Friday 21 December 2018

VIDEO PREMIERE: The Cooling Pearls - 'Welsh Funeral'

I'm always slightly overwhelmed when an artist asks me to premiere something for them - it's an honour that any musician should want my little blog to be the first place that their fans can listen to their new music or see their new video. It's a small but growing list, so thanks to Little Brother Eli, Maiians, Hazey Jane, The Cooling Pearls and PĂȘtr AleksĂ€nder for endowing me so much trust over the last couple of years - here's to more features of this kind in 2019! For now, I'm rounding off 2019 with one last premiere, as Oxford's The Cooling Pearls are back for more with the video for their new (but actually, quite old) tune Welsh Funeral, filmed and edited by friend of the band, film-maker Gem de Silva 

The track is taken from the band's second album The Red Laugh which was released back in September, over eight years after their debut record. My favourite element of the track is that parts of the piano and violin you hear in the recording have been reversed, creating quite an eery soundscape. It's almost as if something is missing, or isn't quite right, but it's difficult to put your finger on it, which is pretty fitting for the track. The closing track and only piano-led tune of the record, it's a beautiful and incredibly personal track for vocalist and songwriter Aiden Canaday, so it feels only right to introduce the video with Aiden's own words... 

"The song is an old one that I wrote in 2007 after my Tadcu (Welsh for Grandad!) passed away. He was one of my best friends and I guess the first person close to me to die. I was brought up in South Wales surrounded by a loving, close family and since then the song has grown to reflect upon the passing of my mum and uncle. The lyrics are just how I feel about the whole situation I suppose - we are born, we all feel different emotions in between, we can see and believe what we want about it all and then we die.

Everyone grieves in different ways and I guess this song is part of the process. Playing it live every so often is part of that too and then in a way it never goes away but keeps the people involved close to me and in my thoughts. I suppose that's what I've tried to further with the video as well. Some of the lyrics - 'your clothes are on my back and your words are on my soul' - literally reflect that I have always worn some of my Tadcu's clothes (the jumper in the video for instance) and keep hold of loved one's belongings as a memento and it keeps them close to me. 

[Gem & I] both had ideas and locations in mind and tried to make something to reflect the emotions of the song without being too cheesy. We filmed the video in South Wales, initially on the beaches in Porthcawl and Port Talbot. To reflect the warped and sparse nature of the song Gem wanted it to be very bleached out in parts and so we were lucky with the weather that day. We filmed the piano parts in my mum's old front room on her piano with that portrait of her - she was a songwriter and my brother and I recorded her last ever recording right there in May 2015, so it's all linked in some way. We then went up into the hills around Ammanford where we spent a lot of time together as a family and where my mum and uncle's ashes were released - it's very bleak and beautiful up there and I always thought it would work well with imagery for Welsh Funeral.

It's all a homage to the people I love and miss - this song just keeps me thinking about them and thus they're still close in some way.

The rest of the album, although pretty melancholy, has multiple harmonies, layers of guitar, drums (our first album had no drums!), bass and many other extra musical finds which you can get lost in. People usually release tracks that capture the album, but with this I think this song has been with me so long and is very personal, it'd be nice to give it to others to delve in to."

Watch the video for Welsh Funeral below, listen to a brand new remix of the track by Message To Bears here and be sure to grab your copy of The Red Laugh on Bandcamp here.

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