Even here in 2019, a song will sometimes, still, arrive with a kind of purity—an individual artist, minus any management or PR apparatus, reaching out, with enough skill to assemble an articulate and easy-to-navigate email, but minus the weight and hype of an all-out media barrage. Sadly, artists who take this DIY path often end up disregarded by current standards—emails ignored, with few social media followers and no Hype Machine love, they exist in a veritable Slough of Despond, 21st-century style. And lord knows not every on-their-own musician is making music worthy of widespread attention. But it can happen, and when it does, I feel the world brighten.
Take this track by a musician who calls himself Son. Based in London, he was born and raised in Belarus, which I only know because I asked him. As of now, not a whole lot of info about the guy is available online, and even if there were, his moniker of choice is all but impossible to Google. But, all the more reason not to concern oneself with anything but the music. And the music is excellent: a swaying ballad with heft and purpose, “Y&M” launches with little fanfare, but takes its time unfolding (note, for instance, the nine-second gap between the first and second lines of the verse). The early cymbal rolls add to the anticipation of something about to happen. Son’s voice has a depth and elasticity that brings Thom Yorke to mind, if the Radiohead front man were content singing an easy-going melody these days. And while “Y&M” may not operate on a five-star level across the board—I’m not sure, for instance, we need that long second of absolute dead air at 2:44—the fact that this thing was written, produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by this anonymous Londoner is pretty stunning. And, I have to say, I’m kind of okay with the break in the music after all given that it is followed by a one-minute guitar solo of serious thought and power.
“Y&M”—short for “you and me,” as repeated in the chorus—was released in January. Thanks to the artist for the MP3. If you want to support him, you can buy the track on Bandcamp.