Kind of Sappho

impressions and musings on music

(As we were provided by the artist/s with the highest resolution 24 bit/48 khz wav masters of the songs for Fight to the Death, we are playing them through the highest version of our upstairs home stereo system). The words that follow is merely our impressionistic interpretation of events)

Fight to the Death is a narrative in multiple voices of a planet trying to save itself

Sappho’s Fight to the Death harkens the cold metallic version of the BBC version of the days of future past meets now tale as opposed to a certain Tom Cruise manic run for your life and an annoying screaming Elle Fanning,

As one knows this is La La Land territory with song and dance threatening to break out any moment. This spacey soap opera entertainingly and with amusing lyrics covers so many dancey styles of music ranging from the get-go with techno dance tracks to South American jazz guitar samba leading to the finale rave on.all encompassed under Sappho’s soaring voice. Each stage of this space opera musical has its own backstory replete with music. We did say La La Land or the false nostalgia for the day the earth stood still one day?

After an overture of the Fight to the Death theme for the night, the chanteuse with a lively stratospheric voice spells out the chain of events. In the first song of sci-fi internet musical “Fight to the Death”, in which a lonely scientist seeks a connection to something greater, the scientist looks to the skies above for a sign of life out there in the West Side Story somewhere universe. Be careful of what you wish for!

a nightmarish extraterrestrial hears radio signals emanating from Earth, and begins their journey towards the unsuspecting planet

I got your distress call
Might just be your downfall, baby

Distress Call in a musical role reversal where after the protagonist sends out the siren call signal and in counterpoint it is the receiver of message who interprets it as a distress call and relishes what is to come. The music instead of being filled with frenzy and panic is laidback, reflects the calm confidence and menace of the alien eyeing its target. Lizard Person has the hero eyeing those eyes – the truth is out there with a X-Files paranoia as they face the enemy among them taking over their world. By the countdown for the final showdown of the titular song, Fight to the Death has hero and foe as counterparts in a strummed guitar jazz samba duel duo off that would fit inside an Ennio Morricone score, one could imagine the crack of the whip.. The finale of the opera goes Out With A Bang. a fabulous techno rave ending. Yet the conclusion is nebulous, as to who wins with one left in a state of wonder or a Matrix dreamscape. We have met the enemy and all that jazz.

(The tale and more re-mixed tracks can be fully obtained via the sappho.music bandcamp site !)


Kind of everything is fine : One Question with Skye Wallace

One Question
Skye Wallace

Feel free to ignore the premise. Taylor Swift speaks in common language, she will use similes and metaphors her words tend to speak in the venacular (but I come back stronger than a 90s trend) or directly. You both speak in folklore or evermore with your stories are either more couched in vivid imagery or the clever and fun. Taylor is more concise whereas Skye Wallace conjures more poetic sophistication? Upfront and simplistic, veiled and sophisticated? speak in the vernacular or in classic dreamy imagory?  Is your approach with lyricism in songwriting tailored to observational or the conjectural abstract?

This is my pre-ramble to the one question to Skye Wallace.

I have been playing Norah Jones Come Away with Me along with the likes of Getz / Gilberto (which gave the world The Girl From Ipanema and Corcovado Quiet Nights and Quiet Stars) and Frank Sinatra Songs for Swingin’ Lovers. Their lyricists which include themselves evoke more romanticism in a few phrases and Frank can pack more volume in a swinging line than Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran. Again with Taylor Swift, she self-admittedly is her own elephant in the room. She can bring in her own army of musical support along the lines of The National or Bon Iver. I have always been drawn to the adrenaline rush either live or on record or disc of earlier Skye’s songs on the first albums with that mystique of Blood Moon or MeanSong 2 or Dead Things. And you cannot ignore the literal wallop of Skye Wallace album on Swing Batter or Death of Me or There is a Wall or Body Lights the Way. So here comes the question.

(Once again feel free to ignore the premise of the question or the question.)

SKYE WALLACE: Good question. I think there’s a lot of merit to both ways of writing. My way of more veiled poeticism has been both something that people really love and something that I’ve received criticism about, especially with desires of entering into the radio world. I’ve had people tell me that songs on the radio these days just say what they mean and that I should be more literal, but the more I tried, the more I felt that I strayed from my own spirit of writing. I’m down to try new things and I even wrote a bunch of more literal songs that I love, but I do also think there’s absolutely a place for more poetic, less-literal lyricism. I think it’s impossible to align yourself with trends and “what’s on the radio” anyway; a losing battle. As soon as you emulate a trend, it will inevitably have changed. All you can do, in my opinion, is be yourself and do your thing in a way that you care about and the rest shines through.