A disclaimer: this may not be the type of article expected. For starters it’s about a song that hasn’t been mastered yet let alone released on the wider world. As a secondary current, I’m also writing this exceedingly late in the day and were I to actually give myself deadlines, I would have missed it. It involves no sexy buzzwords or connections with the immediate happenings in the industry. Nothing to tweet about. No hashtags. View it as the little sum of the previous months writing. You see; today I want to tackle (via this song) something lacking in the music firmament. I want to talk about hope.
Which isn't this song. This is Cope. I'm not writing about it either.
A slightly more refined disclaimer: Give Blood are my friends. We released a split double A-side earlier in the year and for an all too brief period I was set to join; then Sweden arrived and we had to rethink. It was a happy moment. Now I am lucky enough to have been trusted with some unreleased material; one of which (obvs.) is Peripheral Vision. A good song. A damn good song. Those of you that know the band will be impressed with it’s scope and control. A defined maturity. Those unfamiliar should expect an aural balm that flows like lava, sonic and lyrical lashes ever circling. It twists in on you. Caressing the bones. The content restriction of a tightened blanket. It will be worth whatever wait there is. Whatever cost there is. Trust me.
Of course, it’s been a strange few weeks and my enthusiasm for this song (and parent EP) mirrored the negativity I found when reading and writing about the tribulations of Spotify (and by extension, the ‘Big Money’ music industry). Everything kept coming back to how musicians don’t make any money. Not any more. No more million pound cheque. No more labels paying expenses. The best years behind us (as ever they are). It’s rightly been pointed out to me that this is how every generation reacts; a flex against the new as we struggle to maintain our footing in the sand. But it feels deeper; we’re not so much talking about a dip in quality (though some do) but a profound fear that there could be no tomorrow. No more industry to feed us. How are musicians going to survive long enough to create all this amazing art if we promptly download for free simply because we can? Where is the incentive?
The love of the thing. That’s mine. The sheer love of the thing is what keeps me going; a personal incentive that can’t be qualified. This song confirms everything I believe about art and pleasure and hope. It’s knowing non-conformity belies such layers of thought and passion within it’s structure. It can only exist because of love for the art. Because of some personal incentive beyond dollar signs. Because sometimes you’ve got to just run with an idea and disregard consequences.
Could be one of the best ideas you ever have.
Yeah, sure. I hear your prattling. “You only say that because they’re your friends so have to be effusive about them”. Well if that’s what you think then you clearly are going about friendship all wrong. If anything I should be more critical because I know them better than the faceless masses. I dunno, I’m just really energised by it’s quality. I know so many musicians each vying for the same sliver of pie; each perfectly fine but none presenting such hope. Not obliquely; but for me, hope radiates off of this record like steam. Hope that as the old mechanisms crumble we’ll be able to build something better from the rubble. We have the technology. Founding stones of quality and honesty.
How will it all happen? I don’t know. I have no answers. I know it’s going to be painful. I know dreams will be crushed in the process. I know few share my confidence and you’ll gladly let me know it in the comments. But there is so much good out there. So much to share. So much to hope for. We need to build connections between the acts of quality; to let them know that even though they have only 4 plays, somebody out there likes them. Building the confidence needed in artists who deserve it. Fill in some features to the faceless. Make it personal and make it ours. For the love of the thing.
Download the awesome debut Give Blood EP now, at http://gogiveblood.com/