The most terrifying thing about my rage is that it was justified. I had to take a break. I began to fear that the bile choking itself from the pit of my stomach, onto your computer screen, was a sign of infection. I began to fear I was done for. That before long I'd be aggressively coughing swears, wheezing, and shaking my limbs at traffic for no good reason.
Or more likely, I'd find myself standing in a crowd so cynical we could outlaw smiling, and no-one would notice. Every ounce of fun would be explained away. All magic spelled out, googled, read, understood, sneered at, left behind, forgotten. An endless joy vacuum surrounding me. Making my appearances to be seen making them, to be having them, finding myself using things rather than experiencing them. Second guessing my friends motives. We are a handful of brothers pouring scorn on everything like we invented outsider art. So ingrained are our flaws, we cling together and class the problems, "others". Focusing on niche interests and in-jokes, without poking our heads up for long enough to realise we were mimicking the mainstream, just using different reference points. We became so weak and cajoled by the things we despised, that they governed our evolution into the very same thing.
All our desperate cares became our downfall. Snide comments were ballot boxes. The power struggle resembled the hierarchy that diminished us in high school. So degrading to realise you've become the bully you hated, isn't it?
I had to take a break.
I got caught up in the importance of social media, of shouting back at the void like I would be heard, like it mattered. Like it could matter more than lighting a fire and watching it burn, than turning past consequences into ash with your nearest and dearest, than moving on. Than letting go.
I had to take a break but now I'm back. Here are your singles of the week.
Making Marks - 'Barcodes'
Perhaps because it is so cold in Norway. Perhaps sugary sweet indie pop like this, perfect summer songs, are a response to time spent dreaming of a warm summer sun. This doesn't reinvent the wheel by any means, but it is so damn good, you should open the window and turn it up. Don't think about how it sounds like Belle and Sebastian. Think about how good so those synths feel.
You can usually tell which bands are purposely derivative and which make music with wide eyes and wider smiles. You should be able to tell which are worth your time. Your time and your money. We don't have anything else to give. Buying a record in the age of penniless streams is to take an investment in that band. It is to say I want this band to have a future. I value the the things they create highly enough to want them to keep creating things.
They say that in a recession comedians become the rock stars, that they provide escape through laughter, and sure enough they are selling out arenas. So why, when music provides a more visceral, spiritual escape is it so undervalued?
I'll let you dwell on that.
Tirzah - 'I'm Not Dancing'
I can't get enough of this. I mean, it doesn't do anything, it's just a cold beat. An up front vocal with no reverb at all. It doesn't really go anywhere. Except somehow it got under my skin. It's worth trying this twice. There are things you don't notice to begin with. Things that plant themselves in your brain so that your thoughts have to travel through them to get anywhere.
TV On The Radio - 'Mercy'
This is glossy. Sitek done good. As we reached the city limits I hit the radio. This was playing as we roared out into the desert. Even now, after ditching the car, listening again from this hotel room. I can hear the engine noise. We got away clean, you and I, to start fresh. We didn't hurt anyone and we escaped with our souls intact. You said bring whatever you need as we stood shoulder to shoulder, watching my childhood home burn. So I brought the memory of how it was as a rulebook for how it must not be. I vowed to build it again one day. From foundations to rafters. It had to be destroyed to begin again. At least for me to begin again. Close your eyes for the chorus and it feels like freedom. Or how I imagine freedom feels. I've never been that, but now the possibility is there, and I guess in many ways an open door can seem more closed than a locked one. Tonight we dream of all potential. Your heart beats faster and you don't want to listen to anything else.
So you don't.
If you'd like your single reviewed on a future edition of 'Singles of the Week' please email us. Please do 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. It is the custom to have this italic bullshit at the foot of columns even though it isn't interesting and people skim it without paying any attention. Leave your hate mail in the comments section.