His name is Hugo Bladel, a Tasmanian songwriter who now calls Melbourne home; he’s been on stages at Falls, Party in the Paddock and more over the last 12 months, and was also the recipient of the Nick Balacombe Grant along with A. Swayze and The Ghosts – a great opportunity for local artists to further their recording careers in 2018.
A Dream Songbook with Hugo Bladel
Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd
It is the perfect pop song. The bass line is so simple yet driving and catchy as well as the lyrics being memorable and well crafted. The structure of the verse and pre-chorus into the chorus flows so well and it carries the momentum through the whole song. Small elements are added as the song progresses that really keep the listener interested. I love the production elements such as the back-up singing and the foundational groove of the Bass line dances around the kick drum in an extremely funky way.
Hearts On Fire – Passenger
I used to perform this song as a busker before it was well known and many people would ask me if I wrote it. “I wish” was my answer and i’d tell them it was written by Passenger. I used to listen to it on repeat on YouTube and I couldn’t go past the live version he recorded as a duo with Ed Sheeran, Mike used to perform in Salamanca Market (where I started performing) before he was big and he inspired me and my music. The lyrics are some of the simplest i’ve heard but also the most effective and they compliment Passenger’s classic finger-picking style beautifully.
Alcoholic Author – Jehst
One of the most amazing pieces of poetry i’ve ever heard in terms of metaphor and lyrical craft. As a hip-hop track the production catches the meaningful nature of the lyrics and it works in harmony to create a masterful piece of rhythm and poetry. Here is my favourite line from the song: “Fascinated by the fire like a child trying to touch the flame, I seek change like a busker, but things stay much the same. Cut the weather vein, I hear the blood water tapping out the lord’s morse code on my window pane.”
I’ll Be Gone – Tom Waits
Tom Waits is one of my favourite writers and his vocal delivery is unconventional but brilliant at the same time. His raspy tones and croaky voice make for a confronting listen at first but you quickly warm to his character and sound. The use of all kinds of objects (not just musical instruments) is really cool and something that Tom has utilized through his career. ‘I’ll Be Gone’ makes me imagine the life of a pirate from 100’s of years ago. I also love the use of the rooster’s ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’ at the start haha!
Only Love – Ben Howard
I am a huge Ben Howard fan. I first came across him when I watched his live rendition of ‘Only Love’ outside the Louvre on YouTube – it drew me in straight away. The open tuning with the drop C is very rare as it’s so low but he makes it work really nicely by putting a Capo on the 4th Fret. The call and response nature of the verses is a really cool idea and it works perfectly with the simple lyrics. The chorus is more understated than the verses which is nice structurally because often songs go for big loud chorus’ – but Ben Howard has created a beautiful oasis of calm but beautiful guitar and voice working in harmony.