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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Wasted Time - Mercury Teardrop, J.H.M

Updated: Feb 28

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™จ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™™ ๐™๐™ž๐™ข๐™š - ๐™ˆ๐™š๐™ง๐™˜๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฎ ๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™™๐™ง๐™ค๐™ฅ, ๐™….๐™ƒ.๐™ˆ


Charles considers the formative yearsโ€ฆ


When did time begin? Okay, letโ€™s narrow that down a bit. When did YOUR time begin? More to the point, when did it start to matter? I was born in the 80s. As a young Calvin Harris once said, "It was acceptable in the 80s". So I will assume I was generally accepted and I wasnโ€™t a wretched outcast from day one. That came later (a-ho-ho). Cool! So there I was, all blob and no backbone in Orwellโ€™s infamous favourite year. Prod my right shoulder and I fall to my left with a giggle. Prod my left shoulder and I fall to my right with a giggle. You get the picture. This could and almost certainly did go on for hours (minutes, in adult time). I was probably thinking about very little at the time, letโ€™s face it. Weโ€™re all useless at that age. My first computer was a bloody expensive thing that did almost nothing. But thank you Daddy, for buying it for me. EYE was a bloody expensive thing that did almost nothing. And Iโ€™m sure I rarely showed any signs of yield. I had no purpose at all! Meaning of life? Hah! To eat and poo and giggle and dribble and injure myself. But I was far from being alone. I was cared for deeply by two gullible adults who seemed to think it would be worth it. This conception (as it were) is not uncommon. In fact, it is โ€œthe normโ€. We were pretty much ALL in this situation at one time. And it comes back near the end when weโ€™re senile and useless, with life becoming once again an amalgam of eating, pooing, giggling, dribbling and injuring oneself, being looked after, fed and wiped by the very people who followed in the natural chain of events. Swings and roundabouts, my dear! Depressing swings, and crippling roundabouts. But letโ€™s not even think about the end, for there lies bad juju. Let us instead ponder on that beginningโ€ฆ


All those years we spent before becoming a fully fledged person. Surely this is all a waste of timeโ€ฆ It must be. Surely we should just start instantly from day one. I mean, why go through all that wasted time year after year, when you could just start straight away?? The answer is: you couldnโ€™t. We need time to work it all out. Only THEN can we spread our wings and fl- fall over. I count this vital change from blob to person as being when one gains knowledge or taste of oneโ€™s own, that doesnโ€™t belong to oneโ€™s own parents. When I became a proper person, it was probably some point in the early 90s. It was music. Blurโ€™s first few singles. The Laโ€™s. Then came the likes of The Charlatans, Cast, Suede, The Verve, The Bluetones, Oasis and many more. But the thing is, I was feeling myself. Not FEELing myself. Lord. I mean, I, myself was feeling like mySELF. A person. Phew. I knew and loved things that my parents didnโ€™t know or love. I was discovering. And I wouldnโ€™t have been able to discover if my formative years hadnโ€™t taught me HOW to discover. So these early years were far from wasted time.


But what of my late teens and early 20s when I was writing and recording song after song after song, only to do absolutely nothing with them, other than play them to a handful of friendsโ€ฆ Surely THAT was wasted time. Surely I should have been bashing down the doors of those top record executives and demanding that they sign me, because Iโ€™m brilliant!!! But surely notโ€ฆ Because I WASNโ€™T brilliant. So it WAS wasted time then, no? No. It was NOT wasted time. Because I was honing my craft. Although I wasnโ€™t bad, I was by no means of a TOP standard. I wouldnโ€™t be making the songs I make these days had I not been through the songs I made those days. We live, we learn. Okay then, how about all those years you spent in pubs and going to parties then, eh? Surely THAT was wasted time!!!! Well rather strangely, I donโ€™t see that as wasted time either, because I had a great deal of fun. I look back on those days with great fondness and warmth. How could I possibly wish those days and nights to have never happened?? Sure, I wish I were a decade younger, but I have to realise something. Good things take time. I would far rather be me now, than me a decade ago. To quote Kingsley Amis, โ€œYou Canโ€™t Do Bothโ€. Or HAVE both. Well, some can; the lucky ones (or the brilliant ones). But I didnโ€™t. Iโ€™d rather be older and better than younger and โ€œmehโ€. Wasted time: zero. Okay, we both know thatโ€™s not true. I have wasted TONNES of time. But itโ€™s not nearly as bad as it could have been, and I believe I have made up for it since (he says, struggling to fit this review in between a mix and a production - not to mention the rest). It seems therefore that the one good thing about time passing, is that the older you get, the more you are aware of its gallop, and so you become a little bit more serious. You start to do more, and wasting time becomes a thing of the past.


On that note, what waste of time drivel song have I got for you todayโ€ฆ? Iโ€™m joking, of course. I only bring you the best independent music in the world of the New Artist Spotlight! This time, itโ€™s not some poor unknown urchin begging for a stream. These two are known to all of you. And if not, get outta town - you donโ€™t deserve what the NAS brings you. Unless youโ€™re brand new to the community, in which case I take it all back. Please welcome two Canucks! Canadiaโ€™s finest: Mercury Teardrop and J.H.M!!! These fine young gentlemen have a lot in common, aside from being from the land of Mounties, maple syrup, Niagara Falls and Justin Bieber (canโ€™t win โ€˜em all). Brad (MercTea) and Jeff (Jay to the Aitch to the Emm) are proper musicians and even properer artists. While Brad is admired for his frankly flawless and truly exciting guitar skills and Jeff is adored for his effortless ghost-like (more about that in a bit) vocals, it is something else that really sets them aside from the rest. Something that is dear to me. Something that means more to me than any level of skill on any instrument (or voice) . Something that far surpasses mixing, no matter how faultless the sound. It is the songs. Brad and Jeff are masters of their art in songwriting. Notice, I said art, not craft. I think of playing and singing as being craft. I think of mixing as being craft. I think of production as being art and craft, and I think of songwriting as being art. Many will argue about all of these, and there is no right or wrong answer. This is simply how EYE see it; how I like to think of it. And since I am more towards art than science, it seems only natural that I should generally go for โ€œsongโ€ over the rest. Is it any wonder that Brad and Jeff are so frequently in the NAS Top 20 charts? I mean, Jeff rarely misses a week!! Is he therefore constantly releasing new songs to keep up this amazing record? Well, although he does release quite frequently, he doesnโ€™t have to. People just donโ€™t get bored of his songs. Because he writes classics. One after the next. As for Brad, well he tends to lean towards the more psychedelic side of rock music. Rochedelia! Sorry, that was awful. My point is, within his swirling amazingness (technical term) lies a song. And it is the song that so often (however subconsciously) gets voted in our weekly chart. It is not coincidence. They are both brilliant at what they do, but in different ways. What better reason therefore than to club together - amazingly for the first time ever - and make a song as a duo!! And so, Wasted Time is born.


Ach, no. I have just realised what the comments are going to be like. I am going to cringe with every single comment that reads something like, โ€œMaking this song was definitely not Wasted Timeโ€ or, โ€œDonโ€™t waste your time with the rest, go check out Wasted Timeโ€โ€ฆ Ugh. Still, itโ€™s better than the usual: โ€œAnother awesome review ๐Ÿ‘โ€ - getting truly sick of this. Thereโ€™s a โ€œlikeโ€ button, ya know. Just press THAT, and donโ€™t say a word. Really though, when it comes to commenting this โ€œutterly hilariousโ€ groan-inducing pun on the trackโ€™s title, just assume that you are not the first, and you are not brilliant for writing it. But good LORD, I welcome puns!! Just good ones from the left field. Anyway. Sorry. It is not up to me what you write. That is your affair. Please, write what you wish. Who knows, you might well be the first, and it might pick up uproarious applause. It might even go viral! I think I have digressed quite enough for one review. Now THAT is wasted time.


The song. The music and words are written by Brad, this time around. But I mean just that: music and words. Not melody. So Brad gave Jeff the music and the words, and said something along the lines of โ€œJeff, youโ€™re good with melodies. See what you can do with thisโ€. And so Jeff did what he was told. No! Jeff was delighted to be asked to sing and write the melody (kind of the everything we remember in most songs), and he got busy. This is pretty rare in song sharing. I have heard of someone else writing words. I have heard of someone else writing words and melody. And of course, I have heard of someone else writing the music to go around the words. But I have never heard of someone writing all of the music, and the words, but not the melody. This posed a unique challenge for Jeff. In order for this to feel most natural, Jeff went backwards and transcribed the music to piano, so he could play and sing in his own time and his own way. Much better than writing to a โ€œbacking trackโ€, and having to constantly stop and start the thing. Once they were both happy with the melody, it was time to press record. I donโ€™t know what magic is released when Jeff hits that red button, but you remember I called his voice โ€œghost-likeโ€? Well, itโ€™s quite incredible. He floats. He actually levitates! Well, not actually; not in reality. Well, I donโ€™t KNOW that, but I ASSUME he doesnโ€™t actually levitate, because that would be, er, well, unusual. But he has this THING. Take the chorus, for example. The thick layers of Bradโ€™s eternally stupendous guitar expertise sit just underneath a floating Jeff, despite the heavy crashing drums all around. And all this - to me - gives it a classic forever-feeling. Itโ€™s not just a man singing to music. In the words of Bruce Forsyth, โ€œDidnโ€™t he do well!โ€ - a joke for the Britonians only, I would assume. Together, they have made something that sounds like the best of both of them.


I mentioned my earlier (but not earliest) years, with all that lovely music taking over my world and making me come alive. Well these very bands of that era are so prevalent in Wasted Time. It really does conjure the feel of the time. Cast and Suede particularly, but also The Laโ€™s. Interestingly this is where connections start forming. We have the song Wasted Time, that reminds me of Cast. The lead singer of Cast is John Power - coolest name ever - a Liverpudlian from Liverpuddle. John Power was the bassist in The Laโ€™s. The Laโ€™s famously went for a jangly 60s sound reminiscent of The Byrds. Both The Laโ€™s and The Byrds achieved said jangle by plugging a 12-string Rickenbacker into a Vox amp - as did The Beatles (also from Liverpuddle). And what was Brad using when he recorded Wasted Time? A Rickenbacker, plugged into a Vox amp!! You see? Swings and roundabouts donโ€™t always have to be depressing or crippling. Sometimes theyโ€™re delightfully satisfying! And did John Power waste his time in The Laโ€™s before forming Cast? Not at all! The only song that anyone has heard by The Laโ€™s is far more known than any song by Cast. But also, Power would probably not have had the clout to get noticed by Polydor had he not been in The Laโ€™s. Despite his powerful name. Now, of course if his name had been John Clout, then MAYbe. But why did Paul McCartney waste his time with The Beatles when he could have formed Wings so much earlier?? Foolish man. To quote Alan Partridge: โ€œWings: the band The Beatles could have beenโ€.


Look. I feel I have wasted enough of your time, and these two Canucks donโ€™t need too much attention in order to thrive magnificently. Think of them as cactus flowers. Beautiful but sharp-witted.


Many things are considered to be wasted time, but if you think about it, itโ€™s really a- Oh bloody hell. I have dribbled everywhere, and am in need of wiping. Oh, the joys to come!


Listen to ๐™’๐™–๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™™ ๐™๐™ž๐™ข๐™š on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Spotify playlist HERE!

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124 Kommentare


Forrest Of FangHorn
Forrest Of FangHorn
12. Mรคrz

Very nice article. Great collaboration by Mercury Teardrop and J.H.M.

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Not just a great choice of person & music but also great words!

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Charles Connolly
Charles Connolly
14. Mรคrz
Antwort an

Agreed.

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Wicked

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Marshal
Marshal
03. Mรคrz

Great pick ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ

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andelectro music
andelectro music
03. Mรคrz

Thought-provoking review of what time means to artists trying to work out what got them to where they are, and would things have moved along a bit more quickly, had different choices been made. Great track from 2 of the most inspiring members of NAS, I mean, Epoch 2140 and A Perfect Boy, was always going to be killer.

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