Thursday, 13 March 2014

A tale concerning hair dye, Shazam and Banks.

One of the attributes a new music blogger is supposedly required to have is good taste, which is frankly a ridiculous notion because taste is a very personal thing. Imagine if there was just one set of music that was defined as good - the world would be a very boring and homogenous place wouldn’t it? For want of a better analogy it would be like all the heterosexual men only liking 5’ 4” brunettes. Imagine the consequences. There would be a lot of polygamous relationships for a start with not enough 'good' women to go round and a lot of unloved blondes. Hair dye sales would also probably increase, leading to further homogenisation, until everyone had forgotten what good taste was in the first place. 

Of course the second attribute that you have to possess as a blogger alongside taste is an ego, because to a certain extent you have to think your taste is good – otherwise why bother writing about the music you love, especially if (as in the case of most blogs) you’re not paid for it? The aim of the blogger is to inflict their taste on the world, because they believe it’s good and they want others to know – effectively they want the world to embrace their love of redheads / blondes / brunettes etc (delete as appropriate), that is if music was a hair colour.

The third attribute and sadly one that often seems to be lacking in some music blogs is knowledge. We’re firm believers that having a good knowledge of music and its history helps in forming opinions and emotional connections. To use the relationship analogy again, when you have your first boyfriend or girlfriend love stabs chemicals into your brain and everything is a bit giddy, but (for most people) that first love doesn’t last forever and as you have more relationships and get that bit older you get better at spotting the sort of person who suits you. You don’t get it right all the time of course, but knowledge and experience help. It’s why when we look back at the artists that we’ve written about over the years on Breaking More Waves, for the most part we still enjoy the music that we posted then and have a long term relationship with a lot of it. Of course there’s still the odd one night stand moment, but they lessen. Most of us however probably purchased some sort of deeply embarrassing first single. Tastes often change with acquired knowledge.

It’s that level of knowledge that has from time to time turned us into a form of human Shazam. No need to hold your smart phone up in the air when you’re out and hear a great song on a tannoy system – just ask us, we’re pretty good at naming that tune.

Yet today we have a confession. A few days ago on the radio we heard a fantastic song. It had immaculate production, lyrics that give two fingers up to a man who thinks he’s so smart but isn’t “I can see you struggling, boy, don’t hurt your brain, thinking what you’re gonna say,” and an epic chorus designed to upend rafters. “What is this song?” we questioned. There was only one way to find out. The real Shazam was activated. The answer: Brain by Banks. A track we’d already featured on the blog. Face palming ensued.

Sometimes, even those with vast knowledge have gaps and lapses. This was one of them.

So today we’re reinforcing that knowledge to ourselves with the new video for Brain, released yesterday. Shot mainly in black and white with just the odd flash of colour this Barnaby Roper directed film (Kanye West, Dior) gives the song an added layer of mysticism and vulnerability. It is our favourite Banks track to date (that’s our taste bit) and if you don’t agree you’re wrong (there’s the ego).

Banks - Brain (Video)


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