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.
𝙄𝙣𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙒𝙞𝙡𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 - 𝙅.𝙃.𝙈
Charles quotes the Bard: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears”.
Let’s think back to the time and place of Ancient Rome. I know this was a while ago, so your memory might be a little hazy. Let me therefore help you. I, of course, am the town jester - or balatrone, as it was called back then - (I would be, wouldn’t I…!). The great erections (no tittering, please) are high and mighty. Their magnificent columns support the ever-perfect balance of the Classical pediment. The sun blazes down on the scene, just as it does to this day. Statues line the streets and avenues - the Roman roads. A new democratic way of thinking is underway. The great Caesar is lauded and hailed as a mighty general. He eventually went power mad, became a dictator - never a good thing in a democratic republic - and was swiftly murdered “by his own people”. What a way to go! His good old friend, Mark Antony, tried to set Rome to rights and seek revenge on the culprits. He in turn, went slightly mad and fell into the hands of love, eventually murdering himself. What a way to go! In my eyes, I think anyone who ever does anything, is foolish. Best to stay out of trouble. These Romans were seemingly rather queer folk. However, we deify these unusual cats, much like we do in more modern times. Caesar is a heavyweight of his day, like Charlie Chaplin and The Beatles are of theirs. These “gods” are and will be immortalised for centuries and maybe even millennia. These are the great pillars supporting our perfectly imbalanced yet vital history.
Let us return now to the present. Phew! That was, unusual. The New Artist Spotlight manages to consistently boast in excess of 400 members. A figure that varies occasionally due to new artists joining, and fools leaving. But there are just relatively few giants who stabilise the whole effort, by their own efforts. These great pillars support us all by putting a huge amount of time and energy into this society of ours, and more importantly by consistently releasing great music. Truly great music. I speak specifically of J.H.M, otherwise known to chums as, Jeff. This thoroughly lovely chap stays not in one style of music, but still manages to have a sound or vibe that is his own.
Time to delve a little deeper, into the wilderness. Having previously reviewed the colossus with his song, A Perfect Boy (feat. Ed Eagle), he was yet to have a review all of his own. I thought I would do a Mark Antony and attempt to set things to rights (without killing myself). Jeff’s latest single, Into the Wilderness was released just a few days ago, and I bloody love it. You would not believe how many times I have listened to it. I am unsure as to whether it is a pop song with a rocky edge, or a rock song with a poppy edge, but you get the picture. To me, it is far and away his best release so far, with its grounding and classic vibe. The crunch of the opening guitar trudges like a determined man running through sticky mud. The powerful drums thunder through, propelling an instant heavy energy right into the heart of the song. Adding light and movement, the Rickenbacker ticks its melodious range as if played by McCartney himself. Within around a second or so, your head will be moving to the pulse - it’s an infectious beat. Not before long, Jeff’s ghostly vocals appear and captivate as a thinned-out choir. Translucent yet bold, with stark contrast to the instruments. A brief instrumental break supplies a shaker. Just a shaker, but this adds an extra Verve-like groove to it - what I like to call, “the swagger”. We then have a second verse of unworldliness, followed by a pre-chorus that brings things down as if to steady the heart before jumping out of an aeroplane (not forgetting a parachute - to do so would again be foolish). A big fat drum fill leads us into the chorus. And Oh, WHAT a chorus!! Our friendly ghosts morph into a flight of angels, with a hook that “can’t be beat”. Guitars crash in to place, crashes pound into the guitars, the kick and snare smash into the crashes and the bass just manages to stop them from leaving the ground - like how balloon sellers tie down their overpriced Disney-laden bags of helium. And all the while, Jeff’s heavenly vocals are free to soar atop the lot.
As we pass the halfway mark, our man brings in a slightly unusual yet extremely satisfying lower harmony to the verse (most would choose a higher harmony), which gives the vocals more confidence in terms of tone and assurance. After another breathtaking chorus, we are taken down into a brief somewhat acoustic instrumental bridge, lending air and light to a previously thick and foggy (in a good way) atmosphere. And you’ll need that breather for what is to come. The final chorus gives the Foo Fighters a run for their money, with the drummer sounding uncannily like their very own Taylor Hawkins. The bass unites with the guitars for extra lift and energy. The drums and guitars squeeze in and out, in competition, like a stress-ball sandwich. And all the while, the angels will sing.
It was a dream and an honour to co-produce and mix this wonderful song by the great legend that is Jay to-the Aitch to-the Emm.
Hats off TO ya, Jeff! Non ducor, duco. Just don’t let it go to your head, for there madness lies.
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