I'm sitting in the pub with my girl. A sepia monochrome hangs over the memory. It's my birthday. We're sitting by the window watching the people float by in slow motion. There is a theatre across the road. An anxious drawn out parade of tweed jackets, blue trousers, canes and fancy hats negotiate the traffic. Red socks shine through sandals as they make for the safety of its overhanging entrance. I am drawn to the visible relief of their last few steps before disappearing into the building. Like the world stops on the pavement and the escape plan can finally begin. Like a scene from Cocoon. The desire to join them grows stronger with each gulp of whiskey. Finding myself standing, I say "Follow me" and take her hand.

It's an opera. Verdi. He sounds like a tough guy. Thirty quid but it'll be worth it. We're in. We're surrounded.

They are much smaller close up. All liver spots and leather skin. Hair untamed. The whites of their eyes wild with the fury of a thousand self service checkouts. Jostling for position. Limbs sharpened over centuries. Chiselled into a gentle faux polite arsenal. Stocks at the ice cream stand are apparently finite. I am forced into Grouse. A few slugs dull the poisonous middle class cloud of perfume that fills the communal space. Every man an effigy to a time past. Not even shy. Eyeing the women. Objectifying like the good old days. The family relics congregate. They grow prouder as their numbers rise. Each one appearing more polite and dishevelled than the last. More distorted and aged. Features contorted. Spines twisted. Caricatures of their former selves. The slow, inevitable, metamorphosis back to beast and dust. Social conventions tempered by a jealous mistrust of the young. A cacophony of public niceties through gritted teeth. I found myself fascinated by the crowd. Pressed against the wall. Staring wide eyed. The way a battery hen stares at shredded tikka in plastic. Lost in the great passage of time. Between inception and its subsequent evolution to this. Trying to comprehend what will be left standing in another 160 years. To what, from now, will we be harking back with great wonder?

The actual opera was two and a half hours of racing thoughts. Spotting melodies that have been harvested elsewhere. Examining the patient rhythms and pondering the idea of a dubbed out Don Caballero. There were subtitles on a big screen so everyone could tell what was going on. Everyone who remembered their glasses. The relics eyes are puss filled cataract clouds without them. Opera is just voices screaming from the mist without them. Every opening syllable of every sentence a test of heart strength without them.

Verdi was a tough guy. His work is just a thread in a 400 year tapestry. My brain keeps repeating that it's only been 60 years since the television changed everything. Has anything we have built been built to last? Bigger, louder, more succinct, sure. Programmed by psychologists, harnessing every evolutionary urge, capitalising on a good nature we can't control, sure. Capitalising. Same as it ever was.

Our generation is lost amidst this period of vast transition. Our legacy is the blind paradigm shift. Like the neolithic man who invented the wheel but not the cart, we have the technology but we are still just fumbling in the dark. Such is the speed of our technological advances we are baffled by our own capabilities. The artist didn't invent paint, as someone once said, they just saw how to use it.

So here are some transient pop songs. Unless they are used in a television show you like you will have forgotten them in a couple of years. I guess the important thing is that people are buying them now.

Fun Adults - 'For Water' [Single of the Week]

Of course, I recognise it is completely unfair to stand any one song up against 400 years of an art form. That is not what I seek to do. That would be akin to holding a polaroid up to every oil painting, ever. Forgetting of course that the polaroid is just a snapshot from the medium of photography. Likewise each song is part of a larger movement. Of course it is. It's just we don't often think of it. You can however compare photography to oil paintings. Personally I prefer the instant gratification of photography. Mainly because you are not surrounded by relics with flaky scalps.

It almost seems like an aside to say that I really like this song. It's percussive elements seem to be derivative of Alt-J, which in turn were derivative of Hood. So maybe we should all just listen to Outside Closer by Hood. But if you can forget all of that history for a moment, and just take this as a snapshot, then the song is totally ok.

Farao - 'Skin'

I guess that's the question isn't it. Can you, or should you, seek to forget everything you already know to try and appreciate something? Should you enjoy something just for enjoyments sake, or is it better to be anally retentive and see everything as a whole, even if it reduces your enjoyment of the thing? Do you even get to choose? When you start to think of the bigger picture you start to encounter problems. For example, opera as a medium probably wouldn't have evolved in the way it did if microphones and amplifiers had been invented back then. Some guy with four day old stubble and a tea stained shirt would come walking from the side of stage saying 'Woah, woah, woah. No need to yell, love'.

Previous incarnations of man designed amphitheaters to aid the problem of soundwaves and used thumbs and the baying of the crowd to determine the destiny of its gladiators. Now we use microphones, backing tracks and we text OLLY to 58008. It's all relative. All thoughts lead to further thoughts. You never really start from the beginning. You start from where you left off.

Passenger - 'Let Her Go'

Which leads us to precisely now. As a species we have twisted through all strings of thought, all invention quietly evolving to meet our needs. Ultimately we have made the collective decision to live in a world where this "song" has been willingly played over 38 million times on youtube alone.

If you have ever sat and wondered why bad things happen to you, the truth is, it's because of those simple facts. The insignificant cliched couplets scattered throughout the lyrics are so derogatory to the English language they are offensive. Further to that, the sugar coated major chord "season ending" emotion dredging nature of this "song" contravenes all the basic tenets of humanity.

If you know of anyone that is a fan of, or has in fact listened to this "song" by choice, please, please, please. Start the conversation. Use logic and small words to press your point until it hits. Try your best to be the change you want to see in the world. If your partner or spouse is a fan. Leave them. People who have the capacity to enjoy this lack the emotional intelligence to make good decisions. They will hurt you eventually. Leave them now. Pack a bag. Leave. Do it now. Save yourself.


If you'd like your single reviewed on a future edition of 'Singles of the Week', or have any tips for us, please email us. Please include a link to something embeddable (youtube video/Soundcloud/Bandcamp etc) and put the release date within the body of the email. Thank you x


Wil Cook is a fan of music. He is the Music Editor of The 405 and he cannot hide his severe dislike for writing in third person anymore. Leave your hate mail in the comments section. He'll never read it.