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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Walk Away - Patrik Ahlm

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™ก๐™  ๐˜ผ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ - ๐™‹๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ž๐™  ๐˜ผ๐™๐™ก๐™ข


Charles is standardisingโ€ฆ


To quote Itโ€™s a Wonderful Life (as I often seem to), โ€œI live in a shack in Potter's Field and my wife ran away three years ago and took the kidโ€โ€ฆ This basically sums up my life. No, wait. Thatโ€™s not true. It doesnโ€™t at all. I have never lived in such a place (if it exists), I have never been married, and I donโ€™t have any children. But the rest is true. But, there is no โ€œrestโ€! Ah yes. True. Well, in that case I have absolutely nothing in common with the alternate life of Ernie Bishop, the cab driver. I canโ€™t even drive! So where does this leave us? Where does this LEAD us? Well, it leads us to the beginning. My beginning. I really had a wonderful life!


I consider myself one of the lucky ones. My childhood was one of niceness. Goodness, if you will. I did not grow up in a filth-ridden council flat. I was not surrounded by crime or danger. I did not spend my time picking at the deteriorating plaster on the wall. Neither was I on the defence with every step of every aimless wander. My parents were not fighting and feuding all the time (or any of the time). If I needed new clothes, I had new clothes. My meals were healthy, nutritious and delicious (Iโ€™m sure thatโ€™s a slogan of some sort). Takeaways were an extreme rarity. Isnโ€™t it funny that we call deliveries, takeawaysโ€ฆ It was a beautiful, leafy area of London (still is), and the sun was seemingly always shining (at least from memory). You get better weather in the posher parts - fact. I had a good education; or rather, I went to a good, safe school. I never actually learnt anything. Gone are the days of actually learning at school. I were brung up to speak proper, innit. I was not a saint, but I was a decent person (I brought cigarettes to school, not knives). Manners were not so much learned, as acquired. It just happened. But then again, I was brought up in the old way: stand up if a lady enters the room or approaches the tableโ€ฆ That would probably be considered sexist, these days; despite it being a sign of respect.


So yes, you see, aside from having terrible problems with eczema and asthma, my childhood really couldnโ€™t have been much better. I am therefore not warped or frustrated in any way. I do not have deep childhood trauma of any kind. There is really nothing bad to come from any of this. Some might consider this a spoilt upbringing. But although I do consider myself fortunate, I donโ€™t consider myself spoilt. As I said before, I like to think of this as lucky. The problem, however, is one of laziness. I did very much become lazy, as a youth. Everything was there for me. Everything was just so. There was no big, bad world ahead and in front of me. Or rather, there was! I just didnโ€™t see it coming. So when I fled the nest, it dawned on me. Although briefly thrilling, things were not quite as I had anticipated. Suddenly all my money was going on rent and food. I went from going out 6 or 7 nights a week, to barely going out at all. The laziness changed to a pensive quality - probably soon emerging in the form of my music (because it didnโ€™t involve money). I realised that although I had been given the very best start, it was perhaps too perfect. I was either to push and push, in order to get back to the top, or plummet and settle. In other words, if I didnโ€™t truly succeed in life, the only way was down. I know this sounds like โ€œposh man moaningโ€, but it is a struggle of sorts. You see, starting with nothing means you have a world in which to grow, improve and succeed. To rise, and rise again! But if one starts at the top, one canโ€™t doff the top hat and strive to be a milkman with oneโ€™s very own milk float. It just isnโ€™t appealing. This is the very reason I rarely wear the very best clothes or eat the very best food: after that, anything cheaper feels and tastes inferior. Take pity on the poor fortunates!


So where is this all going? I led you to the beginning. My beginning. But now I will lead you to standards. High standards. Once one reaches the heights of the highest standards, where is there left to go? One can surely not improve on near perfectionโ€ฆ The answer is, to either go left field and do something different (option 1), or to retain those exceedingly high standards in a similar manner (option 2). Neither is easy. Both will insist a certain pressure. And pressure is the problem. Let us turn to music. The Beatles hit near perfection almost right from the beginning. How did they continue? They went with a mixture of option 1 and option 2, but mainly option 1. Constantly changing and evolving. But in doing this, they always kept their standards high. A drop-off would have been career suicide. Which is the funny thing about being so good. This fictional song they released that had failed to be quite as good as their previous songs, would have been a minor (or major) hit with any other band/group/beat combo. But this was THEM. They were gods, and so they had to be making music of the gods. It was vital in retaining their god badge. They were, after all (despite what some still argue), bigger than Jesus. In this way, standards are just everything. So when one artist makes something truly spectacular, the bar is raised. This is now the level (at least for that specific artist) for which to strive. Not easy. Instant pressure. Which finally leads me to Patrik Ahlm. Sir Patrik of the manor of Sweden. Few can deny that he is one of the greatest artists the New Artist Spotlight has to offer. He has always been excellent. Always one to look out for. Or listen out for. But in October of last year, something special happened. Patrik released Donโ€™t Care. Sure, there are heavy notes of not only Simon, but also Garfunkel, but the main thing about it is its quality. It is classy. It is stylish. It is inherently posh. So of course, I didnโ€™t hesitate to review it. At the time, nothing could compare. This was high art. This was independent music at its finest. And so, Patrik reached another rung. It was at least three rungs higher than his best (already fab) beforehand. For Patrik, the reception was wonderful, if a little overwhelming. But ultimately a very good thing. The problem came after a well earned Christmas breakโ€ฆ โ€œWhat next??!!โ€


His thoughts of โ€œhow on Earth do I follow that?โ€ were as overwhelming as the praise with which he had been showered for Donโ€™t Care. As an artist, one has to start from scratch with every song. An empty page. A clean slate. And most importantly, one has to ignore the looming pressure, while still aiming for the very highest standard. We have to make greatness from nothing with every single release. Being human comes with drawbacks, ya see. We canโ€™t simply set the dial to 10, and leave it. Besides, whereโ€™s the fun in THAT?? And of course we would become very lazy indeed. Cue A.I.: word prompt, my FOOT!!! A.I. can sod off and go to hell, where it can make images of photorealistic flames, without ever having felt the heat from a fire! Sorry, just a brief impromptu rant about the thing we could all do without. Back to Patrik. He started 2024 with Come and Go. While a great song (as if he could make anything less than great), fans of independent music were still busy being obsessed with Donโ€™t Care. Some things can be a slow burner that eventually rise to fame. Donโ€™t Care was not that. The song was hailed from week one, and basically got a little too comfortable at the top. It wasnโ€™t going to leave without a fight. It fought well and kept on going. The unfortunate thing is that it meant very few were even aware of Come and Go being released. Come and Go came and went. March brought about Ghost Light. A song I so NEARLY reviewed, but even I was guilty of thinking โ€œItโ€™s so good!! But is it as good as Donโ€™t Careโ€ฆ?โ€. I desperately didnโ€™t want Patrik to be plagued by this awful position in which he had put himself. But alas, so much more great music was being released by artists from the NAS - so the poor lad was once again not successful in reaching my Corner. I must say though, Ghost Light for me, IS a slow burner. I liked it instantly from first listen, but it wasnโ€™t until repeated listens later on that I realised its brilliance. For this is something Patrik masks very well: his brilliance. Ghost Light HAS actually managed to gain quite a bit of attention, mainly through being voted into the NAS Top 20 chart several times. Finally replacing Donโ€™t Care!! Until this week, where Donโ€™t Care is back again. Ya just canโ€™t keep a good man down.


Friday, though, was release day. New Music Friday, as we call it. Patrik and myself shared the release day, which is always a lovely thing. I do love sharing release days with artists I truly admire. Thereโ€™s something so cosy, fun and exciting about it. Itโ€™s like a club! Our titles are kind of opposite, yet with a similarly positive lyrical outcome, which I found quite fun. Release days are always annoyingly busy days so I couldnโ€™t listen to Walk Away as soon as it was released. I instead waited until the late afternoon. Patrik on the other hand, had already sent me the most beautiful message about my song, that was there for me to read as soon as I had awoken! Heโ€™s better like that. Once the time had finally come to listen to Walk Away, and I had no distractions or niggling thoughts of โ€œI still have to do that and that and thatโ€, I pressed play. INSTANT quality and reassurance of a pro at work. The bright, crisp jangle of a 12-string acoustic guitar is already not what it might seem. It instead is two 6-string acoustic guitars. So while technically 12 strings, itโ€™s not a 12-string. The precision in the rhythm is so utterly satisfying, as is the mixing (all Patrik). Good start. But it is only when Patrikโ€™s soaring voice enters, that I realise this is something special. Could it be the successor to Donโ€™t Care? Letโ€™s seeโ€ฆ Iโ€™m already a bit tingly. Not thirty seconds in, and Iโ€™m picking up notes of Magic Pie by Oasis (a rare Noel vocal). You see, Patrik has always been able to create stunning melodies like the great pop masters of more recent decades, like Noel Gallagher and Gary Barlow. In fact, he does quite often sound like Gary Barlow. But it is only at 33 seconds in, that I KNOW this is a truly brilliant record. Patrik both urges and sighs simultaneously. It is the immense passion in his voice combined with the inspired chords and harmony. This is beyond just major or minor. This kind of writing involves a vast understanding of music. And he evidently understands. He also clearly understands production. He is a master of build and of drama. But all so subtly. Patrik realises what I wish more artists would realise. Itโ€™s not all about the song itself and the mixing. Itโ€™s about the arrangement. A producer these days can be seen as an advanced sound engineer, but Patrik does things in the old way (the way I like to do things). He builds the song like an architect. He understands balance. He understands taste. Golly, this is turning into a lot of understanding! Understand? No? Well luckily, you donโ€™t have to. You only have to listen and enjoy. Much like enjoying great architecture - we donโ€™t have to know HOW it was built. And actually, it shouldnโ€™t be evident. No seams should be visible. Or audible! For example, the section starting at 1:28 begins with a minor chord with an added major 6th. Aside from you probably not knowing this (I slowly had to work it out in my head and could easily be wrong), it just doesnโ€™t matter. Only geeks like Patrik should care. Weโ€ฆ donโ€™t care. We just enjoy the feeling it purveys. Walk Away does to me what great music should. And I canโ€™t explain what that is, because itโ€™s a feeling. It is the reason I listen to music. It is the reason I make music. It is the reason I enjoy life. Iโ€™ve just given you a lot of understanding and a lot of reasons to listen. Itโ€™s your turn. Donโ€™t walk away.


Hopefully you wonโ€™t now treat me any differently, knowing a bit more about my background. If you do, YOUโ€™RE the snob. Not I.


โ€œWanna fight about it?โ€

โ€œYou and whose army?โ€

โ€œYou know whoโ€™s Ahlmy. I just told you all about him!โ€


Listen to ๐™’๐™–๐™ก๐™  ๐˜ผ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ 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™ก๐™  ๐˜ผ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Apple Music playlist HERE!

Listen to ๐™’๐™–๐™ก๐™  ๐˜ผ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ on YouTube HERE!


Follow ๐™‹๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ž๐™  ๐˜ผ๐™๐™ก๐™ข on Instagram HERE!

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127 Comments


AfamGold
AfamGold
May 22

Inspite of the shocking demise of Kyle Watson, the yellow wallpaper has given us a reason to live again. Thank you Charles for the kind words. You sure do know how to make my day.

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Wrong review, but thank you. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Lol sometimes those 6 strings and 12 strings get me mixed up. Thanks for clarifying that for me my brotha.

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Sometimes obvious. Sometimes not so much.

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ZOLEON
ZOLEON
May 19

That's awesome , great review had a good read keep it up waiting for more ๐Ÿ‘ โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฏ

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Boy HaNZY
Boy HaNZY
May 19

Great review Charles. Awesome ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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I enjoy your writing as usual, Oooh, "Walking Away track". Yeah, definitely quality music ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ

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