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HeartSongs - 180820

  • Published in Columns

Welcome to HeartSongs, our regularly scheduled (probably) look at songs and the people who write them. We spoke to Benjamin Shaw about his new single ‘Terrible Feelings!’.

“I think ‘Terrible Feelings!’ was the first song I really sat down to write for this album. And the first new song I’d come up with in what felt like a very long time. The title came first definitely (with punctuation and everything - some of my finest work I think) and even became the inspirational album title for a while, Benjamin Shaw sings… Terrible Feelings!, I still think I missed a trick there.

At risk of a lawsuit, I’m pretty sure the melody came to me while I was listening to the only other artist from my home town of Blackpool in the UK, Jack Cooper. I’m not even sure which song because I can’t pick it out now, but the melody was nothing like his (I swear). I quickly turned it off and recorded mine on my phone there and then, and built on it from there - repeating and moving patterns and found sounds on the laptop, which seems to have become my way over the years. Shouts out Jack Cooper, he doesn’t know me, but his album Sandgrown is sweet.

Lyrically, as with most of my songs, it started out as a collection of short insults about my work colleagues that I put into Google Keep whenever they come into my head. My Google Keep is substantial. And then, as always, when I sit down to try and arrange the insults into an actual song and do something creative, my own head starts creeping in and the songs quickly descend into self-obsessed artistic terror, self-pity, and in this case, Dirty Dancing references.

I’m a big fan of this song though. It felt like a turning point after having not written much for a good few years. I’d finally come up with an actual song, even if it was just terrible feelings.”

Listen to ‘Terrible Feelings!’ here

Lyrics:

Terrible Feelings!

Hey apocalypse, it's nice to know you still be trying

To lift me by the hips

And make believe like I be flying away,

you're all terrible people, with terrible clothes, go away

but I don't care, I got no dog in the race

So do me a solid, do me again and again

terrible feelings but I got nothing to say

Aw hey its you, I don't forget a face

Naw I'll do it, it's a piece of cake

ah've nothing to hide, I just wanna go home today

oh it'll blow over, everyone makes mistakes

 

 

 

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HeartSongs - 20180625

  • Published in Columns

Welcome to HeartSongs, our regularly scheduled (probably) look at songs and the people who write them. We spoke to Gizmo Varillas about his new song ‘One People’.

“I wrote this song on a Spanish nylon guitar, which I then replaced with an organ Latin rhythm in the recording process. I also used a Brazilian Cuica to give it a pulsating groove throughout the track and the bass is what gives the song a really punch of energy. The verse melodies have a certain African element in them - a communal call and response. There are inherent Cuban influences and rhythms imbedded in these native African grooves as well. It's an example of how two cultures are not so far apart from one another.

History shows us that, as we migrated around the world, we also took the music with us and thus culture and people's expression of it became a shared experience. It still is today, as we continue to evolve our heritage and blend our influences together to create something new. That's what, in my opinion, really connects us. And I think we should celebrate that.

The lyrics of this song are about bringing people closer together. It saddens me to see how both far left and far right groups around the world are becoming popular and how they incite violence to no avail. The way I see it is that hate can only fuel more hate and there is no solution in violence. It's a never ending cycle. It is the innocent people and families stuck in the middle - who get hurt the most. I think it's important to acknowledge the past so we can learn from our mistakes and not let them happen again. This song is a plea to get together.”

Lyrics:

We go on and on

Get together

If not us who will

Who?

 

We're one people

One people

Get together now

 

We're moving on

Now or never

If not us who will

Who?

 

Who?

We're one people

One people

Get together now

 

Gotta give it

Give it a chance

 

Who?

We're one people

One people

Get together now

 

 

 

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