Spring 2020 will be remembered as the time that the world started to shut down, life as we knew it came to a halt. We all slowed down, stayed at home and did everything we could to stay safe. For the majority of us there will come a time when we pull through the current crisis and take time to remember those who sadly weren’t so lucky. When we do get to that time I am sure we will see beyond the crisis and hopefully remember happy moments from this time. Getting to spend more time with families, not rushing here there and everywhere, seeing our children grow and flourish, having more Amazon deliveries than you thought possible, getting ridiculously excited when you managed to book an online shopping delivery slot. Spending more time reading, listening to music, being creative and in my case rediscovering my love for writing.
I certainly won’t be the only one who has used music as a source of comfort during this time. Music has always been there with me through every step of my life however, since the world went into shut down, music has seemed even more poignant and relevant than ever. There are three albums in particular that have been on heavy rotation since the end of March and have provided me with that sense of hope and inspiration that you can only experience whilst you immerse yourself in the sonic brilliance of music.
The third album from Georgia Ruth, ‘Mai’, was released on Bubblewrap Records at the perfect moment, for the world to start healing. ‘Mai’ is a wonderful record that has the sound of new starts running throughout. If you allow this album to be the soundtrack whilst sitting in your garden or out on your daily walk you will look all around you and notice trees, and flowers coming back to life. You will notice things that you may have otherwise missed. From beginning to end this album is an abundance of lush, atmospheric sounds that brighten up the world and will deserve to be remembered as one of the records that allowed us to make sense of what was going on around us and believe that the world will one day heal.
Matthew Frederick of Climbing Trees fame released his latest album ‘Fragments’ on Staylittle Music at the beginning of April. As with Georgia this was another record that has filled my home with so much happiness and joy for which we will always be grateful. Throughout the ten songs we are treated to heart warming melodies, a piano sound that will make you stop and listen with a great deal of intent. There are so many pop moments on the album including ‘Laura Jones’. There have been many discussions whilst having tea in the Taylor household asking who is Laura Jones and whatever did happen to her. My seven year old is desperate to know, what happened to Laura. ‘Pink Blossom Snow’ is enough evidence to debate with anyone who is interested as to how great a singer/songwriter Matthew Frederick is.
‘Joy’ is the latest release from Seazoo, this came out the same week as ‘Fragments’ and has also rarely left my stereo over the last two months. This is such an uplifting and, as the album suggests, joyful pop album. The album will result in you smiling, singing, dancing, hugging those around you and there really will be nothing you can do to stop the joyful sensation that takes over you whilst this record is playing. We all need moments when we can forget the world around us, pop music has always been there in my life to serve as that purpose and what better way can there be to shut off from the 24 hour news cycle than allowing yourself to believe in the power of pop music and for that we will always be thankful to Seazoo.
Georgia Ruth, Matthew Frederick and Seazoo, whether you realise it or not, have all made a big difference in my little corner of the world. You have given us albums to cherish and fall in love with over and over again.
All the above artists like so many at the moment have had to cancel gigs, have been unable to get on the road and promote these albums in the usual way. Matthew Frederick and Georgia Ruth have both taken part in online gigs, if you are in a position where you can show your support for these artists please head along to their bandcamp pages, purchase the albums or merch that they have available.