top of page

๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Tethered To The Hidebound - Bryan Cooper

Updated: Feb 21

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™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š๐™™ ๐™๐™ค ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™ƒ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™ - ๐˜ฝ๐™ง๐™ฎ๐™–๐™ฃ ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง

Charles is bound to hideโ€ฆ

So Track 1 of my โ€œHands Up!โ€ album is now released, and the journey has begun. The wheels are in motion, and I forgot to attach the brakes. Yes, this is what I am going to be talking about this week. Me and my music. Ow, ow, OWW!!! That HURTS! Stop hitting me with that, that, what IS that?? Oh I see. You wish me not to talk about me and my music. Well fine then. I wonโ€™t. Huh! Iโ€™ll have to cry later, wonโ€™t I. But I had it all planned! It was nice and simple - I didnโ€™t have to sift through the hundred new releases from members of the New Artist Spotlight. I didnโ€™t have to excruciatingly choose just one of the no doubt fabulous singles released in the past week or so. There was simply mine, and that was good enough for me. I mean, why bother listening to other artistsโ€™ music when I can listen to my own?? I mean, REALLY. Well okay. Fine. If thatโ€™s what you want. If you want me off my high horse, then so be it.

But I canโ€™t get off the bugger. How CAN I, when the fabulous comments have been hitting me like a constant stream of paper aeroplanes?? Iโ€™m stuck on this horse. Maybe I can write it from up here, not just struggling, but straddling. Hand me some paper and a pen, will you? Ugh. It turns out a horseโ€™s neck is not quite the ideal rest for writing on. โ€œSo just get off the damned thing!!โ€ - I canโ€™t, I told you! Iโ€™m stuck here, glowing. Beaming so much my cheeks are hurting. Here I am, with a beautiful view, admiring what I have made, and what people have had to say about it. โ€œYou know, thatโ€™s rather selfish of you, and actually borderline arrogance. Just think of all the other artists who havenโ€™t had the chance to be heard, who might have released a fabulous track, but no one knows about it. What about THEM?! You really need to change your views and your attitudeโ€ - Oh, you and your guilt-tripping. Fine then. Iโ€™ll write it. About someone else, but I am staying on this horse, if only on principle. And because I want to continue playing cowboys. Just bring me a flat slab of something with a soft moulded cutout for a horseโ€™s neck. โ€œLike this?โ€ - YES! How on EARTH did you find something like that?? I thought that would foil your whole plan for sure, and I wouldnโ€™t have to write a word about someone else! โ€œDonโ€™t askโ€ - Fair dooze. I wonโ€™t. Itโ€™s a perfect fit too! Maybe this is how 18th and 19th Century artists painted those beautiful landscape paintings. The scenes often do seem to be from a slightly elevated perspectiveโ€ฆ And itโ€™s padded with horsehair too! Nice catch! Or maybe slightly sick. Either way, this will work, I think. Ah bugger. Headphones please. Just toss โ€˜em up. โ€œAnother nice catch!โ€ - Ha, good one. Right, leave me be, and Iโ€™ll get listening and writing.

I like headphones. Just the feeling of wearing them. Doesnโ€™t even have to be music playing through them. It comforts me, and it makes me think. Almost makes me daydream, actually. Got my playlist set up; now to press play. That belligerent chap did make me think, I must say. I can be stuck in my ways a bit. Views unmoving, a little like this horseโ€™s legs (thank Christ, or I wouldnโ€™t be able to read my own writing). Maybe I should start to think less about myself, and more of others. And maybe I SHOULD actually get off this horse and feel the crunch of my knees again, as what little weight I possess bears down heavily upon them. I suppose I have always had a fondness for being hidebound. Man and horse. Also, it makes me feel a little bit taller, as I look down on everyone. โ€œThere ya go again, looking down on people! Always Mr. High and Mighty!โ€ - What are YOU doing here?? I said to leave me until I was done writing. โ€œBut you havenโ€™t even written a WORD!โ€ - Yes, well I WOULD have done if youโ€™d have left me alone! Beastly bugger, this chap is. So demanding! So. Where was I? Oh yes: that chap perhaps being right. Damn him! I have a fondness for my horse and for my familiar ways of being. The view is so peaceful up here with all these lush natural colours for added excitement. Itโ€™s like SEEING oxygen, as it revitalises my soul. It goes perfectly with this music. Wait, what IS this music? Bryan Cooper? Ah, yes, I remember. Heโ€™s the one who did that fabulous track, Soma By Drone a couple of months back. Well! I do believe I have found my track of the week! Iโ€™ll get writing. But first I must remember how to get off this high horse. Iโ€™m actually tethered to it!

Hm! That was actually slightly easier than I thought. Oh Christ - quick visit to the little boyโ€™s room to spend a penny - the elision of two known phrases; both of which I absolutely detest. But I suppose marginally better than โ€œgoing for a wazzโ€. Okay. Crunch-crunch, go the knees. I remember this feeling. What a wondrous song though! It is certainly taking my mind off things. Pen at the ready; here goes! Let me refresh your memory a little. Bryan Cooper is the kindest, most witty Englishman who now lives in Japan - for some reason. He is a bloody talented musician and songwriter, with a fabulously genuine voice. I think thatโ€™s pretty much all I have to say about him at the moment, actually. His brand new single was released on the same day as mine. Did I tell you I have a new song out? โ€œYes.โ€ - oh right. Well I didnโ€™t actually listen to Bryanโ€™s song for the first time on a horse. The first thing I did when I awoke on Friday morn, was fall over. After getting up (it takes a while and is akin to watching Oliver Hardy attempting, well, anything), I listened to Bryanโ€™s new single, Tethered To The Hidebound. And I thought: bugger. Itโ€™s brilliant. Damn him. You see? Iโ€™m really the kindest fellow!

But seriously, this song is a bright star, but it has something a star does not have. It is almost tangible. It is a living dream. A daydream, if you will. It wills you to think positively, leaving behind the worst of your notions, yet bringing the best of them to the foreground. As soon as I had heard the song, I reached out to him to let him know my thoughts - all good ones. No matter how humble or modest, artists like praise. They like to hear that they have done a good job and succeeded in their attemption (a CCism). But said praise must be genuine. Not a great deal of point otherwise. His reply was thus: โ€œWow, thank you mate! That was my own private Connollyโ€™s Cornerโ€. This got me thinking. Being release day for both of us, I hadnโ€™t put a single thought towards the next review. I was also aware that my own release had somewhat taken the spotlight away from his release, along with several othersโ€™. Having heard the sheer quality of what he had to offer, I decided this wasnโ€™t fair. Time to make amends. To right a wrong. This way we get the best of both worlds! Apologies to the others who released that day too, but this weekly light only has a capacity of one. Hence here we are.

A further private quote from Bryan (not private any longer) proved he had also put a great deal of thought, time and effort into the song: โ€œAfter the delicate nature of my last acoustic song, I was a bit nervous about how to produce this and still sound like the same artistโ€. So not only was I even more compelled to write this article and bring the song to your attention, but this quote made me think. Heโ€™s absolutely right! Drastically changing oneโ€™s sound can be great, but one can very easily run the risk of alienating oneโ€™s audience. BUT!! To err on the side of caution is to be a coward!! Ha-HAH!! Put that in yer pipe and smoke it. Bryan Cooper ainโ€™t no coward. If you want to make a certain song, just make it! Donโ€™t worry about what people might think. Otherwise it skews the whole thing of art. It must be for oneself. However, he does have a point. It is tricky if every release sounds like a different artist. I am rather infamous for doing different styles (even within the same song), yet people do tell me how it somehow always manages to sound like me. How do I do this? Complete and utter fluke. What more can I say? Iโ€™m obviously rubbish at disguise. Bryan, on the other hand, has evidently consciously thought about this aspect of things, and I must say, he has succeeded to the max! The song is completely different to Soma By Drone, yet so completely Bryan Cooper. This ainโ€™t easy. And both songs are excellent in very different ways. This time he moves towards the sounds of Palace, Elbow, Doves, Coldplay (when most people still went for them), and moments of Snow Patrol (the difference being, I really like Bryanโ€™s song). There is always something ethereal about his work. The quality is always very high, yet always retaining a natural nature. Can nature be anything but natural? Hmm. Anyway, he is as ever, the poet. A melodic poet who understands music, writing, suspense, relief, tension, release, surprise, production and sound. I think THIS is why it is easily identifiable as being the same artist.

And then there is originality. While this song might drift over you like a warm passing cloud, you might not realise the intricacies in the detail to which he is so attentive. His production is highly professional and frankly rare. The layers, no matter how subtle, are there in multitude. You will not notice them all. I am sure I have missed several. Imagine if I were to flick through the pages of a bookโ€ฆ Now tell me how many pages this book has. You canโ€™t, can you. If I were to give you a book with just four pages, you would understand the entire plot and, you would leave no pages unturned. Ahem. The point is, it would probably be a very dull book. A simplistic book, lacking in any depth. Bryan gives you depth, but in the form of an early Simpsons episode (when they were great). Meaning it goes as deep as you are willing to go. If you want yellow people falling over, itโ€™s got that. If you want psychedelic references to 19th century artwork, itโ€™s got that. On a business level, this is a great thing too. It maximises oneโ€™s audience! And that is about as โ€œbusinessโ€ as I get. Corporate speech over. One final thing though: the video. It is possibly the best video I have seen in years. SO simple, yet SO UNBELIEVABLY well done. Again, that attention to detail.

As with lately, I wonโ€™t be trawling through the songโ€™s verses and choruses, or specific lines and melodies. You have got the gist by now. Itโ€™s a damned good song that deserves your full attention and a good solid headphones session. There ya go: you heard it from the horseโ€™s mouth. Bryan, you win this round. But I will have quantity over quality. (winky smiley face!!)

Charles does not ride a horse, and has in fact NEVER ridden a horse. He is therefore NOT tethered to the hidebound.

Those who feel โ€œthis song wonโ€™t be for me because I donโ€™t like Coldplayโ€: Despite loving horses, Iโ€™m not interested in neigh-sayers.

Listen to ๐™๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š๐™™ ๐™๐™ค ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™ƒ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™ 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™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š๐™™ ๐™๐™ค ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™ƒ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™ on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Apple Music playlist HERE!

Watch ๐™๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š๐™™ ๐™๐™ค ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™ƒ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™ on YouTube HERE!

Follow ๐˜ฝ๐™ง๐™ฎ๐™–๐™ฃ ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง on Instagram HERE!

Follow ๐˜ฝ๐™ง๐™ฎ๐™–๐™ฃ ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง on TwiX HERE!

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

410 views127 comments


Feb 25

Great job on this amazing keep up the good work will be waiting for more ๐Ÿ˜€


Feb 25

Awesome review #CC. Tethered To The Hidebound is an amazing song. Love it


Congrats to you on the new single and a thorough artist deep dive!


Love this song (as much as I love your new first album track CC ๐Ÿ˜‰). From the opening guitar (riff and sound) to the wonderfully sang melody. And that melody, wow... - not the most obvious notes and it's just rad. Bryan's got a really great smooth voice and it floats perfectly on top of this brilliant arrangement.

The part about writing songs in various styles and giving them different sounds, with the risk of confusing listeners, stuck with me. I think it's great Bryan (and anyone else) just writes whatever song comes to mind. Be true to your artistic self. The journey is everything. Bryan is no coward, nor are you and I wouldn't consider myself a coward either.โ€ฆ

Replying to

Thank you, Patrik! You are very much not a coward. Hope you had a good time in Yermany.


Thanks so much for a great review, looking forward to learing more about this artist. Congrats on the new release!



bottom of page