A week is a long time in politics. A month considerably more so. As can be seen from this lazy opening, my Korean adventure has got me out of practice. Don’t get me wrong, I did mean to keep blogging whilst traipsing around all that stupendously beautiful scenery but, you know, I really couldn’t be bothered. I’d had a small realisation you see; nothing book worthy, nothing earth-shattering – just a minor revelation that I could do better. Better in my writing, better in my promoting, better in life. There was no point in half-assing some review of some song I didn’t care about just to fill a self imposed gap. I’d have a break, come back stronger and do it right! Now, these little moments of mine have started to become cliché and, frankly, are pretty boring for you to read. But this one feels different. I feel I have nothing to lose. I feel clear. That said, by wallowing in my nirvana I’ve kinda forgotten to listen to much music recently and therefore don’t really know what to write about. Actually, come to think of it this break from the tunes is probably why I feel so fresh. How ironic. What I have been doing is planning ‘a popup village’, the follow up to my mildly well received ‘I want & the me culture‘. With nothing better to talk about, let’s give a little preview.
Writing music is an interesting pastime when you don’t have the budgets of a label behind you; you end up doing things piecemeal – a song here, a song there, a song whenever you have time and inclination to record it. It’s doubly so when, like me, you’re taking care of all aspects of it yourself; from the song writing to the recording to the producing to the art direction to the promotion etc. Of course, the flip side is an abundance of freedom. I am free to write what I want, when I want, how I want and that is something rare. Having said that, I still want people to listen and enjoy my work else what would be the point. This is why we group (often) unrelated songs into EPs and strive our hardest to make them flow. ‘a popup village’ started a bit like that, unrelated songs that I liked and wanted to release. Then we had a bit of an unexpected election result in the UK and my motives changed. I wanted to construct a reaction. Not through un-poetic exhortations of leftist rage or right-wing fear, just an audible snapshot of how politics has lost people. How it’s let them slip away because it lies to them. The popup village being an image of a rural Albion that doesn’t exist; the one brought out by political elements to make us fear the future, to make us fear the foreign. Of the tracks I selected, three are overtly political to me (though probably not to you) with the others coming from a place of hesitant hope and rage. I built my little journey to try and get into sound what I couldn’t in words. Of course you’ll probably get three tracks in before thematic confusion arrives, such is the eclectic nature of things.
Though all that said, the reason and method for how this collection came about is not important. Any political element within it is not important. It is not for me to tell you how to listen and enjoy music; standing over your shoulder going “really listen to the mandolin, it symbolises the collapse of the free market.”. Composing is a dialogue between us; I’ll write a tune for one reason but you may like it for an utterly different one. That’s ok. To me, the worst kind of music is one that is utterly opaque in it’s intentions; telegraphing the emotions you’re expected to feel at any given time (hello Coldplay). It’s just lazy writing. It’s like you don’t trust the audience to have any nuance or intelligence in their listening habits. You just see them as pound signs buying your wares for a quick thrill before moving on like the mindless herd they are. I’m an optimist, I believe in the goodness and intelligence of people. So I’m going to put this collection out there and hopefully someone will listen to it and go “this makes me feel something”, then I’ll consider it a job well done. It’ll be a strange listen but I recommend you persevere, if only because it ends with a, quote unquote, “rip-roaring track!”.
'a popup village' by rryrry will be released 27/11/15. Though you early birds can get it here: rryrry - a popup village