Tag: England

The Green Children Music Assessmentu

I wrote this essay for my English II class in college in 2010. It’s over The Green Children, an electropop band–that’s what they’re classified as, so my resources say–from Europe. (The band members come from Norway and England). I think of them as Celtic Pop because to me that’s what their music seems like. If that’s even a genre. 😀

The Green Children Music Assessment

            The genre/style of The Green Children’s music is called electropop. There are two other names it is known by, and those are synthpop and technopop. Electropop “first became prominent in the 1980’s (Synthpop, par. 1)”, and “arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era (Synthpop, par. 1)”. Electropop “arose from punk rock, but it abandoned punk’s emphasis on authenticity and often pursued a deliberate artificiality (Synthpop, par. 7).” “It drew on the critically derided forms such as disco and glam rock (Synthpop, par. 7).” “In its early stages, it consciously focused on European and particularly Eastern European influences (Synthpop, par. 7).” “Later it saw a shift to a style more influenced by other genres, such as soul music (Synthpop, par. 7).” Electropop has “directly influenced subsequent genres [of music], including house music and Detroit techno, and has indirectly influenced many other genres and individual recordings (Synthpop, par. 4).”

            The Green Children, which are comprised of “Milla Sunde from Norway (The Green Children, par. 2)”, and “Marlow Bevan from England (The Green Children, par. 2)” “met whilst studying at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (The Green Children, par. 5).” They are an “European musical duo, who write and produce atmospheric electro-pop music (The Green Children, par. 1).” “In 2008, they signed a major U.S. recording contract with Universal Music Group (The Green Children, par. 5).” They stayed with the Universal Music Group, for a couple of years, and left, instead signing with Spinside Records. Their album, Encounter, came out in 2010 and became quite popular. “In 2011, a remix of “Life Saviour” entered the Music Week UK Club charts at #17 in the Pop Category (The Green Children, par. 12).” Several months later “in 2011, “Encounter” was nominated in the first round of voting for a U.S. Grammy Award, in two categories, ‘New Artist’ and ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ (The Green Children, par. 13).” The Green Children, through their music, helped with causes overseas. To help support one of their causes, they “established The Green Children Foundation to support microcredit, education, and healthcare (The Gren Children, par. 2).” That cause was microcredit, which “is the extension of very small loans to poor borrowers who typically lack collateral, steady employment and a verifiable credit history (Microcredit, par. 1)”. “They shot a music video in Bangladesh to celebrate the work of Professor Muhammad Yunus, the father of microcredit and founder of Grameen Bank (The Green Children, par. 2).” “On the 12th of May 2008, the first eye hospital [in Bangladesh] was opened by The Green Children and Professor Yunus (The Green Children, par. 3).” “The project was initiated by Professor Yunus with Grameen, to save the sight of many of his countrymen and women (The Green Children, par. 3).” I like The Green Children because they have a style of music that is very unique, because it can transport you to a fantasy world.

            I like The Green Children because they have a style of music that is very unique, because it can transport you to a fantasy world. Their music can take you there, because of the way they put their music together—the instruments they use, along with the lyrics they create seems to “transport” you to the fantasy world. When I listen to their music, I can see a fantasy world filled with elves, dwarves, dragons, and other magical beings. Their songs create the landscape—the fantasy world—and fill it with these creatures. Their music is described with words that go with the fantasy world. Their music is “smooth flowing like the river or like silk”, eternal, magical, and mystical. There are many other words to describe their music, such as “shining with a sparkling beauty”, tranquil, and peaceful, as well as “restful as a meadow breeze”. It’s also fast paced and slow paced, and they use many different instruments, such as cymbals, guitars, pianos, violins, drums, synthesizers, and more to “carry” you to their fantasy land. Their music can rise and fall with the lyrics, and be airy, and have “a leaping quality”. Their lyrics and the way they combine the instruments with each other bring forth their world, or as Reema Kumari Jadeja from MOBO wrote, ‘ “…The emerald duo’s debut is an audio fairytale that confiscates all grips on reality and leaves one hopelessly daydreaming (The Green Children, par. 8).” ’ The songs I will be covering in my paper will be: ‘Encounter’, ‘R U Out There?’, ‘Life Saviour’, ‘Life Was Beautiful’, ‘Tell Me’,  and ‘Hear Me Now’.

            The song, ‘Encounter’ starts off with a whispering voice that is mystical—“I willl always be with you”—and through out it, an eternalness, with the voice and the music drawing themselves out—so the song is made personal, with the song ending on a dreaminess note from the artist—“Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah,….”, cymbals blending in well with the voice. There are sounds of nature—the chirping of birds, footsteps over leaves, and the echoing of water dropping as if in a cave that lends the magic of nature to the song, when you hear them. My reaction upon listening to ‘Encounter’ is being able to picture what is going on in the song—a little boy and girl enter a strange world by the signal of a “bell”, and upon finding they are in a strange new world, they explore—but people are uneasy because they are different, and the boy and girl then know they need to leave for home. I can see the whole thing happening in my mind. The lyrics show a fantasy world with a boy and a girl exploring it. The positive aspects of the song are that it is appropriate for all ages—there are no curse words or other such language that would be inappropriate for minors and it is also not “noise”, as some music could be considered—you can actually tell what is being said in the song. The negative aspects—if there are any, which I do not see—is that the music creates a fantasy world, one that is not able to be. An artist, whose work is similar to The Green Children, would be Josh Groban. The music is unique, because it “reaches out” and takes you to places where normal music would not be able. The music is unique because it is able to take you to other worlds—in this case, one where a little boy and a little girl go exploring with the aid of a bell.

            ‘R U Out There?’ starts out with a guitar that gives a soft slowness to the music that makes it “smooth flowing like a river”—“Movin’ round trying to find my dear home”—but also with a grace to it that goes along well with the fast pace of the song. The voice is pleading with a pained quality that questions anything and everything about why—“Are you out there?”—but even with this quality, there is a magic in the voice—one that shines like the sun—“New life to me, Given by the darkest hour, Sending me out and over, To heal my broken heart”—of the music that is in the song. The reaction that I got from this song is a searching feeling—cause that is what the song is about—a person trying to find another, looking desperately anywhere and everywhere. And here too, I can see a person trying to find their soul mate, because that is who is being sought after…and you do not find out if they find each other. It is left up to the listener to decide the fate of the two people searching for each other. The lyrics show a person seeking their soul mate. A positive aspect, is that if you keep searching, you will find your soul mate; a possible negative aspect, is how long it could take, and that you could become discouraged by a long time of searching. And once again, the artist who is most similar, to this song, is Josh Groban. The music is unique because it shows a soul mate being sought after.

            In the beginning, ‘Life Saviour’, gives off a Hawaiian feel, a resting quality being present—one of peace and tranquility in the music—that gives the soft plucking of a string guitar the ability to bring forth the feel of graceful swaying of the body with soft background clapping—“I have loved many I have lost, And a few I never forgot, And it seems they all played the part, In the failure of mending my heart, But baby with your love, Baby with your love, You could save a life, You could save a life.”  Throughout the song, there is a softness and gentleness, that has the lyrics speak in a wondering tone that is edged with sadness—but even with this, an otherworldly hopefulness shines through—one of sparkling beauty. The whole song is an example of this ‘softness and gentleness, that has the lyrics speak in a wondering tone that is edged with sadness—but even with this, an otherworldly hopefulness shines through—one of sparkling beauty’. A part of this example is the verse: “Cause there’s something in your heart that moves me, Something in your mind makes me want to change, You’re my life saviour, My life saviour.” My reaction is one of sadness, for in these lyrics this person has loved a lot of people, and lost many, but with their soul mate’s help, they will change to a brighter person. The lyrics say that the person has loved many and lost many, but that they will make it through their grief with the help of their “Baby”. The positive aspect is that even from grief there can be good, the negative aspect here can be the depressed tone that could bring some people down into an unhappy mood. And Josh Groban again is a similar artist. The music is unique because it shows someone rising up from terrible sadness.

            A peacefulness—one of a gentle meadow breeze—brings ‘Life Was Beautiful’ to starting off, with the song’s pace being smooth flowing like gliding over silk—“Can’t say much for politics, Religious fears and historic, And with all the books I’ve read, It’s still as confusing in my head”. There is a softness and a gracefulness of the music, with a piano playing softly in the background, that leads you through it—a mournful voice whose owner captures you with the magic of the make-believe world of elves, wizards, and the like, which accentuates the sadness of the song—“I don’t how I could love you yet, When I shyly know that we’ve just met, There’s so much I could say, But I fear I would push you away, But I tell you this when I felt your kiss”. My reaction to this song’s lyrics were happiness—two people are falling in love, and it is the very beginning, with so much more in store for them. The evaluation of these lyrics, are two people are falling in love, and it is in the very beginning stages for them, where they are unsure how to do a relationship. The positive aspect here is showing that love is possible, and the negative one, is I guess that it is being sung about. Josh Groban again is the similar artist. The music is unique because it tells of their love.

            ‘Tell Me’ begins with the slowness and gentleness of the piano bringing the voice’s sadness out into the open—“My mama’s drowning, And she won’t stop, Until she’s sinking, Until all has been forgot”. The voices cries out softly throughout the whole song—with questions being made by a commanding voice, intermixed with a sense of pleading—“So tell me, tell me now, Tell me you’re gonna try, Tell me you don’t wanna break my heart”. The music and lyrics blend smoothly together, a violin is present in the slowness—the pace of the music going from slow to fast and back and forth. My reaction to this one is sadness—the mother does not want to go on living, and in her sadness, she is dragging her child down with her—and the water is getting colder and more frozen, and so it is getting more difficult to break free. The evaluation is that you should fight harder for what you want, and to not stop fighting no matter what. The positive aspect is that it says for you to fight, the negative aspect says that the mother is basically doing suicide, but slowly, and she’s taking her child with her. Josh Groban is the similar artist. The music is unique, because it puts forth a sadness in its sound that is not heard in the others.

            ‘Hear Me Now’ starts with a happy voice, the playing of the piano music, falling and rising with the lyrics—is light as in weight—airy—and so falls easily. The verse is: “A scarf uncovers a smiling face, That tells the story of a changing place, She knows no greater wonder than what she’s seen, She bears a heart of secrets from where she’s been, she says, Hear me now.” Throughout the song, the voice is passionate and mysterious, yet at times there is a gently commanding tone, with the music being gentle and soft, and blended with sadness—a pleading note to it, and the music carries the lyrics along slowly. And so the lyrics that match with these characteristics are: “Hear me now, Hear me now, Hear me out, she cries, See me now, See me now, See in me and I’ll rise.” My reaction—happiness—it is present here in the lyrics, the woman has worked hard, and she has achieved what she wanted to for her life, so she is able to go out confident, that she can take care of herself. The evaluation of these lyrics is that if you work hard, your work will eventually pay off. The positive aspect is that you work hard, and your efforts will be rewarded in time; the negative aspect is that she might be too cocky and over-confident about making it in the world, and so might not ask for help, if ever she had need of it. And once again, Josh Groban is the artist who is most similar to The Green Children. The music is unique, because it is positive and upbeat.

            I like The Green Children because they have a style of music that is very unique, because it can transport you to a fantasy world. They are a unique band because they bring to the music scene a touch of, as “Rolling Stone described it, ‘ “Searching dance-pop ballads from elfin dreamers….” ’ (The Green Children, par. 8).” They are from Ireland, the Emerald Isle, and their music certainly fits with Ireland—a land of fantasy and mystery, and one more likely than any other place, in my opinion, to have elves. I have yet to hear any other music like The Green Children who can have their music “transport” me to another world. I listen to their music and I can picture exactly what they say is happening—they have a colorful collection of songs that have all sorts of different emotions attached to them. In my opinion, they are a band who can go far in the music world and influence other musical genres, perhaps to help them make their own fantasy worlds.