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.
𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙄 𝙏𝙤𝙡𝙙 𝙈𝙮 𝘽𝙤𝙨𝙨 - 𝙅𝙪𝙣𝙚 𝙃𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙
Charles is talking about quitting…
A job’s a job. How many times have we heard that? It’s both optimistic and pessimistic, but ultimately saying a whole load of nothing. A job. We all have one; or most of us anyway. Some of you un/lucky ones are retired. Some of you are still students. But the majority is kept busy most of the time in a means of making money, in order to live. Seems simple enough. Some are content in their work, or simply don’t mind it; a job’s a job. I am one of the lucky ones (I imagine a rarity) in being able to earn my living from doing what I am best at, and doing what I love. Producing and mixing music. This doesn’t mean I don’t work hard; I just don’t resent it. Each and every project is to me a worthwhile endeavour. Of course, I could do with a few more clients (preferably of the disgustingly rich variety), but things are fine, and my life is generally not a bad one. Still though: “Come to me, my pretties!” Go on. I’ll make you shine. And no, I am not also a part-time window cleaner. And you - to be fair - are not a window. But I feel I can still see through most of you. You’re unhappy in your work, aren’t you. You can tell me. I won’t let on. Pour yourself into Uncle Charlie’s ears. Let it all out. Most of you accept it and get on with it. But given the chance you’d flee the scene if there weren’t a camera by the exit door and a great sense of guilt in doing so. Your feeling of elation and freedom would last a matter of minutes before you come to your senses and realise that you still need to put food on the table. And your partner might not feel the same elation: “You’ve done WHAT?? That is the most selfish unthought-out thing you’ve ever done! Go back there right now and grovel to Mr. Potato Head for your job back, and pray that he lets you off lightly. If he has you back at all. I wouldn’t if I were him” - yes, these fictitious lovers fondly call the boss, Mr. Potato Head.
Unless your name is Joao Aranha or Rich Allen, chances are, like me, you despise people. People are pretty much the bane of society, let’s face it. Bloody awful creatures. So we choose our company wisely. The problem is the other kind of company. The one you work for. This forces you to spend your days with people you would really rather not. People you had not chosen to even shake hands with, let alone fraternise. And more often than not, they are awful. Not actually awful, of course, but awful to you. Just not your type. Not part of your sect, cult, club or clique. Someone different. This can however force something wonderful. Two who had no idea they would get on. It can end up like salted caramel. Something you were sure would never work, and something you would never even have thought to try. Yet it works perfectly! That is, until your boss sees this bond and tries to break up the party. Bosses can be absolute sadistic killjoys. Power-mad crazed greedy lunatics. This is often the least likeable of the people you are forced to be around. That beady eye always spying. That compulsion for getting on your nerves while they obsess over time management. The thing is, you know you’d be great at time management. Positively brilliant, in fact! If only you gave a damn. You care deeply about time passing and getting as much done as possible. Just not there. Not at work. You fritter away most of your life worrying about time management, as time comfortably saunters on, worry free. Hopping and skipping, skipping and hopping, and all the while beaming like a forever Sunday. It is your OWN time that you care about. Something of which you have decidedly little.
Let’s get a little bit musical. One blank in my musical knowledge is country music. I know next to nothing about it. I have heard very little. There could be hundreds of world famous artists I have never heard of. And this is because the genre simply does not float my boat. Many of the songs might be good, or even very good, but I just don’t go for the sound. I love happy music. I love sad music. I love sheen and gleam in music. I love guitars and vocals and piano and bass and drums. And yet country is usually just TOO happy for me. Or too sad. Or too shiny and gleamy. The sound just never makes me tingle, and often makes me cringe. There are many like me, and there are many not like me, who would think I am either dearly missing out, or am an extremely stupid person for not loving country music. The thing is, another side to my jobbing life is these reviews (alas - and thankfully - unpaid). Meaning it is perhaps unforgivable that I should “cast aside” an entire genre based on my own taste. I should be above taste. I should be able to appreciate art beyond my personal preference. I believe on the whole, I do that. But country is a bit like conceptual art for me. I just don’t get it. It doesn’t excite me. There is however the odd exception, and this tends to be when I latch on to the song itself rather than the sound. Or, when it is more country-esque rather than pure country. Or, when the voice just does something to me. What do you think? Should I be sacked as a reviewer who doesn’t adore country music? Or will you forgive me? “I promise, Mr. Potato Head, I will be more vigilant of all styles and genres and will not be biased towards or against one over another”. How’s that? Will he buy it? Oh-hahaha, it just occurred to me you might think this was Ed Eagle I was talking about. Oh dear. I meant a generic boss. Ed is anything but generic, and despises being called “boss”. Dude, bro or bruh will do, I believe. Or not.
Please welcome: the odd exception. A relative newcomer on the New Artist Spotlight, only joining in August of this year. While that may seem like a while ago, our members tend to stick around for, well, forever really! Let’s hope this artist sticks around a while. I’m certainly happy to have her on board. I speak of June Holland, from the North West of the UK. Where exactly? This could be anywhere from Liverpool to Glasgow. Well if you can find out the answer, I will give you a cookie. Either way, she’s somewhere in this big little island of mine. Which in itself astounded me as I was SURE she was American, going by her singing accent. Or perhaps Canadian. I bring you her latest single, What I Told My Boss. So. This lady. This song. She’s a songer/singwriter - ach, you know what I mean. She has her roots in the old stuff. The real stuff. None of that electro-dubstep-house-fusion-crossover nonsense, thank you very much. The closest thing to electronica here is that the bass amp is run on electricity. Other than that, we’re talking pure organica. A place where voice reigns supreme. A place where the song is everything. The feel, the words and the melody. While there are elements of country here, this is not strictly a country song. Which is probably why I like it. A little bit like early Beatles having roots in country but not really doing “country”. It’s more a sort of energetic souly R&B country pop. However, the voice says country to me. But not that twangy rip-roaring yee-haaw “we gonh’ have us a maaghty good taam” kinda country. Think more Dolly Parton with a modern yet traditional pop edge, kinda country. But not like Miley Cyrus. At all. June’s voice to me is most like Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick and Florence and the Machine’s Florence Welch. Although this is more like June without the Machine. Or maybe June Against the Machine?
Work can be tiring and tedious. I think mainly because it’s someone else’s work. We’re not doing it for ourselves, we’re doing it because someone says it has to be done, and you are the one to do it. Hence it being so tedious, not to mention monotonous. Yet one can come alive and find a new dose of energy when back at home after a long day’s work, because suddenly you care! It’s what you were born to do. You own THANG! Whether it’s embroidery or, ooh I don’t know, music perhaps? We are instantly revived as if coffee is in the air. Things are natural. Things make sense. There is point and purpose in every part of what you do. You do it well, and you thoroughly enjoy the process. Surely THIS then is life. I mean, it must be! Well, if you can actually make money from it, then YES! It should be. It has nothing to do with being lazy. It is about not wasting life. Your own one life. It could be even more work than in your usual stultifying job, but that doesn’t matter. Effort is easy when you care. Speaking of effort, music to me should sound effortless. In her element, June sings effortlessly. That is, it SOUNDS effortless. Lord knows how much effort she’s putting in, but it sounds as natural as walking. Apologies to those without legs. This wondrous voice of hers is ridding itself of monotony. It’s so full of life and yellow fire. For once, she’s ALIVE, with one of the best voices I have heard in a long time.
June’s striving confidence is compelling as she brazenly thrashes through line after line of what she REALLY means. It feels like she’s strutting through the office in killer heels one last time, snatching a pile of paper from a worker’s desk and throwing it in the air. As if to say it’s all completely meaningless! Ya know metaphor? How it can be so poetic in lyrics. How it can mean several things, and really make you think and wonder. Well June doesn’t beat around the bush. “Metaphor?? Sod that! I’ll say what I mean, thank you very much. I’ll get my point across, clearly and succinctly” (not a quote). And sure enough she does. And to great effect! I’m so pleased and actually relieved the song doesn’t mess around with fluffy fluff. It has so much more impact this way. It suits the meaning of the song. But despite the power of her singing and the evident passion in her words, much of the song is softened beautifully by background harmonised ‘oohs’, reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, setting clear contrast to the straightforward Joan Armatrading-style lead vocals. June ain’t gonh’ be owned by no comp’ny nor firm, no-sir. The only firm for her is a firm grip on her own life. And if June keeps up the level of this refreshingly fabulous song, she’ll never need worry about other people’s chores again.
Time management? Manage your time well by pressing play. That should triple-cook Mr. Potato Head.
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