I think, no actually I hope, that in years to come, when we look back on this period of time and the Covid pandemic we might be able to look past the political fallout and the undoubted suffering of large swathes of society and see that by and large everyone tried to do their best to look after the people that were dear to them, to help others as much as they possibly could. I doubt that we might so easily see the self help that will have occurred over that same time, less visible by virtue of the fact that in so many cases it was individuals finding inner strength to examine their goals, their needs and requirements because the lockdown of so many important social and artistic interactions had been taken away. Like a giant national reset button, we had been forced to suddenly appreciate what was important to us. Who did we love? What made us happy? What do we really need to sustain ourselves? More than any industry, it was the arts that suddenly took on a whole new lustre. It was the ability to come together and appreciate and create memories together that had been stolen away, and so never had it been so important. It was the purveyors of that art we needed!
Little did we know that whilst we sat at home missing our favourite singers, the people whose music and emotional outpourings we loved, they were discovering something similar. They were being forced to examine what was important, which career path they were on and whether it was the one they had envisaged at the outset. They discovered the people they loved and in some cases rediscovered the love and belief they had at the beginning. They learned to self love because, whilst fan approbation is great, the ability to love themselves was paramount and necessary to make it possible to give us what we needed from them.
And so this Friday, the super talented Liv Austen will release a song that I think is very important to her in so many ways because it is born of this love. ‘Why Don’t You’ is a song that tells us we should be as generous to ourselves as we are with the outside world. It is a song that on first hearing sounds like advice but on repeated listening evolves into a mission statement from the singer to herself.
Liv has left her record company and is taking back control of her career.
“I was surrounded by people who told me who I was, how I should present myself, what words I should use in my songs – that was never going to work for me and it’s horribly stifling for your creativity”.
Not being surrounded has allowed Liv to make the important choices, to own her creative choices and, most importantly, to let her artistic juices flow, to make the music she has been born to make.
It’s helped that she has been able to work with music producer Jon Wright, her partner in life as well as music now, and have created a song that has more than a little of 70s icon Melanie about it. It has a beautiful folk feel about it but like many seventies songs has a real message wrapped up in simple but mesmerising melody.
Whatever genre of music you want to write in, melody is hugely important, as it’s the gateway to our consciousness. Once in, we can digest the very important message of the song. Self-care! Not the term that is thrown around but the core meaning of that. Listen to this beautiful song and let the concept roll around in your mind. When the beautifully simple video shot in the Kent countryside is released next Friday this will only magnify that feeling with it’s wonderful imagery of searching for that perfect place to release the kite of your creativity into the vast sky.
This year has been so difficult for all artists as they have lost the ability to interact, the ability to share live performances but thankfully not the ability to share new songs. Liv says:
“I am not prepared to do gigs yet. A live show to me is all about a bunch of people coming together and singing my songs loudly back to me – so until that is reality again, I will hold off on a tour – but I can still share new songs with my fans.”
Liv Austen has always been a singer songwriter to take notice of, she has always been able to connect with her fans, whatever genre she has found herself in. The difference this time is that she has found the ability to connect with herself and the results are magical. ‘Why Don’t You’ is a gentle track that packs a big punch. I love it and I hope you’ll share my enthusiasm and Liv’s passion for such an important message.