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.
𝙄’𝙙 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝘽𝙚 𝘿𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝙁𝙖𝙞𝙧𝙮𝙩𝙖𝙡𝙚 - 𝙮𝙖
Charles wonders if decrypting the enigma is a wise choice…
Life is a big old thing. Or moreover, the world is a big old thing. A world chock full of billions of beings and trillions of things. We’re not put here to understand every single one of them. Even if equipped with the best of brains, it would be quite literally impossible. Just not enough time, and not enough interest to do so - not to mention the diverse cognitive ability to undertake such a task. It would hardly be a doddle or a walk in the park. The simplest things can baffle me, but I simply and naturally learn to accept it. I urge you not to be a pedant or an irritating little blighter when reading and possibly commenting on this article. Chances are, you are cleverer than I, and that you should be proud of this knowledge. Quietly proud. Allow me to be simple and unknowledgeable. Permit me to be contentedly lost in a world of people and things.
The sky is blue because it reflects the ocean. Well okay. I can sort of see that. Except that there are no oceans around me in London. Apparently this is not the reason however. Well okay. So the ocean is blue because it reflects the sky? That would make sense. But no. That’s wrong too. Apparently something to do with red light being pushed away to give the appearance of blue. Well okay. If you say so. Sound works with vibrations. Sure. We all know that. But aside from the rumblings of the deepest bass, I can’t feel it. Deafening sound comes from the vibrations of a paper cone. Right. Got it. What?? Well okay. Whatever. Have you ever tried vibrating a paper cone? Well no, neither have I. But I would imagine it would not be loud, and certainly would not make beautiful music. A record player’s needle runs along grooves engraved in a vinyl record - more vibrations. Well okay. Audio tape works with magnets. Uh-huh. Good. Right. Understood. Well, not understood in the slightest, but okay. I will take your word for it. A person is born from a man and a woman canoodling. A truly KNOWN fact. Do I understand it? LORD no. Taste is another thing. We all have different tastes in everything. This is what makes us human. But how can something so God-awful be like Heaven to some and Hell to others? “Oh, it’s just taste”. Well okay. But it’s AWFUL! Not necessarily. Traditional cars run on petrol. Or gas, as Americans say - try running a car on gas… KABOOM! We pour a liquid into a metal box on wheels and a machine works its magic, making the wheels go round and round. Yes, a combustion engine. Sure. We do not need to know HOW exactly, and most of us (certainly I) wouldn’t understand it anyway. Paper comes from trees. A common fact. I used to imagine a tree sprouting pages from the ends of its branches, then a bookmaker (the literal meaning - the maker of books) plucks them one by one. I was indeed wrong in my thinking. So if it involves cutting down the trees, how have we any trees left? How did we not run out centuries ago? It is how it is. Tomatoes also spring to mind - weird kid. How many are made every year? 180 million would be correct if each weighed a tonne…! So where the hell do they all come from?! And again, how have we any left? How do they have the TIME to ripen? Questions, questions, questions. And do I mind? Not in the slightest.
People confuse, baffle and cripple my state of mind with their “logic” sometimes. I will not even attempt to understand THEM! So to me, the world is just one big fat enigma, full of lots of little enigmas. And I am absolutely fine with that. I like that my little Mac computer is basically a fully fledged recording and mixing studio. Do I know how it works? Nope. Do I want to? Nope. And PLEASE don’t tell me! As I have said previously, ignorance is bliss. There must be SOME enigmas that I am intrigued by though, surely… Well yes. There are a few. That doesn’t necessarily mean I want to know “the answer”. Why ruin the magic? One enigma for me is Bowie. Did he really die? Was he ever really here? I like to leave it a mystery. Keep it special.
Another enigma that fascinates me and many others, is rather closer to home. It goes by the name of “ya”. No, not me. Not You either. “ya”. In lowercase. Anna Akopyan and “ya” are one and the same. Russia may have some secrets - more we do not wish to know - but they allowed this native to roam free, to tantalise us with mystery, and tease us with an unknown feeling of unease. Addictive unease. We want more, but we don’t know why. Anna is a unique individual who does not play a part in the theatre production that is life. She simply lives it. She is just what she seems. No acting necessary. I reviewed her EXACTLY one year ago, with an album that was one of my favourites of the year. Since then, “ya” has released several singles, understandably always remaining one of the more popular stars of the New Artist Spotlight. Let me bring your attention to the quintessential sound of “ya”, with her brand new original single, I’d Rather Be Dying in a Fairytale. Well, each to their own. It is exactly what Anna is all about. The mystery continues. The cool, the darkness. The sending up of papa and also mama. There is even a hint of the occult about her - so often a part of the cooler rock artists. But “ya” is not a rock artist. Neither is she NOT rock. “ya” is “ya”. Could you categorise Bowie? Would you even dare? I wouldn’t!
Float down and bliss out to what is possibly “ya”’s best song to date. It takes the vibe of the spaced-out 60s, blends it with The Verve’s first album, and liberally sprinkles much PJ Harvey with a smidge of the darker side of Kate Bush, and finally adds a dash of Tabasco for some underlying smouldering heat. It makes me sweat, in a good way. The tingle not too dissimilar to heat stroke - something we’re not supposed to like, but we’ll just stay out in the burning sun a little longer. It has the closed-eyed lull of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, but where each member grew horns and enticed you with perfect fruit. An uncomfortable comfort that entices you beyond your wishes. A drug, if you will. I love that music can do this. That simple thing of sound. Mere vibrations. Anna’s voice is utterly natural and untuned, yet perfectly in pitch. Her voice pulls you in with an alluring slow finger. Come closer. I don’t know if I should, but I cannot resist. She has me under her spell. The band is in perfect sync, as willed by the girl herself. Oh that ringing bell-like guitar! That heavy hypnotic bassline, with just enough dissonance to keep you alert. And drums that are rarely heard outside the world of dreams. The mixing is frankly incredibly judged and impeccably pulled off. This is REAL music. Music to move the soul and shift it to the side.
This enigma has got a hold on me. I don’t understand it, and I don’t wish to.
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