Moontwin – Waiting For Fall

I’m almost asleep. I can feel myself dozing off into dreamland. A game of cricket that I played in 2008 comes to mind; it was windy and icy then, certainly not the summer weather that one associates with the sport. With no obvious logic, I’m now an extra in the cast of the film ‘Titanic’. I’ve never actually seen the film but here I am appearing in my very own version. Icebergs ahoy! As I look out to see the white mass in the distance, it becomes a gigantic Christmas cake, the icing crisp, the decoration beautiful and intricate, much like my late Nan used to make. Red ribbons, green garnish. Deep breath. Sleep.

Moontwin’s ‘Waiting For Fall’ also “explores the twilight world that exists between dreamstate and waking“, according to their press release. “A fluid, shape-shifting space where conversations, random moments and thoughts can sneak into our sub-conscious, often revealing new meaning and unexpected significance..

I’ve never really paid close attention those random thoughts I have on the edge of sleep. Perhaps I closed my mind to them because I thought that I was a bit strange for imagining such things as cricket, icebergs and Christmas cakes. I’m glad I’m not the only one. 

The Moontwin duo, Maple Bee (Melanie) and Zac live 1700 miles apart, one in Bulgaria and the other in the UK. I ask them how such remote working can work. “For Moontwin it’s pretty much normal for us….”, they say. “We have worked and hung out together online for the last 4 years! – so where ‘screen life’ and socialising online has recently become the norm for the larger population it’s business as usual for us. We did manage to meet up in Plovdiv, Bulgaria just before the Covid-19 situation took serious hold which was amazing…we were supposed to be touring the UK at the end of last year…obviously that didn’t happen but we are keeping busy working on the new record and making videos to go with each release we put out.

If those releases are as grand as ‘Waiting For Fall’ then Moontwin have a fan in Sonic Breakfast. Always a sucker for a bit of spoken word verse, this tune has it in bucketloads before a wispy, ethereal and dare I say it, dreamy chorus chimes in. 

Excuse me whilst I grab twenty minutes more sleep before Monday kicks in? 

 

Megan Henwood – Hello/Goodbye

I’m coming home. I’ve done my time. But I suspect that nobody will be tying a yellow ribbon around an ole oak tree for me. And the ‘time’ that I’ve done isn’t in the prison that Tony Orlando & Dawn sang about in the classic song (honestly). My flight leaves Spain for the UK on Sunday. 

I’ve had a wonderful stay out here. I had no idea when I flew out in July that the stars would align and that I’d be able to spend three quarters of a year with peacocks, cockerels and the assorted wildlife of Alicante. I know I’ve been very lucky. And I know that, when the time is right, I can return. 

For now, I need to stay positive and move on. There will undoubtedly be good things about being back in the UK. I’ll embrace the change and get on with living my life there. A chapter has finished but the book ain’t done. 

 

It’s no surprise that I’m drawn to Megan Henwood’s latest release, Hello/Goodbye, at this time. It’s a song that’s all about upheaval and change. Written during an extended labour period and the birth of Megan’s first child, it’s fair to say that her life change is likely to have been a fair bit more painful and significant than my minor travel woes. “It’s an ode to my past life as I am beckoning in a new one – like stepping through a portal”, says Megan in the press release. 

Song wise, it’s all that you might expect from a former BBC Folk Award winner. The slight husk of Megan’s vocal alluringly wraps itself around the words; a guitar line chugs forward sounding like a train leaving a station to destinations unknown; and when the beat kicks in, it has a laidback, almost trip-hop feel. It all joins together in a thing of understated beauty.

“For you I lose myself, welcome and farewell. Meet me on the other side – hello and goodbye.”

Bladderwrack – Gammon

We need to talk about Brexit. I’m not going to mince my words here so if you have any sympathy for the clusterfuck that is the UK’s leaving of the European Union, you’d best stop reading now. Yes, that’s it, bounce off on your trotters. You are not welcome here. 

(Oh, that felt good). 

Insanely, you still bump into some supporters of Brexit here in Spain. There is just over a month to go until the transition period is over and we have left. Blind as bats, these advocates still drive cars with British number plates. They tell me that it’s not going to be so bad when it all comes into force. “the Spanish can’t live without me”, says the  Brit at the bar who seems to have no discernible purpose at all.

Can you tell that I’m angry? Just in case you can’t I’ll reinforce it by saying that I’m fucking angry. Over and over again until it hurts. Brexit messes up my ability to be here in Spain for any real length of time. It messes up my son’s ability to work here for any real length of time. For fucks sake, the basic foods are going to be in short supply, of shit quality and more expensive back home. “Ah, you’re just scaremongering – no pain, no gain”, says the man at the bar, proud of his invention in making up a little rhyme to emphasise his fuckwittery. 

Nobody has ever been able to give me one good reason  for Brexit.I feel that I have much more in common with the people here than I do with the arduous oiks back home who grunt at me monosyllabically when I suggest this is going to be a disaster of the highest order.

And today’s tune from Bladderwrack is on my side. It’s a perfect accompaniment to letting off steam. This two piece from Penge have delivered a gnarly piece of punk taking aim at the ‘Gammon’ across the British Isles. In a press release that made me laugh out loud, they mention that the notion of ‘Gammon’ has been around since the time of Dickens before calling on the Urban Dictionary for a definition. 

“A term used to describe a particular type of Brexit-supporting, Europhobic voter whose meat-faced complexion suggests they are perilously close to a stroke”, they say and you can’t say fairer than that.

Yes, it’s not placatory; it’s not unifying and it would probably help if we all just sat around a giant table and ironed out our differences. But, for now let me delight in a song that opens with the line –

I am on holiday, The Costa Del Sol, It used to be nice here, Until the Spanish took control.

promise to post pop music tomorrow.