top of page

๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Rainbow - Map of Autumn

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™–๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™—๐™ค๐™ฌ - ๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ฅ ๐™ค๐™› ๐˜ผ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™ข๐™ฃ


Charles finds a treasure mapโ€ฆ


It is the beginning of July. Do you know what this means? It means we are truly in the thick of Summer. Well, for those in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway. In Britain though, we have a different way of looking at it. Itโ€™s very much the thin of it. We tend to look at Summer like a dream. Like, โ€œone day Iโ€™ll be richโ€. Like this impossibility for which we are eternally hopeful. An impossibility that is not only possible but highly likely in other parts of the world. I donโ€™t mean a wealth of pennies. I mean a wealth of sunshine and of heat. In many parts of America, people right now are simply too dehydrated to bother with a rain dance. Besides, it would be a futile endeavour. The clouds are too busy migrating to Britain in small boats. Itโ€™s apparently where they belong. Italy though, as usual, has it just right: perfect clockwork weather. In Italy, Summer means Summer. In Britain, Summer is a bit like the Euros. We hope and hope some more. A few days of sunshine is like England winning the football on Sunday: enjoy it while it lasts. That could be it. We always hope weโ€™ll get a proper European Summer. We always hope to win a major football tournament. And although the outcome is rarely terrible, weโ€™re never left satisfied. This is the English way. Mustnโ€™t grumble, but must mutter under our breath. Last week was Summer. This week? Itโ€™s all right. The usual meh. But still, we keep on hoping, in search of this mythical utopian season. If only we had a map of Summer.


So if last week was Summer, what is this week? Well, in Britain, this week is election week. We have often been โ€œlied toโ€ by polls in the past, but this time it is absolutely definite what is going to happen. The sad thing is, itโ€™s a little like America at the moment. It seems to me that most donโ€™t want either major party. People donโ€™t want Biden, and they donโ€™t want Trump. In Britain, they donโ€™t want Rishi, and they donโ€™t want Starmer. So why not vote for someone else? Because thatโ€™s not what we do. We go on and on in the same old way, voting either for what we see as the least dangerous, or we simply vote for the opposite of the one we donโ€™t want. This is hardly the hope we had hoped for. Another concern for me is how the last election was a landslide result one way, and how this election will be a landslide result the other way. At least in America (as dangerously split as it is), people seem to have their own views and their own stance. A solid personality. It worries me that my own nation can flit from side to side this quickly and easily. And it also shows how flimflam and floppy each main party is. It shows the unruly, lost mess of a country this is. Rather amusingly (to me), our election coincides with Americaโ€™s Independence Day. Yes, Iโ€™m amused by the strangest thingsโ€ฆ Just as America is waving its Stars and Stripes, we in Britain will be ambling along to a disused Scouts centre in order to have our say. I bet there are no Union Jacksโ€ฆ Itโ€™s a map of despair.


Wouldnโ€™t it be nice if I was wrong? If the country could just get to grips with it all, and recover from all this mess? We English keep up the hope. You see, in England, with these frequent spells of intermittent rain in between the sunny bits, we often get something originally donated by the Irish: rainbows. A side note: London skies really are something special. While Italy continues its perfect bluewash fresco, we have something far more interesting. Blue is simply blue. Sun is simply sun. But it is clouds that make things interesting. I donโ€™t of course mean a gunmetal reinforcement half a mile thick. Nobody wants that. I mean when you get pinks and yellows and oranges and violets. It can be gorgeous. And then God comes along with his galvanised watering can, just as we are five minutes into a brief spell of pretending weโ€™re on the Amalfi Coast. We may sigh to absolutely no one, but if we actually look up, we will probably see a rainbow. And rumour has it, thereโ€™s a pot of gold at each end of it. In fact, double rainbows are very common. Mind you, for the amount of rain we (apparently) get, itโ€™s surprising there isnโ€™t a whole rank of rainbows. The rainbow to me is not a symbol of gay pride or anything like that. It is a symbol of hope and of peace. So, as Londonโ€™s skies change from pink to every other colour, we find ourselves with a map of hope.


After the myth that is Summer, comes Autumn. In America, this is called Fall. Coincidentally, Americans have their own word for Summer: โ€œBurnโ€. Theyโ€™re funny like that. England does Autumn well. It is probably the most beautiful season of all. There is comfort in Autumn. The ground becomes soft underfoot. Sunsets seem to last longer. And oh, the colours!!! This comforting season is for me the best walking weather. One can really wear layers and feel cosy, yet not be yearning for an open fire. And for me, it is the time when earphones are most appreciated. While the air is fresh and brisk, and the scene is a perfect painting, the ears can be filled with a mood to match. To quote the band Feeder, there is โ€œComfort in Soundโ€. And this is just where Map of Autumn comes in. As much as Map of Autumn is certainly no stranger to the New Artist Spotlight, the artist has never once been invited to my Corner. Yep, thatโ€™s the kind of host I am. Last week I said I was cruel. This is an example of my cruelty. However, this was all part of my schemeโ€ฆ


Many weeks ago, I mentioned Map of Autumn. Hold on a sec. Map of Autumn is Tim. Tim Rhys Davies (not Welsh at all!). I will refer to Map of Autumn as Tim from now on. Simpler that way. So yes, I mentioned Tim many weeks ago, and I pretty much apologised to him for not reviewing his most recent song of the time. I said that his time would come. It wasnโ€™t that the song was not good enough, by any means. In fact, if we had been informed that he was only to release that one song, I probably WOULD have reviewed it. My reason for holding back was that I was absolutely sure he was simply going to improve with pretty much every song. I had that inkling that Tim would rise and rise again. He is also releasing so absurdly frequently, that I knew I wouldnโ€™t have to wait long for the next few. I just didnโ€™t want to review a good song, and then a much better song comes along just a couple of weeks later. It makes me feel a little daft (also a typical English trait: daftness). With a name like Tim Rhys Davies, my chosen chap of the week already sounds like he writes West End musicals. I mean, stick a Sir in front, and you have something positively aristocratic! It is in fact a perfectly standard Welsh name. But he doesnโ€™t live in Wales. And is anything but perfectly standard. I think Iโ€™ll call him Sir Tim. It has a nice ring to it. Sir Tim lives in Sussex, a Southern English county between London and the South Coast. Most people donโ€™t actually realise that the whole of South England is nicknamed Autumn. Weโ€™re funny like that. You see, Tim really does have a map of โ€œAutumnโ€, and he knows it well. Meaning, his music not only perfectly suits the season, but it perfectly suits the areaโ€ฆโ€ฆ. Okay, all right. You got me. Thatโ€™s all a load of nonsense. Along with โ€œBurnโ€. Autumn is just a season. But I can clearly see why Sir Tim picked Autumn as the scene for his songs. It is definitively autumnal music. Thatโ€™s the reason for the season.


Letโ€™s talk rainbows. The latest single from Map of Autumn is Rainbow. Despite having no doubt that Sir Timโ€™s music will continue to soar above and beyond the rainbow, I felt I could leave it no longer. For someone so noteworthy and simply brimming with talent, it seemed quite absurd that despite all of his NAS Top 20 chart entries (pretty much every single week), I had never set aside an article just for him. Until now. Rainbow felt like a good place to start. Overall, Sir Timโ€™s sound is nestled in the early noughties. Think VERY early Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Feeder (yes, that comfort in sound), and Keane. Keane, whose main musician (not the singer) almost shares the same name (Tim Rice-Oxley) and whose heritage also hails from Sussex. Co-inkydink? I think not. Itโ€™s evidently in the air. I think by now, you readers know that I am a fan of artists who do everything themselves. Which is ironic, considering that my job is to fix, edit, produce and mix for other artists. The good thing for me is, this DIY ability is exceedingly rare. It is also extremely time consuming. It makes a lot of sense to pay someone to do the tedious, confusing bits better than you could do them yourself. Then you will have time to do things like your job, and change nappies. Ya know: the joys of life. Anyway, Sir Tim does it all himself, and he ainโ€™t kidding himself either. He does it because he can, not because he has to. It is not ego. It is not money. Well, I assume anyway. I assume, because he is a thoroughly lovely, modest chap, and he has a proper job, which I can only assume pays in money. Assumption aside, I will tell you one reason I think he is so good at music and sound in general. This time, itโ€™s not assumed, itโ€™s fact. Sir Tim is an audiologist! Meaning his whole life and career is about sound and hearing. He is not only the first audiologist in the NAS, but the first audiologist I have ever known. I feel like sound must mean more to him because of this. A certain sensitivity and acute perception of what goes where and how. You see, this song in some ways is perhaps softer than some of his more recent releases. That is, at first. There is an almost jazzy quality to it. Jazzy, in the way that George Michael does jazzy. But the song therefore has more punch when subsequent instruments join in. Itโ€™s all in the contrast.


Oh, before I forget, thereโ€™s something I wanted to mention. When I hear Map of Autumn songs for the first time, I always like them. But rarely do I feel โ€œthat thangโ€ on first listen. I sometimes get this with NAS artist Bryan Cooper too. I think itโ€™s something that goes with much indie guitar music. This sounds like Iโ€™m putting them down, but I havenโ€™t finished. Itโ€™s about music growing on you. Songs being โ€œgrowersโ€. When I first heard Coldplayโ€™s debut album nearly 25 years ago (God, what a thought!), I was generally underwhelmed. Because it hadnโ€™t dawned on me yet. On repeated listens, something clicked and the album has been with me ever since. The same thing happened with last yearโ€™s โ€œfinal Beatles singleโ€, Now and Then. The first play or two, I was underwhelmed. Then something happened. This is what tends to happen to me with Map of Autumn. Which I think is actually the main reason I hadnโ€™t written about Sir Tim until now. I like to keep things fresh (in general). Once a song has been out for weeks and everyone knows and loves it, and itโ€™s shot to number one in the NAS charts, it seems a bit silly to then review it. So I always wait for the next one. But then I do this stupid thing every time. This time though, I learnt. I played it multiple times over a period of days, and I โ€œgotโ€ it. Basically, in this over-saturated modern age, it is difficult to make time for multiple plays of the same song. But I URGE you to do this. Instant pop is instant. It is designed that way. Instant brief plastic satisfaction, then once used, chuck it away and replace with a fresh one. But remember: always recycle. Unfortunately, it is the industry doing the recycling. Regurgitated generic pop for the masses is junk food for the ears. There is no nourishment. No nutrition. Nothing to savour. And there is certainly nothing to save for later. This is where โ€œgrowersโ€ are important. While it might seem to some like an acquired taste, this is the music that lasts. The problem is, there is less and less of this as time goes on. Correction: there is less and less of this in the mainstream. Musicians will never stop making art the way that comes naturally. But most may never hear it. This is where the New Artist Spotlight comes into play.


As with lately, my goal is to get you to press play, rather than to laboriously (and pointlessly) take you through the song bit by bit. Mainly because itโ€™s just not that kind of song. But as with all of Sir Timโ€™s releases, Rainbow is something special. Thereโ€™s just one timestamp Iโ€™d like to point out - my favourite bit, near the end. It hits at 4:05 (of 4:44). Sensational and truly exciting! Yet SO brief. I call this, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This man has got it going on, and we all get a share in the treasure.


On another note, did anyone else think Judy Garland was giving diet tips when she sang, โ€œSomewhere over the rainbow, weigh a pieโ€?


For my final word on this land of Eng, I will misquote Simon & Garfunkel: โ€œThe leaves that are brown, turn to shit.โ€


Howโ€™s this for an election slogan: โ€œSpare some change?โ€


Listen to ๐™๐™–๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™—๐™ค๐™ฌ 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™–๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™—๐™ค๐™ฌ 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™ˆ๐™–๐™ฅ ๐™ค๐™› ๐˜ผ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™ข๐™ฃ on Instagram HERE!

Follow ๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ฅ ๐™ค๐™› ๐˜ผ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™ข๐™ฃ on TwiX HERE!


Please share this post and let me know your thoughts in the comments below



370 views115 comments

115 Kommentare


Lol, Sir CC , you have done it yet again, blowing my mind with yet another amazing review of one of the most autumn new artists I've recently discovered on the spotlight. As you well know by now i don't stop at one syllable replies to your reviews , i always gotta have a long winded chirp. So here I go , hoping I don't bore the the pant's off of you, although, curiously enough, I do often do imagine you without pants on. Lol, could be something to do with your panties song or maybe I'm just a pervert ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ .Who can say, I am seriously weird, so anything is possible in this dizzy head of mine. Anyhoo, herโ€ฆ



Gefรคllt mir
Antwort an

Thank you, Leo. Nice summary.

Gefรคllt mir

Boy HaNZY
Boy HaNZY
07. Juli

Great review. Awesome artist

Gefรคllt mir

Patrik Ahlm
Patrik Ahlm
07. Juli

I completely adore Tim's music. Rainbow is his most recent masterpiece, but he's been churning out masterpieces all spring (yes, I said it - Autumn in spring. Tim's got all seasons). When I listen to his songs I find treasures all over the place, not only at the ends of the rainbows. Like for instance his drum parts, they're so well thought out and busy, but perfectly busy to fit the song. Well played. And the riffs and licks, they are everywhere and so tasty. And on top of this super talented songwriting. The way he manages to be rather complex but still very approachable and inviting. Did I say masterful! Of course it all becomes even more amazing whenโ€ฆ


Gefรคllt mir
Antwort an

You're so right about Tim's drums. He really plays well. They're busy in the subtlest way, yet always holding the rhythm and tempo. This is generally how he writes - as you said. You're such a coolcation.

Gefรคllt mir

Iโ€™m sorry Iโ€™m coming to this review this late in the game but I really enjoyed the review. Glad to read about summer in the UK and how that got linked to the awesome Map of Autumn taking their artist name. Lovely track indeed. I think Map of Autumn should be the mayor of that town with such beautiful music what more can a city want? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Gefรคllt mir
Antwort an

Thanks, Steve! So pleased you liked it all. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Gefรคllt mir

AfamGold
AfamGold
07. Juli

I think summer and rainbow go together. Weldone my friend for your excellent review and heh, let's pull the rainbow down to us here with Map of Autumn.

Gefรคllt mir

NAS Blog RSS

bottom of page