Trust Me #50
Silent Sigh by Badly Drawn Boy
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.
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