I’m sure we’ve all got friends who are pretty skilled at letting us know about the current state of their mental health. They’re the ones who post on Facebook when they’re having a down day and are frequently letting us know about every minor challenge that they face. I don’t want to under-appreciate their troubles but today’s song might not be for them.
We’ve also all got friends who don’t want to be a burden, ‘the grin and bear it’ crowd. They drop ever so subtle hints that their mental health might not be quite all there but our ears are not really in tune with what they’re saying. We’re listening to the wrong words or refusing to accept what we hear because things don’t really compute in our head. Chances are that things during lockdown haven’t got any easier for these friends. Today’s song is for them.
Georgia and The Vintage Youth released the track, Colour Blind, at the end of January. Swathed in a soulful rock ‘n’ roll swagger, the influence of Marilyn Monroe looms large throughout. It’s no surprise to discover that Georgia is a massive fan of Marilyn. “Quite a few people have remarked that they look similar!“, I’m told by her PR company. “Georgia has treated the last 12 months in the same way that she feels Marilyn would have. ‘Carpe Diem’. Make every day count and make the most of it.”
Slap bang in the middle of Colour Blind, we get a short spoken word segment from Marilyn. “I’m not just generally happy, if I’m generally anything then I guess I’m generally miserable,“, says Marilyn to deaf ears. The audience laugh it off. They don’t want to believe that their pin-up can be troubled.
“Colour Blind is a ballad about coming to terms with and addressing my own mental health.“, says Georgia about the track. “The chorus is a huge hint, encouraging people to check up on loved ones and notice what their eyes are saying as opposed to just the words they speak.”
I think there’s a real talent emerging here. You might well be swayed when you listen as well. Don’t just listen to ‘Colour Blind’ today though.
After a gloomy week or two weather-wise in this part of Spain, things seem to be turning a corner. There might well be another cold snap before I leave but I’m happy to report that, for now at least, daily temperature highs are peaking in the 20’s (centigrade) and the nights are no longer in low single figures. Without the benefit of central heating that was really very cold indeed.
The sunshine makes me happy. I could do without the stifling, over-bearing heat of the intense Summer months but for the most part you can get a decent dose of vitamin D here without feeling that sticky oppression. Yesterday, I deliberately took a 45 minute lunch break from the day job to sit out on the terrace and chill. I started to read a book, something I’ve not done for a long time. With a pleasant warm heat beating on my brow and a book to transport me to another time I couldn’t have been happier.
Some might think at first glance that Jacob The Horse are also commenting upon happy times in their first release for nearly four years, ‘Sunshine’. It’s certainly a spirited and bouncy number, an energetic punk-pop piece with an accompanying video that’ll probably make you smile. The cheesy, charm of the choreographed dance routines mostly offer good, frantic fun in these dark days.
But scratch beneath the surface and you’ll soon see that ‘Sunshine’ is not the smiley song that it first appears to be. “‘Sunshine’ is the happiest song you’ll ever hear about having a depressive episode.“, offers Aviv from Jacob The Horse by way of explanation. “The depressed mind’s message in this song is strangely fitting for today’s locked down culture: ‘I’m writing down my Netflix info, won’t you come on home, avoid the sunshine.’”
‘Sunshine’ is the first single to be taken from Jacob The Horse’s forthcoming album, College Party Mixtape, Vol 1. Out in March, I’ve had a sneak-preview listen and the LA based band have certainly put something together that’ll be well worth looking out for. Today, though, is all about the sunshine.
I’m sure that we all have friends and family members who mask their underlying sadness by trying to be the life and soul of the party. We all have colleagues who live their lives at manic speed because to slow down would give them time to think about the things they don’t want to. If there’s any ‘message’ to be taken from today’s post (and there doesn’t have to be) perhaps it’s that we should take some time with our friends to see how solid their sunny state is. And that will be time well spent.