“MUSIC IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE MUSIC!” a cry heard all too often these days, and with so many prominent artists choosing the easy road. The road filled with trinkets of fame and fortune; you could be forgiven for thinking it was dead. Drowned in a quagmire of mediocrity and buried with the ever-growing list of its dying legends. Music though is not dead; it is just hiding. If you’re willing to look you can find it and if you’re lucky you can catch a rare glimpse as it pops its head briefly into view just above the waves of the mainstream. Take Tash Sultana for example, quite possibly the most talented musician of our generation. Who after so many years busking on the streets of Melbourne, is finally receiving the accolades she deserves.
It is not Tash I am here to talk about today though, I am instead focusing on a talented busker from our own shores. A man known as Cam Cole who’s much awaited (by me at least) debut album ‘I see,’ came out in November. Finally, the YouTube sensations music is available on Bandcamp. It features songs from the set he plays on the streets of London and is recorded in the same raw, untamed fashion his live performance offers. Among the plethora of brilliance this album possesses, is one of my favourites; ‘New Age Blues.’ Like all of Cam’s Songs ‘New Age Blues’ is driven by his unique voice and virtuosic guitar playing. This combination, along with inspired lyrics such as; “Well I guess I can show, that maybe we don’t all have to know. Just like an unborn child doesn’t need to know it’s mother” helps to turn the dirty, unpolished music into the glistening diamond in the preverbal rough it has become.
In truth I feel like it’s shear grittiness. It’s untamed nature and rough around the edges style, are what give this song and many of Cams other songs, their appeal. In a time of overly clean-cut pop stars, with perfectly produced (let’s take the safe road) music, it’s quite refreshing to see someone take a step back. To see them let their talent do the talking and strip music down to its barest form. It’s almost as if he realises that for music to progress; music must first regress.