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.
𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙅𝙪𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙩 - 𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙇𝙚𝙚
Charles doth oft prove a prophet…
“To be, or not to be, that is the question”. Or rather, that is A question. A question into which I will briefly delve later on. To the world, William Shakespeare was a bard. To the English, he is The Bard. That is actually how we refer to him - should we refer to him at all (young Shakespeare is less in the modern narrative than when EYE was young). I know ‘English’ is a dirty word these days, but so far Shakespeare has been left unscathed by the modern obsession of screwing up the only good we have left from the past. He has not yet to have been found a slave driver, nor a hater of any race or gender. And nor was he a snob or a tycoon. Sure, he was apparently vain and pennily comfortable, but that is RIGHT! We are still allowed to mention him, talk about him, discuss and debate his work, without some whistleblower storming through the window with a tin of paint and a sign to spoil all the innocent fun and joy he has brought us all for just SO long. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re reacting much as I would if I were to be accosted and threatened by a tribesman: “Don’t shake spear at me!” - well, tough. I am going to shake that spear whether you like it or not. Because, as long ago as his writing was, his greatest and most famous moments of inspiration are as potent as ever.
These days someone might say to a brand new lover, “I don’t want to go, but I must. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow”. Its meaning is pretty self explanatory. BUT! It is perhaps somewhat lacking in emotion, wouldn’t you say? Shakespeare put it differently: “Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow” - Ahh! Such bliss. Such simplicity, and yet entirely GETS that feeling. “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players”. His wisdom and observation was astounding, particularly for the time. And this quote feels more and more present, what with many of us feeling like life is to be got through or that as time goes on, we are smaller and more insignificant than ever. Or: The Truman Show. What I do find interesting about this quote though, is that at the time, it was illegal for a woman to be an actor. “Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't”. This again shows his keen eye for observation. That someone could do something seemingly crazy or at the very least unexpected, yet have a thought process behind it. That there is a reason for these crazed larks. And hence where we got the expression, “there’s method in my madness”. I will finish my little quotes section with this: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet”. It’s so true! A word is but a set of letters. We think little of the word ‘nose’, until it has sniffed the whiff of romance in bloom. So why ‘rose’? Well, The Bard thought a similar thing when it came to words… Oh, and one last quick morsel before moving on: that most famous of quotes, “…wherefore art thou Romeo?” - Juliet was not enquiring as to the whereabouts of her new found hunk. She was asking WHY. Wherefore means ‘Why’, or ‘For what’. And she meant it in the way of Romeo being a Montague. Simple when you know.
It is no overstatement to call young Bill a genius. Such genius is exceedingly rare. Almost unheard of. Not genius like scoring a tricky goal in football, or carrying a pint to your table without spilling a drop. These are not examples of genius. Genuine genius is Da Vinci, Shakespeare and Bach. And they often tend to be multi-faceted too. Da Vinci was not only an astounding artist, but a prolific scientist and inventor. Shakespeare was not only a maker of the greatest prose and verse, but a maker of words. Yes, he invented words. Words we all use regularly. In fact, he invented around 1,700 words! “Words cannot describe how I feel” - how many of you have said that at one time or another? Well, for young William, that just wouldn’t do. If there were not the correct word, he would make the correct word. Otherwise his works would be brief: Words cannot describe what I want to say. The End. This did however work for Marcel Marceau. SO! Obviously the list of words Shakespeare invented (!!!) is rather long, and I have some music to get to in a bit, but you may be rather astounded to realise quite how many are such normal common words. The kinds of words you just couldn’t imagine being without. Here are but a few: obscene, hurry, gossip, traditional, rant, bedroom, manager, kissing, worthless, varied, fashionable and alligator. I always thought he had invented the word ‘lovely’, but I was seemingly wrong. He did however invent the word ‘lonely’. Which if spelt by CHVRLI BLVCK, could perhaps right my wrong.
Swinging back to my initial words: “To be, or not to be…” - Should this have been from Romeo and Juliet rather than Hamlet, Juliet would have answered “Yes”. Both and neither. She just couldn’t decide! She wondered whether there was a way to not be, then to be again? These ‘princesses’, eh! As you like it, ma’am.
“If music be the food of love, play on” - and so I did. I pressed play, and discovered a lady whose love is so strong that she will not hide away by re-enacting the risky scene of temporary poison. No no! This lady is not Juliet Capulet. She is Heather Lee. And whether in the end she finds herself in Hell or not, Heather Lee will remain Heavenly, at least in my eyes. For she will always fight for love. Heather is rather a bit of fun from Las Vegas. But she’s no gamble. I say she’s fun, because she has a sense of humour. But she also has that kooky side that I like in humans. There is little I like in humans, so this is a good thing. On the New Artist Spotlight Discord server (can we have a less techy word than ‘server’, please?), her byline is “Mediocre at best” - instant smile from me. Just so refreshingly unshowy. But luckily, so incorrect too. Not Juliet is her first and only single released so far. But going by the quality and a little research, I think it’s safe to say she has been doing this for quite a while. Her byline really should say ‘Very good at least’ - but then I wouldn’t have warmed to her.
There is a darkness in her passion. She will kill to save her love. She will do anything to anyone who tries to hurt her love. It feels like we are watching her in slow motion, charging in the heavy rain towards an entire frontline of haters and destroyers. She will win her love, or die trying. But Heather does all this over a backdrop of Portishead in their prime, Goldfrapp in their first album, Madonna in her most subdued, and Massive Attack in their element. There are also notes of Everything But The Girl and Kate Bush. This is made to show off Heather and her voice. The reverb is lush and thick, yet just airy enough to breathe. The song is grief stricken, as if to prove that she doesn’t like what she is doing, but believes it is necessary. And yet it is also like deep down inside, she knows she will fail, causing carnage, and dying in the process. There’s method to her madness. Both the method and the madness are love. Many have said that they would die for love, but would you kill for love? The former suggests it would have to be for another’s love. But the killing would suggest a more selfish love. Not necessarily derogatorily selfish, but simply where one can remain alive to enjoy one's love for another. Heather’s love is pure here. That she would do ANYthing to save her man from harm. She deserves for that sensual kiss before battle not to be their last.
I will not be going into the music side of Not Juliet in any detail, because it is more about the richness of the full form that makes the piece simply work. All you need do now is press play. If this is Heather’s first single, I am rather excited to hear what comes next! Providing the Montagues and Capulets don’t run her into the ground in the meantime. Or it will be her first, her last, her everything.
And so you see, Shakespeare is not simply something of the distant past. He is forever hip. I crown him, the Hippy Hippy Shakespeare. Who’s uneasy NOW? See ya later, alligator!
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