I’ve seen Sunshine again recently – my favourite science fiction film for some time. Actually, my favourite film full stop for some time.

I honestly believe it to be the greatest visual & aural masterpiece I’ve ever seen – the visuals are awe-inspiring, but the audio….the audio….

The audio ties intimately into the film – supporting every single scene, every single visual; Looping and swirling and embedding; at times slinking under your skin, quietly affecting you without your knowledge, and at others, completely sweeping over you, beating your senses into submission, plowing through your core.

If you haven’t seen it, and intend to, the video may spoil a little, so avoid. If you’ve seen it, or if you don’t intend to (and if not, why not?), then watch, and feel your chest fill up; your lungs fill; your breath catch; and your muscles tense….

I deleted a large chunk of my music collection last night. On purpose.

What?!?, I hear you scream. How could you?!?, I hear you yell.

(Well, I don’t. But humour me).

Don’t worry, dearest reader. This blog will still live, and my passion for music continues. Over the last few weeks I’ve been watching my music collection grow, and discovering new music from all sides. But I’ve also been, on occasion, browsing sadly through my music collection. Why? Because I started to notice that every time I was putting albums on my MP3 player, I’d forget about two or three I really wanted to include. Because I would get so overwhelmed with the sheer number of songs, I’d load up my littler MP3 player with my old favourites, and yet regret not having Two Gallants or Griffin House or Joshua James on there….

ipods

And the epiphany hit – I had too much music. Correction, I had too much music I would never listen to. My hard disk was full of albums I got some time ago, back in the ether, where I liked one song from an album, but no others. Or where I had collected genres, not artists. And so last night, I bit the bullet. The Movielife? Deleted. Thrice? Deleted. Zwan, Thursday, Lo Pro? Deleted, deleted, deleted. I did mark some albums for reinclusion at some stage – the aforementioned Thursday do deserve another go some day. But today, I have a more streamlined music collection (still a couple of thousand albums, though), and a feeling like a weight has lifted. I’ll still probably forget to put Red Panda on my MP3 player, but at least now there’s a lower chance of it happening.

But I still have one fear – how do I keep up with the artists I love? I have a lot of artists from whom I have every album, and many more from whom I have one or two albums which I think I could learn to love. How do I track what I love most? And how do I keep up with releases and music from the newbies in my collection?

And they say music is enjoyable….

I just don’t understand my own head and tastes at times.

On a regular basis, I now find myself loving three, four, five similar artists – at times, almost indistinguishable from each other. But then I’ll come across another similar artist whom I don’t take to at all. It’s not a change in tastes – I’ll still return to my favourites – but sometimes, just sometimes, an artist I should love, I don’t.

At other times, I come across songs I like, and songs I love. Songs I put on repeat, and songs that stop me in whatever I’m doing, and leave me with a wistful feeling, and a smile on my face. For example….

griffinhouse

Griffin House’s “Dance With Me”. A gorgeous tune, sung by a man with a Bono-type timbre to his voice (but don’t let that put you off). The song itself is, while not quite forgettable, one of many – similar to a lot of what is out there, but with an added element of something else, something to take it above the others. A slow, metronome rhythm; the female vocals supplementing House’s own on the chorus, and the slow build of the violins and a wall of sound throughout.

Oh, it is alright with me if you throw in the towel and let me sleep. If you throw in heart, if you throw in your peace, you’re turning me on, earning my keep. Dance with me, make it hard to lead. Oh dance with me and I’ll believe. Dance with me make it hard to leave, dance with me and I’ll believe.

And then….

joshuajames

Joshua James’ “Tell My Pa”. With a falsetto to rival Tom McRae, the song is absolutely heartrending to me, sinking under my skin on my first listen. Lyrics that grab you, that you can’t quite make out, but those that you can, affect. The plucked guitar and little else for most of the song, until the violin and drum line the avenue the song slowly walks down. The line that catches – “You ran and told somebody else”….

James’ pleading, pleading voice, falling to little more than a whisper at times….

Come on love. Come on drugs. I need the help, pick me up. I’m feeling low, the alcohol is wearing off. The cocaine wore a hole inside my bitter soul, my foolish pride. Call my pa, tell you saw me. Hangin’ here, the blood it stains the carpet well. You ran and told somebody else. But now its gone, the need I felt. The cocaine drug inside my head. Please leave me hangin’ here, please leave me hangin’ here.

There are those I like. And those I love. “Dance with me”. And “Tell My Pa”. I do wonder, why one over the other?

Griffin House – Dance With Me

Joshua James – Tell My Pa