“Waiting for the stars to align, there is a restless rain cloud in my mind. Heavy eyes fixed in the middle of the room.”

5 01 2013

Many have frequently stated that you must suffer for your art. I’m unsure how true this is, or if I even believe it. Surely if you are a good writer or painter, you can place yourself in various positions without having to hit rock bottom. You can empathise with those who are in a dark place rather than torturing yourself on a daily basis.

I write songs/poems. I personally think they are bloody awful. I don’t show them because I don’t want anyone to see how shit they are. However, I do have some stupid dream of having them published in a book one day. I haven’t done anything about it because the fear of rejection plagues me more than I want it to not because I am lazy. Some of what I have written is quite dark, but not because I feel so utterly hopeless and depressed. I know what depression. I’ve seen what it does to people, and I’ve never felt like that. People who say they are depressed but can still go out and function aren’t depressed. You cannot move, you cannot do a thing; that’s depression. My gran had it before I was born, and a bit when I was younger. Friends have battled with it, and there is nothing you can do but watch helplessly hoping one day it leaves them alone so they can go back to being the person they once were. You don’t need to be in love to write about love. Feelings of love and joy can fill you by watching a certain film, listening to a certain song or gazing at a piece of art. It is everywhere. Everything and nothing can be inspiring.

Being able to put yourself in the mind-set of others teaches you to be a more accepting and gentle person. I’ll happily be the first to admit that I am far too sensitive. I know I need to toughen up, but it just will not ever happen. I cannot be cruel to get something I want. I cannot harm someone on purpose; I’d rather just hug everyone instead. I’d like to think one day that being a gentle soul will go in my favour. Until then, I wait. Or just accept it. Same thing I suppose.

I’m drawn to the darker things. Dark songs, creepy literature. It is all fascinating. I’m not religious at all (I believe there’s a spiritual being above us all, but not in a powerful sense) but anything that questions God or whatever in songs really gets my attention. That’s why I love bands like Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles and The Long Wives. There are religious references, but not in a “I BELIEVE IN GOD AND YOU MUST TOO” kind of way; far from it. I am all for people questioning each other in a non-threatening manner. I’m not religious but that doesn’t mean I’m going to belittle someone who does. We all have our own things to believe in; nobody should ever try to shy someone away from what they believe in. Unless it means promoting hatred and intolerance, then I’ve got an issue with it.

I honestly had no point in writing this. I never do. It’s a cheap outlet I suppose, as always. I just thin we need to stop thinking we must feel low and hopeless in order to achieve something great. You can function being a happy person. But it seems, when you are happy people have an issue with it. Yet when you feel like shit, people may deem you as being draining. You cannot win, so forget them. Yet I know it is hard. You do not need to suffer in order to do something of worth. You justify your own worth, not the objects and people that surround you.

That’ll do for now.





The Long Wives- The Violence of Man.

28 12 2012

brandy-st-john

“The answer lies in your eyes,it lies in our wounds.”

My favourite singer is someone who deserves to be as big as Patti Smith. She has the heart and passion like my idol (I know that you shouldn’t have idols but sometimes, you must make an exception.) I love Brandy’s voice because, she has the power to break and mend the heart at the same time. When I saw she’d put a new song up, I just knew it’d be something truly special. I just knew I’d have to write about it. She’s one of the very few singers that make me do this. My love for music is there, but my motivation to write comes and goes. It’s a fading dream.

The Violence of Man is again, pure and ethereal. Sadness shines brightly in Brandy’s voice; but not in a way that leaves you crying on the floor in a ball wishing the end would come. She makes you feel less alone. She makes you feel less ashamed and tormented. Her words and her voice are one of the most sincere forms of comfort I have ever known. I know we seek refuge in the arms of the one we love; but sometimes we need a sound. A sound from someone who doesn’t know us, and someone we don’t know. Strangers create a world for us that becomes familiar and less daunting than what we face on a daily basis.

I simply cannot review a song in a simple way, especially when you can tell instantly that so much has gone into the song. I could easily sit here and just throw out words in a clichéd way to describe The Violence of Man, but that is no use to anyone. And I believe if you are a Music Writer, you should put the same amount of passion into your writing that the singer puts into their song. I don’t know if I’m successfully putting this across, so all I can do is hope you listen to The Long Wives and listen to her with intense and welcoming ears. That’s the only way.

Her voice echoes over the haunting strumming of the guitar. You feel the insecurities fall out of you. If you cannot be open with your love (as in the one you love) then you will be closed off forever more. Her voice and her lyrics are truly gorgeous. I know I have said this every single time I have written about The Long Wives; but I am truly in awe of her. The way she conveys religious images and such in her lyrics I believe to have only ever been found in one other; Nick Cave. I’d say she is the female Nick Cave, but really she is just her. Unique and mind-blowing. There is no other singer around, regardless of gender, like her. That alone makes you treasure her even more.

I think the line, “Did you learn to make a fist before you learned to speak?” sums up society perfectly. We are becoming more and more violent by the day. We channel our hate into things that do not matter and we create monsters out of ourselves. The Violence of Man makes you feel sorry for humanity because we are no longer accepting. Instead we just fight. We fight for nothing, we just harm others for no reason at all.

As I listen to her voice caress my eardrums, I can only hope you allow it to do the same. Brandy St.John easily has the best voice I’ve heard since Patti Smith. I simply cannot understand why songs like this aren’t taking over our airwaves. Then again, when you find something so precious of it, you think no one else will get it. But I truly hope you listen, and fully understand.

Please listen here : https://soundcloud.com/#thelongwives/the-violence-of-man-the-long





“But this collision came mid-bloom.”

3 12 2012

The darkness is better than daytime. I don’t really like daylight. I don’t like things shining brightly in my eyes, yet I hate sunglasses and in the summer, I just squint and go partially blind. My eyesight is awful at the best of times. It makes everything much more interesting. Sometimes.

My thing about the dark, is for a while (when I was a child) I was terrified of it. Then I grew out of it, and it became something that didn’t trouble me anymore. I don’t mind it getting dark at 4pm, it doesn’t bother me. I think I enjoy it more than still seeing everything clearly at 8pm you know? Sure the summer is nice, but I just like the dark. I like listening to certain bands when everything is dark; inside and out. For example, I cannot walk about in the daytime listening to Burial. It has to be dark out. I have to either be on the bus home or just lying in complete darkness. The music he makes creates something in your mind like no other. Seventeen Seconds by The Cure (their best record) is not a record I can listen to during the daytime either. It has to be pitch black, just to get the true and tense atmosphere of the record.

I can listen to the likes of Beach House, Warpaint, Morrissey, Captain Beefheart anytime. It doesn’t have to be light or dark. It can be anytime at all. Warpaint aren’t a band I feel I can sit and listen to with anyone else around. Maybe because if the person didn’t like them or get it, I’d be a bit (a lot) distraught. Aside from Stars, I can listen to Warpaint anytime.

Nick Cave, I can listen to him constantly. Grinderman, The Bad Seeds, The Birthday Party. Any of it, all of it at anytime. Much like Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt. Most get lonely at night, but when you listen to certain songs you can feel lonely right there and then. Or maybe, you feel less alone. Music is such a powerful thing, and it can take you anywhere. It goes with you everywhere. I go to music before I go to a person. It is like a reference point or something. I’m not sure. This is so so badly written, and maybe I should say sorry. But I cannot say sorry if I am not. Do what you want.

The night-time is the perfect time to fix everything. Some fuck things up at night-time. You can do both. In whatever order you wish to do so. No one’s going to judge. And if they do? Whatever. Who cares. See, the night-time can also make you rant can’t it. Or maybe that’s just me.

I seem to be growing tired of writing. I have no idea why I do it. It’s not like any good comes from it, or anyone sees it or whatever. I do it, I suppose because a small part of me thinks I must. I probably shouldn’t. I’ll drag the writing about a bit longer. We can only go so far.

As it’s dark outside, thankfully; maybe these songs will indulge you in it a bit more.

 





Arousing Sounds: Songs of 2012.

25 11 2012

You have good years and bad years with music, well life in general. Last year was alright but this year was pretty damn good. I bought more records this year than I did last year. I never have any money, but the money I do have spare goes on music. Rather on stuff I need. Such as clothes, as most of mine are a bit worn out. Or some new boots as my Docs are hanging on for dear life. They’ve been through a lot, but I think I can drag them through hell a bit longer.

This year for all reasons possible was rather good. Ignore all the crisis in the world and how society at times is fucked, then you’re okay. It’s been alright. And there have been some rather wonderful songs to go with it. Now, if this was a list of SONGS THAT MADE OLIVIA HAD A HERNIA WHEN PLAYED IN A VEHICLE, then Call Me Maybe would be my number 1 choice. Quite possibly one of the best pop songs to have been released in a long time. But did it come out last year? I’m not sure. But that song makes me happy, and I don’t even care. We’ve all made our own versions of it. Probably full of smut, but who cares.

So, here’s my list of songs that brought all kinds of joy and various emotions into my ears; and everywhere else. There are so many songs I know I have missed out, but I’ve got a really bad memory and I’ll want to change my mind after writing this. As always.

10. The Creeping Ivies- Ghost Train.Music should have elements that just freak you out. It should make you feel as if spirits are haunting you (I don’t mean a bad glass of whiskey.) It should fill you with sinister vibes that you just cannot shake, but the thing is- part of you doesn’t want to get rid of them. The haunting chills you get from Ghost Train are just stunning. My love for Becca and Duncan is ridiculous. They make me feel I am anywhere but in this time. That’s something that is entirely rare. I have woken up many a mornings where this song is in my head, and stays there for the duration of the day. That’s when I have my good days. The Creeping Ivies just make perfect eerie music that just reinforces my love for music.

9. Swim Deep-King City. I know I could have picked Honey, but King City mentions Jenny Lee Lindberg from Warpaint. That alone makes this song brilliant. It gives you a Summertime feeling, even if we are in the murky depths of November. I remember first hearing it and just being blown away. They have this gentle, euphoric tone to their music that just soothes you. It is like your being swayed. Your worries and troubles mean nothing when you listen to Swim Deep.

8. Jack White-Love Interruption. Anything Jack White does is just a piece of musical heaven. A stroke of genius. He has this way of creating something so insane yet pure. The lyrics to Love Interruption are mighty strange, yet you relate to them. You won’t let love corrupt you in any way, anymore. The music is so simple and stripped back but you can hear such frustration in his voice. A hint of longing just purifies the song. Ruby’s delicate and quivering vocals makes the song a lot more honest and vulnerable than it would be without. It’s just a gorgeous song that sums up everything love should be, and all you won’t let it be.

7. Ellie Goulding-Figure 8. This song pleasantly smacks you in the chops. I wanted to pick Only You, but that’s because I’m obsessed with the drums in it. A tribal feel to it, but I’ve gone with Figure 8 because there is something about this song that makes you feel a bit alive, yet sad at the same time. I think you can take the “And lovers hold on, to everything” in many ways I suppose. In a way, it is like Ellie is telling lovers to hold onto anything and everything. Or maybe she is saying lovers cling onto anything because they do not want to be without. Her second record is nothing like her debut, and that’s why I adore it and why I adore Ellie’s music. She still has such honesty to her songs, and the lyrics are darker; which is probably why I love them.

6. Beach House-New Year. Very nearly picked Wild, but I’ve gone with New Year because it means a lot to me. So does Myth. Myth just breaks my heart. New Year is 5 minutes of hope. In fact, the Bloom record is just a collection of songs that give you hope. It is like Victoria and Alex are giving you life lessons. Words to provide comfort and hope to those who listen. Everything about their music makes you feel as if they are cradling your soul. Soothing and swaying you as you face things you wish you could turn from. It is hard to turn away from some things and some people. Sometimes we can bring ourselves to do so; sometimes we can’t. I make life so difficult for myself (and probably others) but when I listen to Beach House, especially New Year, it is almost as if nothing really matters for that moment. New Year just makes you think about everything in a way you’ve never done before. It opens up your eyes and soul. It heals your heart.

5. Tamaryn-Heavenly Bodies. As Warpaint didn’t release anything this year, I’m declaring Tamaryn responsible for making the most ethereal song of the year, and the most tranquil record of the year also. Heavenly Bodies makes you feel as if you are drifting towards the most perfect and relaxed place possible. It makes you feel alive, even as your eyes become sleepy as you listen to this gorgeous song. You fall in love with everything surrounding it. You notice different layers to Heavenly Bodies as you listen to it through headphones. It is like a magical journey to something so divine as you listen to it. I adore the line, “She’s a fool but time is a thief.” I cannot explain why, but I just do. The song brings out a true sense of inner peace, and guides those gently, who feel slightly lost.

4. Crocodiles-Endless Flowers. The perfect opener to my favourite record of the year. I hold this song, this band and this record very dear to my heart. Their lyrics are romantic. Even when dark, they still have a romantic feel to it. No Black Clouds For Dee Dee is my favourite love song of the year. Yes, it reminds me of the one I love and adore. Endless Flowers is another song that gives you hope. I love the line, “I’ll bide my time swimming in your eyes, on some faraway screen.” It is easy to lose yourself in the one you love, and their eyes. Endless Flowers is a taste of devotion. A wonderful song that makes you wish you could create your own kind of ode to love.

3. Dum Dum Girls-Lord Knows. I’m going to try keep my ramble about this song as brief as I can. Lord Knows offers redemption and comfort in those who have hurt others. “I want to live a pure life” is such a vulnerable line. What I adore about Dee Dee is her vulnerable lyrics. She isn’t afraid to be so open with her words. That takes courage and strength that most shy away from. The intro to the song feels like the sun rising, giving you hope for another day. A chance to be better. The repetition of the chorus is like a chant, a mantra to stop you from hurting those you love. I love love love the line, ” ‘Cause every time you think of me, the black covers what might be.” Lord Knows offers so much solace, much like most of their songs. It is pure and truthful. It oozes out everything you wish you could. I guess next time you mess up, play this song. You’ll be alright. You always are.

2. The Long Wives-Judas Hex. I play this song nearly every day. I listen to The Long Wives a lot. Brandy’s voice is easily one of the best around. Discovering her music this year made everything a bit easier. We all have shit days, and how we get through them should make us tougher. I try to be tough, but I don’t think I have it in me. I don’t see it as a bad thing anymore. I’d rather be sure of how I feel rather than be emotionally numb. Judas Hex is so dark and simple. Just her voice and a guitar. Her voice is so so haunting. It isn’t overpowering at all. You don’t need a grand voice to be heard. Her voice is quietly powerful. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but she has something that no other will ever have. Or has ever had. Judas Hex evokes such devilish imagery in your mind, but they aren’t enough to scare you. You just embrace it, go with it. There’s no harm in it at all. Brandy’s voice lures you in, and once you are there- no part of you can leave. You just don’t want to. She is easily my favourite solo artist of the year. She’s just beautiful in all ways possible.

1. Saint Lou Lou-Maybe You. This song breaks my heart. This song makes me happy. This song is the best song of the year. It is gentle, it is delicate and utterly sad. I do like sad songs, but I don’t like obviously sad songs. Only when you pay close attention to the lyrics do you notice how heartbreaking this song is. What drew me in at first was the music. It felt like being on a bed of water, floating towards a state of bliss. Then I listened very closely to the lyrics and such sadness crept up on me. Since I first heard Maybe You, I have played it every day. I just have to always hear it. I have no idea what their record will sound life, but if it has the same elements as Maybe You (dreamy, blissed-out with shades of sadness) then they will probably become responsible for creating a sound that hasn’t been done before, and is of course, much-needed. I’ve mentioned before in previous posts the line I love the most in this song, but I adore “And if you’ve got an emptiness inside, you should let our worlds recollide.” The song offers reassurance and reconciliation. It’s just beautiful. There’s nothing else I can say about this song that I haven’t already said to anyone who may listen to me.

 

*I’d also like to add that Inhaler by Foals is bloody brilliant and I reckon their new record will be a massive highlight of 2013.





The Long Wives-Dark Horse.

18 11 2012

“He rides a dark horse. Crosses burned in its sides. He rides hooded in the dead of night.”

My love for Brandy’s voice is on a scale that not even I can comprehend. I seem to listen to a few of her songs a day. There is something about her voice and her dark lyrics that bring comfort. Her voice is just utterly perfect. You always find a singer don’t you, that just does something to your soul. Something that you cannot explain. Yet when you try to explain, words fail you. I guess all you can do is share the music in the hopes someone else understands and falls for the music too. In an ideal world, this would happen. Maybe it still can.

Brandy’s been working with Yeah Yeah Yeahs on her debut single, Dark Horse. It is produced by Nick Zinner and Karen O. Brian Chase plays drums, and Nick unleashes his guitar (slide and acoustic) and keyboard skills on this haunting song. You do get a Yeah Yeah Yeahs feel throughout the song, mainly songs such as Warrior and Sweets; the darker songs by Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Dark Horse is pure and open. It is the kind of song that you simply must have on repeat (I’ve done so over the past hour, I can’t listen to anything else just yet.) Brandy’s voice sounds as eerie and as divine as ever. It really does annoy me that someone with this amount of talent, how someone so gifted isn’t huge you know? We give out free passes to those who make arses of themselves on reality shows, yet those with such talent are overlooked. It’s wrong. So bloody wrong. This could turn into a rant, so I’ll stop.

Brandy’s words are poems of the soul. Her words are like a cleansing of the soul. When you listen to her, you feel purer. You feel as if you have erased all past sins and you can live again. Her songs feel like you are being redeemed. That although you feel like a terrible person stuck in a dark place, you are probably more alive than most. To be in touch with the side of life that most shun takes strength and courage. You’ll find strength and courage in a song by The Long Wives.

Brandy makes music that gives you hope that out there, someone is still making music with heart and soul. This is music for the soul. This is music that acts like a confession. A step towards a cure for what troubles you.

You can listen to the single here : http://thelongwives.bandcamp.com/album/dark-horse-la-vengenista-single and is available to download and ALL sales of the single go towards Hurricane Sandy Relief. Get yourself a copy. Make a mix CD for someone, and stick this song on it. Tell everyone and anyone about The Long Wives, they just need to know.

I could quite happily sit here and write an essay on Dark Horse, but it’s one of those songs that requires nothing but your attention because words aren’t good enough; they quite simply won’t do it justice.





“Into the night as the stars collide, across the borders that divide. Forests of stone standing petrified, to be by your side.”

29 10 2012

Sadness is something that creeps up on you when you least expect it. Much like love, happiness and rage. Much like any feeling I suppose. There is something about sadness that hits you harder than most and is much more difficult to shake. Some people wish to wrap themselves around it and become self-centered (I don’t get that) and some manage to just carry on as normal. There’s no right, there’s no wrong. But most will say you are wrong. I’ve not felt sad in a very very long time. But I saw something today that reinforced just how horrifically sensitive I am. And how much I dislike it. I’d say it is a negative trait, but I don’t have it in me to be tougher than I am. I’ve tried, and I’ve even tried being cruel. I can’t do it anymore. It just seems pointless.

So today whilst walking home from the gym I saw something on the pavement that made me feel so sad, and quite sick. The way I walk to and from town is basically a country road. There’s a farm on one side, and when you walk past it you get a delightful stench of SHIT. That sure wakes you up when you walk past it. Anyway, this isn’t about the animal shit I get to smell every morning on my way to and from the gym. It’s about what I saw. Anyone who knows me even a tiny bit knows I adore animals. I’m one of those annoying twerps who has conversations with dogs, cats and rabbits, and is convinced they understand. If you have a pet, I will try to steal it from you. If you have a dog, I’ll make it my best friend. If you have a cat, I’ll hold it up and sing Circle Of Life to it. If you have a rabbit, I’ll attempt to steal it. That’s just how I am. Anyway, this morning walking back I saw a dead rabbit on the pavement..right next to me. At first I thought it was asleep, but I realised quickly that the poor bugger was dead. Thing is, it looked at utter peace.

I honestly have no idea what my point is with this. I probably don’t have one. I guess I just believe animals all have the same emotions humans do. Sometimes animals seem more gentle with each other than people do. The way some people are with each other is just disgusting. Have you seen how monkeys look after each other? If that doesn’t melt your heart; then something could be wrong with you. I wish people were more gentle and sensitive towards each other. Being tough is alright when you need to be; but not always. You don’t need to always be defensive, this is speaking from experience. You can’t let the past make you who you are. You cannot blame others for all that may be wrong in your life. Yet it seems easier doesn’t it?

The next person you scowl at or launch vile words at; think about it before you do so. How does this tie in with the dead rabbit I saw? I don’t know if it does. Maybe I wanted to write down how sad it made me seeing that. Maybe there’s more to it. Just be gentle. Be kind. There’s enough shit in the world, don’t add to it.





The Long Wives- The Trinity.

22 08 2012

“Her name is Jezebel, and I once knew her well. But time changes all.”

Some time ago, I wrote about a beautiful singer/song-writer from Los Angeles. Most bands that I love that come from the West Coast have a certain sound, you can just tell they are from there. That’s why I love them. However, with The Long Wives she truly sounds like someone who lives in the depths of a dark and eerie forest. Her music makes you feel like you are the only one that can hear her. That’s she’s all yours. This goes beyond being personal. This is EVERYTHING.

The Trinity is heartbreaking. I’m talking Cat Power’s Metal Heart kind of heartbreaking mixed with Townes Van Zandt’s Waiting Around To Die. The kind that hits you right in the gut. My love for Brandy is based on how dark and open her songs are. She makes the piano sound so desperate and longing. You cling onto every word, because every word resides inside you. Sadness is something we try to shy away from, but sometimes you’ve got to let it happen to you. The darkness is something you can run from. You can let it consume you, or you can face it. Do your worst if you must.

The Trinity shows Brandy’s voice in a way previous songs haven’t. Songs such as Judas Hex (my personal favourite) and Tongue do pour out such raw emotion. All her songs do, of course. But there is something..something about The Trinity that just stays with you. Maybe you see yourself in it. Maybe you can see someone else in it. It makes any hurt you’ve felt in recent times fade away. In time, most things just fade away. Eventually it will all be dust, and a distant memory. Longing, love and lust. It’s there, but not in sight. Just in mind.

I know I’m being biased, but out of all the music I found this year I hold The Long Wives very very dear to me. When you find a band or a singer that can unleash what you feel better than you ever could; that’s when you know you have found something permanent. I know nothing ever lasts, but music gives you hope that it will. There’s something entirely romantic about it all. The Long Wives give you so much. Hope being the main feeling. Something that is needed by most, if not all.

You can listen to this gorgeous and ethereal track here : http://soundcloud.com/thelongwives/the-trinity-the-long-wives