I almost didn’t post this new song by London Grammar. Why? Not because it’s poor (it isn’t), but because having been released earlier today, the speed at which the internet works probably means that almost every one of you has already listened to it. Then I realised that if like me, you worked for close to fourteen hours non-stop with only one ten minute break, you might have got home from work and not have heard it yet. Or maybe you are in another part of the world from me and are only just waking up? Then I also had to remind myself that this blog isn’t about hits or being the most well-known. In many ways one of its purposes is to be a personal timestamp for me – a musical and personal diary of sorts – that reminds me of what my views and opinions of things were at a particular time.
A few days ago, someone criticised me online about something that I wrote on my blog a few years back. It was a reference to an ‘all female band’ and their argument was that I didn’t need to make a point about their sex especially as I didn’t write about ‘all male bands’, I understood their criticism; infact it was something I had slightly changed my viewpoint on some time ago, long before they raised it. So I replied to them on this basis explaining that I had thought about this in the past, and whilst the issue was complicated (I had been trying to celebrate the fact that there were women out there forming bands, as sadly even at grass roots level there are more male artists in my in box compared with female ones – in fact back in 2015 Leigh from Just Music I Like music blog did a survey that found that 78% of all submissions to his blog were of male artists and only 22% female – click here for more detail), I had concluded after giving it some thought that whilst equal opportunities was important to me, there was something a little sexist and wrong in only mentioning 'all-female bands'. Better to just get on with writing about the music - the sex was unimportant.
But my writing is a timestamp. It was my view of the world at that moment. As we continue through life, our experiences, thoughts and the way we do things are influenced and may change, for the better or worse. I worry for people who are so fixed in their opinions that they are never able to consider another viewpoint – something that the internet bubble of Twitter seems to help foster. There are so many people shouting their opinion in 140 characters and then arguing the toss and not enough people trying to understand why someone might see things differently to them.
So right now, I positively love this London Grammar song. Maybe in a month, a year, or five years I won’t feel exactly the same. Our relationships with music, just like people, don’t have to remain consistent – views of things alter. It’s why people who thought they were in love get divorced. It's why I'm a 'floating voter' and have voted for more than one political party in my life time. It’s why now I don’t write ‘all female band’ just as I don’t write ‘all male band’. It’s why when I listen back to The Kooks I think ‘how on earth did I ever like this lot?”
But for now, if you’ve made it this far through this waffle, and haven’t heard it, take a listen to this gorgeous song. If you don't agree - give it time. It's a grower. Maybe eventually you'll change your mind.
London Grammar - Big Picture (Video)