A new fad is sweeping America. It is called Skrillex. The stage name of a slight music producer who formerly fronted an Emo band. He has finally succeeded in a massive way of introducing Garage and Dub step to the American consumer. He is an enormous hit. Even selling out shows in my tiny college town. I can't even imagine how he has accomplished this.
I first became aware of Garage and Dub-step when I was in the UK over 6 years ago. It was nothing special at the time, simply a style of music which a certain portion of the population listened to. It was dance music. it was music you blasted out of your 10,000$ system from the back of a 8000$ Peugeot while it was idling in a parking deck.
Needless to say I was not able to get tickets to see the Skrillex Cell when they perform in Athens at the newly rebuilt Georgia Theater. It's something I truly regret missing out on. I'm not sure why I like his sound quite so much as I do, but it motivates me when plenty of other noise doesn't do anything but put me to sleep.
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum are a trio of outfits that I've been listening to a lot this year is John T. Pearson. He fills his folksy-country songs with pain I couldn't imagine even if I were into cutting. His music reaches into your very soul and tugs at strings and ligaments you were not aware you possessed. Following in the footsteps of Bon Iver he brings even more feeling and emotion to his even lengthier songs. No stadium filling noise here, but simple and heartfelt lyrics which cut like paper and sting like lemon every time.
Between Bon Iver and Josh T. Pearson I have nearly had to go back to taking my anti-psychotics. All the delusions I built to protect myself from the world are stripped back by their bluesy riffs and soulful vocals. Following current trends in my life, I can't help but find the lyrics of these neo-folk acts important. Thankfully Florence & The machine are there to give me a bit of upbeat when I get depressed. Her driving vocals and outrageous costumes (including a reference to Clan of the Cave Bear) help inoculate me to the pain of the other groups.
Whether you enjoy or hate these bands is some what immaterial to me. I'm a firm believer in the idea that whatever you are feeling at the time you first hear a song is as important as the ideas behind the song itself. After all, who really cares what the creator thinks.. You are the important and active participant in the process. The creator of the song has long since finished their portion of the social contract in the process of recording the music. You however, the listener, are the active party.
Josh T. Pearson.
Florence & The Machine.