Updated: Dec 28, 2021
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.
𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙫𝙮 𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙩 - 𝘾𝙤𝙪𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙣
In ignorance, Charles has a heavy heart…
A lot of bad stuff is going on in the world. Always. Even at the best of times, there is always bad stuff. Bad people, bad things, bad decisions. Even nature itself can be bad. It’s enough to flip that smile for a while. Each page turn of the paper; or scroll of your preferred news outlet can often lower the soul, despite it often being so disconnected from our own little world. So why not ignore it? Why not cocoon oneself within one’s own blinkered existence? Why not, indeed! Well, because we need this information. More than ever, these days we crave the latest goings-on. It has almost become “cool” to know exactly what is happening everywhere in the world, the split second it happens. But seemingly not in all ways. In many ways we stay within the comfortable confines of what we know and what we are happy not to know.
Ignorance is bliss, though. Let’s face it. Let us assume we can put down the urge to draw knowledge from the multitude of screens around us… One can lead a happy, blind life in the clouds, where the only thing close to being “newsworthy” is the cataclysmic plot of a fictional television soap. Let’s take art, for example. An ignorant art lover may love what they love, but might not be willing to venture further, for the risk of finding something they do not love. There is also the ease factor. Put on a record that you know is great, and you don’t have to strenuously furrow that brow to look for something that might indeed be unspeakably bad. There’s also the confusion aspect of it: “The more you know, the less you understand” - jazz springs to mind… It’s cosy being sheltered: knowing what you know, and only what you know. Let us now look at the smaller picture, within our little circle of chums at the New Artist Spotlight. We have all become so used to equality in the group that we have forgotten how to pick favourites! Might we take for granted the truly greatest artists at NAS, as we can’t see the wood for the trees? We are so used to hearing all this fabulous music, that we maybe sometimes forget to LISTEN or imagine it outside the group on mainstream radio. In this way we are liable to become ignorant of realising the brilliance of music by our very own artists. Ignorance may be bliss to some, but on occasion ignorance can be torturous to those being ignored.
I bring all this to light because there is one band at the New Artist Spotlight who I feel does not get the attention they deserve. And as a very rare occurrence, I have already reviewed them. I have been holding back on reviewing artists I have already praised highly, but there comes a point where I just can’t take it any longer. When the song has been going around my head for weeks. Months, even. Ever since release day on May 23rd, this song has been a part of my life. I think of it as a modern pop classic, known to everyone in the world. But no. With a heavy heart, I regret to say it is known to relatively few. So after much waffle of this and also that, I would very much proudly like to welcome Coumarin to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 for a second time, with their latest single, Heavy Heart.
Although a fully fledged band, it is Andre Westerholt who leads the trio as the singer, writer, producer and sound engineer. He is proud of his work, but never arrogant. His boldness and confidence can be heard from the very first few seconds of Heavy Heart with a daring vocal entry, before the soft power of the instruments breaks through. In short, this song is perfection to me. But I am rarely brief, so I will continue. Andre has a voice that floats and cuts like a sharp, gleaming silver feather. An elegant fencing foil, parading its shine through the air. He knows just what to do with sound. And ‘sound’ is seemingly exactly how he sees music. Westerholt - Stuttgart’s finest - uses standard instruments to create a loosely layered collage of sound. I say “loosely” in terms of texture and feel, but in fact it is tight and dense, yet deceptive. His use of reverb and delay is inspired, yet nothing is even close to being wishy-washy. The drums in particular - stunning drummer - punch through so clearly, but never spoil the ethereal qualities of the moment. The closest I can get to a comparison in sound is Tears for Fears. But even then, it’s still so different.
One thing I don’t come across much in modern pop music, is great melodies. They are usually (for me) either dull and uninspiring, or so familiar it is almost comical. Very rarely do I stumble upon a melody that surprises yet flows with ease. One that is not afraid to soar high and take unusual turns on the way back down. For me, the melody IS the song. Or at least a very large part of it. THIS is what I really love about Andre. He is a stunning melody writer. And whether he spends much time on his melodies or not, they always sound effortless. His subtle yet vital harmonies are there like a sunken bed. Oh, and did I mention the guitar solo? No, I did not. A perfectly structured piece of instrumental music placed neatly within the song itself, really proving Andre’s understanding of melody, but also that his technical skill is up to the same standard.
I genuinely get excited when there is news of a new single by Coumarin. And guess what, THERE IS! Their next single, United By Fate, is due for release on October 1st. (pre-save link below)
Ignorance isn’t bliss. Coumarin is.
Listen to 𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙫𝙮 𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙩 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
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