Updated: Apr 28
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 𝘿𝙤𝙣’𝙩 𝙆𝙣𝙤𝙬 - 𝙉𝙤𝙖 𝙂𝙞𝙡
Charles opens up, writes an honest review, and tells no lie.
As I have shed my filthy years of youth and grown less immature, I have noticed one thing dying and one thing growing. I speak not of hair and warts, but of lies and truth. Very few of us will have led a completely sin-free life. A young person might rarely see the wrong in telling a lie - or not telling the whole truth - but will often only see the benefits. There can be benefits! But is it therefore RIGHT…? Young people might not really care if it is RIGHT or not. But as I grow less young, I care more and more about honesty.
For many years now, honesty has got me into A LOT of trouble. In terms of relationships, friends, family and just about anyone with whom I might come into contact. Which should, of course, make me “live a little”, by telling the odd untruth. But I don’t. I CAN’T! I am incapable of doing so. And if I come close to it, for whatever reason, my mind is racked with guilt for even days, no matter how small this little white lie may be. Now why in God’s name has he brought up this random topic, I hear you cry. Well, it comes in the sense of what honesty actually means. I am now speaking of being true to oneself. Being genuine and not a replica of someone else’s authenticity.
I come back to music - about bloody time too! In this vast world made so easily accessible by t’internet, we have SO many great singers, bands, producers and songwriters. But so many of them sound the same. This is often acknowledged as influence or even coincidence, but in my eyes it is often simply theft. I am not talking about a specific hook in a song, but more a general style. Take for example, a voice. Is it a coincidence that Lorde sounds like Lana Del Rey? Or that Adele started by sounding like Amy Winehouse? Has anyone else noticed how most male and female pop singers these days have only two sounds - male and female? And that it involves screwing up the face on the soft higher notes, to the point where the brow scrunches up like a confused dog, eyes closed, teeth showing, with an Elvis lip curl…? Even their facial expressions are copied! This is because it is NOT coincidence, but calculated thievery, in the hope that the big boys at the top will leap on them. I am not condemning this, however, as it sadly often works! What lowers me though, is the lack of honesty in music these days. I have NEVER gone on so long before mentioning my artist of the week. Please welcome Israel's genuine article: Noa Gil, with her latest studio original: I Don’t Know.
We shimmer into place with a floating guitar melody, a delicious sliding bassline and a more than competent (bloody brilliant) drummer. There is impeccable production and mixing throughout this song, I feel to mention. Genre is a tricky one here. There is pop, rock, blues, fusion, soul and jazz. All real analogue instruments, played by musicians with great talent. The piano enters as the groove is founded. And then comes Noa, utterly real, unadorned and genuine. Being herself. Sure, she has influence, but Noa is being Noa. Subtle dissonance and suspended chords arise often, not to shock or surprise, but for a means to change chord and retain interest. This is the jazz of the song. I Don’t Know is such a slinky number, full of vibe and emotion. Noa’s voice pushes us through each round. This is what I would call a full-fat ballad. The most luscious chorus surrounds and soothes us like a velveteen blanket. Despite Ms. Gil’s warmth and softness, she can get airy and breathy like the 80s knew how, and she can get a really raspy raunch, reminiscent of Sheryl Crow in her heyday - but NOT by copying her. This is natural influence. It is usually so clear to me when someone is being genuine in music. This is the real deal.
What I love about Noa Gil’s voice in conjunction with the rest of the musicians, is the woozy quality with which she sways us into her own world. One is instantly captured and taken away for 4-or-so minutes. At the 2:45 mark, most modern songs would be coming to a close, via a brief and pointless “bridge”. Instead, Noa multiplies and brings us the richest harmonies I have heard in quite a while. They are truly vibrant and full of innocent, untainted smiles. An inspiring Spanish-tinged classical guitar solo joins her many voices. This exciting section is completed by some thrillingly speedy yet light percussion, maybe of Turkish or even African origin (probably Israeli: I was never very good at Geography)! Things simmer before the carnival has a chance to light its wick. Subtle reverb and delay is fused with the last of the occasional plucks. The final 40 seconds or so disintegrate with a cascading beauty, like the remaining ripples from the last drop of rain on an otherwise calm lake.
Honesty may sometimes come at a price, but ultimately it’s the only way to go.
She says she doesn’t know. She knows.
Listen to 𝙄 𝘿𝙤𝙣’𝙩 𝙆𝙣𝙤𝙬 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
Listen to 𝙄 𝘿𝙤𝙣’𝙩 𝙆𝙣𝙤𝙬 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Apple Music playlist HERE!
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