It’s been a while since I shared some music.
I have been creatively lost for a while and I’ve neglected both others and my own music.
Here is an artist that reminds me what it’s like to shut out the world and create from within- to ignore how you think you should feel and just- feel.
I think sometimes I forget to stop, laugh, appreciate. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am.
This reminds me.
Wild Youth- Daughter
I love simplicity in a song. Sometimes I don’t want a complex melody and infinite riffs. Sometimes I want breathlessness in a song that isn’t afraid to be silently powerful.
Youth by Daughter begins as the calm before the storm with a softness that slowly builds. I’m won over with the moments of harshness provided by the percussion-it’s poetry at its best- musically and lyrically.
Daughter consists of of Elena Tonra and her partner Igor Haefeli. They are more than folk or indiepop, what they provide is a sweet blend and an addictive one at that.
It’s quirky, it’s moody, it’s ambient, it’s refreshing.
We are the reckless,
we are the wild youth,
chasing visions of our futures,
one day we’ll reveal the truth.
Also check out: Landfill, Switzerland, Candles and The Woods by Daughter
JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW
Honest, humble and homely spring to mind.
When an artist stands before you, bearing their soul, with beautiful simplicity what more can you ask for?
McMorrow has little trouble allowing his humanity shine through in his enigmatic lyrics, impassioned performance and paradoxically raw, but, smooth vocals.
Honest in his witty banter, quiet confidence, his appreciation of the audience and of course in his music.
Beginning with Sparrow and the Wolf from his album ‘Early in the Morning’ was the right choice. Immediately noticed by the crowd and creating anticipation for what was next.
For me, the climax was during If I had a boat and We Don’t Eat. Two hauntingly beautiful ballads creating equally beautiful moments.
McMorrow also does stunning covers of Steve Winwood’s Higher Love and Chris Isaak’s Wicked Games. It is a rare occasion that a cover transcends the initial artistry, but, McMorrow manages to achieve exactly that.
In my fickle youth I have fallen even harder for McMorrow after what was a performance to capture, remember and reminisce over. I wanted to stay, to hit rewind and replay.
Unfortunately, his UK tour is no more, but, if a lover of indie-folk and in pursuit of a solid album - a folk tour de force- then Early in the Morning almost faultless.
I often ramble about the superficial nature of chart music: be it (often) empty lyrics, the detachment of the artist in their music, or the same overused beat on every track.
Yet, I admit, as I am undergoing my very own musical journey and desperately trying to make sense of my own identity through music I sometimes do succumb to the ‘mainstream’ and indulge in some chart.
Here lies the crux of this entire blog, it’s not another indie-kids are so unconventional, thus, making them cooler than any other existing teen clique. It comes down to what music does for you in your life and yesterday as I made my first venture to London’s Mahiki (guilty pleasure #2) I found myself enjoying the likes of Beyonce, Rihanna, Drake and Katy Perry. Granted, I was likely somewhat intoxicated, yet, what I do remember is that the music was a big part of what made my night. The question is, why is that I feel guilty to admit this?
Should I feel like I’m betraying my favourite genre of music, or, is it okay to cross over to the dark side every now and then?
Chart music goes against the ethos of what I think symbolises raw music: that DIY approach, the impassioned laborious hours you spend over material rather than auto tuned singing, yet, when you’re all screaming ‘Who runs the World? Girls’ at the top of your lungs it’s strangely liberating (no, I’m not a feminist)!
Should I not care and listen to whatever I like despite my screaming musical ethics or should I stick to what is considered alternative?
WARNING: By pressing you may be considered as crossing over to the dark side…do you dare?
COSMO JARVIS & The Darlingtons
Amidst the smokey haze, drunken antics, moving to a new and unfamiliar place, deprivation of sleep and general freshers trance a bit of good music is exactly what I needed.
Cosmo’s London gig in Soho Square was phenomenal. Only having heard a few songs I didn’t quite know what to expect.
Yet, Cosmo turns out to be one of the best artists I’ve ever seen live.
Not only were he and the band musically faultless they were incredibly entertaining. Switching from electric sounds to acoustic, toying with the crowd’s emotions with loud and soft and teasing the audience with songs from his new album Is the World Strange or Am I Strange?.
Cosmo is a master of creating a gig that leaves you only wanting more when it comes to an end. Then again, I fall in love with any man that can play the ukelele.
Each song has a different element. Sometimes it feels like hardcore Indie Rock, at moments it becomes electric and even Reggae-esque at times.
With a venue like The Boderline you’re never left wishing you were closer to the band or that you could see or hear more. No matter where you stand you can taste the passion, even be scattered with Cosmo’s sweat.It’s a moment that, if you know and love good music, you capture and bottle because a gig as genuine and raw as this with so few people doesn’t come around that often.
Warmup act The Darlingtons are also worthy of recognition. Describing their sound as ‘moody euphoric guitar music’ they are bloody good at exactly that.
The Boderline was the place to be that night and only made for the best night of my freshers week.
IF I HAD A BOAT: JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW
I could talk forever about the beauty of this song and I promise you it still would not be enough.
I feel as if a song as perfect as this deserves a simple explanation:
When I listen I feel: healed, pathos and human.
This song makes me feel human. Yes, there it is.
The lyrics focus on the crux of human nature: living, hurting and hoping.
The music focuses on making sure you experience that journey and wow does it feel like you’ve suddenly been dissembled, put back together, felt lost and found yourself all at once.
This is not the end,
This is just the world,
Such a foolish thing,
Such an honest girl.
Also check out: We Don’t Eat, This Old Dark Machine and McMorrow’s cover’s of Higher Love and Wicked Games.
SUICIDE- THE RAVEONETTES
If you’re into heavy electircy sounds and no stranger to dark lyrics then look no further.
Influences of Danish Indie-Rock duo, ‘The Raveonettes’, include ‘The Velvet Underground’ and ‘The Everly Brothers’
I can’t say I love all of their songs, however, ‘Suicide’ is one that I keep revisiting.
Despite it’s impeding sense of morbidity and harsh lyrical content the song’s beat is addictive.
If looking for something with an edge they are a must.
Spanish Sahara- Foals
Foals had always been on my indie-radar but I hadn’t really given them the undivided attention they very much deserve until recently.
My favourite Foals song is Spanish Sahara, it is a song that toys with your emotions: unsettling, yet, comforting at the same time.
The lengthy intro starting as soft melancholy relaxing your mind is not wasted on me, it prepares me, allows me to wander, to wonder even until the heavy drums crescendo and quickening tempo bring be back to reality.
It is a song that resonates with you, carries you, then drops you.
Favourite lyric: ‘Forget the horror here, leave it all down here’
Spanish Sahara: hopeful yet haunting I warn.