Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Look vs. The Hook



'In my opinion the image of a musician counts on everything. You can have very generic images for certain genres for example pop punk is always looking very American, ¾ sleeve tops with colourful hoodies skinny jeans and vans, where as you look at the new artists coming into the more mainstream pop they could be dressing in things you may see in river island or they could be completely alternative, an example of this could be The 1975 they dress with the style of their music. I often also think the style of music they are producing changes their image, Fall Out Boy or Panic! At the Disco are great examples.’ 
- Chris Wormald, Devon based singer /songwriter
How much of what we listen to is governed by how the band looks? If not subliminally, think about it. Take contemporary Heavenly collective Temples in a glitter splayed T-Rex smog of ringlets. Then remove the heavy weighting on their outer layer and what remains is still a heady melange of neo-psych. Not always the case. I’ve been giving this some thought and have drawn the conclusion from a lot of deliberation peering down lipstick tainted coffee cups on, clenching throbbing ears on the lengthy commute from college that so much, too much of the music that we engage with, irrespective of genre is based on the superficial and artificially manufactured exterior of musicians, which is turn sways significantly who and what we deem to be bona fide exemplars of music. It’s primal, it’s false and it’s morally corrupt.

Take the saccharine soaked, bleached leers of One Direction and irrespective of their cultural and social significance, the mass pumping of mundane lyricism and god-awful X-Factor legacy, hailed as prodigies by throngs of the prepubescent. Now remove it and perceive their music as a solitary construction. That’s what I believe the true essence of musicianship should be established on. The grounds of genuine exemplar works of noteworthy accolade, experimentation, poignancy of lyricism in the face of adversity. A kind of communist approach I suppose, musical equality goddamn it I’m calling for a revolution. No Brand mind, I have a proposition (I’m a little taller and my hair, though unkempt, is far from the mane of secrets).

I’m not saying that the individual eccentricity of appearance is negative, god no. Yet all so often it would appear that much of what is driven in popular culture is peculiarity lacking in substance and concrete depth. I’m talking Miley, I’m talking raging feminists hurling fists at screens when they accidentally flick to MTV. So much of the forsaken popular media culture is reliant on outward looks. And for what? More pedantic sales of humdrum monotony and sell out tours to psychologically warped individuals.
If Miley Cyrus (and I quake as I type its name) dressed still as she did in 2009 would anyone give a shit? If controversiality sells and meaningless unconventionality is the mark of a good album then I’ll be damned. Call me a fool, but my distaste is not superficial.

'I think that image plays a very important part of the music that I listen to because it gives me an identity and a social group to be part of. I often see a photo of a band or artist and make the decision to check out their music because I can deduce from their image that I may be interested in their music. Image can also have an impact on determining genre and so I can see if a band play music in a style that I like just by looking at them’ – Leo Braukmann Pugsley, Devon based Singer/ Songwriter