The Single Voice: One Language… For All

The Single Voice:

“One Language… For All”

  IN a world full of people, only some want to fly…

Isn’t that crazy?

Well- to quote/mis-quote- the words of Seal: yes, it is a bit.  Over the past few months, I have been particularly devout, with regards ‘helping others’: feeling I am not doing enough to be a ‘better person’.  I enjoy my semi-regular half-marathons (I am taking on my 5th– for (the) Alzheimer’s Society- in June); I like to spend the weekends doing ‘good deeds/helping out’; I have launched a few charity/social  media campaigns- it makes me feel more useful (as a person).  One of the things that is getting me down is the unfairness of life.  A few people I know have (recently) been diagnosed with cancer; others are struggling to fulfill their dream (as a musician); others are suffering horrible illness.  I guess you can say that it’s part of life: with so many people (on the planet), not everyone can live happily/healthily.  As glib and unhelpful- advice/words like that are- it is still unacceptable (in 2015) that so many people go unnoticed: so many blights blot the world’s landscape.  I am a man who is not just committed to (supporting certain charities): I am passionate about various causes.  In addition to (supporting equal pay/rights) for women, I am passionate about animal welfare: I am dedicated to supporting (the eradication) of racism, homophobia and inequality- gun violence and social deprivation are not exactly (twin barrels) of laughs!  There seems to be a great deal of people unconcerned with ‘making a change’- at least doing very minimal motions.  When it comes to supporting causes; donating a bit of money here and there- I know exactly (of my contacts on social media) will ‘step up’- most will not bother.  I know we all have budgets- I earn less than most people I know- and it seems disheartening (so few are motivated) to do more.  I feel- as a person- that I can do a bit more: dedicate more of my free time to volunteer/get involved with campaigns and protests.  Across the world, there are some great (annual) charity campaigns.  Red Nose Day (Comic Relief) is looming large; Stand Up for Shelter and Children in Need do their part- they are hugely important events.  In so much as those events tend to focus (for the most part) of children (who are the minority of the population), they seem to capture the imagination at specific times- namely when they are televised.  For the remainder of the year, momentum tends to be lost.  Social media have tried to ‘buck the trend’.  The dreaded/loved/cold Ice Bucket Challenge was a worldwide success (last year), yet seems to have petered to a standstill: I hope people are still donating to fight A.L.S.  I have always thought- in order to perpetually unite the ranks on social media/general public- something a little longer-lasting needs to take place.  This brings me down to my point…

The Single Voice.

The campaign I want to launch is an online (one): something that anyone- neigh everyone– should be taking part in.  Whereas charity events- like Comic Relief- raise money for specific causes; this (idea) is designed to unite all charities- raise funds and awareness for all causes.  Being passionate about various charities- and angered by certain illnesses and social inequalities- I feel that certain ‘issues’ are being overlooked.  Through public engagement- and an easy but fun idea- here is a chance to raise serious awareness for important issues- raise money (to help defeat) some rather vile problems.  Rather than community events (or sponsored events) this idea uses YouTube (and videos on the site) to raise money.

How it Raises Money.

The campaign is designed to bring together YouTube, Google, Apple and Microsoft: some of the most influential and important (companies on the planet).  I will go into more depth (below) but the way (the user) raises funds is through YouTube ‘views’: every time someone views a video (you have uploaded)- 15p is donated to your chosen charity (an additional 5p is donated for every ‘like’).  YouTube is the ‘hosting site’: it is their website that is the basis of the campaign.  Google will be the ones who are donating the money.  Each user/member- who chooses to take part- will register on the main site (see below) and through advertising and increased search results, Google will gain revenue- which in turn will be donated into The Single Voice.  Companies like Google and Apple generate enormous profits each year; they do great work but have a lot of profit coming in.  Finding a (legal and non-invasive way) for them to generate more funds- by advertising and getting more ‘business’- would allow them to channel this money into the campaign.  There is the potential (for an individual) to raise millions (possible tens of millions over the campaign) for a great cause- either something at a local level; or a national issue.

The Main Site.

The initiative will have a homepage: which will be where each person goes to register.  The campaign will be shared and spread to social media, but at the first point of contact, each person would start here.  Like Facebook and Twitter, registration is painless and quick: and a great way to connect with other users and like-minded people.  The homepage will be well-designed and eye-catching.  The top half will have various links: A-Z of Charities; Contact Details; Discussion Board; Events/Fundraisers; Latest Members; Links; Generated Profit (so far).  The bottom half will be fun and interactive.  It will depict a variety of locations: a comedy club; recording studio; film set; bar etc.  The sign will be the only constant- saying The Single Voice.  Whether attached to a studio (or comedy club) the figures (that interact will be from that world).  Musicians- past and present- will interact; comedy and film icons (too)- it will be constantly changing and moving.  Each figure will be animated- giving the homepage a great two-tone look/feel.  I shall expand more/give ‘the fully skinny’ in my next blog. (middle of June).

Registration.

Each person will be asked to register simple details: name, D.O.B., location; campaigns; total raised (and several others).  It will work a little like Facebook, where there is a profile page: it will be a simple process and contain plenty of information- although nothing too personal or revealing.  From the registration page, there are links to social media- where you can easily promote your page/share your success.  When all the personal details/key details are entered, then comes the ‘fun part’.  The Single Voice has the option of 25 different YouTube-based ‘initiatives’/ideas.    These will be split into categories: Film and T.V., comedy, music, miscellaneous.

Each new member is allowed to ‘sign-up’/choose five of the twenty options.  For each initiative you will be selecting a different charity (I will go into more depth later).  On the profile page will be your list of ‘initiatives’.  By each of your selections will be the total (money) you have raised; how many times your idea/entry has been shared (and how many times you have shared it).  This charity campaign will run for a year- from its launch date- and your selected charities will get donations each month (at the end of each month, however much you have raised will be donated to them).

The Initiatives.

There are twenty five different ideas- covering film, T.V., music and advertising.  As I have said, each person will be allowed to select five different ideas (from the list of twenty five).  Each person could be involved with the campaign for five years  When you register, it will ask you to select from the list- which idea/choice you want- and there will be a step-by-step guide.  It is very easy and simple to complete.  Before I explain how it is done; here is what you can choose from (among others):

Top-10 Songs.  Like Desert Island Discs and Tracks of My Years, each user gets to choose their 10 favourite/most important songs.  There is an option- on each entry- for a user to commentate/explain why they have chosen (what they have selected) but it is a great chance for the person to share their favourite songs.

New Music. This is an option that is a chance (for new music to be heard).  A person can give the world a chance to discover new music/musicians.  If a new band/act has posted to YouTube, then their music can be shared.  There is a chance to select your ten favourite songs (from new acts).

Music Videos. It is nice and simple: choose your favourite ten music videos.  Whether it is from a new band- or classic act- you get a chance to have a good think- what you consider to be the best of the breed.

Comedy. Whether it is a short clip- lasting a few seconds- or a full-length film/T.V. episode, this is comedy-orientated.  Whatever makes you laugh the most: get it uploaded!  I shall expand on this more- and what I would select- but you can choose a stand-up show; an episode of The Simpsons- or a comedic home-made video/prank.

Drama/film. Again, whether it is an episode of Breaking Bad- if they are allowed on YouTube- or a short film, this is the chance to get it shared.

Originals. This is the chance for a user to create something new- and upload to YouTube.  Not a chance for self-promotion, it is a chance to flex your creative muscles.  It can be anything you want: a mock advert; a new song; a comedy sketch- whatever you fancy.

Commercials/Misc. If you have favourite adverts then you can get them seen hear.  This option gives voice to other videos: those weird and wonderful videos- YouTube seems to proffer by the bucket-load.  Beauty blogs and ‘how-to’ videos; home-made videos can be selected.  The rules are simple: it can be anything (as long as it is not sexual, offensive, and violent- or violates YouTube’s rules).

There are- as I have mentioned- 25 different choices; appealing enough to everyone- that gives the user a chance- not only to think about their favourite music/films etc.- but discover new and exciting work. Beyond Social Media.

Of course, the point of the campaign is not to share music/film- just for the sake of it.  The idea is to raise money and awareness of causes and charities.  On the home page, you get a chance to share your ideas and videos- and raise money (each time they get a ‘view).  When you select a charity- for each entry- there is an information button: this gives you huge information and links.  If you select Diabetes U.K., then you get to find out about the charity.  There are links to their website; how to get involved in the community; how to spot the signs (of diabetes); ways to further becoming involved with the charity- runs, fundraisers, volunteering etc.  This will be the case for every charity.  It means that, not only does the user get to learn more about their chosen charities (and causes); other people do too.  On the site’s main page, there is an A-Z of Charities: a full list of all charities; information, links and videos for each. In addition engaging people more with charities and causes; there is a hope it will lead to more community involvement.  There is a chance to ‘represent’/choose (to support) women’s rights, stamp out gun violence, support local communities and boroughs- causes not usually represented by the big fundraisers.  In addition to giving information about each, there are ways for you to get involved: get out onto the street and make a difference.  Raising money will be a huge and important part of the idea, but it is hoped that the government will take note- issues and campaigns will be highlighted; a chance to change law- change people’s lives and initiate social change. Not only does one get to learn more about charities and causes- the main objective of the campaign- there is a secondary bonus’.  Each time you compile a list; there is a chance to benefit others.  Say you have selected Top 10 Songs.  After you have selected each track, there will be a link on each video/selection.  Song and album information is provided; links to other (similar) acts; ways to record your own music/become a musician.  In terms of new music, there is a chance to help new musicians (links to campaigns; ways to share their music and causes); find great new acts; support local venues and festivals- ways to bring about equality and change for musicians.  The same goes for film and music videos: ways to become a director/actor; local schools and campaigns; links to similar films/videos; local schemes; ways to support other charities and causes etc. All of this video-selecting and information-finding is designed to be quick to share/promote.  With a click of the button you can share you entries/profile to social media; encouraging friends to get involved- taking this thing viral.  It is A fun, quick, and educational scheme; with the potential to raise a lot of money very fast. If I was doing the ‘comedy option’, these three videos would be first up: when I was feeling very down recently they helped me hugely (and dehydrated me in the process- and all from the same T.V. show):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs786SYC_iQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMPJZ4YZnqI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR-MovUcZLA

Ambassadors.

The idea is going to take a lot of promotion and co-operation.  When it does start out: the website is designed, everyone has said ‘yes’, there needs to be some great backing.  The idea is to get five celebrities involved from three continents- North America, Europe and Australia.  They would cover the fields of T.V., film, music and comedy.  Covering a range of ages, both genders- who have a track record of benevolence and charity work.  I am wiring to various celebrities at the moment, but it when the scheme is kicked off- it would be great to have some terrific names involved.  They would post (comedic/fun/serious) videos on YouTube: hopefully inspiring ‘undecided voters’ to become involved- and reminding everyone what they are doing this for.

Intended (main) ambassadors:

U.K.: Stephen Fry

U.S.: Olivia Wilde

Going Forward.

At the moment there is the idea and determination: without contracts being signed; sites being designed- the big guns being involved.  Of course it is not going to be as simple as it should be- ‘some’ celebrities (and huge companies) are as apathetic as they come- so will take a lot of effort and campaigning.  The point of this blog/the early stages is to gauge opinion: would people take part?  Would it interest people?  Could this work?  What are the ‘pitfalls’/’down-sides’?  For each entry people select (from the list) you have to donate a small sum yourself (rather than relying on others) but this should not put people off- it is a chance to engage and unite social media; represent all charities; try to make some genuine change.  The rest of this year- in terms of this campaign- will be to get people talking; get names involved- contact YouTube and Google- and get them saying ‘yes’.  I want to launch this within a year- it sounds a long way off but will take a lot of work.  Above all, it will rely on people getting involved: I want it to be a lot bigger than the Ice Bucket Challenge.  It is a golden opportunity to raise millions (and more) for a lot of causes; raise awareness of various issues- get people involved (on the street; in the community etc.) So that is it- those are the details.  Of course- when developments are made- some more specific details can come through- website designs; how to etc.  I have tried a few social media-related campaigns- sadly none have really taken off.  When I raised one (for Mind) a few lovely people got involved: when it came to sharing it; their friends didn’t push it forward.  Same goes (with regards one I tried for Shelter).  I have launched a Kickstarter campaign- to get new musicians together to record a cover version; to raise for charity- but it has received no donations.  Every time I launch a JustGiving page (for various half-marathons) only a few people donate.  It always leaves me really annoyed and disappointed: do people really only look out for themselves/those closest to them?  People are reticent about donating to charity- concerned they will not have enough money for themselves.  This initiative relies on a small amount from the general public (250 British pennies per entry)- the rest comes from Google.  I have contacted some celebrities (Olivia Wilde is the latest: she is in U.S.; she is one of my generation’s most impressive voices/talents- someone who is very charity conscious; has a great passion for change; hope she takes to the idea…)  I hope every (celebrity) get involved; but the public have to embrace it: there is no reason why not.  It requires no real talent or effort; it is all simple and effective; it will give you new information and incentive and above all, it is fun.  Unlike my other charity attempts, I am never going to give up on this- if it takes the rest of my.  I (like many) are sick of so many (good people) suffering; so many sectors ignores- so much needless discrimination and inequality (in a supposed developed society) – time to stop pissing about.  There are a lot of people who are motivated (to try to change things) but not as many as there should be- that needs to change too.  I am going to keep sharing and flogging this idea until I am blue in the face; until people take notice- until it is launched (and is successful).  Nobody will give me a good reason (why it would not work/flourish) so for that reason, I will not put it aside- I am sick of only a few people (I know) getting involved with worthwhile causes and events.  If you want things to get better; want to get things changes- you can’t rely on other people to take care of it.  There is a lot of hard work ahead; a great deal of protest and (getting angry): that is the price you have to pay.  I am solidifying and developing the idea: making additions/improvements by the day.  I will publish an updated blog. in May: celebrities I have contacted; development with Google; website designs; plan of action- make this blog. more comprehensive and fully-rounded. With some big days/fundraisers ahead- International Women’s Day; Comic Relief etc. – do not overlook this one…

WE all need to start getting more involved.

Contact Me:

https://www.facebook.com/sam.liddicott.7

saml889@hotmail.com

Track Review: Hannah Robinson- Curious

TRACK REVIEW:

 

Hannah Robinson

 

Curious

 

9.3/10.0

 

Curious is available at:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvwCawRO75A

RELEASED:
20th February, 2015

GENRES:
Pop

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

U.K.

PRODUCED BY:

Scott McKeon & Stephen Darrell Smith (C) 2015

The E.P. Water, Carry Me is available from 13th   April.   Pre-order at:

http://hannahrobinson.bandcamp.com/

 

THERE seems to be some renewed optimism in the world of music…

and especially new music.  Over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to review some fantastic acts: many of who began quite nervously and unsure.  My words and commendations have not (necessarily aided) the rise (of the now-successful acts) yet it is pleasing to see success- great musicians starting to get their ‘dues’.  The industry is a hard and tough thing to conquer: every week, a slew of new bands and acts emerge from the cracks.  There seems to be a sense of predictability coming through (still): there is not a great deal of superseding.  Bands tend to be- in the mainstream at least- male-dominated/led; solo acts tend to get overlooked (by comparison).  New musicians are going a long way to overthrowing this eventuality; making sure there is some unpredictability and momentum building.  Having reviewed bands (for the last couple of times) it is great to come across an eager and much-anticipated sole voice: a singer/songwriter that is gaining some impressive acclaim.  This year is going to see some exciting things happen in music: big legends like Blur and The Libertines are (producing new albums); some exciting sapling artists are starting to come through- terrific new sounds and possibilities are starting to present themselves.  It is pleasing to see so many eager and ambitious musicians come through: with such a jam-packed scene, you wonder how many will ‘succeed’.  It is not good enough to merely arrive with guitar in hand: a songbook to your chest; armed with ‘good intentions’.  Those artists that stick in the mind are the ones that (go beyond what is expected): add personality, surprise and originality to their music.  My featured artist knows this all too well: she is not a performer contented to put in the bare minimum; she is hard-working and endlessly plugs; her voice is distinct and memorable- her songs filled with wonderful insight and stories.  Before I conclude this section/my point, I will introduce (Hannah Robinson) to you:

Singer-songwriter Hannah Robinson’s blues-tinged vocals belies her age.

Performing as a soloist and with her band, in London as well as in her native Dorset, her busy live schedule sees her playing venues such as The Bedford and Salisbury Arts Centre, and festivals including Larmer Tree Festival and Purbeck Folk Festival.

2015 will see the release of ‘Water, Carry Me’, a brand new four track EP of original material, following her 2012 debut album ‘Oil and Turpentine’. In this, Hannah is working alongside musicians including Scott McKeon (Lana Del Ray, Tom Jones), Paul Beavis (Robert Fripp, Robbie McIntosh), Rob Mullarkey (Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum) and Steve Smith (Sandi Thom, Robbie McIntosh), developing her sound.

Hannah’s songs blend her nonchalant, percussive guitar style with soulful melodies and lyrics full of personal experience and rich imagery owed to her art school education.”

With the likes of Sam Smith and Rae Morris- putting the solo realm firmly into the public consciousness- it is one of the most in-demand and in-vogue sectors of music: the band-led hegemony is in danger of being overthrown.  For that reason, many young (sole) acts are coming through- all keen to win votes and linger in the memory.   Robinson is an artist that strikes my ear immediately.  Having reviewed (female solo acts) Little Sparrow, Jen Armstrong and Annie Drury, she ranks alongside them- armed with as much personality and potential (as that glorious trio).  I prefer my music heavier (the likes of Soundgarden, Green Day and Pixies feature in my record collection) and my configurations four or five-piece.  I have always wanted to fully embrace solo artists, yet seem to be seduced by the band concept- that ageless and overwhelming sound that does something primal and wonderful.  Acts like Hannah Robinson go a long way to changing my views; giving me something fresh and much-needed- a mellifluous and sensual breeze.  This country- in my biased and subjective view- is producing the best music in the world: our solo singers (in particular) are the most agile and effective of them all.  Robinson is taking her very first steps, yet the (initial signs) are very encouraging: her online portfolio and social media numbers are rising; her fan-base augmenting and swelling- this year is going to be (a very prosperous one) for her.

Before I get around to reviewing her music (and the featured song), it is worth looking back at Robinson’s (previous work): seeing just how far she has come.  Over the last few months- leading up to the release of her new E.P. – Robinson has crafted some (original and unexpected) cover versions- adding colour and new spins on old gems.  If you listen to (her take on) the likes of Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright and Make You Feel My Love (both available on her SoundCloud page), then you can hear what I mean: such vitality and energy is injected into both numbers.  A lot of new artists- when they cover other artists/songs- tend to offer little variation and surprise.  Robinson does not tackle a song, unless she feels she can make it sound new- do something unexpected and different.  I hope that- in addition to her new material- she continues tackling well-loved songs: giving her own inimitable take on them.  A few years ago- back in December 2012- Robinson released her (debut album) Oil and Turpentine.  That L.P. was the introduction of the young star: her first (fully-fledged) movements into the musical world.  That album mixes lo-fi grit with Blues-tinged prowess: the entire album has a great live feel to it.  Opening track Monster swings and sways: tinges of Amy Winehouse linger in (the most sensuous and impassioned) notes.  Songbirds in the Afternoon possesses glorious woozy brass; plenty of emotion and personal insight- the young singer pours her heart out.  Stay Quiet has more of an acoustic heart: it is a track that takes your mind somewhere special; its grace and gentility overcome the senses.  The album is a testament to Robinson’s talent and determination: there are no loose edges and gaping cracks.  The entire collection sounds natural and effortless: there are no nerves or need for improvement.  Although there are signs of Amy Winehouse (and some classic Blues voices) within the music, the abiding take-away is originality: it is the young woman stamping her distinct personality.  Songs crackle with vivid imagery and charming scenes; the vocals are compelling and gorgeous- the compositions are rich and nuanced.

If you a newcomer to Robinson, then you may be looking (towards her inspirations).  On Facebook, Robinson lists her idols/influences as: Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, P.J. Harvey, Jeff Buckley, Dan Auerbach, John Frusciante, St. Vincent.  Quite a list there!  To be fair, there is a little (of each) within her glorious notes.  That soulfulness of Franklin comes through (in her most astute and potent moments); St. Vincent’s etherealness and spellbinfing allure (has made its impact) and can be detected during Robinson’s softer times- Buckley’s grace and emotion make their way (into Robinson’s artistry).  Just like all promising music acts, our heroine merely uses her idols as a jumping-off point: she does not lazily replicate their voices and sounds.  Too many modern-day acts lazily toss-off a second-rate version of events- come across as bad tribute acts.  When you want to grip imagination, and ensure long-term appeal, you need to be fresh and distinct- this is what Robinson does.  Whether you look for ice-cool beauty and stillness; red-hot power and lust; some comforting warmer colours- you should look no further.  With a voice filled with potential and range, Robinson is capable of owning any territory she likes- and this means her songwriting can be a lot nimbler and less confined.

The opening (plaintive and romantic strums) of Curious put me in mind of Jeff Buckley: specifically, his album Live at Sin-e.  That album was recorded in New York (the Lower East Side) in a small café: and is one of my favourite things in music.  Tearing through the likes of The Way Young Lovers Do and If You See Her, Say Hello; that distinct guitar sounds comes out- that relaxes the bones and kisses the blood.  Curious peaks my interest (within 10 seconds) as it puts me in mind of my music idol- and the way he could captivate crowds were the mere fleck of his guitar.  Our heroine’s mind- from the get-go- looks towards overcoming mountains; climbing peaks- and overcoming obstacles.  One assumes these words are not to be interpreted literally: she has emotional and personal issues to overcome; determined to side-step and defeat anything in her way.  Not allowing her voice to play second-fiddle, her strong and vibrant tones are right up top- seamlessly mixed into the fold to provide the most evocative emotional punch.  Robinson’s curious travelogue talks the listener (away with her): her breezy alacrity is infectious and hugely additive.  Reminding me of the Folk greats of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Robinson mixes vintage-cum-classic: injecting plenty of modern sounds and relevance into the track.  Having covered Bob Dylan, our heroine clearly adores the Old Master: shades of his 1963 regency (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan) come through clearly.  In the same way (as the young) Dylan took you into a very personal and relatable style of music; Robinson showcases a clear talent for storytelling and description: her voice helps to highlight the clarity and detail in her lyrics.  Asking her (unnamed lover) whether he will climb with her- come up that mountain- I started to re-evaluate my (earlier assumptions).  The ambiguity that comes out- two lovers climbing a literal mountain?  A duo sweetheart looking to subsume a difficult situation? – makes me think and assess.  Our heroine looks out at the ocean (“that I’m curious to sail”): her sense of determination is unwavering and deterministic.  Where the waves crash- and the “seabirds wail”- Robinson locks her sights: she knows where she wants to be (and who she wants to be there with).  Whether she is assessing a current romance- or looking into fictional realms- each words drip with conviction and honeyed romance- it is hard to not be teased and shivered by that striking voice.  Allowing her guitar to flesh out and emphasise the mood (and not encroach too strongly) the foreground is dedicated to the voice-and-lyrics combination- there is a U.S. flavor to proceedings.  Like the great Country and Folk acts emanating from the U.S.A., Robinson has a little bit of Nashville in her blood- a distinct twang that comes through in some of the words.  Effortlessly- and naturally- bridging American quirk with British recalcitrance, the young Siren (brings her music idols) into her own work.  Curious is a borderless and indiscriminate song: it is ready for the U.S. markets, as it is the airwaves of Absolute Radio.  Whereas George Ezra set the music world alight (last year) with Wanted on Voyage; Robinson provides a female counterpart.  That album contained songs that took you across seas and countries- Budapest, Barcelona, Cassy O’ even) – Robinson has contours of Ezra.  As much as I adore Ezra’s voice (few have those pipes!) and his style; Robinson is her own woman- it is hard to compare her with too many other songwriters.  The contemporary elements (within Curious) will set her in good stead: and translate to multiple listeners and great approval.  As the song reaches the half-way mark, Robinson is clutching her “ticket to the world”- and rolling onwards.  Rolling the dice, our heroine takes a gamble on the world- she is curious to see the world; get out and enjoy the sights.  Riding a crest of rhythmic lust and pace, the song never loses momentum: subtle shifts and about-turns keep the song unpredictable and mobile.  The track has a terrific live feel to it- as though we are sitting alongside Robinson in a pub or café- yet the sound is full and uncompromising.  The entire ‘band’ performance is tight and impressive: each instrument and note seems well-rehearsed yet loose- that juxtaposition of refined and relaxed adds huge clout to the song.  The most impressive facet (of Curious) is Robinson’s nobleness and humility: she wants to share her curiosity (with her love); not simply set off on her own.  Gripped by the will-they-won-they tug-of-war, the listener is left hanging a little- our heroine keeps everyone guessing for a while.  For an artist so young, there is- towards the two-thirds mark- some sage and learned guidance: issues about mortality and seizing the moment are explored.  It is said- by our heroine- whether you take a gamble in life (and just go for it) or wait for death to shove its hands down your underwear- the end is waiting for us.  In a few words: why wait for the inevitable without making the most out of life (that’s the impression I get at least).  Made bold by the promise of sea, sand (and foreign lands), Robinson seems bright-eyed and eager: she does not want to be hidden away and inside.  Curious lives up to its title: the listener has a cliff-hanger left (at the end).  Our young star has unveiled a tantilising insight- into her upcoming E.P. – and shows just how strong she is- here is a song that is simple yet hugely effective.  In a marketplace with a lot of young artists coming through- it is hard to distinguish oneself from the throng.  With new music providing multitudes of female and male solo acts, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff?  I guess going to see live music (is a good start) and social media/music-streaming sites can be a minefield of webs and knots.  A lot of success (for new musicians) comes when (people and critics) are in the ‘right place at the right time’- a zero-hour approach to success and stardom.  Robinson provides plenty of prowess and personality; bags of quality and strength- I hope she has a (fairly easy) rise to prominence.  Whether it is a few years away- or maybe a little longer- that recognition and accolade will arrive: there is no doubt about that at all.  For all the cold night and dull days, Curious arrives just about the right time- her E.P. will be an early taste of summer (to make even the most anhedonic crack a wide beam).

Hopefully I have gone some way to assessing (fairly) Robinon’s potential and panache- if not, I duly apologise.  Being laden with cold germs and worries, her music has provided me some solace and medicinal support- I have discovered a new artist (I will stick with for many years).  As I stated (near the top of this review) I have always been a band man.  My favourite song is by a band (Steely Dan- technically a duo I guess), my favourite album by a band (Radiohead); my all-time favourite band is, well… a band.  In terms of voices, Chris Cornell and Thom Yorke are in my top-three- the lone warrior rarely features in my ‘all-time best’ lists.  Robinson’s timeless beauty and intuition marks her out as a talent to watch: her songwriting and voice are strong enough to ensure she remains (in the public mindset) for years to come.  With the likes of Laura Marling and James Bay offering something very distinct- the market is filled with lesser talent- the public is always on the look-out for something fresh and exciting.  I adore my bands- and heavier movements- but always look for something gentler and inspirational- especially as we come into spring.  Being in a position to (embark upon my own musical path), I am always looking about for contemporary influence: those acts that can help me with my own songs.  Robinson seems a humble and modest artist: something with no airs and graces; a great respect for her fellow musician.  This modest approach to music-making reflects through strongly.  Curious is a step forward for the young artist: she is at her most confident and assured here.  Whereas her debut album was packed with jewels and glistening tracks- I feel she has grown even larger and prominent.  Cementing that early promise, Robinson (already) seems relaxed and assured- she knows exactly what her voice is; exactly who she wants to be.  This assuredness does not equate to complacency: the young beauty has plenty of ammunition in her arsenal; a surfeit of new maneuvers and territory.  I cannot wait to discover Water, Carry Me: it is going to get a lot of (dormant) tongues wagging.  Having familisarised myself (with her fledgling work), I am deeply impressed by her progress: for one so young, Robinson shows great maturity and confidence.  Before I conclude, I want to raise a key point: this year in music.  With The Libertines promising a new album- if Doherty can keep his veins clean; if Barat can trust his brother-in-arms- and Blur promoting their Magic Whip like a bitch: I really hope it is a lot stronger than Think Tank!  It seems like the mainstream is going to get a lot of credit.  After a somewhat unimpressive 2014- Royal Blood seemed like the only real exciting new act coming through- this year is showing a lot greater promise.  Too many people concentrate wholly on the charts: the radio darlings and the ‘popular’ choices.  The most invigorating and wonderful musicians are plating underground: playing the local venues; rocking-out to a small selection of followers.  Whilst it is impossible to promote ALL of the great musicians coming through; one should pay attention to acts like Robinson- she will be a festival headliner in little-no time (make sure you get involved now).  The sun is shining; the cascading cold germs are starting to relent (slightly) – I do not have to work until Monday.  To top it all off, I have come across a musician that has made me smile: surprised me (in a good way) and is stuck inside my head.  If you are like me- and yearn to seek great solo music- or demand something special (in your music) then check out this young artist.  If it comes down to a gun-to-your-head-decision: wait to see if the mainstream can take your breath away (without looking too hard) or stick with new music (and have to ferret to discover serendipity) then (because of the likes of Robinson), there is no doubt in my mind…

THAT will be a very easy choice.

 

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Follow Hannah Robinson:

 

Official:

http://www.hannah-robinson.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/hannahrobinsonmusic

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/HannahRobinsong

BandCamp:

http://hannahrobinson.bandcamp.com/

Instagram:

https://instagram.com/hannahrobinsong/

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Music:

https://soundcloud.com/hannahrobinsonmusic

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Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDpm3eIWLkwWRi7RsSf-Ybw

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Gigs:

http://www.hannah-robinson.com/