Staff Writer Brendan Shanahan is journaling his life through the medium of Phonomancy. Follow his magic with every track released under The Phonogram EP.
I was only a few weeks into a new job, and with my first paycheck, being able to pay for Spotify. While I was busy looking at the soundtracks for FIFA and some of the songs which I already had on my walkman, my mentor lent over and suggested I look up the album ‘Wave’ by Antonio Carlos Jobim. “It’s super smooth” he said.
The cover image on the album was striking – a green coloured sky with a giraffe running on a beach. I loaded up the album and pressed play on the first track, ‘Wave’.
With the first few guitar plucks, I was away.
The flutes and horns come in, before a gentle beat and piano melody. The piano softly picks you up and moves you through the track, like a hostess of a big country house gliding through her estate. The horns are in the background, making the track seem miles high in the air, as the strings reinforce the piano melody. The constant gentle beat never gets in the way, but adds a sense of quiet urgency to the track.
As the song slowly faded out, I was stunned. What was this? How had I not heard anything like this before? I’d find out later that this song belongs to the ‘Bossa Nova’ genre, a relative of samba and jazz that emerged from Brazil in the 1950s and 60s. I had heard some jazz before (Dad is a massive Stan Getz fan), but this was the first time that something sounding like this had penetrated my Britpop, Beatles and TV soundtrack world.
The track was so calming, but at the same time moving forward at a steady pace. If time itself could be fixed into a certain signature, then this would be the ideal pace to move through life at. I suppose what blew me away about this track was the realization that there was more to music than outside my particular bubble. I hadn’t let too much music that was different than what I was already listening to into my world – this track showed me that I should branch out into new genres and artists.
It was this revelation that made me start listening to a wider variety of music, then want to start writing about it, which eventually led to me applying to Mic Drop Music and having space on the website to write you this series.
It has been the starting point for my new journey in music, so not only did it blow my mind with it’s sound, it blew my mind wide open with new experiences and sounds.
Next Time, Track 2: A Song that Takes You Back In Time.