I’m having an emotional music day… well, two days, actually.
It started last night, with a song called ‘Freedom’ by a band that I think are called ‘The Wrest’ – I’ve just got this one MP3 that I was sent, cos it features the marvellous Julie Lee on vocals. It sounds just like something that would’ve cropped up on a mid-80s Fleetwood Mac album, like a lost last track from Tango In The Night. And it really moves me. It’s eminently hummable, though I’ve not really listened to the words in any great detail. Part of it is just Julie’s voice – she’s in that category with singers like Michael McDonald and Joanne Hogg where it doesn’t matter what they sing, it works for me.
After that I was listening to Kris Delmhorst’s ‘Songs For A Hurricane’ album, which is just perfect. It just gets better with every listen. Some amazing lyrics, beautiful metaphors, and another really great moving voice.
Today I ratcheted up the emotional content, and in the car on the way to Birmingham was listening to ‘Diesel and Dust’ by Midnight Oil. Now, the Oils are from that brand of serious 80s rockers who had a message and no sex appeal – a combination that would see them disappear without trace were they to emerge now, but as a reaction to the rancidness of yuppy life in the 80s, such bands appeared all over the place (remember U2 before the Anton Corbijn make-over?)
‘Beds Are Burning’ by Midnight Oil is one of the most spine-tinglingest top 10 hits ever – can you imagine a song about paying reparations to Australia’s aboriginal people making it into the charts now? Pete Garratt sang like a cross between Mick Jagger and Henry’s Cat, but packed his odd croaky/whiny voice with so much intent and meaning that it moves me to tears. The rest of the album packs a punch too – ‘Sell My Soul’, ‘Bull-roarer’ – stunning stuff.
And after that, James Taylor Live – it’s hardly news-worthy ‘man moved by James Taylor’ – I guess the only surprise was that I wasn’t wearing a nice wooly jumper at the time. Particularly noticed the lyrics to ‘Slap Leather’ from his ‘New Moon Shine’ album, which are a stab at the materialism of US government policy in the early 90s – not what you’d expect from the writer of some of the greatest relationship songs of all time…
And now, back at home, I’m listening to ‘Now, But Not Yet’ by Andrew Buckton – the launch gig for this album was, I think, the only time I’ve actually cried during a song on stage – Buck’s songs are all about people he knows going through all manner of crises, and some of them were in the crowd for the gig. Hearing him sing these beautiful, poignant, painful songs to the people they were written for was too much for me. It’s time like that that I’m glad I’ve got enough hair to hide behind – I must’ve looked like cousin-it from the Addams Family for the duration of that song.
So it’s moving songs day – join in, what are the songs that really move you? (warning, if you list anything by Whitney or Celine, I’ll be banning your IP from ever viewing this blog again. 😉 )
Soundtrack – Andrew Buckton, ‘Now But Not Yet’.by