It probably says as much about the acts I choose to write about as it does the current trends in music but I see these dreamy, ambient pop-washes as the saviour of commercial music. Pop music has too long been about brash, in-you-face, Day-Glo painted but ultimately empty dross, like a sugar rush that leaves you twitching and unsatisfied.
Salt Cathedral do brush along a musical seam not a million miles away from more mainstream acts as Ellie Goulding but I see this Columbian duo more part of the slightly leftfield wave of new-pop that is rising up and offering something more substantial for your fan dollar. A wave which includes Lucy Mason, Polar Front and Seconds, pop which seems to come from a more underground point of departure, ticks all the right commercial boxes but offers something that still appeals to a more discerning, underground set.
Fragments is a beguiling mix of trippy pop, skittering oriental sounding synth riffs and a slow burning build towards an epic crescendo. It ties atmosphere and ethereality to an ever growing purpose, remains odd and otherworldly yet still sounds hypnotic and enticing. Maybe music like this is a bit too clever for the mass appeal that it deserves, it would be great if this was the stuff of late night radio and chilled out après club playlists. Maybe it is enough for now that it is our little secret, something us music snobs can bond over and call our own before the secret gets out. Shh…don’t tell anyone, not just yet at least.
As promised, here’s Episode 1 of our new weekly review podcast, where we take a few of the releases that have come across the desk recently, gather around a late night coffee pot, and have a collective chat about them.
- 0:00 : Fennr Lane – Time To Ruin (single)
- 4:53 : Lucy Mason – Hunger (single)
- 9:45 : The Nightjar – Objects (album)
- 16:15 : J W Edwards – Hearkened Hands (EP)
If you’d like us to feature your music on this weekly podcast, drop us a line and let us know, and we’ll be delighted to oblige.
Please feel free to comment and share.
It’s always good to go with initial reactions, let the heart and soul get in first, before the head gets a chance to over think things. My first reaction upon hearing Hunger is “why doesn’t all pop music sound like this?” which is, I think, a fair question. All too often commercial music tries too hard, tries to over sell style to make up for lack of substance and hide the fact that there is nothing of interest going on here and trying to distract you with smoke and mirrors, glitz and studio frippery.
Lucy Mason knows that you can get away with having very little going on, as long as it is the right “very little.” Hunger is built from a structure of minimal beats and gossamer thin musical textures all of which exists merely to throw light on what a brilliantly ethereal voice she has – a voice that has the ability to push a confidant pop vibe one minute and build ephemeral dreamscapes the next. It is music forged from atmospheres and emotions, feelings and fragility, but music that also ticks all the right boxes for the commercial market.
Maybe it is time for a revolution, a subversive, gentle one which seems to just wash in and slowly take over from the brashness and bright lights which currently dominate. Maybe Hunger will become that cause’s rallying song. Stranger things have happened.