Saturday, 11 May 2013

Three Girls Want Me Dead

It's very much a twenty-first century phenomenon - the artist who kind of just does his thing for himself without any serious desire to be heard by anyone outside his immediate social circle, but puts the results online simply because it's so easy to do.  It's a chastening thought that in a different age I wouldn't even have become aware that there was this guy in Florida called Steve Knox putting out music under the moniker Three Girls Want Me Dead on something called Soundcloud.  And that would have been a great shame.

For decades there must have been so many unborn musical babies: mostly ugly, I admit, but nonetheless a few that, like Three Girls Want Me Dead, really demand to be heard.  I admit I didn't exactly stumble on him, but was metaphorically shoved in his direction on the word of that other remarkable Florida resident Slideshow Freak.  What I found was an artist with only a couple of followers and only four tunes on his Soundcloud page that turned out to be some of the most remarkable things I've heard this year.

All the songs on there are pretty short, but they're well-judged short as opposed to couldn't-think-of-where-to-go-with-this short, and they've all got the rawness you'd expect from someone essentially just putting his ideas out there, evidently without expecting many people to take notice.  'Fat American' is a mere 28 seconds in length but pretty much says it all on the subject of stateside obesity; the melancholy acoustic strains of 'Home' make up the longest thing on there, at just over two minutes; 'I Used To Be Dead' throws some gorgeous, unrefined 'woo woos' into its 1:14.
It's the amazing 'Brain Transfer' that I've chosen to play in my May Dandelion Radio show: primeval gargles play out a practically indecipherable opening against a backdrop of scattered beats before an organ-led sonic extravaganza that's not a million miles from what John Barry might have produced (if you'd stuck him in a lift, deprived him of food for three days and told him he couldn't come out until he'd produced the most irresistible melody he'd even managed, but on the most rudimentary equipment) takes us to a brilliant, if characteristically understated, finale.

It's true that the pre-internet years probably saved us from some unspeakable horrors.  Had such a fancy innovation been around when my band The Beached Whales were around, for instance, we might well have got around to recording something, and that would have been a mentally scarring experience for anyone involved, including me.  But if it meant a few more artists and bands like this might have got heard by even a few more people, I reckon it'd have been worth the pain.

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