𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 - this week: Why Did You Go? - CHVRLI BLVCK
Updated: Mar 8
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.
𝙒𝙝𝙮 𝘿𝙞𝙙 𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙂𝙤? - 𝘾𝙃𝙑𝙍𝙇𝙄 𝘽𝙇𝙑𝘾𝙆
Charles is giving up...
A tree. A humble tree. There it stands in simple pride, to gaze around with much the same open pensive quality as when I gaze at the tree through my bedroom window. Or at least, this WAS the scene for many years until a couple of weeks ago, when I received a text. The text from my neighbour informing me that I should expect a lot of noise the following day. My heart leapt. This tall, healthy bay tree standing in a garden, a while away from the house, was to be "dismantled". I put it this way so as not to trigger my sensitive heart once more. And maybe yours. It was crippling to me. Crushing and very lowering indeed. As promised, there was a lot of noise for a while, followed by an eerie silence. I could not even draw open the curtain for two days for fear of an expansive overload of daylight. Eventually I plucked up the courage. And in doing so, I sighed and felt like giving up. I had one question for the tree: Why did you go?
They spoke of subsidence... But what of the subsidence of my heart? They didn't seem to care about THAT... They spoke of insurance. What insures my view? What ensures that my heart is left intact? That is surely worth more than mere pennies. It is to me anyway. Evidently not so much to them. And what compensation do I get? A substantial increase to my rent. That's what. Almost certainly to pay for the nature lopping. I reiterate the question put to this poor innocent tree: Why did you go? Well, it wasn't the choice of the tree. I haven't met many suicidal trees in my time. I should think the landlord was giving up nature for Lent.
Lent is a curious oddity these days, that really doesn't "fit" with the spoilt modern society. In fact, it would very much get in the way of the relentless indulgence of which almost all of us are guilty these days. Is the notion not therefore even MORE potent now than ever before? It maybe should be. For those who aren’t familiar with “Lent”, it is yet another religious thing where one is supposed to fast for "40 days and 40 nights". Why 40? Because God said so. I love that inclusion of the nights, as if there for legal reasons to ensure no one cheats by not eating through the day, then sneaking a little midnight feast - or simply becoming nocturnal for a month and a bit. This fasting lark doesn't mean starving oneself to death (for that would be silly), but to temporarily remove the "luxuries". The things you love. This isn't meant to be a form of cruelty. It is supposedly to make us think about those less fortunate, and for reasons of modesty. Modesty, I feel, is a dying trait, and one of which I am a fan. From the second half of the 20th century onwards, Lent's meaning has changed. It doesn't have to be food related, but something you enjoy. Something that is not necessarily good for you that you feel you can't do without. To stop that for 40 days (and of course, 40 nights). It is to make you grateful for such a vice. Take smoking, for instance. One could give up smoking for Lent. By the end of Lent, you will have realised one of two things: that you need not continue with the filthy cancer sticks after all, or, that you genuinely could not do without them and couldn't wait a moment longer to light up and inhale those devilishly satisfying toxic tar-ridden fumes. Can you tell I still miss it...? There is one vital flaw in Lent however. You know the duration. There is an immediate countdown. In "real life", when something goes, you never know if it's coming back or if it's gone for good. Gone gone gone for good. With Lent, the yummy food is gone for that brief chunk of time, only to be welcomed back 40 days (and nights) later, in the form of Easter, where one can gorge oneself silly on copious amounts of chocolate eggs. Or, in the case of the smoker, puff oneself into a stupor. Basically, in my eyes, Lent is more likely these days to make people even greedier pigs than they were in the first place. It is also akin to someone spending one night in a cardboard box to show that they care deeply about homeless people, and are willing to live like them “in solidarity” for one whole entire night. Yeah? Now try doing it indefinitely, rather than bringing a power bank to make sure you have enough battery on your phone for the night. Even if one were to do this for 40 nights (screw the days), there is a finite end to it. When something you love disappears for good, you know it. And there is no countdown to a return. Because you know there is no return. Or, you DON”T know it. It is the unknown. So the next time you go and do something "noble" like this, ask yourself this: WHY did you go?
One final positive thing about Lent. It makes you ask yourself if you’re perhaps having too much of a good thing. Religion’s greatest traits (possibly only great traits) are morals and modesty. Everything these days is about arrogance and greed. It is probably my least favourite thing about modern society. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: people are pigs. Well, a lot of them are. There is one exception to this modest suggestion, however. Music. One can never have too much great music. We may be spoilt for choice these days, but I see no real harm in it. Normally I try to space out repeat artists in my Corner. Meaning that if I were to review an artist in December, I would try my hardest not to review them in say, March. I don’t know if it was me not trying hard enough, or the simple thing of not being able to have too much of a good thing. You see, when something truly great comes along, I cannot just abide by my own rules. I have to throw them out of the window and rethink everything I have ever thought before. I did indeed review CHVRLI BLVCK in December. And sure enough, he has yet again smacked us across the face with another stinger. Sorry, but it can’t be ignored. And I am not alone in realising this…
CHV BLV, as I have taken to calling him, has released a brand new single entitled ‘Why Did You Go?’. Having had only a few days to be heard, it has most certainly been listened to by many. In fact, I believe it has accrued around 7,000 streams on Spotify alone, within just 4 or 5 days of release. So evidently SOMEONE is listening. It ain’t just me - although I can’t imagine how many times I have played the song on Apple Music. These days, British artists are trying for two things to get the attention their music deserves. One, is universal throughout the world (not Universal - that’s phase two): Spotify editorial playlists. It spreads the music, usually far more effectively than any Instagram post could. The other thing being BBC Introducing. I have heard horrific rumours that the BBC is looking for ways to cut costs, leading to the eventual “dismantling” of BBC Introducing. I put it this way so as not to trigger my sensitive heart once more. And maybe yours. But with the hope that this is simply nothing more than a rumour, it will continue in its useful course. In the uncomfortable meantime however, it is here, and it is listening. And it is choosing! I personally still have yet to be chosen by the BBC for this wondrous opportunity, but others have been more fortunate. You see, CHV BLV has just had his first taste of the future. ‘Why Did You Go?’ was picked and played on BBC Radio Solent’s Saturday evening ‘Introducing’ show, hosted by Steph Nieuwenhuys (and no, I didn’t just stumble and fall on my keyboard). BBC Introducing is known for being picky (as they should be), so this truly is a great achievement for CHV BLV.
When CHVRL met Charl… I was fortunate enough to be asked to mix the song. Such an honour to mix one of my favourite artists from the New Artist Spotlight. I will be honest: being comfortable and confident in my craft, it was a simple task. There were no heavy decisions to make. There was no editing or sculpting of any kind. Almost no additional production or “magic”. No tuning and no timing required. It was one of my swiftest mixes due to the fact that I was doing just that. Mixing. And it turned out as possibly my most satisfying mix to date. CHVRLI was the star with the magic dust this time. I just simply blew it around for the sake of dispersal. Moving on from stupid words like “dispersal”…
‘Why Did You Go?’ is the mark of a true talent. One that oozes confidence without arrogance. One not afraid to go mellow, but mellow with feeling. There is depth in these subtle layers. There is gradation in these colours. But that’s all about the music. What about the voice? Oh, the voice! Such melodies, such sweetness, such sour reality. The bitterness in his delivery is masked pretty well by his charm, but all the while this unsweetened pick-me-up is present. CHVRLI tiptoes between the hot coals, before landing directly on them. Dynamics mean so much more than mere volume levels. We’re never quite at the level of a whisper, and never close to screaming. It goes far enough, but never too far. There are plenty of notches in the middle though. Basically, he gots modest guts. While ‘Why Did You Go?’ might be considered a pop song (which it basically is), it is the sound of indie music. There is nothing that smacks of desperation. This is no carbon copy. The ‘Pop Music for Dummies’ book sells well, yet the indie music version has not even been written (I don’t think). This is because there is no formula. It involves talent and originality. These are things with which the New Artist Spotlight is familiar.
Whatever CHV BLV is giving up over Lent, it ain’t the music. He is already back in the studio, recording several new songs. This star is going to rise high and shine bright! Watch this space…
As to me, I’ve given up giving up. Instead, I think I’ll plant a tree.
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