Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Colours Through The Air 1st Anniversary Special Post

Exactly a year ago today, I started my music blog - Colours Through The Air. It was something I had wanted to do for a while but never really had the confidence or the motivation. To be honest, I never thought I would keep it going (just about) for a year. I'd like to thank everyone who has shown an interest as without peoples support and encouragement, I could not have continued it.

It has gone on to achieve tens of thousands of views across the world, and a lot of great feedback from record labels, bands and bloggers alike. I know its only small, in the grand scheme of things. But its good to know that I have made a difference and helped people find great music, which they may not otherwise have heard.

It is so sad that such a lot of wonderful music, goes largely unheard and under the radar. There seems to be less interest in well-written songs. Much of the music in the mainstream, for me, is style over substance and has little emotional depth. For me, a great song is about the melody and feeling it creates. 

I wanted to use this opportunity to talk about some of the songs which inspired me to start a blog. They are all, on the whole, underappreciated. There is also a new Spotify playlist (Colours Through The Air Lost Classics) in which the music can be from any year.

1. RW Hedges - Signal Man (2018, from Hunters in the Snow)

It won't be a surprise to anyone, but this song was the main reason I started the blog. The album completely passed me by in 2018 as it got very little coverage. Everything about it is so magical. It captures the feeling of the original Dickens ghost story perfectly. Luca Nieri co-wrote and produced it and a review of his new album can be found on this blog too.   

2. Shack - Cornish Town (1999, from HMS Fable)

My favourite song ever. I know that Shack probably weren't that underappreciated but I think John Head is definitely overlooked as a songwriter in his own right. The younger brother of Michael Head who NME called 'Our Greatest Songwriter' and featured on the cover, back in 99. This song is gloriously uplifting to listen to, no matter how many hundreds of times you play it! 

3. Michael Head & The Strands - Something Like You (1997, from The Magical World of The Strands)

I still think Michael Head is underappreciated as a songwriter on a larger scale. When you look at how much more recognition bands like Oasis, The Stone Roses e.t.c. have. Just over 10 years ago, I had never heard of Michael Head and many people still haven't. He should be better known with songs like this. A beautiful song, which changed the way I saw music.

4. Material Issue - Valerie Loves Me (1991, from International Pop Overthrow)

A wonderful Power Pop band from the 90s. Jim Ellison was a fantastic songwriter who wrote many gems like this, until he sadly took his own life in 96. I had only heard of the band since about 4 years ago and was blown away by everything I heard. Many of the songs were so emotional yet with brilliant pop hooks.

5. The Bevis Frond - He'd Be A Diamond (1991, from New River Head)

Superb Byrdsian jangle from a really overlooked band. Teenage Fanclub covered this pop gem and it was a highlight of seeing them live. Nick Saloman is a great lost Psych songwriter.

6. The Lilac Time - Return to Yesterday (1987, from The Lilac Time)

Stephen Duffy did have a few 'hits' and was on Top of the Pops in the 80s. But his later solo songs and with his band The Lilac Time were largely underappreciated by the mainstream. It was hard to choose one song as so many of them are great. The albums 'Astronauts' and 'Looking for a Day in the Night' are lost classics too.

7. The Corner Laughers - The Girl, America (2015, from The Matilda Effect)

A lost pop gem. I only found out recently it was written by Anton Barbeau, a great songwriter who I discovered since writing this blog. It is Karla Kane's lovely voice and the production which makes the song so perfect though. Their new album is superb too and the review can be found on here. 

8. The Fernweh - Next Time Around (2018, from The Fernweh)

It fills me with joy, every time I hear this song. So wonderfully retro and melodic, from a brilliant debut album. Really looking forward to seeing what they do next.

9. The Left Banke - Pretty Ballerina (1967, from Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina)

I wasn't aware of this song until about 5 years ago. It is one of my favourite songs and so magical. Compared to a lot of 60s bands, The Left Banke are underappreciated, especially now. They were mainly known for 'Walk Away Renee' which was covered by the more famous group - Four Tops. 

10. Attic Lights - Shiver the Trees (2008, from Wendy single)

Scottish band Attic Lights were signed to a major label back in 2008 but never got as much success as they deserved. They came at the end of the wave of guitar bands emerging in the mid 00s and I think were a bit too late. This lost gem was actually a B-Side. They have many perfect songs but this one often gets played on repeat as its so addictive!

You can listen to the Spotify playlist, including more songs here:

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