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.
𝙎𝙝𝙚’𝙨 𝘾𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙂𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙚 - 𝙈𝙖𝙩𝙨 𝘿𝙚𝙧𝙣𝙖́𝙣𝙙
Charles introduces with an introduction that is completely unnecessary.
You know that feeling when you find out that your favourite artist is playing in your hometown? The excitement and anticipation that you will soon be in the same room. That personal touch, where they will be playing for YOU. So much more than streaming on Spotify. It just means so much. The thrill of it all. You rush to buy tickets. You sweat slightly as they are running out fast. Seats or standing? Doesn’t matter. You will be there, if you manage to get tickets of ANY kind. You succeed! You have spent rather a lot of money but you don’t care. Then comes the day. You get there early, because that’s what people do. Far too early because you’re so eager. You buy overpriced lager in a plastic cup. You buy a hot dog that you don’t really want. You take your seat (or stand). It is all about YOU. After a while, the support act comes on stage. This is what I am getting at - the support act. You tap your foot and nod your head a bit, while still chatting with your guest about the act you came to see. You also chat impatiently and pointlessly about the size of the vast venue and how many people there are. You wonder if now is a good time to go to the loo - ‘John’ is a man’s name, a ‘bathroom’ contains a bath, I am not exhausted enough for a ‘restroom’, and ‘toilet’ is simply a vile word. And so, what is this ‘support act’ actually for? A time to ponder on the capacity of one’s bladder? An introduction to the real reason you arrived? Something to put you in the mood? “And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for: a man who needs no introduction” - why do they always introduce the act by saying they need no introduction? The lights are low, and it is time for everything you ever wanted. I am the support act. My time is up. Please welcome Mats Dernánd.
Mats Dernánd is a professional singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. The Swede creates the gloss that is normally only achieved by a team of top level dudes and dudettes. I speak specifically about his song She’s Called Grace. A stunning song that has NOT - for once - been overlooked. It managed to obtain an Honourable Mention award in the USA Songwriting Competition - despite the competition’s lousy and rather weak name, this is something rather special. Mats understands melody. He understands confidence in singing, without arrogance or the slightest note of showing off. He knows when to keep within a certain range and when to rise further. Dernánd’s subtlety is key, here. This can ONLY come from experience - he is not a 20 year old who is new to the game. His production skills are soft and understated, yet allow the track to breathe with bright dynamics. This is a happy, joyful song, full of life and light exuberance. Everything is so smooth. No sibilance, no harshness. The bass is clear and deep yet never overpowering - compressed in the right way. The finger snaps are clean and wide but so neatly nestled in the track. Mats manages chords like they are his own fingers. The progression feels natural yet never boring, as the melody bounces us from step to step.
We are taken through what is essentially an acoustic song, but as what I can only describe as children’s music for adults. Apologies to Mats if this puts it down - I do not NOT mean to do this. What I mean is that it holds a grown up quality, whilst making one feel like a child again. You remember, when everything was peachy before life got serious. The bells and chimes ring through like ‘adding salt to taste’. Mats Dernánd has a balanced diet in music - everything in moderation. Lots going on, but with an equal share - everyone’s a winner, here. There is a note of Gotye in terms of writing. Beautiful melodies within beautiful chord progressions, but always having a sense of catchiness for that pop sheen. I have noticed over time, how some of the most summery songs can almost have a Christmassy feel to them. Take The Beach Boys, for instance. I think it is due to these two seasons being associated with pure fun and enjoyment. Nothing but positivity.
It really is impressive how many things are going on in this relatively simple song. Aside from the melodious percussion and acoustic guitar, there is so much percussion of the beaty variety. There is piano, and even electric guitar. But Mats has given us a space so wide, that there is more than enough room for everything and everyone. It makes us want to join in the fun. So let’s do just that.
Despite his balanced diet, the Swede is coming out on top.
Listen to 𝙎𝙝𝙚’𝙨 𝘾𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙂𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙚 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
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