A Song for the End of Summer

It’s amazing, what can be done in a bedroom these days. Musically, I mean.

But first, meet Tom Humphries, from the UK. Apparently Humphries is a chef now, but before that played in several bands. I think, perhaps he should get back to it.

Listen to Out There Somewhere and let me know if you agree, Tom Humphries should be Out There Somewhere: on a stage, in a coffee shop, in a club.

It’s pouring rain here in New Jersey and the sky is white. Maybe it was the same in Sheffield when Tom Humphries wrote Out There Somewhere. Even with the upbeat acoustic guitar that reminds me of John Mayer, and the hint of Latin rhythm that provides a sense of warmth, there’s something bleak about Out There Somewhere. Something in Tom Humphries voice that is slightly empty—in a good way. It’s the same starkness that I’ve heard in Van Morrison’s voice, in Joseph Arthur’s. It’s like what I feel now, at the end of Summer.

The sweet background vocals from Andrew Jameson on Out There Somewhere provide another bit of beauty, as well as a nice foil for Humphries’ bare voice.

Now, I know you’re still wondering about the bedroom (caught you) so here you go: Tom Sheffield in a bedroom recording a song about his father. It’s hard to believe just how good the sound quality is. It’s also hard to believe that Humphries wrote the song Father just before he recorded it. It’s lovely and real, and if you’ve ever tried to write about a parent or a family member without the piece collapsing under the weight of sentimentality, then you know how tough it is.

I was blank, a blank slate
You can draw, decide my fate
Follow you round, in your wake

I been off the tracks, and I have steered
Away from love, floods of tears
But all the time, you’ve been here

I told my father I can grow
He said my boy, just stay close

So I say, what do you know
And I say can you show me
How to be, a better man than me

Nowadays, I feel strong
I need to thank you, you’ve helped me along
The twisted path, I’ve been on

Time…Flows…
You’ve seen me change, you’ve seen me curse
When things get tough, I come to you first

I told my father, you take care
Whenever I need you, you are there

So I say, What do you know
And I say can you show me
How to be, a better man than me

Chill

That’s exactly what I need to do today. Chill. I need to accept that I can’t do twenty things at once, I especially can’t write twenty things at once, or even two. Maybe you’re feeling a little overwhelmed as well, it is Monday after all. If that’s the case—or even if it’s not—take five minutes and listen to E Sirene Cantanu Chants de Sirenes Gesang der Meerjungfrauen by music designer Galaxia Tuani, from Porto, France.

Translated, E Sirene Cantanu Chants de Sirenes Gesang der Meerjungfrauen means A Siren Singing Songs of the Mermaids. That pretty much makes E Sirene Cantanu Chants de Sirenes Gesang der Meerjungfrauen the perfect piece to post for this blog’s birthday, which was June 1st. I really did mean to write something for the true one year anniversary of Sirenstories, but life is rich, and I obviously didn’t get around to it. So today, please eat a cupcake and say Happy Birthday Sirenstories! And THANK YOU to all the amazing musicians who’ve made the year better with their music. Indie forever.

PS Galaxia Tuani says the source of her inspiration and her muse is the island of Corsica. Mmm. I’d love to go there and chill . . . anyone?

A Siren Who Does Yoga

Go ahead. Give yourself a few minutes to stretch. Or just give yourself a few minutes. Let go of your cynicism and surrender to Freedom, track 6 of the CD, Yoji Ananda and the Inquisitive Cobra from New Jersey artist Yoji Ananda.

Freedom is a yoga pop song which includes several different Sanskrit and Gurmukhi mantras. The melody is so full of yearning that if you give in to the song, especially just after minute two, when the chorus comes in for the second time, with harmony, you’ll want to listen to it over and over.

Yoji Ananda and the Inquisitive Cobra is a CD for anyone, but yoga instructors and practitioners especially will love the diverse mix of styles used to create this collection of lovely and mysterious songs.

Yoji Ananda and the Inquisitive Cobra is a great CD to practice yoga to. Yoji Ananda has a beautiful voice and plays 12-string guitar. She also does drum programming and plays keys on the CD which features her brother John Navarra—The Inquisitive Cobra—on clay pot, darabouka, and konnakol vocals. Other talented musicians play on Yoji Ananda and the Inquisitive Cobra and I especially enjoyed Chris Finnegan’s uilleann pipes.

So go ahead. Unroll your yoga mat, if you don’t have one just lie on the floor. Breathe deeply, and listen to your body. What kind of movement would your body enjoy? Don’t tell your body what to do, just listen and allow your physical body to reveal what it wants, how it feels. Check in with your emotions. Accept how you feel without judgement or criticism. Allow yourself to be exactly as you are. Be aware of any pulsing in the body, or tingling sensations. Stretch. Breathe. Make a sound.

Stretch. Breathe. Accept. Relax. And tell everyone about Freedom.

PS Click on Yoji Ananda‘s pic and you’ll wind up at her fb page where you may learn some surprising things about her . . ..

Have a beautiful day, and remember to breathe.