Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Keeping Up With Music

There is too much music. Imagine if you were a teenager in the mid-60s. Pop music was only ten years old, but already it seemed too be everywhere. In the mid-70s I was just beginning my teenage years and there was yet more, although some of it was still hard to unearth (just think, a lot of records were deleted, you simply couldn't get them). By the mid-80s there was tons of it, bolstered by punk, new wave and synths which meant anyone could form a half-decent band. By the mid-90s, not only were there thousands of new groups churning out new stuff but the old ones were enjoying a second life through CD reissues. By the mid-00s it was getting out of control with music shifting from CD to on-line, together with the ability to listen to virtually anything in the last 50 years on platforms like Spotify or YouTube. It was at about this time that my record buying (if not my listening) slowed down. I just couldn't keep up.
East India Youth
So here we are in the middle of the second decade of the second millennia, and I have to say that my appetite for new music, for keeping abreast, for adding to my 2,000 records, 2,000 CDs and 20,000 songs on iTunes has waned, replaced by looking back, listening to and reappraising what I already know, filling in the gaps or perhaps unearthing something that passed me by first time round. 
There are exceptions of course. I am forced, sometimes not unwillingly, to listen to my girls' favourites (and I confess to being quite partial to a bit of Taylor Swift). And once in a while something a little more challenging piques my interest. Currently it's William Doyle, aka East India Youth. His second album, Culture of Volume, released a few months ago is partly vocal pop, partly instrumental electronica and totally accessible. I'd also recommend you watch a 28-minute video of a live in the studio session he did for KEXP Radio in Seattle. Unfashionably coiffed and suited (he looks like a bank clerk), he sings, plays keyboards and guitar, twiddles knobs and percusses, sometimes simultaneously and all of it on his own. 

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