Have you ever heard a song that just seems to immediately connect with you, a song that leaves you wondering just how the artist managed to capture all that is currently in your head, a song that helps you realise that you are not alone in dealing with these experiences?
Around this time last summer was when I first heard Sex, the lead single off Irish electronic musician/producer EDEN‘s soon to be released EP, i think you think too much of me, and from the first listen, I was hooked. Here was a song that, rather than talking about making eyes with a romantic target (a theme all too prevalent in modern music), attempted to address the complicated situation of developing feelings for someone who you are already romantically involved with even though there was an initial understanding that it would never become anything more serious, a situation that people find themselves in constantly, “No, I don’t know how to forget you…” The song instantly showed me that EDEN was an artist who would look beyond the superficial representations of life and love that exist in modern music and instead would investigate some of the more complex themes that occupy our thoughts on a regular basis.
The aforementioned EP that was released in August of last year, was arguably this writer’s favourite release of 2016. A collection of seven songs that all dealt with the various existential crises that everyone will experience. While Sex grabbed me due to the unique way it deals with the all too common theme of love, it was the stand out track, the incredible Rock + Roll, that connected instantly. Jonathan Ng (the man behind EDEN) wrote this song to talk about the fears that he had regarding entering into the music industry properly. Prior to the release of this EP, Ng had instead operated under the moniker of The Eden Project and had already managing to generate a dedicated online following through a collection of songs that were produced on his laptop in his bedroom. However i think you think too much of me was his first attempt to become more of a presence in mainstream music, and this song references the doubts of Ng has as to whether anyone would actually know who EDEN is in five years time? (A sentiment previously explored by the Arctic Monkeys in 2006 with their release, Who The F**k Are Arctic Monkeys?)
While Rock + Roll is clearly a song about the fears that Ng has about entering into the music industry, those of us who operate outside of the world of artistic creativity can choose to read the song as an investigation into the existential doubt that we all experience from time to time. Everyone at some point wonders are they actually having any kind of positive impact on the lives of the people that we spend our time with, and the lyrics used in this song help to capture that feeling of doubt better than most other songs that I have heard, “Maybe you’ll cry when you know I’m gone, and that’s all I want.” Ng chose to include actual recordings of phone conversations with his girlfriend, Rozie Ashley, at different points throughout the song to help to signify that none of us are ever more than a few Vodka & Red Bulls on night out away from a DMC investigating these themes with our friends. However, despite the heavy subject matter of the song, it seems that Ng has chosen to take a positive outlook throughout the song. The music video that accompanied the launch of this song as a single in October 2016, shows Ng and Ashley exploring South Dublin and parts of the south-west of Ireland, and it shows that it is possible to leave a positive lasting effect on someone’s life through the act of simply being there. The final phone call extract used in the song symbolises this more positive outlook, and leaves the listener feeling confident that while these fears are normal, they do not need to become real.
“You’ll figure that out, I’m not worried about you…”