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.
In all honesty, Charles almost falls and…
Sunday in London was a beautiful thing. Knowing full well (funny expression) the weather was to be glorious, I had set aside the entire day for a long wander on the lovelier side of life, with my girlfriend. Free from screens, free from distractions, free from even music. Yes, I know. Sacrilege. Think of it as a necessary healing. To be anointed by the sun, and little else (I was fully clothed). This little else was in fact mucho else. It was nature and beauty all around. It all does such a great deal for the soul. These simple pleasures. Plus the odd spot of nibbles and drinkies, for we are civilised adults who like a bit of this and also a bit of that. It turns out it is rather easy to enjoy oneself. To do little and yet be utterly contented. But one must let oneself go. It is important to make sure your brain doesn’t scurry back to its usual train of thought in terms of work and “real life”. It was all so perfect. Every moment of this oh-so simple day was just right, to the point where I started to wonder how long it would last. My brain kicked back into action, all suspicious-like. “If everything is so perfect, I must pay for this somehow. Something’s got to give. This can’t last forever. Is something going to spoil this blissful day?” - What kind of weak-minded individual thinks like this??
THIS kind of individual. But it doesn’t stem from weakness. It stems from kindness. It stems from sensitivity. It stems from the realisation that this simple day of very little is something to be thankful for, and something to enjoy. I am not religious, and barely superstitious. But I might be considered suspicious of things and people. I think it also stems from this perfect day being such a rarity in the rush-rush stress-ridden pressurised world of today. It is unnatural and unusual for me to have completely “free” days like this. And yet, so little could possibly spoil this day. You’re probably assuming it started to rain (being London). It did not. The sun continued to shine and continued to bake my nose and make my nose want to join the circus. But a sensitive soul can often be a fragile one, unfortunately. Rarely able to fully let its guard down. While an arrogant person might take the good times in their stride, a softer person might wonder if they deserve such delights and freedom. A more forthright, resilient personality would usually bounce back from a knock, while a more fragile one could be torn apart by little more than nothing. Fragility in a personality is not really a very desirable one. Perfection can be shattered at any moment, so hold on to the good times and never take them for granted. Don’t let the worry of what could be, spoil the what is.
While all this might portray me as a delicate 18th Century vase, you might be surprised how many people are fragile. They just maybe don’t tend to show it. Drop a vase on a hard floor and you know what will happen. But what about something that is designed for its strength and rigidity, say, for example a breeze block - not quite as pretty, but there you go. You could build a 20 storey tower block from these things. So they’re strong, right? Now drop it on that same hard floor. What happens? It breaks. Most of us have a limit to how much we bend before we break. Others will fall and shatter. Either way, the vast majority of people are sensitive, whether they show it or not. We do unfortunately come across the odd little bastard who is selfish, with very little to warm to. Don’t even bother to try to change them or “make them see”, for they will not listen. They are programmed to ignore any view which is not identical to their own, and they don’t deserve your time or your effort. While I don’t really judge people, I do observe them. And even those who may come across as arrogant or overly proud can often have their inner onion layers on show - they are peeling, and evidently forgot to moisturise with ‘Bravado Factor 100’. I have time for these people. I have time for the sensitives. I do not have time for the brazen selfish bastards who ruin it for everyone else.
As to myself, however - and no doubt many others - concern is a good thing. Being aware is a good thing. Being thankful for what you have, is a good thing. But worry, is just pointless. It does nothing but harm what is essentially a perfectly blissful time. This is, by the way, nothing about low self-esteem (for mine is not low), but a realisation of one’s own flaws, and being comfortable enough to share it, and confident enough to acknowledge it and change it. “You live, You learn”.
It is however important not to confuse low self-esteem with modesty.
It took a while, but I got there. You may not be too familiar with the name Nick Ranga, but you should be familiar with his music. Pantomime? Lifeboats? Chasing Goats? Sorry, Chasing GHOSTS. These are but a few of Nick Ranga’s hit singles. He goes under the name Eleanor Collides. Ahh! THAT’S who he is. Well, everyone at the New Artist Spotlight knows Nick. Or Eleanor. Why? Because he makes great music! Obvs. But other than that, any other reason? Well, as a matter of fact, yes. Because this Briton is a good, kind, decent, honest soul who embodies everything about the New Artist Spotlight. He puts just as much into supporting other artists as he does in promoting his own music. Maybe even more. It comes out of love and sensitivity. It comes from being someone whose comments are as genuine as those of a sparrow. In that, I cannot imagine a sparrow lying. Can you? Flying, yes. Lying, no. But he is also gentle like a sparrow, despite his tall stature. He is of the sensitive variety. But, with a bit of help from the NAS and its cohorts, he has managed to free himself from low self-esteem, yet retain the charm and light characteristic of a thoroughly lovely chap. Do undo to others what with they would do of undo without to you. Or something. You know the phrase. What it means is, people realised how supportive he was, gave his music a listen, liked what they heard, and gave him support in return. You see, this is what it’s all about. Genuine support for those who deserve it, both in terms of their art and their craft, and their behaviour as a human. Basically, be nice, be good, be honest, and make good music. Nay, make GREAT music. Which is JUST what Nick has done, with his latest single, Porcelain.
As our very own Daniel Tidwell would say, “Now, into the music”. The gentlest of piano touches, in a positive key with notes of melancholy. Nick joins us within one round with his usual soothing honesty. At this point it is akin to a sad lullaby. He is alone. He is singing to himself, with clasped hands. The reverb and soft delays only emphasise his loneliness and distance from everything and everyone. The close of verse two allows his prayers to be answered. Nick is joined by a choir from an open window. Voices of positive radiance. A choir made up of various New Artist Spotlight members. The head of the choir is NAS artist Cecilee, who also plays a subtle solo role throughout the song, fluttering in and out like Sparrow Number Two. It helps to have a little help from time to time. This choir’s intensity and passion was brought out and enhanced by our dear Andres Guazzelli, while mixing the entire song. These mixey men, eh? Andres with this song and my pick from last week. Myself with the latest singles from Mr. Oddzo and Emily Gray. And how lucky he and I are for receiving such fabulous works in the first place! I digress. As the New Yorker, Cecilee fades to the back of the room, Nick joins us at the fore where he left off, but this time with the subtlest of rhythm guitars and the lushest of strings. Lyrically, this song reminds me of Keane’s Bend and Break - a masterpiece of the noughties - with the theme of sadness with a positive outlook. The final third of Eleanor Collides’ Porcelain leaves us with that fond choir in full vigour, and the song having just enough instability to feel human. For we are often not completely and utterly stable. Friends, love, support and music will without a doubt help make you more stable - if you let them.
This song is slow. It is not plodding in the slightest, but simply resembles a settled heartbeat. The calm. The peace. The contemplation. The optimistic future. Bad things happen. Bad things will always happen. Bad feelings can also happen. But we must find the strength to come up to the surface. We must allow bad to dissolve. Even if it takes a while, it will go. But you must let it. Eleanor Collides and Cecilee have released something special here, and I believe you’ll feel it too.
Aside from my red nose, my skin remarkably remains porcelain white.
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