That’s when I first listened to Goddess of the Seasons. Some of you may be familiar with that time of day, others not. I know I’ve probably raised multiple questions, not least of which, what the hell am I doing up at that time and do my neighbours’ appreciate my musical taste?
It’s not a promising time to listen to new music and I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant at first (first thought: was that title a bit clunky?) but as Goddess unfurled something tugged at me and surrender quickly followed, the magic of music strikes once again. It probably says a lot about our current reality that I’m trying not to overuse words like warmth and reassurance. But sometimes you can’t deny your (or our for that matter) circumstances and needs. FM Towns (aka Ed Ling) kindly provide both in generous abundance.
Ed uses a spare lyricism layering suburban ennui with imagery universal to many and certainly not uniquely English, full of conflicting feelings of nostalgia, innocence and regret. So we are definitely dealing with an old favourite: melancholy distilled to its glorious essence. Diving deep into seas swum by many of the greats, from the Smiths to Pet Shop Boys. Life’s a drama after all, even at its most crushingly mundane.
It’s immediately clear the ghosts of childhood hover over Goddess of the Seasons, hazy memories and indelible feelings are explored and maybe partially reconciled, at least for now. I’ve certainly been, maybe even lived, here;
"Boxes in a row / Broken Roads / Going nowhere"
Goddess of the Season flies by in two minutes fifty-six seconds, like a vintage Smiths’ b side, the sort that in the old days would make you catch your breath at such beauty being tucked away out of sight rather than in pole position, we were spoiled rotten back then. I won’t get too bogged down in genre analysis, except to say it’s undeniably dreamy and unashamedly poppy so much so that I was whistling it round the house. I can pay no higher compliment on that score, just be grateful you didn’t hear me…
The Beach Boys are hashtagged and you may reasonably arch an eyebrow and say, ‘that’s a stretch’ and yet no, there is a link to the deeply comforting luminous melancholy at the heart of mid period Beach Boys’ songs such as Do it Again and Trader, we’re not talking fun in the sun, more reflection at twilight. Many artists define themselves against others in ways that are more wish fulfilment than reality but I get it here.
Goddess of the Season: a song that survived the 6.04 AM test, next time I’ll be kinder to FM Towns in my choice of listening time.
In a word: lovely. Still not keen on that title though…