BY GUEST CONTRIBUTOR AUNTIE ASH
Hello everybody! I’m so excited to be here to review this week’s new entries in the Stroud Song Contest. What a fabulous selection! So many moods! Something for everyone, I think!
Let’s dive straight in! First up is a song called Single Mum by Sharon Baker and Mike McSweeney. The opening bars fool me into thinking this is going to be a traditional folk number with Sharon’s lilting vocals over Mike’s guitar, but I soon realise the lyrics (actually written by Mike) are a tale about the ‘Piece of dirt’ ex she kicked out for cheating! Ouch! She hasn’t got a good word to say about him! The staccato guitar gives the song an almost sea-shanty rhythm, and it accentuates her anger and hurt. This woman is done with being taken for a fool! But then, out of nowhere, the chords open up like a sunbeam coming from behind a raincloud, and the melodious, finger-picked chorus is a heart-warming affirmation of family love! Finally I understand what the song is about! It’s about a single mum’s love for her girls.
Next up is Apprehensive Street by Pothole Pixis. This is lovely! Right away I can hear echoes of the 90s Indie scene. Once again I can feel a palpable change of mood as the song progresses. The chords sound oppressive, the lyrics are anxious and delicate. Lines like “ Something unkind Has come over me, Claiming my mind, Removed all the glee” are very relatable. We all feel that icy grip of fear from time to time, but fear not because the chugging guitar is going to keep us on a steady path, and the swelling keyboards lift and support us. By the end of the song, don’t worry, we’re getting back on our feet!
Third on the list is the gorgeous Consequences by Amy Moore. Wow! This is a swirling Country Rock ballad that puts me in mind of Faith Hill or Reba McEntire. While some Country ballads may stray towards cheesier territory, Amy’s background as a girl drummer keeps this song punchy and glorious! It’s a dreamy, denim-clad heartbreaker that likens falling in love to being in the grip of an addiction. We’ve all been there, but rarely has it sounded so beautiful! Multi-instrumentalist Amy is already a seasoned recording artist with one single under her belt, and a brand new EP on the way later this year.
Our penultimate number this week is Breathless by Kuhl. This timeless love song is sure to soothe your cares away as it lulls you into a gentle reverie of that special romance; that one special person. It is both contemporary and nostalgic all at once, and feels like a big long hug from a friend! The reflective, romantic lyrics, and the yearning, luscious harmonies will leave you feeling all warm inside. Kuhl are already working on their third album which should be due for release later this year.
Last but not least this week we have Stupid Boy by Kara Ford. Kara uses her songwriting as therapy, to better understand her feelings, and the lyrics here could be cathartic for anyone who’s come out of an unsatisfying relationship! What a great feeling when you can finally look back and say “I’m over you now” . These measured lyrics are simply sung but stinging! There’s no drama. This isn’t about that break-up that left you reeling and broken. This is about the moment when you finally have perspective and can say “It wasn’t me, it was you! Look what you’ve lost, you fool” Talk about Girl Power!
Thank you to all the lovely SSC team. I’ve really enjoyed going through the new songs this week. Keep those entries coming, Stroudies! I’m excited to hear more!