaving out the only one it is? Isn’t this annoying? It happens to me all the time. In fact, it’s one of the reasons these “reviews” take me so damned long. I will suddenly freeze and search my brain for that word. It’s not that. It’s not this. It’s not that either. Great! Well, that’s whittled it down a bit. Not very helpful knowing what it isn’t. For a small man, my head is sometimes quite cavernous. That is to say, it echoes like an empty aircraft hangar, as I wonder if that wiggly thinking machine has gone on holiday without even letting me know… These words though, how do we manage to catalogue them all in some sort of order? How do we remember them all? How and why do we summon one particular word over another? And why do we so often fail to do this?
A curious phrase: “I can’t quite put my finger on it”… When searching for a word, does anyone else imagine archaic metal filing cabinets chaotically opening and closing, with pale yellow folders flying everywhere in a high wind…? Nope? Just me then. With those old filing cabinets you wouldn’t want to quite put your finger ON it, or anywhere NEAR it - lethal things. But when I eventually DO get that word, oh the accomplishment I feel. Pathetic, isn’t it. You thought of a word. Get this man a medal. My finger presses so deeply into that word that the reversed print of at least a couple of letters is left indelible on its tip. Can’t quite put my finger on it? HAH! I LAUGH in the face of not being able to put my finger on it. There it is! My finger! On that word!! Look at it! It’s there. Yes. Hm. Right, so. And…? I stare at that word I so proudly typed. And I wonder if I actually know the meaning. I mean, the TRUE meaning.
Sunday was not only Easter Day, but also my mother’s birthday. Towards the end of a fine dinner, she spoke up. She wondered about the word “ambivalent”. For some reason, she had in her head that it meant “aggressive”. I don’t know why, but there you go. It of course means neither one thing nor the other. Like politicians. But somehow she had spent more than 70 years using it aggressively, as it were. And believe me, she is the most unaggressive person I have ever met, so I shouldn’t imagine she used it that much. This random query of hers however, did make me think a little. About words, and whether we really know how to use them. I mentioned it was a fine dinner. I didn’t mean average. I meant FINE, Think fine china, or fine wine. It doesn’t mean “all right grog”. But then again, “all right” is another one. We use it in such a “meh” way (man of words). It means ultimately positive. If I am all right, I couldn’t be better. So you see, we so frequently mangle language without even realising.
The difficulty comes from words that really are tricky to sum up. To define. To put in a solid box and say “this is what it means”. And yet, these tend to be the words we use correctly. It comes more from a feeling. And as we all know, feelings are the hardest to put down on paper. “It’s just, like, I dunno, you know?” - and yet, from this bundle of nothing, we somehow DO know. Because we are human. We sense the word that’s gone AWOL (another “word” that I misunderstood for years and thought meant “to lose one’s mind”. You see, the word I’m thinking about here is Ethereal. It is difficult to say what exactly this word means, but we tend to use it in the right context and in the right way. Its meaning really is genuinely something one can’t quite put one’s finger on. “Ethereal” means ethereal. Ya know; ethereal. It’s something out of this world, or at least other-worldly. It is light and fragile yet unbreakable and overwhelming. Or just whelming enough. It can also be thick and heavy, like incense smoke enveloping each and every curve and corner. It is a fluid snake. It is something untouchable in the air that surrounds us. There is a spiritual feeling to it too. I am actually quite surprised we have such a word. It is usually only Swedish or German that manage to have such descriptive feelings truncated into just one word. Like Fingerspitzengefühl - you’ll have to take my word for it. Or, go to Germany, shout it from the rooftops, and observe the reaction. Achtung, baby!
From one finger to another, I bring you a band all the way from Kansas City (Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!) - here’s Buyer Beware with their single, Ethereal! Applause applause applause!!! Simmer down, simmer down, it’s not The Beatles. But my word, what a band! In fact, this song is not a new song. It is more than a year old. But I really didn’t want to lose this one in the constant stream of new releases from the world of artists. Old is not necessarily worse. In fact, it is quite often better. But we are slammed every day of our lives by NEW NEW NEW!! Some things need time to sink in. Time to become an old favourite. Call it “belated love” (and no, you cannot steal that for a song title). “Buyer Beware”, is not exactly what you might call an irresistible name, but it certainly makes you wonder. We are naturally intrigued by danger and things we are not supposed to do. It’s the human masochism in us. Did I see their name and quickly switch to something altogether safer? Nope. I dived in face-first. Or dove, as you Americans say. Pressing play on their latest single, Ethereal, I am instantly wet. I am deeply plunged and being forcedly held down. But I see no reason in retaliating, because I like it. In the thick of the reverb-laden fug, the drums, guitars, bass and effects come together, right now, over me. It is suffocating, yet exhilarating. Like a trip with a scary beginning, followed by that satisfying rush of euphoria. Mark Feuerborn heads the 7-piece collective, with his composition, voice and guitars. This kind of makes Pink Floyd sound actually quite sober and dry. This is wild and unnaturally natural psychedelia. I so often find psychedelia to be too thought out and fake. Add a sitar and a flanger and you have psychedelia. ROT!! That’s as true as saying you care when you so obviously do not - despite the flowers. Psychedelia is ethereal in itself. It cannot be explained, measured out, dissected or analysed. If you remember the 60s, you weren’t there, Man. But Mark and the boys (and girl) aren’t even attempting anything close to a 60s sound. This is a strictly modern sound, minus anything electronic. Actually, there is nothing remotely strict about it. It just flows in an uneasy manner.
Mark’s voice is like tunnel vision in fifths, by dehydrated Cistercian monks. There is something darkly holy about it. Like when the saints go marching out, to knock on Satan’s door. And it is only when his runt takes on the rusty bolts that once so easily slid, in order to open up and welcome these hallowed men, that the song takes on another level of depth in terms of ROCK! The guitars slam each chord of the chorus so as not to have the drummer feeling left out. Or drummers, I should say, for the band has two. The push and pull of it all is just captivating! Somehow this huge sound is balanced. The production is slick, yet gives the impression of a band just told to “do yo thang and I’ll hit record”. And with eyes wide shut, I am theirs for the taking. High as anything. Untethered ribbons fly with life and flick like the fin of a small fry. The kaleidoscope continues to turn, and I just keep on spinning. Press play to enjoy the trip!
Be honest, what words have you had wrong all these years? Let me know in the comments.
"I suppose this article was rather ambivalent in being neither about one thing nor the other", he said with gritted teeth.
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