“This is our song.”
If like me, you’re a sentimental fool who finds it hard to let go of bands that end up splitting up then you’re probably dubious of what happens to the band members. Radio silence is deafening especially when you’re left knowing that the band members are great and a world without them making music is just utterly pointless. The Long Blondes were my ultimate band when I was at uni. I adapted to a new life easier than I would have if it wasn’t for them, I got over having my heart metaphorically broken, I played their 2 records religiously. I made trips to the North of England with Someone To Drive You Home on a loop. I’d meet my mum in Yorkshire playing the songs. In my ears, on my mind. The words firmly etched upon my heart. The band split, but I clung onto what the band meant to me. Heaven Help The New Girl to Guilt- the words just always seemed relevant. Time passes, and you grow up as best as you can.
I am so so happy to FINALLY write about Kate Jackson’s new song Metropolis. I listened to it at lunchtime at work today and all I’ve done since is, seemingly, wait to get home so I can rant about how marvelous this song is. The song features Bernard Butler. Jackson and Butler. My generation’s Morrissey and Marr. Bernard is probably one of the best guitarists this country has ever produced. Him and Brett had me lusting after Suede. Him and McAlmont made the greatest “F-You” of all time. I learnt the words to Yes immediately aged 9 years old- I should have been trying to get my head around mental arithmetic in school. I didn’t care for numbers then, and I don’t care for them now. Give me lyrics. Give me the lyrics that will make me feel less alone. Give me the lyrics that say what I’ve yet to have the guts to say. Give me words in all their power, pain and passion. Give me the lyrics of Kate Jackson and the astounding riffs of Bernard Butler.
Everything about Metropolis sums up what I missed about hearing Kate Jackson’s voice. She’s still got the captivating and delicate tone. Her clear pronunciation of words makes you feel as if you’re about to be taken some place higher than you’ve been before. For me this is a massive contender for song of the year. It’s the best song I’ve heard so far, and I’m pretty sure I’ll have it on repeat still come November as I turn 30 wondering what the hell I’ve done- in general. For me, there’s one line in the song that is just so heartbreakingly honest and a line I can relate to. A line I can associate with any place I have ever lived. “This city pulls me to pieces.” My God. A line so simple but so powerful. You don’t need to make something pretentious in order for it to be relatable and vital. I’ve made my own impressions of the song, I’ve made my own meaning up. It’ll be different to the next person, and that’s what I love about this song and music in general. The line starts to ring through in the last verse, then carries on. The more you hear it, coupled with Bernard’s guitar, makes it one of the most glorious and stunning moments in music of the year.
As my favourite lyric from the song echoes in my head, I start thinking about the things I wish to and wish not to associate the song with. The sheer beauty and honesty in this song can transport you to the places you thought you were afraid of, but when you get there it really isn’t so bad. I’ve said it many times, but there are just some bands/singers that make me just want to write about music constantly. This song is easily one of them.
I remember an old interview of The Long Blondes and Kate mentioning her fondness of service stations. I think I annoy anyone I’m in a car with because I ALWAYS want to stop at service stations. They are fascinating places, and I don’t get tired of watching people pass through. The Long Blondes, and now Kate remind me of just going somewhere. The title of Kate’s debut record is British Road Movies and I can sense just by the title and Metropolis that this is going to be a record that you drive to (in my case, sit in the passenger seat or get the train) and stop off at service stations making up stories in your head about the people you see. Watching the couples fight because they’ve got lost, eyeing up people trying to work out what they want from Greggs, people napping in their cars. I’m possibly reading too much into it but it’s alright.
It’s been announced that Kate Jackson (and The Wrong Moves) will be playing The Great Escape Festival (19th May)this year and a free show at Rough Trade on 20th May which is the release date of the debut record. Having Kate back and making music is like putting on your favourite piece of clothing and feeling like you can take on the world. Not many things in the world are perfect. Everybody has their own idea of perfection, for me perfection is when a singer you adore comes back after years and puts a single out on an otherwise dull Monday afternoon.
British Road Movies is released 20th May via Hoo Ha Records.