They say that music can be atmospheric (who they are I don’t know), the kind of artistic expression that can makes you laugh, cry, repent, or feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
It’s a the latter feeling that I think a lot of musicians aspire to. This desire to heighten human consciousness through music, to move the masses and voyage the sea of whatever it is that separates us from inanimate objects and snakes or whatever, is something intangible that few artists really get right. (see below)
I tried to listen to the new single from Edinburgh’s only band that combine the search parameters #baroque #folk and #radge (take that Youtube algorithm ya bass!), Storm the Palace, but resolutely failed last week due to inclement weather conditions.
What the advent of climate change and its subsequent ‘wetter than wet‘ summers that seem to be becoming part and parcel of Scotland’s weather experience these days has got to do with my lack of regularity in updating my musical musings, you well may ask. However, I urge ye dear pilgrim, read on.
About 1:20 into Born on the Other Side, a lyrically-ace track that conjures up much more than images of Christopher Lee in a Fair Isle sweater and that family holiday to Aviemore that naebody speaks of any longer, is the unmistakable brooding of an organ (perhaps even a real one).
It was at this point that the enveloping darkness over the East End of Glasgow decided to make itself known physically.
It’s hard to describe the moment when your house gets struck by lightning; a succession of random noises that you’ve never really heard before, probably deriving from the antiquated fuse box as it struggles to not catch fire or something. You also get a strobe light effect a la budget scary house themed attraction at Portobello seafront, thrown into the bargain.
In any case, the music provided an appropriate soundtrack for what was soon to short circuit my internet router.
The rocks have grown sharper and it’s started to rainBorn on the Other Side
That bright pebbled shore is just so far away
Three little mountains appear in your way
You’ll never see that pebbled shore again
I love lyrics, in fact I think they are my favourite aspect of music, a fact which could stem from my inability to really play the guitar well. Anyway, that aside, I want to say that the words of Born on the Other Side are a nothing short of nursery-rhyme infused magic.
If birds evolved from dinosaursBorn on the Other Side.
To cross the great divide
These midges were once fairy folk
Built to bless and bite
So, humped as the internet was, and supremely inefficient as the team at one of the UK’s top budget internet service providers would prove to be, I didn’t listen to the rest of the track until today, and to avoid hyperbolic excess, I really like it.
Now, for all ye naysayers that aren’t up for listening to folk tales of goblins and glens, I say avast thee! (or thou, or ye, god I love modern English’s lack of register). This is a fairy-tale that is at once modern sounding but with a firm influence in the fine tradition of storytelling that has existed in Scotland for generations. Read more about that here.
There’s an album in the works too, which judging from the get back to nature photoshoot consisting of the time honoured combination of formal attire and animal bits, should be more joy indeed.
Have a listen, I challenge you to not feel anything. Also if you choose a suspiciously cheap internet company, make sure that you have a surge protector going forward.