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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Letโ€™s Live - The Yellow Wallpaper

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 Connollyย - 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™š๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™‡๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š - ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™”๐™š๐™ก๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™’๐™–๐™ก๐™ก๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง


Charles celebrates lifeโ€ฆ


Last week, I spoke of standards. But this past week on the New Artist Spotlight has been anything but standard. You all know how volatile it has been lately, what with our petition, Spotify being bad and only getting worse, and the ongoing suspension of our founderโ€™s Spotify curator account. The scammers continue to spam our inboxes and social media profiles, yet continue to get away with it. We are all quite used to this now. We take it in our stride, despite being constantly perturbed by it. As artists must, we go on. Last Tuesday I published my weekly review. Nothing out of the ordinary there. It had been a perfectly normal Tuesday - business as usual. As night fell in London, I checked my phone one last time before bed. At the top of my Instagram feed was a post from the familiar face of a known NAS artist. He was looking good, healthy, cool, and sharp in a suit. โ€œIโ€™m guessing he has a new release coming soon, thenโ€, I thought. But as I stared at it, my mind started to curl like the red cellophane fortune teller fish we all had as a child. Under his image lay dates. Not release dates. Then an impossibility dawned on me as the colour drained from my face. It was unfathomable and inconceivable to actually realise and believe. But it was in fact true. Kyle M. Watson had died. He was my age.


Suddenly insignificant things like Spotify stats were irrelevant. Tomorrowโ€™s plans were wiped, and again irrelevant. Everything was instantly put into perspective, and yet perspective was nowhere to be found. I was wonky. There was no horizon to level me out. I was jolted with the feeling of whiplash. That lost numbness. That moment when you know the fact but you still accuse the fact of lying. Your brain just wonโ€™t take it in. This simple little piece of information is too much to digest. I went to sleep with it all on my mind. I then dreamt about him. All I remember was him smiling reassuringly. He was radiant. His dark skin shone with a healthy glow. The following morning I felt little difference, and breakfast was quiet. I knew the amount of work I had to do that day, but not only did I think it inconceivable to eagerly jump back into work after such news, but I thought it inconsiderate or perhaps even insulting to the lad. That I should pay my respects in some way. You see, Kyle was one of the kindest, softest, warmest members of the NAS family. And his singing voice was truly one of the greatest soul voices I have ever heard. I didnโ€™t know him well, but we did occasionally chat. We were admirers of each otherโ€™s work. For me, that's usually what starts the chat in the first place. A mutual admiration. In the past he has said (even in public) that he's a fan of my music. I felt the same about his, hence my review (also in public) of his final release. Godโ€ฆ Final release. That word Final, is just so, well, final. Artists don't ever say "this is the last thing I will ever make". They just don't. Because artists keep going with their art until they themselves cease to be. Or at least until they move on to greener pastures.


So how on Earth could I just cut this feeling from my brain and work on Billy Lowryโ€™s upcoming single, titled The Day Afterโ€ฆ? Rather suddenly I had a wave of positivity and an immediate thrust of action. It was the day after. It was just what the songโ€™s lyrics were about. The day after a loss. My English work ethic came into play and I started to look at life. Weโ€™re here, for now. We will all go at some point, and we have no idea when. So rather than mourning the death of a great man, I thought it better to celebrate his life by living. By doing what we can while we are still here. I am absolutely sure this is what Kyle would have wanted. Few of us really and truly KNOW the people behind the music we listen to every day, but we know and love the music itself. This is our legacy as artists. While we move on to higher ground at some point, hopefully later rather than sooner, our music will live on forever. And so, I decided: letโ€™s live, while we still have the chance.


Rest in eternal peace, Kyle M. Watson. While we will forever miss you, we will always have your music to keep us warm. Thank you, Kyle, you beautiful soul.


After a brief involuntary leap of lemming-like tears, I will continue, fresh-faced, with music. New music. Okay, my face is perhaps a little blotchy, rather than fresh, but I will continue nevertheless. Iโ€™ve got to keep these wheels in motion, or theyโ€™ll fall off. Itโ€™s quite amazing what great music can do for oneโ€™s soul. At least MY soul, anyway. This review was hanging over me like an insistent cloud. To dispel this cloud I needed to write it. In order to write it, I had to listen to the last couple of weeks of new music. And all the while my mind was still on dear Kyle. Not easy. But then one track hit me. It was so clearly something special. A band that is barely known in the community thus far. And this song brought me my first guiltless smile of the week. It was as if Kyle had whispered to me โ€œNo no, please go on! People have to hear about this music, and you tell it goodโ€. And so here we are. The Yellow Wallpaper has been a member of the New Artist Spotlight for around 7 months, yet I believe most of us are unfamiliar. Letโ€™s change that. The 4-piece from Adelaide, Australasia, has so far released just 3 tracks to the world. While all 3 are excellent, I will be concentrating on the most recent release, Letโ€™s Live. To quote their Spotify bio, the song is โ€œthe delicate and hopeful conclusion to their debut trilogy, exploring struggle, loss, self-reflection and recoveryโ€. So we now learn that these initial 3 releases are connected. Proving that they are not only taking things seriously, but that they care about the quality of their oeuvre as a whole. Notice though, their use of the word โ€œconclusionโ€. They steer clear of the word โ€œfinalโ€ - rightly so.


We start immediately with an acoustic guitar and a voice. Yes, I know what youโ€™re thinking - youโ€™ve heard it all before. But you havenโ€™t. Not with these chords, and not with this voice. This is instantly original. At least to me. The only passing similarity I can think of in my oh-so limited musical knowledge, is Suedeโ€™s Brett Anderson. If youโ€™re familiar with the work of Suede, then that should give you some idea of the style here. But donโ€™t for a moment assume you can therefore imagine how this sounds. It is different. The chords fall naturally for The Yellow Wallpaper, where those same chords would clunk awkwardly for others. But really, frontman Troy Rapscallion Benson (yes, I know - what a name!) steals the show. This is something special. Things like this donโ€™t come around much. This has the magic of Radiohead, White Lies and Elbow in their prime. So yes, we start with acoustic and vocal, and yet within just 7 or 8 seconds, this is something more, while still just being guitar and vocal. Within just a couple more seconds, the strings start to pad their beauty with grace and understatement. At 54 seconds, the bass, drums and second guitar enter to complete the spectrum with highs, lows and light crunch. All the while, the strings swell with large clarity in full wide stereo. But before the halfway mark, the crunch gets crunchier and wider. These guitars are getting ready for the second halfโ€ฆ Look, I really canโ€™t do this song justice with words on a page. I rarely can, but with this one, I REALLY canโ€™t.


To say I am impressed is an understatement. This is an epic 10 minute rock masterpiece, and yet somehow manages to be only 4 minutes and 21 seconds. I think this is managed by doing something differently. Most anthems try to be like โ€œanthemsโ€. This doesnโ€™t. Most anthems do a full song, then stick a long repeating anthemic bit at the end. Like (I hate to say it), Hey Jude. But Letโ€™s Liveโ€™s anthem starts at 1:50. It is PART of the song. Not tacked on the end of the song. And although the song is already huge by this point, it somehow manages to get even huger as it slowly marches towards its, er, conclusion. I must say, hats off to the mixing engineer here. It is impeccably, skilfully and inspiringly handled. Music should inspire you. It should excite you. It should take your breath away. Well, this song truly is breathtaking. Especially in these exhaustingly sad times. But just as if it couldnโ€™t get any better, they have one more brief moment of brilliance left for us. Keep both ears open at 3:24-3:28 (I said it was brief). Marvellous. I literally marvelled at it. Letโ€™s Live is a sound we rarely (if ever) hear on the NAS. It is cinematic Hollywood beauty rock, built for the stadium. With ZERO cheese! Howโ€™s THAT for a quote! It may not be their final release, but what a fine finale to this trilogy. However, it is just atrocious that the band has fewer than 1000 monthly listeners. When I say atrocious, I donโ€™t mean they are failing, I mean it is a crying shame that they are not racking up tens or even hundreds of thousands of monthly listeners. They have that sound. And no, I donโ€™t mean poppy pop pop pop. They sound like they have already hit big, and this is simply more proof that they can not only still do it, but rise above the dross. So letโ€™s listen, and bump those figures through the roof!


On first listening, I misheard the lyrics, and thought Troy was singing โ€œWhatโ€™s love?โ€ when he was actually singing โ€œLetโ€™s Liveโ€. My concluding words on our thoughts and feelings for Kyle, will come in the form of my mishearing another of the lyrics: โ€œTears stay. Hold on. Letโ€™s Liveโ€.


Thank you, Troy, for completing this difficult episode.


I normally like to end with a smile, which pleasingly rhymes with our dear friend, Kyle.


Listen to ๐™‡๐™š๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™‡๐™ž๐™ซ๐™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™š๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™‡๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Apple Music playlist HERE!

Listen to ๐™‡๐™š๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™‡๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š on YouTube HERE!


Follow ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™”๐™š๐™ก๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™’๐™–๐™ก๐™ก๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง on Instagram HERE!

Follow ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™”๐™š๐™ก๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™’๐™–๐™ก๐™ก๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง on TwiX HERE!


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121 Comments


Touching tribute to Kyle. Thanks for handling it. Also, this is one of the rare times that the artwork is good enough to make me want to listen.

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Lovely tribute to Kyle.


Absolutely appreciate the nod towards Suede! โ€œSaturday Nightโ€ is a particular fave.

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Boy HaNZY
Boy HaNZY
May 26

Beautiful review. Well articulated. Well done CC

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3Luv
3Luv
May 26

Great review once again Charles. Been such a busy week in the world of 3Luv so can't believe I've only just read it!

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