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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Grenade - Dom Piper

Welcome all to ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, 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 ๐™‰๐™š๐™ฌ ๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ playlists.

๐™‚๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ๐™–๐™™๐™š - ๐˜ฟ๐™ค๐™ข ๐™‹๐™ž๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง

Charles proverbially quotes: Many hands make light workโ€ฆ

โ€œHelp! I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody. Help! You know I need someone. Help!โ€ Where would we be without a little help from our friends? What would we do without a helping hand? How much worse off would we be without that leg up from people and things? I think most of us would be pretty useless without stuff and people. Sure, we would still have our wonderfully tailored minds and expertly honed skills, but could we do it alone? What are doctors without medicine? And could they deal with critical procedures without nurses? With all that knowledge and experience, they can't ALL just say "you'll get better soon", because they won't. Not without help. Does that mean the doctor is not needed if we have medicine and nurses? Of course not. Can't just pop pills with the hope that one will do the trick. And what about a humble cobbler? For those of a foreign nature or those less endowed with knowledge, a cobbler is not someone who cobbles, but someone who mends shoes (just so you know). Surely this would be a solitary affair and would need no help from others? Well, yes, this is true. But take away their hammer and anvil, and ultimately all you have is a worn booty admirer. So with these tools at hand, is there really a need for said cobbler? Well unless youโ€™re content with hurty feet and hurty thumbs, there is.

These days we rely more on machines and computers than we used. But in most cases we are now able to do far more than we would have been able to in the past. And usually of better quality. So that's a plus for the modern era. I don't say that often. In fact, my entire life and career would not be possible without technology. Before starting a mix, I usually imagine what it will sound like when it is finished, and then try to replicate that sound. Without the tools, I would have to say to the client, โ€Trust me, it sounds great in my mind - money please!โ€ - hardly satisfactory. But placing the technology in the hands of an unskilled or inexperienced person will not suffice in the slightest. There is no โ€˜magic red buttonโ€™. Skill and art are one vital thing (well actually two), but one needs STUFF to bring it all to life. Speaking of life, death can also be harder without stuff. Well, eventual death is probably the only thing we need no help with. But I am talking about weaponry. What would a soldier be without weapons? They would have to start learning karate, or a form of verbal persuasion. I think karate might work slightly more effectively though. If the enemy is coming at you from a distance, the obvious thing might be to throw a grenade (I would assume. I am so rarely in this situation). But if there is no grenade to throw, do you just shout rude words at them instead? Tell them to "go away"? They're hardly likely to listen to reasonโ€ฆ One soldier is rarely any use without its comrades. โ€œWhat are you up to today?โ€, โ€œOh, I thought Iโ€™d take on the entire Russian Army singlehandedly, what about you?โ€ - hardly likely to have a positive outcome. Would be a swift battle, though. And as to whether we need soldiers if we have the weaponsโ€ฆ! These days it seems many people need help making a cup of tea. I wouldnโ€™t place a grenade in the hands of someone who doesnโ€™t know how to use itโ€ฆ

Needing help from others is not shameful. In fact, it is usually necessary and very sensible indeed. If you can do something yourself, do it. If you can afford the time. But if you think someone else might be able to do a superior job, then asking for help is the only realistic option. It just makes sense. This shouldnโ€™t harm your ego, it just makes for a better final result. Which is surely what you wanted in the first place...? Ego can be a tricky yet clever little bastard, forcing you to make subpar conclusions. Be honest with yourself and question whether the task at hand could be better achieved with a helping hand. Most people are suited to their needs. And weirdly, also their knees. But usually more than one need is needed. Certainly more than one knee is needed. Apologies to any amputees out there. Enough knees. What I mean to say is, you may be good at one thing (absolutely fabulously brilliant at one thing), but it doesnโ€™t mean that you can do the lot.

Letโ€™s look at music. So youโ€™re a great songwriter and a solid singer. Press record on your phone, bash away on the guitar and croon to the moon! Done. Sorted. Uploaded. Released. See? Didnโ€™t need anyone at all! Unless your name is Shayan Regan, this will not work. One needs to know how to record. How to set up the microphone. How to sing in a studio environment. How to bash the guitar along to metronome (or how to keep time). How to arrange. How to produce. How to play the other parts. How to mix. How to add that final sparkle. A turd is not for polishing. It is for disposing of in a hygienic manner. Even the almightily talented Mr. Regan has recently realised the benefits of reaching out. Luckily, this weekโ€™s artist left his ego at the door and sought the help of others, and MY, was it worth the trouble! Dom Piper, a wonderfully supportive member of the New Artist Spotlight, has immense talent. A talent that is recognised by his peers, and only embiggening as time wafts by. He is indeed a great songwriter and a solid singer. My girlfriend is a particularly huge fan of Domโ€™s voice. I donโ€™t mean sheโ€™s particularly huge. Sheโ€™s slim. I mean, not skinny. I mean, sheโ€™s just right. I will stop now. Itโ€™s amazing how an innocent little review can invent such awkward situationsโ€ฆ Letโ€™s get on the song. Get on it good.

Grenade is Domโ€™s brand new single, and itโ€™s just fabulous. In every way. But he has a friend, in the form of a mouse. Dom offers him cheese (beer), and Micky comes out to play. Micky is the longterm friend and guitar teacher of Mr. Piper. But he is also more than that. When Micky heard Grenade for the first time, he heard its potential. Much like when I hear mixes in my head before they actually exist. Dom was not sure if the song was good enough. Micky decided to go deaf for that moment and completely ignore him. Micky is one of those annoyingly brilliant odd-job music types. Kind of great at all of it. But what is this talent without the hallowed SONG? Hence a partnership was born. Micky produced and mixed the track, played bass and conceived the drums. Dom was behind the song itself, the incredible guitars and that deliciously determined โ€œAmericanโ€ caramel croon - despite being from England. It makes for a song of such intensity yet still oozing with cool sophistication. As with all Domโ€™s songs, Grenade started life as a poem. And it shows. The lyrics are stunning. The song charges through like an angry bull, and so too do the lyrics. The layering of guitars is inspired. Panned all over the stereo field, they can all be clearly picked out due to each guitar having a different tone, and each having its own space. The drums are what power us through the song as we aggressively and collectively nod our head to the beat. The guitars and bass lend the beauty and the beast to the songโ€™s journey. And Domโ€™s assertively smooth voice delivers the lyrics that tell the tale of a man who proves that everyone has a limit before exploding. His lyrics are always special, but I think this one takes the cake. Itโ€™s also my favourite song of his. So far.

Nearing the end of the process, while realising the song was perhaps NOT destined for the scrap heap after all, Dom thought it could still have a little more โ€œsomethingโ€. Ya know, that special je ne sais quoi to blow the mainstream pap out of the water. The mix was already splendid, as Micky knows what heโ€™s doing. So perhaps a master? Well, Dom called on me. He apparently wanted some of my โ€œCC Magicโ€ - I donโ€™t know who originally came up with this term, but I do like that it has stuck. Makes me feel โ€œproperโ€, not to mention warm and fuzzy. I find it rare that pure mastering is enough. This was no exception. As with Domโ€™s โ€˜A Little Oddโ€™ and Eleanor Collidesโ€™ โ€˜Lifeboatsโ€™, I opted for something called stem mastering. A process that keeps the original mix intact, but allows me more flexibility in terms of levels and tweaks. Think of it as in between mixing and mastering, but usually more towards mastering. Aside from me knowing what Iโ€™m doing, Dom and Micky decided it was best to have a fresh set of ears on the track. A VERY sensible decision. How many times have YOU muttered to yourself, โ€œI canโ€™t tell anymoreโ€โ€ฆ It doesnโ€™t make you inferior in any way, youโ€™ve just heard it too many times. And finally, we end up with Grenade. A song that packs in SO much goodness, youโ€™ll need several listens to take it all in.

How many hands does it take to change a lightbulb? Sometimes, severalโ€ฆ

Listen to ๐™‚๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ๐™–๐™™๐™š on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Spotify playlist HERE!

Listen to ๐™‚๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ๐™–๐™™๐™š on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Apple Music playlist HERE!

Follow ๐˜ฟ๐™ค๐™ข ๐™‹๐™ž๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง on Instagram HERE!

Hire Charles to mix/master/produce your song HERE!

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