God I love the story tellers.
The lyricists who construct a reality you can step into, to experience it as if you were there - as if you knew the characters - who do it so seamlessly that - even if it is by proxy - you get to feel the emotions for real.
That’s the point of this list - it’s designed to make you feel - to connect with the emotions that we’re oh so good at keeping hidden, buried under guilt and social conditioning. Because when we don’t deal with those emotions - well - that’s when the bad shit happens.
Of course songs need more than lyrics, the music and melody have to be just as compelling if the whole thing is going to work. When you’re a singer songwriter, you have to provide both and believe me, this is bloody hard - I mean you don’t see Bernie Taupin out there giving piano recitals!
I fell in love with this track over the chorus hook - long before I knew what the rest of the song was about - but once it had me I was along for the ride. You want to talk Father / Son bullshit, the tyranny of the patriarchy - how about love destroyed by violence - removed from the board by random destruction? What do you do with that? Commit suicide? Lose yourself in facsimiles of love? Or do you self medicate - dumb yourself down - suppress and depress the feelings until your arteries give up?
Well yes - maybe you do all those things - maybe you bottle it up and never let it out - or…
...maybe you listen to a song like this…
…maybe, just maybe, you find yourself in the presence of a skilled songwriter, who through her artistry creates a space where it’s safe to connect to those emotions, where, even if it is by proxy, catharsis is possible. Where maybe you do get to break the bottle - and hey - if it smashes on the hull of your metaphorical boat while you launch - even better.
You can read a great interview with Jess over on the Music to Fight Evil playlist where her song “If We’re Damned” was featured in April 2020.
About the Curator - Andrew McCluskey
The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the Dark Forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top, they would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.
As a psychology graduate I studied how sound affects human performance.
As a musician I compose instrumental music that stimulates your brain but doesn't mess with your language centers, leaving you free to be creative and brilliant without distraction.
As the founder of musicto I’m on a mission to inspire a global audience of music lovers and artists through the development of people powered playlists.