People thing doing nothing is easy. Let me tell you it isn’t. It takes practice, sometimes years to perfect maximizing the nothing, and minimizing the thing. I spent three years at university doing such a thing, until save from the cafe across the road (literally) and the pub round the corner, all I needed was a take-away menu, a TV remote and the house Sega Mastersystem, and I came close to mastering the noble art.
Then I went to a different college. It was work all day, prepare all night. The nothing withdrawals I suffered were terrible and debilitating. Being cooped up in lecture rooms all day, always with something to do brought me out in hives, sweats and other unpleasant things. Salvation came when we started to get infrequent library sessions, for ‘planning’ and ‘writing essays’ and similar horrors. Here was where I discovered two things that up to that point had escaped me. One was a film, The Shining (there was a film studies course on campus) which I played on repeat, and the other was ‘A computer/The Internet’, and I found that, much like Keith Chegwin (I realise this might not translate that well to our international readers) hiding bottles down the back of his Sofa and the like to hide his alcohol consumption, I could look busy, but not actually be doing nothing at all. And so a whole new world (of nothing) opened up to me.
There are some people who do use computers to a much more creative and productive effect. These people include vocalist Emma Panas from London and Keyboardist/Producer Duncan McDougall from Glasgow. Collectively known as Paper Crows, the pair met at music college in Kilburn and instead of wasting time watching The Shining and what have you, they used computers (amongst other things admittedly) to start making beautiful, serene electronic based music.
3 Songs from Paper Crows
With an official release on the horizon, the band have started streaming three tracks online to wet the appetite. Pieces of Yourself immediately showcases the duo’s pop credibility with a piano led catchy affair, which is lyrically emotive, yet has this cool electronic sheen about it. Homebound shows the pair can make warm, almost homely (yeah, obvious I suppose) music as well ‘call me the eye of the storm’ sings Panas, as the track builds, never far enough for those faux emotional climaxes, never settling for being bland – it’s, well…..lovely. Changing Colours is the third track, starting out like its one of those Ibiza come down anthems, it sidesteps the obvious straight into a electro-pop-singalong, the duo sharing vocal duties, and it comes complete with buzzy keyboard sounds and driving drums and, best of all, handclaps, that make it stand out as something summery and special.
It’s enough to make me want to get up and beat this nothingness, once and for all. Don’t worry, I’ll be careful. After all, all work and no play make Jim a dull boy. All work and no play make Jim a dull boy. All work and no play make Jim a dull boy (I can keep going while you look up the Shining based cultural reference if you like). All work and no play…..