Good music is all about telling a story for the listener. Whether its a literal story or just painting a picture for the listener, music is, at heart, an interactive experice. Allison Weiss’s new video for “Wait For Me” takes that idea to a new level. The concept for the video is simple, the song plays in the background while a woman, Josee, listens to it for the first time on headphones. As the song plays we get to watch the Josee’s reaction, but we also learn something about her life story as well, thanks to subtitles on the screen. The combined experience is touching and beautiful, and for three and a half minutes you can immerse yourself in someone elses life story. It’s almost as if the song were written for Josee.
Honestly, this might be my favorite video of 2013. Its a great song by itself by the genuine nature of the video make it that much better.
Songs can have different meanings to both the composer and the listener, and those two meanings don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I’ve always been fascinated to find out what inspired my favorite artists, finding that it adds to my experience with the song instead of taking away from it.
Take, for example, Johnny Flynn’s song “Einstein’s Idea.” Its a lovely song on its own, and you can watch a fantastic live performance of it above. The song was written as a lullaby for Flynn’s two year old son, Gabriel, and its an attempt to explain the theory of relativity to his son. When Flynn performed the song at a performance at the Globe celebrating Shakespeare’ birthday, Gabriel apparently stole the show clapping along to his song while Flynn was on stage and stealing the spotlight.
“The gap in between them is nothing to us / Our eyes cut the distance, as loving eyes must / From me unto you son, from dust unto dust” Flynn sings. You can almost imagine him sitting with his acoustic and singing the song to his son. Its a touching image and I think it adds that much more to the song.
There are just some songs that can instantly improve your mood, regardless of how bad a day you might be having. “Give Up” by Miles Kane is one of those songs for me. It doesn’t matter what kind of mood I’m in; tired, hungry, angry, stressed, happy, or something in between. The second this song comes over my speakers I’m ready to kick ass and take names.
“Give Up” is the first single off of Kane’s second album, Don’t Forget Who You Are, and its an aggressive, in-your-face rock song. The song comes on strong and doesn’t ever slow down. “People call me superstitious / well they’d better watch their tongues / this one is so malicious / got me on the hit and run” Kane sings on the opening verse. The lyrics are sharp and biting but the song is upbeat enough that it ends up leaving the listener with an empowered feeling, rather then a bitter aftertaste. And, of course the song features superb guitars; a subtle reminder that Miles started out not as a lead sing but as the lead guitarist for a now defunct band.
Don’t Forget Who You Are is a great album overall, and “Give Up” was a perfect choice for a first single. If you only know Miles Kane as “the other half of the Last Shadow Puppets” you really should check out his solo work; its fantastic.
It’s been a little over a week since I got a hold of the newest Arctic Monkey’s album, “AM”, but it’s been on constant rotation during my drive to work ever since. It doesn’t matter which song I end the ride on, it’s guaranteed to be stuck in my head for my entire work shift. Nearly every track on the album is catchy, even the ones with darker undertones, but there’s just something about “Arabella” that gets me in a good mood every time. Perhaps its the low-key opening of the song that highlights Alex Turner’s smooth vocals that first drew me to the song. Or maybe its the chorus that I fell in love with; slightly off kilter and backed by electric guitar riffs and layered vocals. When the drums kick in with the electric guitars on full though is when the song really comes into its own. Whenever I finish listening to this song I always feel like I’m ready to take on the world. And for that reason alone it’s sure to be on my favorite list for years to come.
“My days end best when the sunset gets itself behind / that little lady sitting on the passenger side / it’s much less picturesque without her catching the light / the horizon tries but it’s just not as kind on the eyes / as Arabella.”