Friday 24 February 2023

Silent Sigh

Trust Me #50
Silent Sigh by Badly Drawn Boy

Badly Drawn Boy is playing Saint Lukes in Glasgow next month (Wednesday 29th March) as part of a tour to celebrate 25-years of releasing music.

I've really enjoyed revisiting his back catalogue ahead of the show and I'll aim to blog on his brilliantly eclectic debut Bewilderbeast, a real lofi masterpiece, and the lush melodic follow up About A Boy in the future. They are two albums I adore.

But in the meantime I thought I'd write about Silent Sigh, the lead single lifted from About A Boy

Silent Sigh was a big song for me and my girlfriend (now wife) back in 2002 when it came out. We both bought Damon's first two albums, so regardless of who's flat we were in, his music really soundtracked the first year or so of our relationship. I've still got a compilation CD I made for Lynn around this time with Silent Sigh on it.

Melodies pour effortlessly out of Silent Sigh; in the instrumentation and in Damon Gough's gorgeous voice. I find it such a soothing song to listen to.

I've often half joked that you could give Damon Gough an elastic band and he'd get a tune out of it. Actually no joke, I'd love to hear what he could do!

Badly Drawn Boy didn't only have melodies pouring out of him, he was super prolific, releasing a trilogy of EP's through 1997-1998 and then some singles that led towards the release of Bewilderbeast on XL/Twisted Nerve in 2000.

I vaguely remember an NME/Melody Maker feature from around this time where people turned up to see a live performance and Gough had an old TV with videos of him playing. He was always different, staying clear of the hype. 

Gough then released two albums in 2002. The About A Boy soundtrack and Have You Fed The Fish?  There have been a further 6 since then.

Live, Badly Drawn Boy was utterly brilliant. The first time I caught him was at the QMU where he came on stage swigging from a bottle of Jack Daniels, proceeding to get wrecked, climbing on top of amps one moment, playing beautifully tender acoustic or piano ballads the next. On one song he played the top part of the piano while a band member played the bottom. I couldn't take my eyes off him.

Second time, at the Barrowland, he was even more wrecked and had to be taken offstage for some strong coffee to try and get him to  sober up. A photo of his kid was projected on to a big screen to help. I think he was really struggling being on tour and away from his family. 

However he was brilliant. My sister Carla was at this show with me and caught his sweaty towel when he threw it in the crowd at the end. She left it in the bathroom when we got home and our Mum used it the next morning. She was pretty disgusted when she found it it was Badly Drawn Boy's used towel from the Barrowland! Carla and I still laugh at this story. ;-)

But back to Silent Sigh. A warm melodic piano riff leads to beats, Damon singing ooohh aaahh and then a tumbling vocal melody comes in.

Come see what we all talk about

People moving to the moon

Silent Sigh never feels rushed, although the aforementioned tumbling vocal melody does have a sense of urgency to it, as it if it just spilling out of Gough. The pace is perfect, the piano riff, beats, bass and vocal melody are beautifully layered. The first verse is repeated with the introduction of backing vocals to harmonise with Damon, who then just keeps it going, sounding like he is utterly in the zone, lost in the melody, groove and music. 

I can listen to Silent Sigh on repeat, lost in the melodies and its beauty. I could listen to the piano melody for hours on end, it's so warm and gorgeous. And Damon's voice is heartwarming. Genius. 

Silent Sigh video

Silent Sigh live on Later with Jools

Silent Sigh live at T in the Park

A list of all previous songs I've blogged about in my Trust Me feature are listed below, along with links to each blog. Silent Sigh join them.

I've also collated them all into a playlist on Spotify that you can find by searching for Everything Flows - Trust Me , or you can CLICK HERE

Previous Trust Me blogs

1. Something On Your Mind by Karen Dalton
1A. Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells
2. I Am, I Said  by Neil Diamond
3. Where's The Playground Susie?   by Glen Campbell
4. If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lighfoot
5. Gimme Some Truth by John Lennon
6. Gone With The Wind Is My Love by Rita and the Tiaras
7. In The Year 2525 by Zager and Evans
8. The Music Box by Ruth Copeland
9. The Ship Song by Nick Cave
10. Sometimes by James
11. I Walk The Earth by King Biscuit Time
12. Didn't Know What I Was In For by Better Oblivion Community Centre
13. When My Boy Walks Down The Street by The Magnetic Fields
14. The Man Don't Give A F**k by Super Furry Animals
15. All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun by Jeff Buckley and Liz Fraser
16. Are You Lookin' by The Tymes
17. A Real Hero by College & Electric Youth
18. Feelings Gone by Callum Easter
19. Sunday Morning by The Velvet Underground
20. Did I Say by Teenage Fanclub
21. Don't Look Back by Teenage Fanclub
23. Belfast by Orbital
24. Clouds by The Jayhawks
25. Dreaming Of You by The Coral
26. Everlasting Love by Love Affair
27. Walk Away Renee by The Left Banke
28. Teenage Kicks by The Undertones
29. Shaky Ground by Sneeze
29. Rill Rill by Sleigh Bells
30. I Can Feel Your Love by Felice Taylor
31. The State We're In by The Chemical Brothers w/ Beth Orton
32. Sunshine After The Rain by Ellie Greenwich
33. Losing My Edge by LCD Soundsystem
34. Mondo 77 by Looper
35. Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton
36. Rat Trap by The Boomtown Rats
37. How High by The Charlatans
38. I Can't Let Go by Evie Sands
39. Pop Song 89 by R.E.M.
40. Summertime Clothes by Animal Collective
41. There She Goes by The Las
42. We're Going To Be Friends by White Stripes
43. Autumn Sweater by Yo La Tengo
44. Sister Rena by Lomond Campbell
45. Revolution by The Beatles
46. Lazarus by The Boo Radleys
47. Wrote For Luck by Happy Mondays
48. American Trilogy by The Delgados
49. Loser by Beck 

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