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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Pretty Please - CHVRLI BLVCK

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 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 ๐™‰๐™š๐™ฌ ๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ playlists.

๐™‹๐™ง๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ฉ๐™ฎ ๐™‹๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™š - ๐˜พ๐™ƒ๐™‘๐™๐™‡๐™„ ๐˜ฝ๐™‡๐™‘๐˜พ๐™†

Charles considers the โ€œHome Aloneโ€ effectโ€ฆ

It is coming to the end. I know this is infamously the bleak midwinter, but thatโ€™s not quite what I meant. What I meant was, the year is fast coming to a close. It is a time for collecting oneโ€™s thoughts. Yes, all of them. Thatโ€™s a lot of thoughts. Let's face it, we all started the year with plans. But did we all fulfil said plans? This time last year, I said I would release far more music. How many releases did I manage? Three. Three measly tunes in an entire year. And one of those I didnโ€™t even write! Useless. So that plan fell flat on its face. Maybe next year. Next! I planned to go to Italy in the Summer. Did I succeed in doing so? Did I, heck. Maybe next year. Next! Howโ€™s about the hair? I said I would try my hardest to grow more hair on my head. No matter how much I held my breath and screwed up my face like a child whoโ€™s just swallowed a teaspoon of vinegar, it just wouldnโ€™t grow. Ah well. We can but try. Next! What about the career? The mixing and producing? Well, I think Iโ€™ve succeeded there. In that respect, things are starting to take shape and come to fruition. Well at least thatโ€™s one thing. So Iโ€™m not a COMPLETE and utter failure. Okay, well I think thatโ€™s my thoughts collected - most of them have been collected already in my yearโ€™s worth of Connollyโ€™s Corner articles (Iโ€™m not really calling them โ€œreviewsโ€ anymore - despite each reviewing a song). So now that my thoughts are neatly filed away, alphabetically, chronologically and by mood, what is there to do? Well if thereโ€™s anything you really wanted to do in 2022, nowโ€™s your last chance. You have but a few days. I would suggest not choosing anything too daring, dramatic or adventurous, or you simply wonโ€™t have time. Also, sod that for a game of soldiers.

While I ponder, I will nibble some Christmas leftovers. Why are these particular leftovers just so scrumptious? The word leftovers sounds like something youโ€™d feed the dog. But seeing as so many of you love your dogs more than your own family, you probably feed them prime steak. No leftovers for that beloved sleek canine! But what about THIS mangy mutt? I am not alone in loving Christmas leftovers. It can be just as good if not better than the feast itself. So maybe this can apply to other things? Here I sit, thumbs a-twiddling. A quick glance at my many lists, and I can see there is nothing remaining. Seemingly everything is done. So why does it feel like Iโ€™ve forgotten something? You know, the โ€œHome Aloneโ€ effect. I havenโ€™t forgotten Kevin. I never had Kevin in the first place. SO WHAT IS IT??! โ€œWhat the Sam Hill you yellinโ€™ for, George?โ€ - sorry, I still have the festive films floating around my mind. I guess I still have some thought ordering to do. But what IS that thing? Is there anything Iโ€™ve forgotten? Or is it just that usual uncomfortable feeling when one is nervous? What leftover has been left over? What delicious gem hides in plain sight? My mind is blank. Well, my mind is currently wondering what is actually IN Christmas stuffing. I am also wondering whether it is wise to wonder such a thingโ€ฆ So I will wonder about something else. But what?? What about my โ€œConnollyโ€™s Corner possibles listโ€? Did I forget something? Leave something off? Well obviously! That goes without saying. One piece a week is hardly enough to cover all the greatest music (or my personal favourites) that pour out of the New Artist Spotlight. But at least that one a week keeps it special. Iโ€™m never going to be doing any of that โ€œeveryone gets a medalโ€ junk. Let me have another look at my โ€œpossiblesโ€ list. Done that one. Done that one. That one has a disappointing chorus. Done that one. That one sounds a bit thin (should have let me have a fiddle). Done that incredibly talented artist too many times. Done that one. Hmm, this oneโ€™s interesting. I remember this one. Oh this oneโ€™s good. Oh why in Godโ€™s name did I not shine a light on this one weeks ago?! And why do I suddenly have Charles Aznavourโ€™s โ€œSheโ€ stuck in my head. My head is a funny thing. I remember once when I was told some bad news, I suddenly had โ€œMakinโ€™ Whoopeeโ€ going through my mind. As I said: head = funny thing. Not โ€œhahaโ€ funny. As I continue to gorge on leftovers, it seems like I might have found my ultimate leftover. That thing I had forgotten.

If I may, I will be completing my year with an artist who is just starting to get acquainted with the NAS Top 20 Chart. It is familiar enough to him that he knows the general layout and the dรฉcor. And the whereabouts of the bar. He has become an increasingly popular artist in the NAS, having only joined the community less than 7 weeks ago. I canโ€™t really quite believe it has been as little time as that. He has thrown himself into the community and really does show all the attributes of a thoroughly proper chap. I can say โ€œchapโ€ because he too is English. As in, from England. He also has a great name. Well, almost a great name, save the odd deliberately fashionable spelling error. In his world, vowels vre stopped vt the gvte vnd told to vbout-turn vnd double mvrch. Shall I reveal my final pick of 2022? Well, you know already - cheater. It is CHVRLI BLVCK. I will refer to him as Charli from now on, though, so as to save oneโ€™s teeth from awkwardly vibrating on oneโ€™s lower lip. Charli has been releasing singles almost every month since July, and almost every one has a different vibe. Yet each is quintessentially C.B. style. Meaning his natural sound is distinctive, which is SO important particularly these days. Many NASians have remarked upon the remarkable โ€˜Pleasure Seekersโ€™ as being a corker of track. I agree entirely, however I wanted to bring peopleโ€™s attention to a different song of his. For this artist is no one-song pony.

โ€˜Pretty Pleaseโ€™ is both fresh and dreamy. It is deep, it is cool. We fade in with a tripped-up reggae-tinged hyphenated-word of a guitar bite (more leftovers). It is relaxedly tight. Itโ€™s quite dark and devious. But dem drumz dough! Boy, do they puncture with a rounded cut, or what?? The toms and snare are just fabulously thick and forward thinking, perfectly setting up the groove of the bass to join the combo. Then within 30 seconds, that voice. Oh, that VOICE! For those of you who have heard of the London band, Palace, if youโ€™re a fan, you will love CHVRLI BLVCK. I donโ€™t know if this is coincidence, deliberate or unconscious influence, but Charliโ€™s voice is SO much like the crooning of Palaceโ€™s frontman, Leo Wyndham, itโ€™s uncanny. Which is absolutely fantastic for me, as Palace is one of my favourite bands from recent years. There are also notes of The Maccabees frontman, Orlando Weeks (with whom I went to school), Jeff Buckley, and Anohni (aka Antony Hegarty, aka Antony and the Johnsons). There might also be elements of Hozier in there somewhere, but I might be being swayed by his similarly good looks - donโ€™t go by the cover artwork here: he doesn't look like this - donโ€™t ask. For such a good looking chap (with absurdly thick, lustrous hair - bastard) it is rather surprising that he hasnโ€™t used this to his advantage in terms of cover art. As to his artwork, he is particularly fond of A.I. And despite a robot creating said artwork, he somehow manages to make it his own! Charli probably calls it V.Iโ€ฆ. Anyway, back to the music. One thing I love about Charliโ€™s way of doing things is his layering. He creates a rich tapestry of organic instruments, lush with reverb, to portray a scene. A feeling. A vibe. This man is not afraid to go heavy on the mid range of the frequency spectrum. Not enough artists do this. They tend to do the opposite, in ducking the mids and hyping the extreme highs and extreme lows. But we are human. Our ears are designed (by God or Steve Jobs - up to you) to respond to the human voice. Which lives in the mid frequency range. This is exactly where the heart, body and soul of music comes from. This is why old music sounds great through crappy speakers. Imagine a steak and chips with a small salad and a rocket garnish. The steak and chips are the mid range. The salad lies predominantly in the mid range, yet occasionally dots into the higher and lower frequencies. If one takes out the mid range, what is one left with? Not much more than a rocket garnish! Now thatโ€™s hardly appetising. Forgive me, Iโ€™m still working my way through these leftovers, so I have food on the brain. But basically, if youโ€™re mixing your own music, donโ€™t work on the frills before you have the foundations in place - or it will be too fragile to withstand crumbling to the ground. If however you feel this is too much like hard work and you have no idea in God's name what I'm talking about, feel free to contact me to do it all for you (winky smiley face).

The yearning and coolness in Charliโ€™s melodies and vocal prowess is pretty much as good as it gets. His productions are just about my favourite kind of indie music. Full of organic interest, oomphy layers, mature texture, and capable raw talent. And I have been told there is a lot more to come.

No more leftovers? Please sir, can I have some moreโ€ฆ? Pretty pleaseโ€ฆ

Listen to ๐™‹๐™ง๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ฉ๐™ฎ ๐™‹๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™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™ง๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ฉ๐™ฎ ๐™‹๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™š on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Apple Music playlist HERE!

Follow ๐˜พ๐™ƒ๐™‘๐™๐™‡๐™„ ๐˜ฝ๐™‡๐™‘๐˜พ๐™† on Instagram HERE!

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