Budapest – George Ezra

Alright, now this is some modern music I don’t mind! 😀 Quite refreshing. George Ezra caught my attention with his voice and the lyrics and song titles. I mean, Budapest, I’ve been there (technically, too young to remember it though) so I was intrigued and pleasantly surprised by this song. His voice has a blue-sy, folk sound too it. It reminds me of the blues/folk influence in Dire Straits seen in one of my earlier posts. I wonder if he was inspired by them in any way, being from UK and all. Seems like the blues and folk style had a big influence on UK music, even today. Maybe in the whole indie music movement as well. In an interview with him though, his regular talking voice sounds completely different. I always get surprised by the differences between a singer’s regular voice and singing voice. Especially his singing voice sounds like that of a much older man! Anyways, he also has a song called “Barcelona”; going international, eh George?  Apparently, he came up with Budapest around the time of Eurovision and traveling Europe, so there can certainly be inspiration there. Overall, I’m feeling a bit more hopeful about modern popular music and my generation too. Yeah, they’re a bit hedonistic and materialistic sometimes, but also more accepting and more concerned about the environment too! Anyways, lyrics –

Budapest

My house in Budapest
My, my hidden treasure chest
Golden grand piano
My beautiful Castillo

You
Ooh, you
Ooh, I’d leave it all

My acres of a land
That I’ve achieved
It may be hard for you to
Stop and believe

But for you
Ooh, you
Ooh, I’d leave it all

Ooh, for you
Ooh, you
Ooh, I’d leave it all

And give me one good reason
Why I should never make a change
Baby if you hold me
Then all of this will go away

My many artifacts
The list goes on
If you just say the words
I, I’ll up and run

Oh, to you
Ooh, you
Ooh, I’d leave it all

Oh, to you
Ooh, oh
Ooh, I’d leave it all

And give me one good reason
Why I should never make a change
Baby if you hold me
Then all of this will go away

Give me one good reason
Why I should never make a change
Baby if you hold me
Then all of this will go away

My friends and family
They don’t understand
They fear they’d lose so much
If you take my hand

But, for you
Ooh, you
Ooh, I’d lose it all

Oh, for you
Ooh, you
Ooh, I’d lose it all

And give me one good reason
Why I should never make a change
Baby if you hold me
Then all of this will go away

Give me one good reason
Why I should never make a change
Baby if you hold me
Then all of this will go away

My house in Budapest
My, my hidden treasure chest
Golden grand piano
My beautiful Castillo

You
Ooh, you
Ooh, I’d leave it all

Oh, for you
Ooh, you
Ooh, I’d leave it all

Comments? 🙂 ❤ And any recommendations of singers/bands/songs similar to George Ezra and this?
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Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits

Scrambling to find the next English song to post, I remembered this gem. Dusty and glimmering at the same time, this song is full of contrasts in its rhythm and imagery. Yet so harmoniously executed that it feels simple and soothing. This band from the UK, Dire Straits, formed in 1977. This song, Sultans of Swing, was released in 1978 and is considered one of their best songs and probably one of the best rock songs ever. They were highly successful, with fans all around the world. They even toured in Yugoslavia, and were highly popular there. I found out about this song from my mom, because this band was my older cousin’s favorite band back in 1980s’ ex-Yugoslavia, so that just goes to show the extent of their international success. Without even understanding the lyrics, their unique beautiful sound with its blues and jazz influences is captivating.

The narrative lyrics are really interesting though. They were inspired by seeing a small jazz band playing on the corner of some small empty bar in South London, and then at the end, the band referred to themselves as the “Sultans of Swing”. Which was quite ironic and contrasted with their meager appearance, so it was quite amusing to the lead singer, Mark Knopfler, and inspired this song. It showed that this small jazz band was not performing to impress or anything like that, there’s no hope of them making it big, they were just being themselves and doing what they love; so that is what makes them sultans of their music. So throughout the song, there is this sense of respect and appreciative simplicity in the lyrics.

You get a shiver in the dark
It’s been raining in the park but meantime
South of the river you stop and you hold everything
A band is blowing Dixie double four time
You feel all right when you hear that music ring

You step inside but you don’t see too many faces
Coming in out of the rain to hear the jazz go down
Too much competition too many other places
But not too many horns can make that sound
Way on downsouth way on downsouth London town

You check out Guitar George he knows all the chords
Mind he’s strictly rhythm he doesn’t want to make it cry or sing
And an old guitar is all he can afford
When he gets up under the lights to play his thing

And Harry doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene
He’s got a daytime job he’s doing alright
He can play honky tonk just like anything
Saving it up for Friday night
With the Sultans with the Sultans of Swing

And a crowd of young boys they’re fooling around in the corner
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They don’t give a damn about any trumpet playing band
It ain’t what they call rock and roll
And the Sultans played Creole

And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
And says at last just as the time bell rings
‘Thank you goodnight now it’s time to go home’
and he makes it fast with one more thing
‘We are the Sultans of Swing’

And then they end it with such a great guitar solo!! Oh, this song is beautiful, really a masterpiece! ❤ I was thinking about translating the lyrics, but no, it’s not necessary in this case. Especially when the song can be enjoyed so much without translation. So I’ll definitely be exploring and posting more of Dire Straits’ songs in the future. Feel free to post comments, in any language. 🙂

Fleure – Autechre

I discovered this album and style of music recently, completely different from what I’m used to as I haven’t listened to music sans words much before. But this- listening to it, it’s like- the music feels as though it is crawling into my mind as I hear it. Totally cerebral and personal, rather than the emotion of hearing someone’s voice and words in a song. It induces an exciting peaceful state of sorts. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, for sure. Some might view it as empty and stupid. But everyone hears differently, right?

This song, Fleure, is the first song on this 2 hr. album, Exai, from the duo Autechre from UK. Autechre seems to be quite a successful group in their genre. Released in 2013, it is their 11th album, in their long career since the 80s’. It falls into the genre of electronica and what is deemed “intelligent dance music (IDM)”. That label as “intelligent” might rub some the wrong way as it might sound insulting to other styles, but it makes sense given the nature and intent of the music. It has some industrial hip hop sounds as well. And it is quite artistic, a complex combination of rhythms and sounds, so it might fall into art techno too.

This music reminds me of the geometric art of the Suprematist movement in early 20th century Russia. It has a similar aesthetic and idea. In Suprematism, the art does not depict an object or subject. The abstract, or even basic, shapes and colors, and their composition, is what evokes feeling in the viewer. Rather than their feeling being influenced by the artist’s intent or any unconscious real-life associations they make or have to an object or subject that they see in the painting. The viewer’s experience of the art is pure and personal this way. No interpretation of the artist’s intent or meaning is necessary in this kind of art, as there exists no direct symbolism or representation in it. It is quite liberating.

This music is similar to that style of art in the sense that since there are no words, there is no explicit intent or meaning of feeling being communicated. It doesn’t have to be experienced as romantic or fun or sad or anything, as there are no words to force these feelings and associations on us as listeners in this. It is relaxing in this way, as we get to feel as much as we’re capable and want to, while still being unpredictable enough to keep us exploring it and it’s effect on us.

I hope this makes sense. Maybe it won’t to some people. This is just my interpretation of the music and its style. It could be completely wrong. As I said in the beginning, I have no prior experience listening to electronic music or music sans words before this. Also I have no technical experience with music either, I’m just a casual listener, so there could be a lot of musical terms and ideas that I’m missing or unaware of that play a role in this. Either way, I hope you enjoy it, but it’s ok if you don’t. Comments, opinions, recommendations? 🙂

Also, what is fun to do when listening to this kind of music on Youtube, is using the speed setting to slow it down or speed it up a notch. 😀

Visit http://pencilsqueezer.wordpress.com/ a great music blog with album reviews and more music like this.