You only have to be in this world for a very short time to realise that there a grand buffet of mixed emotions on offer.
The ecstatic joy of first love. The crushing loss of a romance gone sour. The breathless anticipation of the new and unexpected opportunities and placed to go.
You also come to appreciate pretty quickly that there are very talented, insightful people out there, such as these five fine artists, who are graced with the ability to articulate what it all means and what it feels like far better than we ever could.
So sit back and enjoy, and remember that for every life experience there is a song, and it may just change everything, or at least make it all easier to deal with.
“83 Days” by Wafia
There is a haunting, lush cathedral-like melody that ushers in “*3 Days” with Brisbane, Australia-based singer/songwriter Wafia’s deeply emotionally-resonant coming in shortly after to powerfully understated effect.
This is a post-break up song, that beautifully talks about how despite your best efforts, you can’t stop yourself thinking and rethinking key moments and elements of the relationship and whether your ex is thinking about you and all the things you were planning to do together.
The phrase “Are you thinking of me?” repeats over and over, tinged with regret, self-reflection and sobering mourning for what might have been and it reflects a real-life experience as you might expect:
“This song comes after someone I love wouldn’t stay. I developed an obsession with noting down the ways their absence was so loud and present. How intangible they had become. How intangible the memories I was left with are. How I reminisce on only the highest points of the situation that I know were so bad for me. How something that ceased to exist anymore could be felt constantly.” (source: Purple Sneakers)
Even given its heavy lyrical focus, this is a heartfelt, immensely beautiful song that will touch you heart and soul.
“Cold” by Snow Culture
Oh lord, the goosebump-inducing atmospherics of this song are off the freaking chart.
A cover of Maroon 5 and Future’s collaborative hit, “Cold” is as chilled and appealingly bleak as you could hope for, with Swedish duo Snow Culture investing it with a lifetime’s worth of sadness and loss.
It’s an all-consuming, exquisitely-wrought production that subsumes you into the welter of emotions that overwhelm you tsunami-like when a once rich, warm and sustaining relationship dies in spectacularly awful fashion.
The bewilderment and pain is writ large with vocals that match the mood to a heartbreaking degree, reflective of how soul-crushing these slow relationship deaths can be.
“Take Me Old” by Daudi Matsiko
Awash with organic guitar strumming, and anchored by UK artist Daudi Matsiko’s fragile, emotionally-resonant vocals, “Take Me Old” is breathlessly touching and poignant as hell.
There is a welcome mellowness to his music and his vocal delivery which opens up the emotional richness of the songs to a resounding degree that can’t help but move you.
This is music that doesn’t just wear its heart on its sleeve; its exposes every last iota of his very soul, the effect on an audience noted by The Low Downunder:
“Hear his song ‘Take Me Old’, and enter a hushed gig venue, all ears and eyes entranced by the music unfolding before them. Daudi’s music hypnotises with an economy of elements. It’s with just guitar, autobiographical lyrics, hints of saxophone and synth that he weaves a magic spell.”
This is intimate stuff, the sharing of one person’s lived experiences with others that results in the kind of shared understanding and commonality that is desperately in today’s polarised world.
“Light Up” by salute
Hello jaunty introduction, finger clicking and ethereally-resonant vocals laid over a rich, slightly-warped melody – what a way to start a song!
But why not stop there? If you’re British producer, and have the vocally-rich services of Liv Dawson at your disposal, you up the ante over and over, draping the song in chest-thumpingly loud, insistent beats, a recurrent synth motif and a stunning melange of sound that together delivers up one of those head-turningly good songs that stays with you for days afterwards.
This is not a shy, retiring song by any measure, demanding in the best possible way, to be heard, acknowledged, so densely packed with aural tidbits that you have to pay attention, subsumed in so many deliciously-enticing ways.
It’s catchy as hell and yeah you’ll be pretty buoyed up and lit up by the end of a listen … or 300, inspired by the encouragement to face your fears and go for broke “somewhere in the back of the beyond”.
“Living With Your Ailments” by Kiran Leonard
The Guard describe British artist Kiran Leonard’s lead single from his third album, Derevaun Seraun (due September), as “symphonic grandeur”, as apt an assessment of a song as any I’ve ever heard.
It’s a musically-intense song that thrives on the lyrical inspiration provided by The Myth of Sisyphus (Albert Camus) which had a profound on the artist growing up:
“I read it for the first time as an unhappy, nervous 17-year-old and I found it deeply moving and comforting, It’s an essay about taking the cards that we’re dealt – mortality, nothingness, uncertainty – and doing our best with them, in humour and in optimism and in open-mindedness.” (The Guard)
Wrapping up philosophical depth, emotional resonance and stunningly rich piano-driven music, “Living With Your Ailments” is thoughtful, ruminative pop music that will cut right to the soul.
And trust me, in this case, that is a very good thing.
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST NEWS!
We have a host city for the Eurovision Song Contest!
In news that will surprise precisely no one, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) have announced that Lisbon will take on hosting duties for next year’s Eurovision, following Portugal win at this year’s contest after a brilliantly moving performance by Salvador Sobral.
Also confirmed were the dates for next year’s event – the semi-finals will take place on 8 and 10 May and the grand Final on Saturday 12 May – which will see Portugal hosting its first ever staging of the much-loved contest.
To find out all about the announcement and how happy it is officially making everyone, visit Eurovision.tv