Single Review- Lydia Baylis: Life Without You

Lydia Baylis

Life Without You.

9.7/10.0

Life Without You is available at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZWyalFqNCI

The E.P. Life Without You is available via:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/lydia-baylis/id308029239

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The London-based young sensation has been providing a breath of fresh air (into a stagnated market); her current footsteps promise to leave indelible (and staggering) indentations.  The effect one is left with: heartbreak.

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ALAS dear reader, for it has been a while since I have done this…

So forgive any waffling or dewy-eyed ramblings.  I have postulated- on more than one occasion- the reasoning behind my blogging celibacy.  I have been aghast recently by a number of things.  In the course of my duties- as a blogger; as a friend- I have always been surprised- both good and bad- by the imbalance of appreciation.  I have given a lot to many- through words, deeds or material wealth- and received (from a few) very little.  On the other hand, I have been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of some very generous words- from people I have never met.  It seems that music- and music writing- is as unpredictable and inscrutable as music itself.  For all those I have spent a lot of (wasted) time on, I feel angry; for those I have given scarcity to (yet feel honoured) I feel very proud: the point is on its way.  I am in the process of nailing down my music ambitions and credos.  Being a 30-year-old, one would expect- in musical terms- an evolutionary development.  For me, I am the amoeba crawling from the swamp.  Because of personal misfortune- depression, lack of finance, neurological issues etc.- as well as some musician-in-training clichés- nervousness, self-doubt, needless perfection, my canvas has remained (for now) blank.  Today, in fact, I am taking a (brave) step: advertising for band members.  I have been writing since I was 18, and have been ‘honing’ my voice for just as long.  I feel proud because of what I can do, you see.  I consider myself to be above-average as a lyricist (no Alex Turner or Bob Dylan but no slouch) and an ambitious singer (insanely so); and all the ideas are in place: the band name; album cover design; song titles; most of the lyrics, too.  I always feel regret by procrastination- it makes me feel sombre.  As much as I know what I can achieve- and what I want to- I am held back by financial, psychological and logistical limitations.  I am working hard to rectify this, but it leads me (not balletic) to my main thesis: the determination of others.  I have always been impressed by the ambition and steely-eyed drive of new musicians: it seems to be an art form that brings out quite a heroic foresight.  It seems that many (new musicians) would sacrifice their home and hearts to do what they love: writing and performing ‘their visions’.  I have never been of the attitude: “Why the fuck them and not me”- I have always been immensely proud.  In my itinerant travels as a blogger (and music obsessive) I have reviewed, surmised and theorised a great many bands and solo artists.  And while there has been a disparity of quality and a variable see-saw of memorability, there has been a gravitational constant: the determination of the associated artists.  I have reviewed dub-step artists, pop purveyors; the European disco-cum-rock machinations of Swedish goddesses; as well as U.S. rock manifestos.  I have always felt about ambivalent towards one particular sector of new music: the band market.  I have been concerned that too many, for too long, are too concerned with sounding like too many others.  In the north: Manchester, Liverpool, there has been homogenisation.  With the success of current thoroughbreds such as Artic Monkeys, many bands have tried to- bafflingly- emulate their potential through borderline-plagiarism, and at the very best shown a total lack of innovation and personality.  So too, many groups (in the north), have attempted to recapture the magic of Oasis and the ’90s heroes: not with feint brushstrokes but sodding tins of grey paint.  I can understand the appeal of influence; every band or artist is influenced by someone and there is a temptation to employ a little similarity.  The issue is thus: if you are trying to be someone else, why bother making music at all?  The likes of YouTube and iTunes are awash with historical music: you can access ’50s and ’60s rarities and modern-day wonder: there is no need or desire to hear a counterfeit.  My concern is not geographically universal: there are areas (of the U.K.) where there is a pioneering diversity.  Up in Scotland bands such as Universal Thee, solo artists such as Steve Heron and main stayers alike are flying a very bold flag.  Down near my way (in Brighton) there is elliptical and calypso multifariousness courtesy of sunshine pop and bonhomie- without a hint of sarcasm or irony.  Calliope would be proud of some of 2013’s musical entrants.  In spite of my subversive mutterings I have been taken aback by the sheer force of some acts.  I shall not name-check (check my previous reviews), but bands and solo acts from the U.K.- as well as the U.S., Europe and Australia- have rekindled my faith in originality.  I have been endlessly trying to pull a double-edge sword from Camelot for a while now; it is entitled: ‘The Fate of the 21st Century Solo Artist’.  Unlike a band, solo artists have to helm the workload by themselves.  With your average group the stresses and anxieties are divided triplicate (into four; or five-fold).  Your lone star has the responsibility of making all the moves; shouldering all the weight, and putting all of the creative energies forth.  In the modern scene, there are quite a few solo artists: each of whom are putting their own stamp on the landscape.  The XY D.N.A. is represented by some spectacular progeny: wunderkinds such as James Blake and Jake Bugg; less-than-spectacular moppets such as Justin Bieber: there is ‘something for everyone’.  For the XX there are the glib and unremarkable: Lady Gaga and Katy Perry spring to mind; as well as the perennial market leader: Laura Marling.  With the spate of X-Factor cretins spraying their lipid residue all over the airwaves, a lot of genuine and deserving talent gets overlooked.  In any solo artists the market needs- and expects; I also desire- a number of imperishable ingredients: great words; variegated sounds and a beautiful- ethereal or entrancing- voice.  I have been depressed by the large number of bland and anodyne voices: many of whom have sound-tracked John Lewis adverts (take a bow Thoroughly Modern Milly).  It is a rarity that you are truly staggered by the alchemy proffered by a solo artist.  The music market is a sardine can at the moment: bright new things tend to follow the projection of population growth.  I admire the statements, bromides and song sheets that are produced, yet if there is little to linger in the memory, the poor subjects risk being buried- and forgotten about.  In a respect it is bands that lead the way with regards to the upper echelons.  The best albums of this year (aside from Laura Marling’s latest) have been band-made; the great musical forces of all time (with a slight majority) tend to be bands: it is a safer and more glamorous lifestyle for the wannabe musician.  I have always been admiring of the human whom forgoes company and fraternity- making music the way they want it.  If the patron abides by the golden rules- making music that is truly memorable- then they can grasp a much-needed foothold in Music Mountain- and remain at the peak for considerable years.  As I type I am listening to three different bands.  The video for Radiohead’s Jigsaw Falling Into Place sees Thom Yorke- one eye half-closed; head a-wobbling- proclaiming “Words are a sawn-off shotgun”.  The Beautiful South’s Paul Heaton is seductively crooning: “Either you are simply beautiful/Or I am simply dumb” (in the much underrated Dumb).  Nirvana are rattling Pennyroyal Tea riffs, via a coda of: “I’m on my time with everyone”.  There is no shared lineage between the three disparate acts, yet there are two very relevant points.  The diversity outlined by the three groups summon up crepuscular and mind-altering majesties.  The defunct Hull-based legends are fronted by a genius wordsmith: witty, sarcastic and endlessly quotable.  The Seattle grunge idols were fronted by a idol with an admirable attitude towards music, and what is considered a ‘credible career path’; whilst the (hopefully no defunct) Oxford icons are synonymous with gorgeous vocals, monumental songs and endless creative scope.  The tectonic plates are not mutually exclusive to the band market: solo artists have been remiss in their recruitment.  There are too few that push the envelope (for want of a better phrase); there is little vocal diversity; too few quiet-loud dynamics, and an overall sense of ‘playing it safe’.  I shall return to this point later, but a second point is to be made: the lyrics quoted could be attributed to, and be affiliated with the personality, intent and musicianship of one: Lydia Baylis.

Before I get down to the bedrock, I want to make a frank admission: I am incredibly jealous of Lydia.  There are a number of different reasons. For one- and with nary an ounce of hyperbole- she is possibly the most beautiful human I have ever seen.  Although it bears no relevance to music itself, she is an entrancing and heart-stopping portrait.  With flowing blonde hair and an infectious smile, she has the looks of a ’50s and ’60s U.S. movie idol (Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn) yet has a very modern beauty.  She is the kind of woman that is devoid of any arrogance and can drop jaws with very little effort.  It is perhaps peripheral to my objectives but it is worth noting: here is a heroine that can seduce, psychotropically.  I shall put my testosterone into Alice’s (of Wonderland) Shrinking Potion and say this: her personality is even more mesmeric.  I have not met Lydia in the flesh- I would be rendered a babbling Hugh Grant-esque floppy-haired mess if I did- but I have read (and heard) several interviews Lydia has done.  Very few solo artists whom have a gorgeous voice have an ‘appealing’ speaking voice (Paloma Faith and Adele spring to mind).  It is not me being a Home Counties snob, I just find it important for music idols and forbearers to be as influential through interviews (and in the flesh) as they are in their music.  Lydia’s speaking voice is honeydew and caramel; calming and soothing.  If you listen to any of her interviews (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK9avt9SBN8 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=438kazm_d-w); you can not help but smile.  Lydia always seems to have a smile on her face and speaks passionately about her music.  Unlike many of her peers, Baylis has a remarkable intelligence: there are no ‘umms’ ‘ahhs’ ‘like’ or faux positivity: the artist is a down-to-earth and everyday icon.  Baylis has the starling beauty and personality that can sway undecided voters and dedicated acolytes alike.  There are a few solo artists (sorry to mention her again…) like Laura Marling whim display a similar intellect and wit; yet I have always been left a little cold by Marling: she seems very detached and unconcerned with the act of winning new support- there is a dislocation abound that I hope can be abated as she has relocated to L.A.  Lydia Baylis is a British songstress with an arsenal of ballistic weaponry.  As well as her chocolate voice, she comes across as very humble and coquettish in interviews.  She is a confident and strong woman, yet someone whom has split sides: she has a pre-deterministic game plan, yet goes with the flow; she is sweet and positive yet has darker tones in her lyrics.  She has a personality and appeal that is capable of ubiquitous election victory: someone who can draw in the metal heads and rock-lovers as well as those familiarised with the paragons of jazz and soul.  There is a great sense of reality about Baylis.  She wears leather and cotton; she speaks fondly but modestly: there are no shock tactics; no fake plastic trees and no twerking.  Baylis recently gave a short interview to Channel 4, in reaction to the various Miley Cyrus controversies: her twerking disgraces as well as her feuds with Sinead O’Connor.  I have no sympathy for Cyrus: many feel sympathy towards her.  Cyrus is a grown-up (supossed to be), whom can make her own decisions.  Smoking pot on stage, bending over in front of Robin Thicke (possibly the most nauseating dickweed on the planet) and taking pot-shots at O’Connor are not befitting of a- supposed- role model for women: she is a disgrace.  She is one of several solo female acts that are setting back women’s rights 10,000 years.  Her U.S. counterparts such as Gaga are no less to blame.  There is too much ‘look at me’ histrionics and attention-seeking: too little focus on music.  It is important to forge a personality when you enter the music world, yet the likes of Cyrus have no business being anywhere need it.  Luckily, Baylis has a head on her shoulders enshrined with maturity and a clear mantra: ‘Music is the focus’.  The latchkey child of a ‘media personality’ is not an issue: Baylis is genuine and dignified.  With the emperor’s new clothes being strewn over the charts and airwaves, Lydia is a refreshing sea breeze that deserves huge adulation and longevity.  As well as audio interviews, I have been reading several other interviews (she has recently given).  When chatting with The Huffington Post (this summer), Lydia (with her “wonderfully throaty” voice) discussed many things with David Spencer.  One of the things I am jealous about (with regards to Lydia) is her youth: she is in her early-20s, yet is confidently assured and focused.  She explained to Spencer (when quizzed about why it has taken her 24 years to record an E.P.) that: “You have to have a conversation and dialogue going on about what you want to sound like”.  Lydia has spent her adolescence and music life honing her voice: perfecting and moulding it; she has been making her initial moves to lay the foundation: the foreplay has been teased and shivering.  The results of Lydia’s labours are scintillating.  Her E.P. Life Without You contains themes of love and life; and- as she explained to The Huffington Post- “darker music”.  Baylis went on to explain that she is influenced by the likes of Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac, as well as having a great love of the current scene (“I love watching live music“).  Lydia has been speaking with Female First as well.  In June, Lydia discussed the process of recording: The recording is interesting because you do have to sing the same thing again and again and again and then sing it like you mean it; by the time you have sung the same line for the seventy fifth time you are like ‘I don’t care anymore’ (laughs)”.  She also recalled (fondly) her father’s love of music and how Van Morrison and David Bowie were common muses: her honest and confessional lyrical style has been enforced by these heroes.  Lydia has also explained how social media can be a mixed blessing: how Twitter etc. can be useful providing you are in the right place at the right time.  I can emphasise fully with that assumption.  Twitter, Facebook and SoundCloud are a great way of pushing music into the ether; but it is hard to connect with too many people: unless your ‘followers’ or ‘friends’ listen and share, music can often go unnoticed.  Lydia is an artist whom is going to be around for many years to come.  Her father served during The Falklands War, and experienced hardship and horror during the campaign.  After coming back to England, it was a few years later that Lydia was born; in the Hampshire town of Aldershot (being Guildford-born myself, I am familiar with the surroundings).  Within the environs of Surrey and Hampshire, Lydia was only 2-years-old when the family relocated to Germany.  In fact, Lydia’s early life was a little nomadic and born of frequent relocation.  Having spent time in Russia, Lydia returned to England where she studied (until the age of 18, when she left school).  It was not too long until Lydia was on the move once more, and spent time in New York: she was lucky enough to perform in theatre productions; whilst there she fell in love with the city- and has made frequent trips back there.  The second-born Baylis child eventually went on to study history at Christchurch College, Oxford (I studied history up in Cambridge, so can appreciate her fascination with it).  Perhaps it is unsurprising that Lydia is so worldly (and wordy).  She has studied and lived in various different countries; straddled Europe, North America and Asia, and has a prestigious degree from a phenomenal college to her name.  It is the mixture of encompassed nationalities (and environments); married with a constitutionally British soul, that has epitomised and driven her musical ambitions.  Lydia’s debut album ‘A Darker Trace’ will showcase the potential of Baylis.  The tracks contained on the album mixed meditations on love and modern life, but also channelled the works of the Bronte sisters and Virginia Wolf: darker subjects and anxieties lingered within several of the tracks.  My favourite track from the album is called Into The Water, and was influenced by the works of Virginia Woolf (https://soundcloud.com/lydiabaylis/08-into-the-water).  It is a touching and haunting track that is helmed by Lydia’s incredible voice.  Backed by a stirring and emphatic backdrop she tells of: “The stones inside your pockets/Make confusion melt away” (a reference to the suicide of Woolf).  The debut album marked Baylis as a major talent to watch and highlighted a range of influences and styles.  I was first made aware of Lydia’s music through her song Mirrors: another terrific and atmospheric hymn.  The route to here and now has seen a steady and promising trajectory; Lydia has incorporated her past (her musical influences as well as upbringing); fused it with her very distinct personality; sprinkled some literary greats (into the pot) and come up with a new E.P. that is alive with wonder and layers.  Before I get to the single Life Without You I will make two more points- if that is okay?  My green-eyed envy extends concentrically to another subject: her Coffee House Sessions tour.  With A Darker Trace being almost completed, Baylis has had an opportunity to take songs to the public: mixed together with some choice cover versions she has been road-testing and displaying her sonic plumage to the noble public.  Lydia is still arrange the tracks for her debut album (she wants them in the right order; I am a man who listens from start to finish and getting the tracks sequenced just-so is vital in order to achieve maximum evocation); but the E.P. is a beautiful introduction to a wonderful talent.  Lydia has been touring venues such as Curiositea (sic.); performing to public and student audience- and receiving a whole heap of adoration.  I have been fascinated by the idea of performing in coffee shops, tea houses and cafes, solely because of my music idol: Jeff Buckley.  Back in 1992/3 Buckley was a sensation around Manhattan and the Lower East Side of New York.  Performing in venues such as Sin-e and CBGB, Buckley would often play to audiences of a dozen or so- yet the recordings captured are truly staggering.  If you get a chance to get a hold of his double-disc release Live at Sin-e, do so: it is a testament to a sensation talent with the voice of a love-struck angel.  When Buckley’s spine-tingling falsetto floated over songs such as The Way Young Lovers Do, Sweet Thing and Calling You, I would lean into my speakers: wishing I was there; that I could applaud; that I could fall in love.  Lydia is- perhaps vicariously- turning into a potential musical sweetheart (for me):  someone whom has a lot in common with myself, yet a person I can aspire to be.  The caffeine-fuelled travelogues are still in progress, yet festivals and prolonged tours will be something Lydia can enjoy before too long.  Anyway, I digress.  The final reason why I am jealous of Lydia is her tremendous cannon of music: Life Without You ranks amongst the very best…

The title track to her E.P. has hallmarks of, and is a bedfellow to previous songs such as Mirrors and Into The Water.  With a staccato and syncopated juddery beat, the intro. clatters and broods.  To my ear there are echoes of Portishead’s work during Third.  In the same way as Machine Gun and Hunter propel and beat box, there is a comparable fascination and quality within the first few seconds of Life Without You.  As well as having some comparable Portishead markings, there is a soussance of synth pop and mid/late-’90s club music: a veritable cauldron of bubbling emotions.  Backed by the bouncing and perpetual beat-and-electro-combination, Lydia portrays heartache: “Love won’t make you stay”.  Within the first minute the mood is slightly subdued: the emotion and sadness are evident.  Within the contemplation and recollections, Baylis is tender of voice, emotion and conviction at the forefront.  In the video, Lydia- at first- has an upside-down-smile; her eyes are cast downwards and her smile missing at sea.  When the chorus rises above the waves the atmosphere changes.  The smile comes into life, and the mood of our heroine is lifted (and more enlivened).  Lydia proclaims (to her unnamed former-beau) that life without (you) is like “every other day“.  Our heroine has said in interviews that the single is one of the most confessional and direct songs she has ever written.  There is little literary reference; no mysterious and ambiguous tones- her words cut to the core and are forthright and honest.  It is unclear whom has affected Lydia’s inspiration, but it seems that her former suitor is better forgotten about.  Baylis explains that she is “slowly falling away“; and that although her mind has been eaten away, she reveals one thing: “I don’t want you this way“.  It is hard to call to mind a direct comparison- when considering Lydia’s voice.  There are some slight hints of current artists such as Florence Welch, yet the tones, intonations and evocations are very much Lydia’s: you would have to be spectacularly annaly-retentive to compare her too closely with anyone else.  It is the unique and spectacular voice that emphasises her mandates.  The production is sleek and tight and the musical backdrop is subtle yet punctuating: adding extra meaning and punch to her words.  The video features our heroine in a number of different settings.  She appears misty-eyed with mascara running; stylishly dressed with a frown, as well as standing in the sunlight, casting her gaze asunder.  The visuals show Lydia as a contrast.  At one moment (when the lyrics suggest a heavy heart) she can be seen in a bath, tears running and her thoughts very much pointing towards the bleak.  As the song rises and the mood lifts (in the chorus) she can be seen dancing gleefully:  a smile evident on her face.  It seems that whatever happened during the failed romance has lead to better things.  As the chorus reintroduces itself, Baylis states that: “I’m finally making my own way“.  She seems to be a stronger woman for the experience, and although there have been scars left, the abiding dictate is thus: no one will get me down.  Lydia’s voice floats and annotates; it mesmerises and strikes.  Whereas many contemporaries fail to inject any emotion or plot into a song, our heroine unveils a multitude of turns.  When the lyrics indicate heartache and anxiety, Lydia’s voice is appropriately mesmeric and heartfelt.  As the mood lifts and a positive coda is unveiled, her voice is hugely atmospheric and uplifting.  As much as the sonic backing does its part superbly, it is the central voice that lingers in the mind: Baylis’s voice is tender and soft, yet powerful and potent.  Our heroine confirms that tears she has cried have long since dried; she is in a better place (emotionally) and has overcome the fallout from a bad situation.  It is not just the lyrics and voice that encapsulate during Life Without You.  Before the 2:42 marker we have just witnesses a wonderful musical passage that connects the verse to chorus: it is soothing at once, yet cinematic (as well as the electronic notes I swear I could hear some strings forcing their way into the soundscape).  In the video, our heroine is seen in a bath cradling and clasping her knees.  When we move into another room (with Lydia dressed in white) her head starts off bowed, before looking up to camera (as the chorus comes to view).  Satisfied grins and merriment have replaced sadness and self-reflection.  The story of the song has taken us on a spellbinding course.   To begin there was turbulence and discontent as Baylis painfully trod over the embers and broken shards from a broken love story.  As the track progresses there is redemption and an emotional rebirth: happiness seems a very real prospect.  Baylis combines a natural charm and seductiveness with a talent for memorable lyrics.  The chorus will not budge from your brain for months, as the repeated lyrics of “feels just like any other day” and “finally making my own way” surmise and summate the mind-set of our inspired heroine.  Baylis lets it be said that any doubts- any fear or tears- “belong to yesterday“.  By the end of the song you are very much left in no doubt that Lydia has emerged from a chrysalis with strengthened wings.  The anonymous ex-love has done her wrong and caused her a lot of pain, yet she has not let it get to her- far from it in fact!  In the way that the song is honest and direct, it is also openly honest and universal: nearly everyone can relate to Baylis’s words and experienced.  Whereas A Darker Trace and (the E.P.) Life Without You will deal with suicidality and depression, the messages put forth here are clear: darkness can lead to (greater and stronger) light.  The lyrics are memorable yet not too cluttered.  There is great concision and a taut ear for storytelling that means there are no wasted words: instead a great impact is made with as few words as possible.  The combination of an uplifting and catchy chorus, as well as stunningly-tender vocals during the verses, are incredible twin pillars.  The overall sound is very much unique to Lydia.  Her tracks such as Mirrors and Into The Water show what a diverse palette she has.  Our heroine is as adept and skilled during paens of love-gone-wrong as she is when recounting the horrid fate of a beloved literary figure.  It is the diversity and originality that Baylis offers that sets her aside from her peeps.  I dare say- very soon- she will be receiving the same acclaim as the likes of Laura Marling and Adele.  Lydia has a huge talent for evocative and inspiring words; which she ties together with a stunning and planet-straddling voice.  When this is fused with interchangeable and sensational sonic tapestries the effect is blinding: not something you can say about too many people.  Life Without You is a suitably brilliant representation of a brilliant E.P.  Baylis has spent a lot of time and energy getting the songs just right and on the evidence of the title track, she has a lot of praise and appreciation coming her way.  Baylis confirms that the track (Life Without You) was therapeutic to write and perform, and you can  hear the burdens melt from her shoulders.  The song will speak to young women, as Baylis is a heroine whom has galvanised her spirit and resolve in the face of acrimony and heartache.  Men and women alike will be inspired by the core message and the scintillating vocal performance, which casts itself in its own light.  In my previous reviews I have always been able to compare a song or band with another: I can always clearly hint at influences within a track.  Baylis takes the themes and colours from Joni Mitchell and Florence Welch without sounding too similar to either: she incorporates the strongest facets and ensures that the central voice is very much her own.  In a year- and decade- where originality is hard to come by and distinction is even rarer, our heroine has pulled off a wonderful trick: she creates music that is beyond compare yet instantly relatable.  I finished viewing the video to Life Without You with a huge smile.  I was constantly enamoured of, and rooted for Lydia; entranced and pulled in, and have been listening to the song on repeat for a long time now.  It is axiomatic to say that Lydia is a talent that will be picking up awards and playing festivals for many years to come; so I will leave you with this: seek her out without delay.

In the past I have reviewed a lot of talent from Leeds-based record label Cuckoo Records.  Their stable is abound with electro-swing wonders as well as folk pearls and I hope that their ears prick up, as the likes of Baylis would do them very proud.  I am a boy with a vinyl soul, 8-track heart, radio face and digital mind, and Lydia appeals to each contour.  She has evocations and reminiscences of ’60s and ’70s legends such as Joni Mitchel and Van Morrison; she has the intelligence and passion of literary great such as the Bronte sisters and Virginia Woolf, and a sexiness and vote-winning personality that is unequalled.  The Pentacostalism that one experiences when hearing her speak; and the diluvial awe one gets from hearing her sing mark her out as a major future prospect.  The current state of music can be seen in the same terms as Schrodinger’s Cat: there is uncertainty and ambiguity with every passing second.  There is never going to be a time period that rivals the early-late ’90s: where a flood of variable talent ruled the scene.  There is as much Schadenfreude as there is admiration: artists have a tough time establishing themselves and making their name.  In spite of the disparate range of quality and sustainability, artists such as Baylis should be held tight to the chest.  Music can be seen in terms of the a mechanics matrix interpretation (when speaking of The Uncertainty Principle) as equally as you can see it as a Kobayashi Maru scenario.  Lydia’s words and songs have renewed faith and ambition in me.  Whilst listening to her music and hearing her interviews, I penned a few lyrics:

“The third-rate joke; second-hand smoke and first-class bitch/I’ve blown them all to scratch an itch”

“Well you’re unafraid to chase ghosts/Because they won’t come back to haunt you”

“I got a Christmas card from the local morgue/Speaking of New Year plans and enquiring about my health”

“I’m the murderer in the romantic comedy/The mime artist in the film of the great war/The extra in the lavish musical/Hangman in the epic story of the lord/You can laugh at my condition/If you think it makes you tall/Although my scream is never heard/My silence says it all”

“My final words were the very same as my first/Silver nights in satin regard oh how I long for you!”

“As the angel of Battersea she’d heard every line in the book/But the cover to the rules of love is never judged by its looks”

“For us wallflowers hanging in the Tower of Babel, I didn’t have a choice/I know too well I was born with the burden of a platinum voice”

“My mother tongue slipped undone to sing the farewell midnight kiss/In the distance between the Jasmine Chorus and the edge of the abyss”

“Love and faith are double-blind /Their truths the diving rods/When bad point towards the vengeful man/When good a loving God”.

There are many more (I won’t inflict them upon you), but it makes a point: an artist that good should be idolised.  She is my ideal woman; the perfect counterpart; and the most sought-after collaborator.  I have formulated a music video I am besotted with that would be perfect for her: although it will probably never happen.  She has inspired me to write new songs and complete an album’s worth of material.  The fact that I am band-hunting this week; continuing a design of a huge music café/bar, as well as willing myself into the studio is because of her: so too is this review.  I hope it does not come over as too effusive or sickly; for it is not my intention.  I have spent many a day giving too much praise to those undeserving; too much time has been dedicated to those whom proved to be unremarkable in the long-run.  The Drake Equation can be applied to music: there is a wonder that extends beyond our own consciousness that postulates what sort of extra-terrestrial life is out there.  Humans are always searching for further meaning and seeking not to feel so alone.  As a music-lover, writer and singer I have always felt the need to find connections with a musician that seems similar to me: that has the same ideals and similar ambitions.  Lydia Baylis is a woman whom is as inspirational a writer and artist as she is a human.  I hope that anyone who reads this are compelled to study Baylis at greater length.  Myopia is a common side-effect of a jaded and fickle industry and it is prescient and essential that the best talent is given their dues.  The ensemble within Life Without You is testament to a truly focused and communal talent: someone whom can attract fans from all walks of life.  There are a lot of barriers and obstacles the new musician faces.  Market forces and trends are unpredictable and subject to entropy and profitability.  Predicating the future musical climate is as difficult as predicting the future meteorological and financial climates.  There are a lot of bands on the scene: some spectacular; most not so.  The solo market is similarly-inconsistent: there are some truly great artists, yet most seem rather unspectacular.  I have always been more in awe of the established acts and most of my record collection contains the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Queen, Bob Dylan, Kate Bush, Radiohead, Pixies, Nirvana, Nina Simone, Tom Waits etc.  I have fallen in love with London Grammar and am fondly ensconced within the camp of James Blake, yet am a man whom feels that music peaked (and saw the last great wave of wonder) towards the late-’90s/early-’00s.  I feel that a re-appropriation is in order; that a recapitulation of the ’90s sea change is forthcoming.  Baylis is a talent that is the definition of engaging: her smile and words can melt you; her song entice and overwhelm.  The Welsh-born starlet is going to a fixture of the festival scene and- I know this is an ambition of hers- will appear on Jools Holland’s ‘Later…’ in less than a couple of years.  These are not hollow proclamations and predictions: I know great music when I hear it.  Over the last few months I have heard a great many words spoken by Baylis and encapsulated her audio profferings into my brain.  Her songs have inspired me and made me grin with Cheshire Cat proportions.  Baylis has some cafes and coffee houses to conquer, and is putting the finishing touches to her debut album.  Her E.P. is a bold and stunning statement and not a self-fulfilling prophecy: it is a stepping stone that cannot be faulted.  Baylis will be bringing her voice and thesis to many venues over the coming months, and she will be attracting the attentions of many publications and reviewers.  I hope I have done her full justice and represented her fairly.  Absorb her beautiful words within Life Without You and investigate her back catalogue.  I will leave these final words for miss Baylis:

Diolch i chi!

____________________________________________________________________________________

Interview quotes from The Huffington Post sourced from:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/david-spencer/lydia-baylis-interview_b_3819800.html

Interview quotes from Female First are extracted from:

http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/music/interviews/lydia-baylis-interview-298651.html

Follow Lydia:

Official site: http://www.lydiabaylis.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LydiaBaylis

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lydiabaylis

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/lydiabaylis/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/LydiaBaylis

MySpace: https://myspace.com/lydiabaylis

Tour dates available at:

https://www.facebook.com/lydiabaylis/app_308540029359

One thought on “Single Review- Lydia Baylis: Life Without You

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