Updated: Aug 17
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.
𝙏𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙈𝙚 𝙔𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙎𝙚𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙩 - 𝙏𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙖 𝙇𝙤
Charles feels he knows you well enough to say…
What lurks beneath the surface of a seemingly good soul...? What darker things to discover under cover of a bad egg? This week brings another brand new release from Rich Allen: Lily Flower (his best yet). For a human, he is the epitome of “good”. But is there a darker side to this bag of positively charged beans…? We will probably never know. My scepticism is what brings me here. I always wonder about people. I always wonder about things. Let’s face it, I wonder about just about everything. Except sport. I very rarely wonder about that. Those who know Rich, will realise that he is in fact perfect in every way, so there are no worries there. But what about me? I am not perfect, in any way at all! But people seem not to entirely loathe my guts. I am apparently a good person. But I even wonder about myself. Am I really a good person? Underneath this fancy linen, am I the devil incarnate…? Do I hide the horns in my hair…? Well, no. Because my hair is far from thick… My natural scepticism always makes me wonder why the good are good. How pessimistic is THAT?? These days I find it hard to believe that people are good simply through morals and a decent upbringing. Or maybe it is a rather dreadful upbringing that has made them good. A sort of mid-life realisation…? Teenagers tend naturally to be selfish and pretty bloody awful. But they also tend to grow out of this “phase”. I always wonder though, which is the phase… Perhaps this “new you” is actually a very realistic façade. You see? I am less an inquisitive questioner, more a paranoid android. First impressions can tell you a lot. Although I am basically a non-believer, I do believe in that. I am sometimes wrong with first impressions, but usually right. Maybe often wrong, but usually right. Luckily, because of my ongoing scepticism, my initial mistaken assumption swings the needle to positive after realisation that I was wrong. Very rarely do I instantly trust someone from first meeting them. Even more rare is when I turn around and they stab me in the back. Metaphorically, of course. It has been ages since I was literally stabbed in the back.
So. What lurks beneath the surface of a seemingly good soul...? What is one hiding? What is one holding back? What is YOUR secret? Is it something huge? Something major, that would flip one’s perception of you upside down? None of us trust a single politician, let’s face it. Well I tend to think of the world as being populated by politicians. Actors, if you will - for that is what they are. Particularly these days, with social media. Am I really to believe that every single person on social media cares so deeply about every single thing in the world…? Because that’s how it seems. I just don’t believe it. But this fakery didn’t start with the dawn of social media. Oh no! We only have to look to the likes of Jimmy Savile, Gary Glitter, R. Kelly and countless others. We trusted them. We were wrong. We did not know. They kept it all a secret. There are certain people in the media that many do not like these days, like Eric Clapton and Bono, but they are not hiding anything. Clapton has certain contentious views, and Bono just continues to be Bono. Hell, at least they’re honest! Better than bottling it up and sweating until the day the bottle is found and broken. It will be found, and it WILL be broken.
What’s MY secret? Do I have a secret? Ha! Of COURSE I do. I’m human. I could tell you my secret, but then it would be a secret no longer. And where's the fun in that...? But I will however tell you something you probably didn’t know about. Have you heard of Tricia Lo? Non lo so? Non lo sai? I thought you might not be familiar. Well you should be. Tricia is not the most talkative in the New Artist Spotlight, but she has quietly been a member on and off for a couple of years. A little bit in 2020, then in 2021, and now throughout the whole of 2022 - she just can’t keep away. And understandably so!! The New Artist Spotlight is something that we artists have grown to love and cherish. It ain’t no “stream team”. It is a community of music fans and spectacular artists! Then why is Tricia so quiet? Well, artists tend to come in two categories: the shouters and the timidly humble. There are also some who are somewhere in between - an unusually pleasing balance. It could be considered to be called “understated pride”. I believe this to be what Tricia Lo has. And here she is, with her first original single of 2022, Tell Me Your Secret. The Latvian singer is no stranger to pop. But pop with a difference. She has that darkness and mystery in her sound. I think you all know I love that in music. I mean, clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth, but isn’t it more fun to feel like the bad guy…?
I hear various influences in the song, but none so clear as Oh Land, in terms of sweetness in melody and lushness in production. If you don’t know the music of Oh Land, check her out. There is however a more industrial sound to Tricia, which reminds me of the attack and nastiness (in a good way) of mid-era St. Vincent. Another artist to listen to, if you’re not familiar. Ms. Lo has made one hell of a production here. We start with a series of haunting swoops, as if Enya has been detained in the underworld. Tricia’s eyes look straight through you before commanding us with confidence. She urges me to tell her my secret. The flute pipes of a church organ attempt to sweeten me with fluttering eyelashes. No fear! I ain’t tellin’ nobody nothin’. But as her persistence builds, she gets impatient with my refusal. The 47th second slams her cold, hard fist on the desk, as it splinters like loose CGI - the desk, not the hand (obvs). Okay, I am listening. She screams at me with saturation! NAS member, Kiirstin Marilyn springs to mind. The bass synth and distorted drums crash down upon me, encircling my fear like a pack of wolves to a teddy bear. Tricia shoots fire from the tip of her spear as she stomps it on the dry, dusty ground. She sees I need teasing, and that aggression alone will not do to make me open my mouth. Verse two gives me just enough time and breath to wipe the sweat from my brow, and gulp. But it is too soon before her rage takes hold once again, and a colossal industrial structure starts to rise from the ground behind her. It is much like a Giger painting. As if the entire monument is living, wriggling with movement. This has the strength of Massive Attack and Florence and the Machine combined, when their teeth are at their most clenched. All I want is for my eyes to close, but they will not do so. Tricia seems to have some sort of spell on them. She enjoys my pain. Sadism of the highest degree. So what’s her secret? She has told us without saying a word about it. It’s clear. It’s obvious. It’s raw talent.
Okay, okay! Tricia, I will tell you my secret. I never wanted to let this out. I never wanted you of all people to know. Afterwards you will understand why I had kept it from you. Although, I have to say, the guilt has been crippling me for oh-so long, so maybe this will bring me some sort of relief from the seemingly never-ending torture I have endured through no one’s fault but my own. My hidden bottle is full, and I knew that one day you would find it and smash it over my head. Here it is. My secret. I… I, er… Look, this is hard. I… I just can’t say it! It’s really difficult to say it when you keep moving closer like this. With that, that look in your eye. As I edge backwards, I stumble and fall. The vibration causes a loose drum to plummet and knock me on the head. My brain is full of nothing but distortion and I am out, cold.
"But, but… Your secret!!" - I guess you’ll never know.
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