Haven’t much to say here. Should have, but haven’t.
Most days I listen to ELO. Today has been a sad day, so most of the day I have stayed in bed and not listened to ELO. (Of course, one could have caused the other. Perhaps if I had got out of bed I would not have been sad and I would have been able to listen to ELO. Perhaps if I had listened to ELO in the first place I would not have stayed in bed. Not that listening to ELO automatically makes a day a happy day, just that music – like friends, like chocolate – does help with my moods. And so if I do not listen to music or speak to friends – which I rarely if ever do – my mood is not helped. The trouble is, however commonsense it may appear to someone on the outside – “Hey, why not put on some music then! Turn those covers back! Give Steve Gullick a call!” – my moods do not work like that. Howl, the black dog said, and so forth.) Earlier today, before I fully realised that today might have been a sad day, I clicked on a link put on Facebook by my old Collapse Board colleagues. Always worth checking those links out. Especially today. And yet I didn’t. So stupid.
Twelve hours later, and finally.
The feel and sound quality of the first, and the fact she makes a quality of her frailties, she knows they are nothing to be ashamed of and neither is the silence, indeed they are beautiful. I do appreciate of course that this is still a performance, but I love the way the sound is sucked up by the wind. Stunning. Makes me want to start living again, almost. I cannot believe her new album will be as magical as just this first video but perhaps it will be. Perhaps I should stick around:
Sadly, a certain style of rolling piano puts me in mind of Coldplay (or Adele) these days. Yesterday, I drove my family to Ebbsfleet Railway Station – stark and isolated and oddly uninhabited – where they caught a Channel Tunnel train to Disneyland with the grandparents. A man sat at the found piano, having a good time tinkling a little beauty. “This is ‘Clocks’ [Coldplay],” smiled Isaac. “Are you enjoying it dad?” A lot more than if I’d heard Coldplay playing it, for sure. This next clip screams “soul” but… All of life is a performance, not that I am very good at it right now. But… this is Lorde and I love the fact the percussion is too loud and her reliance upon those breath-punctuations is too fierce but… “In my head I do everything right”:
Wait a second. ‘The Louvre’. Really? Wait a second. This is deep magic. Deep self-deprecating magic. Did you catch that clip of Lorde fronting “Nirvana” a couple of years ago? I swear, no one has understood the spirit of Kurt Cobain better, before or since. Not that it’s a competition. Not that music isn’t decided by personal interpretation. Not that you need to listen, or even do. Everything about this next song, everything. Everything anyone once claimed for any of those white boy beardy groups but so, so much more:
I think I have a new pop idol firmament star, and her name is not Beyoncé. I feel like a heel saying this, and I hope deep in my heart that it’s not true but I know even deeper in my soul that it is true, and her name is Lorde. Good Lorde. I know that part of me is simply reacting to the sound quality and the way the vocals are so high in the mix, and the way that wind can suck in vocals, and the sparseness of the accompaniment and the implied intimacy of the singing (comes about by not removing all the “flaws”) but… Oh god, this is as fine as ELO. This is Kate Bush good. Stay with me. Please stay with me (it ain’t gonna happen):
Isolated voice. So compelling. I do not know if anyone is still taking notes and I have not heard the album (I DO NOT COMMUNE) but this is so clearly the hit it hurts. The hits hurt. Awesome right?:
She still has her accent:
It’s late but finally, today is happy. Even if it’s for a few brief minutes, today is happy. Lorde and ELO will see me right.
Thank you, Lorde.