Ellie Goulding. Now there’s an artist I could never get into.

No, not like that. Get your mind out of the gutter.

I was just never taken by Ellie’s vocals. Her Wikipedia says it best:

Neil McComick of The Daily Telegraph described her voice as “something special”, continuing; “Her tremulous vibrato and slightly hoarse timbre have the feel of something primal and folky, her birdlike high notes conveying a childlike wonder while darker tones imply ancient depths of sorrow. She sings like she is strung out on the melody, warbling from a place of desperate emotion.

I don’t know – something about an artist’s style being “warbling” and “birdlike” that disconcerts, and combined with my not exactly being taken with her initial single releases, and the fact the hipster generation have already migrated to her…

Well, I was all ready to resign her to the box marked “Laura Marling” (remember her?) and move on.

As ever, as often I am (oh, so very often), I was proven wrong.

elliegoulding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While hanging up laundry (yes, it’s a rock ‘n’ roll life), an ad on television caught my attention – mostly acoustic, with a female vocal, it took me about 3 seconds to guess that it was Ellie Goulding. But unlike much of her previous work, the simpler tune and goose-bump inducing lyrics stayed with me.

And so I give you “Explosions”, from her 2012 album “Halcyon”. It’s not the most complex tune in the world; not by a long way. And yes, it’s a bit warbling and birdlike. However, at 0:51, it turns, and at 1:01, launches into one of the most beautiful choruses I’ve heard in many months.

Mostly Ellie’s voice with some piano and strings poured on top, it’s the lyrics that truly cut…

I pray that you will find peace of mind
And I’ll find you another time
I’ll love you, another time

Explosions on the day you wake up
Needing somebody and you’ve learned
It’s okay to be afraid
But it will never be the same…

A song about the moment someone realises that it’s okay to need another. When it’s too late.

A song about someone leaving you behind, and realising that they shouldn’t have.

A song about putting your love on hold so that someone else can find their way.

You trembled like you’d seen a ghost
And I gave in
I lack the things you need the most
You said where have you been
You wasted all that sweetness to run and hide
I wonder why
I remind you of the days you poured your heart into
But you never tried
I’ve fallen from grace
Took a blow to my face
I’ve loved and I’ve lost
I’ve loved and I’ve lost

Explosions on the day you wake up
Needing somebody and you’ve learned
It’s okay to be afraid
But it will never be the same
It will never be the same

You left my soul bleeding in the dark
So you could be king
The rules you set are still untold to me and I
Lost my faith in everything
The nights you could cope, your intentions were gold
But the mountains will shake
I need to know I can still make

Explosions on the day you wake up
Needing somebody and you’ve learned
It’s okay to be afraid
But it will never be the same

And as the floods move in
And your body starts to sink
I was the last thing on your mind
I know you better than you think
‘Cause it’s simple darling, I gave you a warning
Now everything you own is falling from the sky in pieces
So watch them fall with you, in slow motion
I pray that you will find peace of mind
And I’ll find you another time
I’ll love you, another time

Explosions on the day you wake up
Needing somebody and you’ve learned
It’s okay to be afraid
But it will never be the same…

Ellie Goulding – Explosions

www: Ellie’s official website; Facebook Page and Twitter.

You know those songs, don’t you?

You do.

The ones that you leave on repeat and let flow over you. The ones that match perfectly to your staring out your window on a grey, overcast and wet day. The ones that are so very simple, yet cut through the very soul of you like a knife.

Aj Lark over at Music is my First Language (who, it has to be said, beats me into submission when it comes to great music knowledge. Both knowledge of great music, and great knowledge of music. You know what I mean.), pointed me in the direction of Castle Lights a couple of weeks ago, and specifically to http://castlelightsmusic.com/keep-waiting-eleftheria/, where they made the song “Keep Waiting” free for download.

castlelights

A plucked guitar, a cello, Tyler Susuras’ lead vocals – starting off, the song sounds nice, but like a hundred, a thousand other songs I’ve come across. Albeit an insistent guitar loop.

And then, at 0:47, the guitar pluck turns to a strum, the cello rises, and a very faint drum tattoo is heard, and the song itself rises above the hundred, thousand others.

Alternating between the plucked and the strummed, the cello falling back and rising, the song itself is an ode to futility. How many of us have fought for something that will never be? And yet, we keep fighting; we keep struggling, in the belief it’ll all come good?

Nearly four and a half years ago, I posted the National’s “About Today”, a song about that moment when you know a relationship is over. “Keep Waiting” is the few seconds before that realisation, looping over and over.

I don’t know – maybe sometimes the fight is worth it. “Keep Waiting” makes me think someone thinks it.

And I know, at some time in the future, I’ll fight again.

Time will tell if it’s “About Today” or “Keep Waiting” that wins out.

Lying as the day is long
Fighting ’til it’s said and done
Crying as you hard your heart
Hiding ’til it’s torn apart
You’re waiting for that special sign
Waiting for it to fall in line

And we’ll keep waiting
And we’ll keep waiting for a sign
We’ll keep waiting

Running ’til the day is gone
We hit a few bumps along the way
Love had made me a bitter soul
I’ve learned to let it go
I’ll keep waiting for perfect time
When two hearts fall in line

And we’ll keep waiting
And we’ll keep waiting for perfect time
We’ll keep waiting
And we’ll keep waiting
And we’ll keep waiting for perfect time
Keep waiting

And your heart in mine will be forever home, home
And your heart in mine will be forever love, love
And your heart in mine will be forever home, home
And your heart in mine will be forever love

And we’ll keep waiting
And we’ll keep waiting for a sign
We’ll keep waiting
We’ll keep waiting for perfect time…

Castle Lights – Keep Waiting

www: Castle Light’s official website; Facebook Page and Twitter.

We all love a damaged singer, don’t we? Maybe it’s just me.

And when a singer releases an album called “Dear…”, and I read the absolutely perfect line “‘Dear…’ makes ‘For Emma…’ sound like Skrillex”, well, it must be love.

However, my admission of love might in fact scare off Keaton Henson, a 23-year-old singer from the UK. As might my posting a picture. Let’s try anyway…

keatonhenson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An article from the Guardian can explain this better than I:

The 24-year-old illustrator-cum-singer-songwriter, who self-released his debut Dear… through Bandcamp at the end of 2010, has never played the usual industry games. Recording in solitude in his Richmond bedroom in London, he’s amassed something of a cult following in a rarefied indie niche. But now, signed to Radiohead’s management, and having re-released Dear… through Oak Records in April, the prospect of coming face-to-face with his public is one that Henson has to confront. And it troubles him.

A series of panic attacks plagued his childhood – this much he admits, but he won’t explain why. After a series of live dates supporting the BalletBoyz at Sadler’s Wells in 2010, he went into hiding after finding he suffered from crippling stage fright. “I’ve always struggled with live music, both as a spectator and performer,” he tells me. “I used to enjoy going to live shows, but felt a strange jealousy. No part of me wanted to share the music with which I had such a profound relationship with a room full of (often drunk and chatty) strangers.”

However, as of this month, Keaton played two gigs in London – online reviews unfound to date. However, and more seriously, this latter quote of his is key – from Henson’s own website, in a section labelled “Intrude”, are a few lines which speak volumes:

Dear unknown
I hope you listen as though it were all for you
I hope she knows it was.
I hope you can forget the fact I do both
It meant more before.
The Author

So, to me, this music was never meant for us. And how can you not love a man quoted as saying:

If I can make the audience (in spite of how many of them there are) feel as lonely as I do, using the space and situation, everything makes more sense.

From Henson’s 2012 “The Lucky” EP, I give you the utterly, utterly heartbreaking “To Your Health” – nothing but plucked electric guitar and Henson’s tremulous falsetto, and a song that in anyone else’s hands, would be bitter and scathing. In Henson’s? Bitter. Scathing. And beautiful.

I’ve also included two videos for this song as well – while as powerful aurally as visually, there’s just…something…about these.

Keaton Henson wants us to feel as lonely as he does. Who are we to disagree?

So make mine a pain in the neck
Here’s to you, you old wreck
And mine is a thorn in the side
Drink up, so we can both finally die

And I’ll have a bright yellow boat
With nothing to row
With nothing to row

So make mine an all out of luck
Here’s to you, you miserable fuck
And why did you finally leave?
’cause all you think of is me
’cause all you think of is me

To your health
To your health

So make mine a pain in the neck
Here’s to you, you old wreck

Keaton Henson – To Your Health

www: Keaton’s official website; the only existing Facebook Page, run by fans; his Vimeo page, and that’s about it, to be honest.

I have a list of artists to feature on here, and I will, in time. From well-established artists whom I’ve tracked down myself, to submissions from little-known and unsigned artists, I have a list to work through, and I promise you all, I will work through it.

Of course, having a collection of music that allows me to create a list has its own drawbacks. More on this in a paragraph or two.

However, despite the list, sometimes, a song swings out of left-field, and runs kicking and screaming to the head of the queue. It’s not often a song manages to do this – the last one was probably Greg Laswell’s Come Back Down – but when it does, it leaves a mark.

After listening to about 30 seconds of Josh Garrel’s “Farther Along”, I went and bought his 2011 album “Love & War & The Sea In Between”.

joshgarrels

However, remember a couple of short paragraphs ago (see how I did that? I should write a novel…) when I talked about the drawbacks of a music collection? Well, apparently, I also bought Josh Garrel’s album earlier this year. Or at the end of last year.

Who knows? Who cares, when 30 seconds of a song can make you fall in love with a musician’s voice, and make you buy his album (twice)?

And I give you that song – “Farther Along” – an organ-and-guitar beginning, almost hymnal, with Garrel’s unique, and completely stunning, voice entering at 22 seconds, starting with the chorus rather than a verse – a voice with a quiver that will send shivers down your spine – the song builds with a drumbeat, strummed guitar and extensive lyrics at just past the minute mark, and reveals itself to be religious; a song that deals with how overwhelming this world, this life can be, but with the right outlook, we’ll understand what happens. It just might take a while.

I’m not religious; barely spiritual. But still, this song, this voice, leaves me wistful and smiling.

Something tells me it’ll leave you the same.

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by

Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves ’em both
We’re all cast-aways in need of rope
Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I’ve seen

Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
But some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin’ that line back home

So much more to life than we’ve been told
It’s full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
Wash away all the things you’ve done
Forgiveness alright

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by

Still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin’ for my soul
And I’ve got no place left go
‘Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin’ on

Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I’m free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I’ll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levees and my bluffs
Let the flood wash me

And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
‘Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the Son of God is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we’re the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by

Josh Garrels – Farther Along

Buy “Love & War & The Sea In Between” here.

www: Josh Garrel’s official website, Facebook Page, Twitter, and MySpace.

After a lack of new music, and the time to find it…

You know what? No, I’m not using that excuse. Life is busy at the moment, but we are the decisions we make. I’ve chosen to spend more time on the Get Your Melancholy On Facebook Page, which is more easily updated, and a more immediate reflection of my moods – but a shallower one.

Here, here is where I open my heart and my head when songs truly get to me. And today, one did.

I’ve posted about the Gaslight Anthem in November 2008, and lead singer Brian Fallon’s side project the Horrible Crows in Sepember of last year. The Gaslight Anthem is a band I love, but have dabbled in, as I’ve found their albums a little inconsistent – some great tracks, some not so great. Until this years “Handwritten”, their first big-label release, and while definitely a little more polished and radio-friendly at times (unsurprising, produced as it was by Brendan O’Brien, producer of the Fray, Bruce Springsettn, Pearl Jam, Train and more…), a powerful piece of work, consistent over most of it’s eleven tracks (or fourteen, if you bought the deluxe edition) – a number of which I see myself writing about here. But tonight, this night, there’s only one.

thegaslightanthem2

Earlier today, a friend of mine who loves the Gaslight Anthem more than me grew frustrated with my not having listened to “Handwritten” yet, depite it being released nearly a month ago (as I said, the decisions we make…) So, she sent me “National Anthem”, the final track. And after a couple of listens, I finally listened to the entire album. Now, hours later, I’ve listened to nothing else all day.

A slower-than-usual Gaslight Anthem track, “National Anthem”, like much of the Gaslight Anthem’s work, is like Bruce Springsteen fronting a slightly heavier version of the E Street Band (at times – at others, it is pretty much Bruce Springsteen fronting the E Street Band. And this isn’t a slight at the Gaslight Anthem – they wear their influences proudly).

But after not posting for a while, and with a collection of songs (genuinely!) that I still aim to post, why does “National Anthem” push its way to the front of the queue? Put simply, this quite basic song, with a plucked guitar and a slow building string section, Fallon’s pitch-perfect voice, and little else, cuts through me like a knife. For someone who has been reminiscing an awful lot on life lately, thinking about those decisions that make us more deeply than ever before…well…

I’ve been the one living with too many ghosts.

I’ve been the one screamed at.

I never will forget you my American love
And I’ll always remember you, wild as they come
And though if I saw you I’d pretend not to know
The place where you were in my heart is now closed
I already live with too many ghosts…

And I cant stand the weather, no I never liked the rain
We drink on the job then we go home early
And I remember she used to look so good in that dress
Now she just screams how I promised her more than this
Take it easy baby, it ain’t over yet

I never will forget you my American love
And I’ll always remember you, wild as they come
And though if I saw you I’d pretend not to know
The place where you were in my heart is now closed
I already live with too many ghosts

Now everybody lately is living up in space
Flying through transmissions on invisible airwaves
With everything discovered just waiting to be known
What’s left for God to teach from his thrown?
And who will forgive us when he’s gone?

So, take what you need now honey
And do what you like
Don’t worry about me Mama, I’m alright

And I cant stand the weather, no I never liked the rain
We drink on the job then we go home early
And I remember she used to look so good in that dress
Now she just screams how I promised her more than this
Take it easy baby, it ain’t over yet

So, take what you need now honey
And do what you like
Don’t worry about me Mama, I’m alright

And if there’s something you need
And if there’s something you find
Whatever gets you through the night
Whatever gets you through the night

I never will forget you my American love
And I’ll always remember you wild as they do come

The Gaslight Anthem – National Anthem

www: The Gaslight Anthem’s official website, Facebook Page, Twitter, and MySpace.

Two posts in two weeks? Well, holy shit, I spoil you people…

If you don’t already know, I run a slightly-more-often updated Facebook Page for Get Your Melancholy On. Of course, you all already like it, don’t you?

One of the great things about that Page is that the people who like it also post music they like – and I’ve been shown a range of gems I’ve never heard of before through this. I’m working my way through them, and they’ll appear here in time, but one of the artists, and a particular song, just screamed at me.

Not literally. That’d be weird.

theboywhotrappedthesun

The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, or Colin MacLeod as he’s known to his friends, is 27 years old, from the Isle of Lewis, off the coast of Scotland, and to be frank, sounds like Snow Patrol.

However, this is definitely not a bad thing – off his 2010 album “Fireplace”, I give you “Copper Down” – a beautiful, sad piece of work.

Starting with a simple plucked guitar, MacLeod’s Gary Lightbody-esque voice flows. Over the course of almost 4 and a half minutes, instruments layer and layer, and the song becomes more anthemic, with the drum tattoo and choral work at 2:54 of particular note.

The lyrics themselves are simple, but damningly effective – a tale of endings and of regret, with a set of slightly differing choruses which might just find their way under your skin.

In life, in love, there’s been a few times I’ve tasted copper in my mouth.

I hope it’s all worth it, in the end.

This ship’s gone and run its course
Through a tired lack of force
And all that matters branded on your arm
So you don’t forget how we first met

Suddenly I have this feeling
Tasting copper in my mouth
I look to watch the clouds for my last breath

When you grow into your skin
I’ll be the hope joining the walls
And all the scraps of world joined at the hand
Are there to hold you in our secret plans

Suddenly I have this feeling
Tasting copper in my mouth
I look to watch the clouds for comfort
Fill in the blanks

Suddenly I hate this feeling
Tasting copper in my mouth
I look to watch the clouds for comfort
I hope I don’t let anyone die
Fill in the blanks

The Boy Who Trapped The Sun – Copper Down

www: The Boy’s Facebook Page, Twitter, and MySpace.

Over a month since my last post? Sorry, sorry… Life, as ever, has been getting in the way… And when I finally sat down to think about what I’d put up here, in front of you all, I blanked.

It wasn’t for lack of choice – oh, no. Not at all. But after the last couple of very intimate, important (to me) posts, I didn’t want to put something throwaway up – I wanted it to mean as much as the others.

And so, it does – but it is the antithesis of my second last post. That was about falling in love – this is about falling back out of it; torn to shreds and bleeding; screaming and crying and hating the other all the way.

alkalinetrio

“Radio”, from Alkaline Trio’s 2003 album “Maybe I’ll Catch Fire”, is pure acid – starting as a simple electric guitar solo that edges its way under your skin, it starts to layer – a drumbeat; Matt Skiba’s voice in baritone; and those first few lines that would tear a strip from anyone…

Shaking like a dog shittin’ razorblades
Waking up next to nothing
After dreaming of you and me
I’m waking up all alone, waking up so relieved

And then… And then… And then…

2 minutes and 6 seconds in, the electric guitar kicks in, Skiba’s voice kicks up a gear, and the next few lines tear much larger strips…

I’ve got a big fat fuckin’ bone to pick with you my darling
In case you haven’t heard I’m sick and tired of trying
I wish you would take my radio to bathe with you,
Plugged in and ready to fall

And over the next 90 seconds or so, Skiba’s voice climbs ever higher, becomes ever more frantic and hurt and angry and hateful, and the music builds, before lapsing back for the final 40 seconds, exhausted and resentful.

When Phil Spector created his famous “Wall of Sound” technique, I figure he didn’t intend it to be used to crash down on someone in the hope it’d hurt them.

Shaking like a dog shittin’ razorblades
Waking up next to nothing
After dreaming of you and me
I’m waking up all alone, waking up so relieved
While you’re taking your time with apologies
I’m making my plans for revenge
Red eyes on orange horizons
If Columbus was wrong I’d drive straight off the edge
I’d drive straight off the edge

Taking your own life with boredom
I’m taking my own life with wine
It helps you to rule out the sorrow
It helps me to empty my mind
Making the most of a bad time
I’m smoking the brains from my head
Leaving the coal calling the kettle black and orange and red
This kettle is seeing red

I’ve got a big fat fuckin’ bone to pick with you my darling
In case you haven’t heard I’m sick and tired of trying
I wish you would take my radio to bathe with you
Plugged in and ready to fall

Shaking like a dog shittin’ razorblades
waking up next to nothing after dreaming of you and me
I’m waking up all alone, waking up so relieved
while you’re taking your time with apologies
I’m planning out my revenge
Red eyes on orange horizons
If Columbus was wrong I’d drive straight off the edge
I’m seeing red

I’ve got a big fat fuckin’ bone to pick with you my darling
In case you haven’t heard I’m sick and tired of trying
I wish you would take my radio to bathe with you,
Plugged in and ready to fall

Plugged in and ready to fall
Plugged in and ready to fall
Plugged in and ready to fall

Alkaline Trio – Radio

www: Alkaline Trio’s official website, Facebook Page, Twitter, and MySpace.

Reminiscing: Indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I try not to – the hamsters can’t power the wheel in my head for too extended a period of time these days – but as I grow older, I find myself thinking about the past, the present and the future more than I used to.

I wonder what lies ahead. I try to be present in my everyday life. And I look back on the last decade or so, at the curving path – at times doubling back on itself – that’s delivered me to this point.

In that decade, there’s been regrets. Not many – I know every decision I’ve made has led me to today – but a few “what if” moments. When I think about those, I usually ask Howie Day to accompany me…

howieday

Well, I don’t ask him. That’d be a little bit weird. But I put on “Ghost”, from his 2000 album “Australia”, and I play it loud, and on repeat.

There’s a core set of songs – 20 or so – which have followed me through the last decade or so. I haven’t put many of them on here – in time, maybe I will – as they are truly part of me. They are not the most complex songs in the world – often quite the opposite. But at some stage, something happened to me, and these songs were there; they slipped under my skin, but with their points still there; when I hear one, I genuinely slip away from the world around me – the people, the places – and drift back to the moments these songs slipped inside.

“Ghost” is one of those songs. A strummed guitar, a little slide guitar, a repetitive drum track, a husky male vocal that on occasion rises a little higher, and a song of regretting and craving; of wanting and not wanting.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ll slip away for a little while.

Lately I’ve been thinking
Lately I’ve been dreaming with you
I’m so resistant to this type of thinking
Oh, now it’s shining through
I was alone for the last time
Before my night’s vacation with you
Alive from the first
Now I’m denied by the ghost of you

Oh, you take yourself a photograph and laugh at me
Please

I know there’s little use in crying
It’s more wide awake and dying than I’m used to
I thought we’d walk these streets together
Now I’m hoping that I’ll never have to meet you
Step aside from all this anger
And somewhere in between I can feel you
Ask me should we try again
I’m thinking no
Y’know, it’s not what I believe in
It’s not what I believe in

You take yourself a photograph and laugh at me
Please
You make yourself a photograph and laugh at me
Please

No I, wanna taste you, love
No I…no I
No I, just wanna taste you, love

Standing in your shoes
I turn and now
You’re standing bare in my doorway
I only wish that I had been prepared
I’m gonna have to go along with your way
Just take the plastic camera out
It’s the pants you borrowed in the driveway
Alive from the first
Now I’m denied by the ghost of you

Make yourself a photograph and laugh at me
Please
You make yourself a photograph and laugh at me
Please

No I, wanna taste of love
No I…

I was alive from the first
Now I’m denied by the ghost of you

Howie Day – Ghost

www: Howie’s official website, Facebook Page, Twitter, and MySpace.

When I first fell into melancholy music (not literally) all those years ago, alongside the more commercial artists I started to investigate (not literally – neither commercial (I’m still not sure if Tom McRae can ever really be seen as commercial), nor my investigation of them (I’ve never investigated Tom McRae, despite attending several gigs of his)), I also found a number of unsigned artists plying their trade. Amongst these, one stood out; someone who has always had a couple of their songs stay on my laptop, my MP3 player, and in my head.

syd

I ended up emailing Syd (or, as his parents know him, Erin Johnson Sidney) and his manager years and years ago – something they probably don’t remember, but which always meant something to me, as Syd replied with a kind, personal response.

Lately, I’ve found myself reminiscing a lot. As I grow older, my life is settling into comfortable patterns – I’m more comfortable with who I am; I’m more comfortable in understanding what makes me happy. Yes, there are still plenty of ups and downs, but life is more the former than the latter.

There were a number of Syd’s songs which have always been there through the last few years – some sad, some happy. All guitar-picked, and all simple, honest songs. From them, I give you “Here’s A Love Song”. It’s exactly what it says on the tin, but has never, ever, ever failed to make me smile wistfully, and think about the girls I’ve loved, who’ve loved me.

It’s not a complex song. But it means the world to me.

And the sigh at the very start is a sound embedded in my head for the rest of my life – the sound of telling someone how you feel about them.

The sound of telling someone you love them.

Sleeping in Saturdays
Taking time to get to know your face
Breathing in your smell on me
I’m addicted, you know, to vanilla these days

Butterfly kisses
And the promise you’ll spend all night this time
I just wanna say thank you
For taking a chance on a feeling inside so

Here’s a love song
For all the times you felt second place
And here’s a love song
For all the smiles that come when I see your face
Here’s a love song

I walk into the winter night
The city lights take the place of the stars in your eyes
I lost the moon again
But I stopped looking, I guess, when love caught me by surprise

You’re gonna be hard to get over
So I won’t, I don’t think, for a very long time
And in the summer
I’ll warm your bed if you promise you’ll warm mine

And here’s a love song
For all the times i fell into your eyes
And here’s a love song
For all the things you taught me last night
Here’s a love song

Here’s a love song
For all the things that you never said
And here’s a love song
For the night you left your bracelet at the end of my bed
Here’s a love song

Syd – Here’s A Love Song

www: Syd’s official website, Tumblr, Facebook Page, Twitter, and MySpace.

If you’re an aficionado of live music, you must know that moment. You know, THAT moment.

I’ve posted about THAT moment before, when seeing Tom McRae live a couple of years ago, and at the time, said:

I had one revelationary moment. I love music – completely and utterly – but sometimes, it goes beyond a passion, and hurts. Actually, physically, hurts. And as Tom played “American Spirit”, I stopped moving. Stopped breathing. My chest hurt – hurt more than it had in a long time. And for five and a half minutes, I loved every agonising second.

Well, Ben Howard, March 2012, did the same thing to me. I went to see him at a little venue called the Academy here in Dublin, and for his first song, he caused me actual hurt.

benhoward2

The song, “Depth Over Distance”, isn’t even on his album “Every Kingdom”. Instead, it’s the b-side (yes, I know what those are) to the single release of “Keep Your Head Up”.

As I watched, live, Ben sat on a high stool, his guitar across his lap, strings facing upwards, and he strummed and drummed on it, as he sang this utterly, utterly haunting song. And then…and then…and then…

In the song, it’s 3:22. Live, 4:16 in the video below.

Ben shows the true meaning of control in a singing voice – and left nearly everyone in the Academy feeling like they had been punched hard in the gut. It was hard to breathe. It was hard to feel anything but like screaming along in catharsis.

A song of realising that, although you might be in too deep, you’re willing to go ever deeper – whatever might come of it. And of asking someone else to come with you.

Depth over distance every time, my dear,
And this tree of ours may grow tall in the woods,
But it’s the roots that will bind us here,
To the ground

Depth over distance was all I asked of you
And I may be foolish to fall as I do
Still there’s strength in the blindness you fear
If you’re coming too
If you’re coming too

Hold on, wait until that lone sun
Breaks from the arms of the Lord
Hold on, though we may be too young
To know this ride we’re on

Depth over distance was all I asked of you
And everybody round here’s acting like a stone
Still there’s things I’d do, darling, I’d go blind for you
If you let go sometimes, let go sometimes, let it go
Just let it go sometimes

Hold on, wait until that lone sun
Breaks from the arms of the Lord
Hold on, though we may be too young
To know this ride we’re on
Hold on, wait though we may be too young
To know this ride we’re on

Depth over distance every time, my dear,
And I may be foolish to fall as I do
Still there’s strength in the blindness you fear
If you’re coming too
If you’re coming too

Hold on, wait until that lone sun
Breaks from the arms of the Lord
Hold on, though we may be too young
To know this ride we’re on
To know this ride
To know this ride we’re on

Ben Howard – Depth Over Distance

www: Ben’s official website, Facebook Page, and MySpace.