Monday 16 April 2012

Crybaby - New Waves

One of the most common questions we get asked as a music blogger besides “how do I get my music on the blog?” (the answer is here) and “how do you find the time to write the blog?” is “where do you discover all the music you write about?” The answer is a multiple one. Sometimes it’s through our email in box (from PR companies or bands directly), our Soundcloud drop box, the radio, live gigs, other blogs, random searches or trawling our way through support band listings for venues. However, today’s utterly fantastic new artist was discovered in a more unusual way – in a record store.

Picture the scene. We’re leafing aimlessly through the CD’s in a well-known independent record emporium when in the background a swooning voice begins to croon. “I cherish the heartbreak, more than the love I lost.” Instantly there’s a shiver down the spine. As the song plays, sighing expertly of candy coated kisses and a happy ever after that just wasn’t on, it becomes abundantly clear that we’re not going to be leaving the store quite yet. At least until we’ve seen if this record, whoever it is, can offer more than one song. In modern terms, it was a bit of a Shazam moment.

Four songs in and we notice that the pretty girl in the floral dress and DM boots thumbing through the jazz section opposite us has the same mesmerised just-fallen-in-love look in her eyes as we do. She’s not really looking at the CD’s at all, she’s finding any old excuse to stay in the shop and listen, just like us. What is this music? It sounds timeless. It’s grand but never overstated. There are songs of love and sorrow. There’s a moment on a song called Twist of the Knife where the singer perfectly mimics Morrissey with his “Oh oh oh,” coos. There are moments when we hear a drum that sounds like it didn’t hit its last beat on a Phil Spector recording. There’s a definite similarity to Richard Hawley and a little of Roy Orbison as well. It’s wonderful. Really wonderful.

The music we heard in the store was the sound of Crybaby, the pseudonym for Bristolian singer-songwriter Danny Coughlan (formerly of folk rockers Babel) from his debut eponymous album released through Helium. It is quite simply a beauty of a record – melancholic, emotional and perfectly crafted. Rather like Michael Kiwanuka’s record Home Again, Crybaby owes much to its reference points but that doesn’t detract from its quality. It is one hundred per cent evocatively nostalgic, but for those who argue that there’s no point in listening to something that steals so obviously from the past, we’d like to suggest that they miss the point. Emotions and feelings that we feel as humans haven’t changed, the best music lasts for ever and great art should never be forsaken just for the cause of progression. Deal with it.

With Crybaby Danny Coughlan has created something utterly flawless. It’s hovering around album of the year territory. Go and find it and touch your life with beauty.

Crybaby - I Cherish The Heartbreak More Than The Love That I Lost (Video)


summerhousejo said...

Oh yeah, oh yeah! I want it... Drift records, prepare to make a sale!

Scryst said...

You're right this is a gorgeous song and I'm also going to investigate the album. Thanks for sharing / discovering. What record shop was it?

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Rough Trade of course :)

Glad you're liking. Hope a few more people discover the record and like it as much as I do. I'd love to see it nominated for the Mercury 2012 prize or suchlike to help with its exposure.