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.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙁𝙡𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙨 - 𝙒𝙧𝙚𝙩𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙙 𝙋𝙞𝙣𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙙 𝙋𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙚𝙩𝙨
Charles gifts a gift by means of a gift…
Friday saw the release of a new Ed Sheeran album. Never mind.
On a more positive note, I will be talking about something other. A gift more desirable than this. Now, what would you say is a suitable gift for someone? A book token? Nah, no one reads these days. Huh! A car? JESUS, how rich ARE you?? Nah, it’s just far too extravagant, they’ve already got one, and they will feel uncomfortable in accepting such a thing. Besides, they don’t like the colour (or ‘color’, for all you merry cans). Huh! How about a piece of furniture? Well, aside from them probably not having space, they might take it the wrong way and think you think they can’t afford a chair, and have been eating meals on the floor. Nah, best not to go for furniture. Besides, again, could be very expensive. Also, taste comes into it. You’re bound to pick the wrong thing. A Rococo side table doesn’t exactly go with the Samsung TV… Let’s go back to the book token idea. That all important word, ‘token’. It’s a gesture. So something small that doesn’t take up space, doesn’t cost a lot, and yet is very much appreciated by most. Ah, I know where you’re going here. Chocolates! Well, no. They might be on some new fad diet that fails within days because they refuse to let go of their secret stash of Haribo, yet they’ll ultimately blame your chocolates. So. You know what it is. Yep, it’s flowers. Yes, the givee might have a severe pollen allergy, but other than attaching a COVID mask to one of the stems, there is a limit. Ungrateful swine. Flowers heal. They look good, they smell good, they don’t take up any space, and a week later you’ll never know they were there. I’m sure all you manly men are thinking “I’d rather have Final Fantasy XVI for my PS5, or a new blade for my chop saw. What the hell am I going to get from a bunch of flowers??” - well yes. So they’re not for everyone. Fine. But I think I’m right in saying that MOST will be happy to receive said blooms. Remember, it’s the gesture. It means a lot.
We artists are givers. Artists used to sell their work. Now we just give it away (“Give it away, give it away, give it away now” - well thank you Red Hot Chili Peppers). You see, music these days is a gift for everyone. You could write someone a song - what a gift! But also, we can just release a song and it can be enjoyed by the masses, for free! Curs-ed industry. Lucky listeners! Poor artists. Literally. BROKE artists. And unlike flowers, a song will last forever. A song is a perpetual motion machine. It just keeps on giving, long after the artist has “moved away permanently”. But what aids artists in being able to give these gifts? A gift! Their own gift. You see, an artist could be considered a perpetual motion machine (please forgive this analogy and don’t get all scientific - I know we have to eat, so the energy comes from somewhere, you boring person). An artist has a passion and compulsion to simply keep going. To keep creating. They have a gift. It’s like winning the lottery. This is your gift, and being the good citizen that you are, you give it all away throughout your life.
BUT!! People who aren’t artists seem to think this: “Oh, well you’re lucky. You’ve got a gift. You can do all these things without even thinking” - WRONG!! There is very much thinking going on here. And a tonne of practice, experience and hard work to nurture said gift. Think of it in terms of a baby. No matter how inquisitive and intelligent it seems at a very young age, it still needs to learn life. It needs schooling. And with years of practice they can do most things “without even thinking”. The little blob doesn’t just pop out and get cracking on a biochemical engineering project. It has to be burped first! But the other thing similar to the gift and the baby, is the humble flower. The sad thing about a bunch of flowers is that the second they are snipped, they are basically dying. So we must keep them alive. In order for those little green buds to bloom, they must be nurtured. Admittedly, you won’t need a biochemical engineering degree to know how to do this. It’s called water.
Which reminds me. Sip of water. Ah, much better. I feel well nurtured. Let’s talk about James Holm, otherwise known as Jimmy. Jimmy is the remaining member of Wretched Pinhead Puppets (WPP from now on). It is ultimately now a solo project. To read more on the tragic story of WPP, tap HERE, where I explain all from its past. To read my previous WPP review (exactly 2 years ago), tap HERE. The brand new single, The Flowers, was released on Friday, and is better than Ed Sheeran. But then again, most things are. Which reminds me, I’ve got to take the rubbish out. So. Jimmy. He’s unusual, to say the least. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, otherwise known as: the desert. He is eccentric, but like Billy Lowry, it is entirely natural - nothing fake going on here. I like eccentrics. They’re just fun. But a little goes a long way, if it’s the wrong kind of eccentric. Just plain annoying. Which Jimmy isn’t. One can get used to the constant fun of an eccentric, that one might perhaps take it for granted. The same can be said for artists and their music. Those who release infrequently tend to get quite a bit of attention with each release, because it is a rarity. But those who release frequently, or even incessantly, do often tend to be almost forgotten. Always in the ether, but rarely raved about. Because it is just so normal for them to have a new song out. This is okay with the ‘meh’ artists - not that we have any ‘meh’ artists at the New Artist Spotlight - but what about the ones releasing gem after gem? Their impact can be watered down a little. I always wondered if this happened with The Beatles. Did people at the time just get used to the constant string of massive mega hits, year after year? Was it just as thrilling every time? Well, yes probably. Because EVERYone was releasing at a fast pace then. And the path of music was fast-changing. Blink and you’d miss a whole era of music! It was to your advantage to pay attention and keep up.
But these days? I wonder. My point here is that I sometimes query the strategy of constantly releasing. Prolificacy. Is it worth it? Jimmy is immensely prolific. He is releasing more and more. He doesn’t stick with the same style, and he attempts to release a song just every few weeks. When someone is as prolific as this, it is perhaps easy to just pooh-pooh a new song, or simply take it in one’s stride because it is simply yet another one. “Yet another great song”, or “it’s okay but I preferred the last one” - probably not the last one but one from many months ago because you didn’t bother with the last one, because you knew there’d be another one soon. One gets used to a high standard. It’s what one expects. But aside from this judgement being an ill one, it might also perhaps be considered rude by the artist. Don’t be so ungrateful. You think artists make MONEY from this?? They’re doing it for YOU! Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, so the saying goes. Or, as my dyslexic schoolfriend once said after one joint too many: “Don’t look a gid hav in the morf”. Just remember that. When each release is played one after the other in quick succession, one’s senses can get a little dulled. One’s opinion and thoughts can be a little skewed. We take it all for granted. If however you have never heard Wretched Pinhead Puppets, and someone plays you just one song, chances are, you will really go for it. Because your senses are as fresh as a nurtured daisy. I urge every one of you to listen to these prolific artists as though each song is their first (or their last) release. Give it the attention it deserves. If you don’t like it, fine! You can move on to another track, or even another artist. But show it respect. The song. Please don’t blindly praise when you think something is just “all right”, but do come to it with a fresh head. I say all this because I don’t want Jimmy’s efforts to be wasted when he has the potential of the entire New Artist Spotlight community’s ears at his disposal. Sorry, Disposal probably wasn’t the best word to use. But you get my point.
The other reason is, Jimmy doesn’t go on about himself. At all. He quite often releases and doesn’t tell anyone! A curious concept, but he has a plan. He is looking at the bigger picture. He realises that while the New Artist Spotlight is a wonderful, thriving bunch of artists and listeners, there are 8 billion people in the world to satisfy. The NAS doesn’t have even half that number of members. Jimmy is releasing great stuff all the time and building a thorough catalogue as something for the world to look back on, with the additional hope that one of them becomes a hit. Because, all it takes is one, and he would never have to work again. And the good news? His plan is working, slowly but surely. He has a steady fanbase of listeners, always rising, and from all over the world. Far further than the NAS. But PLEASE don’t take this to mean that you too should be releasing every couple of weeks, just for the sake of it. Jimmy has a lot to give. Like his eccentricity, it is all natural. He has a gift, and he wants to share it with the world. Kind man.
But speaking once again of gifts, he has yet another one. And another one he is willing to share. He has recently become an ARTIST artist. Not only have his recent single covers been designed, drawn and painted (pastels) by him, but he is drawing portraits of people and putting them up on social media (Instagram link below if you’d like to peruse). And how often is he making these portraits? Twice a month? Once a week? Nope. Every single day! You see, he may have had a gift, but it had to be nurtured. The only way to nurture this kind of gift is to do it again and again and again. And then again. The man is just CONSTANTLY drawing, sketching and painting. And he’s damned good! What I like is that while they are really good artworks, instantly recognisable, he still manages to put his own personal mark on it. Those eyes! Those COLOURS! Just fabulous. He has created his own style. This is SO rare. He surprised me with my very own face! His gift to me. I didn’t even know it was coming at all. You might spot it somewhere here if you look closely… Not only does he put the finished artwork on social media, but he videos the whole process and shows it as a time-lapse. It was thrilling to watch. I then spent just AGES going through his work. The talent simply oozes from this artistic colossus of a puppeteer.
Ah Christ, the song. So yeah. Wicked song. My favourite of his in a while. There’s some Coldplay in there. Yes, the verse is similar, but Jimmy takes it further by progressing the chords to something more interesting. He also makes it somehow fonder. And Yellow is a fond song. There ya go. A review in 50 words. That’s a first for me! Okay, okay. I made up for my brevity with the pre-amble. Pre-longdistancerunning… Anyway, I not only urge you to listen to The Flowers, but also to go back and peruse his discography (so much perusing in this article). Not only scores of singles, but 3 albums! There’s plenty of humdingers there - hence this being my third outing with Wretched Pinhead Puppets. One more and he will have had all four corners! Oh, get a room.
Take a few of Jimmy’s gifts, as if picking petals off a Desert Marigold. But remember, Don’t look a gid hav in the morf.
Listen to 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙁𝙡𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙨 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
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