Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New free and legal download from the Stills (majestic and affecting rock from Canada)

"Being Here" - the Stills
     There's a mystery to the majesty of good pop music. Seemingly lacking both surface-level complexity and a weighty philosophical foundation, pop music has always been dismissed by "serious" musicians and critics as insubstantial at best, culturally harmful at worst. What pop's most supercilious critics don't understand, however, is that just because pop isn't "high art" (whatever that really is) doesn't mean it can't, in the right hands (underline that part), be an artistically valid mode of creative expression. Pop music cannot be dismissed simply because it does not measure up to the standards of so-called "serious music" (whether classical or avant-garde); that would be like criticizing a cat for not being a dog.
     And so can an apparently simple composition like "Being Here"--even the title communicates the ultimate in unadorned declarations--deliver something ineffably beautiful and moving in a swift three and a half minutes. You've heard these chords before, and the plain descending melody, centered around four adjacent notes. You've heard the guitars, you've heard the large, anthemic vibe. Whatever this song has can't and won't be "explained" by its constituent parts. There's something in the sound, in the presentation, and maybe in singer Tim Fletcher's big-hearted voice (a voice that brings to mind the late, lamented Stuart Adamson, of the Scottish band Big Country), that rivets the ear, that makes me, in any case, stop, listen, and feel truly--if mysteriously--affected.
     "Being Here" is a song off the Stills' third album, Oceans Will Rise, which will be released on the Arts & Crafts label in August. This is the Montreal quintet's third appearance on Fingertips (check the Master Artist List for details). Thanks to Jonk Music for the lead. MP3 courtesy of the Canadian music magazine Exclaim.

No comments: