Pears and Apples – Olympic Swimmers

Simon Liddell, Susie Smillie, Graeme Smillie, Jonny Scott and Jamie Savage - band members of Olympic Swimmers

I have landed in Utopia today, but landed totally confused. By accident, I happened upon a band named Olympic Swimmers (Glasgow, Scotland), and yet it doesn’t appear as if many other folks have discovered them – at least not many Americans (not yet).

How can this be? The voice of Susie Smillie just melts me. Good God, when she belts out the word “on” in the line “The past, the past, the past, the past is on to me,” I’m fairly sure my head will fly right off and soar up to the heavens. Her voice is just that delicious.

I’ve been searching through the proverbial radio dial for female vocalists for quite some time – and with very little luck. If you want to hear women busily showing off up and down the octave keyboards (which I do not), the world is your banana. Looking for a woman who sings precious preciousness (usually mixed with a precious male counterpart)? Tune into the next station. But what about those of us who just want to hear a straight out beautiful song, sung by someone with a straight out beautiful voice, no bells and whistles needed (you know, the way Linda Ronstadt could just, well, sing).  For me, that voice has been lacking until today.

Of course, things only get better when the band and the voice are perfect compliments to each other. Hating to compare any good band with another – yet realizing it’s one way we at least understand what category we’re talking about – think Morning Parade, with hints of Boxer Rebellion or the Vaccines. But, again, forget all that nonsense. This band stand on its own.

This Glaswegian band is one of my new favorites.

In fact, the only thing it seems to be lacking is a good marketing plan. Olympic Swimmers should be all over social media, hitting all the better concert halls around the planet, and putting out music just for me!

 

Pears and Apples
by Olympic Swimmers

Cut out the lights, he won’t find you.
Cut out the lights,
he won’t find you.

Another bag packed, another name,
another night I’ll hear him say,
this was the last time that I wasn’t myself
when I look above I see the vultures circling me.
In just a room they called, with tongue in cheek, my home,
it’s freezing cold, my blood is dry, the power’s about to go.

The past, the past, the past, the past is on to me,
but that knife that’s in the kitchen sink won’t find it’s home in me.

Start this over again with me,
all your burns and bruises,
they don’t, they don’t scare me.

These people wonder,
what’s haunting me
and they’ll look right through me,
it’s all they’ll see.

Change all these ideals you,
you feed your young
and encourage them to,
to be alone.

In just a room they called, with tongue in cheek, my home,
it’s freezing cold,
my blood is dry,
the power’s about to go.

The past, the past, the past, the past is on to me,
but that knife that’s in the kitchen sink won’t find it’s home in me.

Start this over again with me,
all your burns and bruises,
they don’t, they don’t, they don’t scare me.

Cut out the lights,
he won’t find you.


Band members: Simon Liddell, Susie Smillie, Graeme Smillie, Jonny Scott and Jamie Savage.

Ghost Songs – Micah Gilbert

Eriskay, South Uist, Scotland
Eriskay, South Uist, Scotland

Ghost Songs – Micah Gilbert

This song by Micah Gilbert (an American musician born in Athens, who now lives in Scotland) is a beautiful reminder – or an urging, rather – to stop carrying the heavy pain we feel.

Sometimes it just feels so damned comfortable to accept the role of the victim. You’ve been hurt. It hurts. It’s so unfair. Sometimes we really do just need to yell and scream, fists to the sky. It’s part of the process when we get hurt.

But what do you really want to do with all that pain? We miss so much when we try to control all of the horse-powered negative energy we’ve created inside of us when we are hurt.

Just as the trees can’t control the storms, neither can we. But like trees, we, too, can let the storms blow by, because eventually they will. There will always be storms, but after any storm, there is always another day, another perfect moment.

This is a pretty perfect moment by Micah Gilbert.

The blue horizon
Sees another sun
Rising slow
From ashes into dawn
The pink and the grey
Marching on the day
The humbling wind
Blows across your face

(The songs starts with hope. All that crap that happened yesterday is in the past.  It’s a new day. The message is obvious, but the wording is deliciously new poetically setting a gorgeous mood.)

Go on and sing your ghost songs
If they help you
Make your pain subside

(Go on, be the victim, if you feel you need that. You might need it for a moment, but then what?)

Feel the earth beneath your fingers
As you holler at the sky

(Of course, get it outscream out your pain.)

Tell your haunted dreams to the trees
Share them with the wind
Let your burdens go
And fall away
You can’t carry them

(In the end, no matter what, it’s just better to let all the pain go. You are, after all, part of this universe. The trees stand, the winds blow, all through terrifying storms, yet they still remain, as do you. The winds blow away, the trees drop their leaves, new changes come… you can’t continue to carry your old pain with you if you want to really live your life in a beautiful way.)

The hour here
Has finally come undone
What is it now
That keeps you on the run
A tumbling weed
That cannot find it’s place

(Okay, so finally everything has hit rock bottom, right? So why are you still running as if there is more from which to run? You’ve become like a tumbling weed that has no direction. You’re just out there… you and your fears and pain and anger, are all out there with no direction.)
Let the horses run
Let go of the reigns

(Stop trying to control all that negative power you’ve generated.  Let all those powerful emotions gofree to run away like the wild horses.)

Go on and sing your ghost songs
If they help you make your pain subside
Feel the earth beneath your fingers
As you holler at the sky
Tell your haunted dreams to the trees
Share them with the wind
Let your burdens go and fall away
You can’t carry them

(Again, we have to go through the process of experiencing all this stuff, but in the end, remember that the pain needs to be taken off your shouldersand you are the only one who can do that.)

 —–

Even though this song is one of a kind, if you have to put it into a category, think in terms of the Beatles or the Eagles.
The song is inspired by Suzanne.

In Excelsis Deo by There Will Be Fireworks

In Excelsis Deo by There Will Be Fireworks

New Christmas songs that aren’t cutesy and irritating – and aren’t remakes of the old good chorals – are hard to come by. And until now, there’s probably never been a seasonal Christmas song that could be added to a non-seasonal playlist.  Enter the song In Excelsis Deo by the Glasgow-based band There Will Be Fireworks.In Excelsis Deo by There Will Be Fireworks

What’s so brilliant about this song is the way it actually captures the mood we get when we go home for Christmas.  That special mood where the world has kind of stopped and you’re taken back in time to Continue reading “In Excelsis Deo by There Will Be Fireworks”