I am really excited about this! I really love this community, and am excited that it is continually expanding.
I do have a thought about the garbage in, garbage out idea, and that is that I think the value of music can be separated into two parts, 1. the musical/production content, and 2. the lyrics. As a production student, I love to listen to a lot of EDM, and understand that often the lyrics are not great, BUT, the value is placed on the creativity of the sound design.
As far as lyrical content, the artist that I reach for time and time again is Henry Jamison. His songs always move me.
I just randomly listened to that “Boys” song. It’s really neat. The funny thing is, I thought you were showing some EDM folks that wrote with lyrics in mind. But then I realized I got it wrong. Ha!
And what is it about these particular tracks resonates with you?
Also, I love Henrys voice, I used to have real peach on one of my favourite playlists
I guess that was kinda the point I was making. I wouldn’t post an EDM song here for the lyrics to be evaluated, because, well, in general the lyrics are pretty sparse, or shallow. Yet, I enjoy listening to the music because of the sonic creativity.
This is a great example of a song that is literally one phrase repeated the entire song, yet they take you on a creative journey with the sound.
On a Mountain Remix
Real Peach is one of my favorite songs, and can usually pull me out of bad mood, which I appreciate.
As far as Henry’s music, I struggle to articulate why I love it so much. I think he has some very clever lines. For instance in Boys, the line
"Thought I was drowning in that bed
Couldn’t get the moon out of my head,"
really paints the picture of what it feels like to drown in your thoughts.
In his song “Jacket,” I love the metaphor of the jacket
"If I were the jacket
Her chest and limbs all wrapped around
I would soak up all that light into my lining
The idea of wanting to be so close to someone, to soak them in. The metaphor is clever and beautiful, but then the words he chooses… chest and limbs… soak up all that light into my lining. In my opinion, it’s very beautiful language.
He has another song, Witness Trees and this lyric always stands out to me.
Where do you go, my darling?
When you do not sing
Where do you go?
And you’ve been told
The streaks of gold
In your hair mean nothing
Oh no, not so
As I’m writing this out, I think I find him intriguing as a human. The way he writes, how he sees the world. His attention to detail. How he seems to pull beauty out of the mundane. I find him to be a true poet. I am also someone who highly values the sound of something, so the way he writes his melody lines, his chords progression/movements are equally as beautiful as his lyrics, imo. To have both beautiful music AND beautiful lyrics is very special.
Indeed songwriting is at an interesting intersection of art forms. You can make such beauty out of poetry or prose which are words only, and equally such beautiful out of the classical concertos, jazz ensembles or EDM without any lyrics at all. I love how songwriting can lie really anywhere across this continuum, from a richly packed set of words on a minimal pulse/melody to a richly packed soundscape with as you say just a single phrase if that. All are equally valid, obviously this site is currently more toward the lyric side of things but I would love it to one day cover the composition and production side.
As for your recommendations, I am very glad to have been introduced to Henry Jamison, who I had not come across, so thank you! I had an eight hour drive recently during which I shuffled many of his songs and began to appreciate the beauty which you describe.
I agree he has honed his skill on both sides of this continuum, creating a synergy that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
yay! I’m so happy you checked him out
His music is one that I reach for time and time again, and some that I really respect and hope to work towards in my own artistry. Thanks for listening!