the first time I heard of M83 was when the song ‘Teen Angst’ was used on an advert for that TV show Sugar Rush, which I think first broadcast in 2005. seven years and three albums later, I would finally see my favourite current artist come to Glasgow.
it took me about a year to finally get hold of Before the Dawn Heals Us, the album on which ‘Teen Angst’ appeared. I don’t know why, but it wasn’t until I saw ‘Don’t Save Us From the Flames’ on a ‘videos of the year’ list at the end of 2005 that I became genuinely intrigued. up until this point in my life, I had quite frankly heard nothing that even compared to this album, in terms of just how different, creative and BIG it sounded. by the time I had started listening to it properly, I was just starting fifth year of school. I hated school, but this album really helped me get through that last year and out into student-hood.
after I had went back and listened to the older stuff, and a widely-overlooked ambient album in 2007, Saturdays=Youth was released in 2008, just as I was starting first year at uni. a lot of my favourite things (music, films, etc.) are from the 1980s, and this album just sounded like it belonged there. again, it really was like nothing I had heard before, and it quickly became one of my favourite albums. at this point, M83 played King Tut’s, probably my favourite venue in Glasgow. it would have made my life to have went to that gig, but the venue is 18+, and I was still 17 at the time, as well as quite socially inept and unwilling to chance it. I would have to wait.
M83 used to be a two-man venture, but I’ve always known it as the musical vehicle of Anthony Gonzalez, and as such he has always been a personal hero of mine. not only the fact that he looks like a ‘Ralph Lauren model’ (as he was described in a recent Guardian article), but he seems to share a lot of philosophies of mine, such as the importance of dreaming and imagination when it comes to writing music.
this particular ideology was the fuel behind his latest release, the immense double album effort of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, released in October. the first single, ‘Midnight City’, with its other-worldly synth line and nostalgia-inducing sax solo, has since been played just about everywhere, and hopefully will finally get M83 some of the recognition they deserve.
towards the end of 2011, I finally got to see M83. on November 30th, two days before my 21st birthday, I saw them at . it quite simply was everything I could have wished for, and more. they omitted quite a few songs that I would have liked to have heard live, but everything that they did play was utterly stunning, from the completely re-worked versions of old songs (‘We Own the Sky’, ‘A Guitar and a Heart’) and the fan favourites (‘Kim & Jessie’), to the new stuff (‘Intro’, ‘Steve McQueen’) and raved-up encore (‘Couleurs’). the highlight, however, was the slightly new version of ‘Skin of the Night’, originally a duet between Gonzalez and female vocalist Morgan Kibby (of White Sea). this time sung in its entirety by Kibby, with added guitar epicness (deal with it) from Gonzalez, it was simply stunning, and moved me more than I think anything has ever done before. in Paris
this evening I went to see them at the Arches in Glasgow. I was thrilled that my favourite artist had come back to my home city, and I did enjoy seeing them again, but the sound in the venue was atrocious and did no justice to any of the material whatsoever. the early curfew of 10pm did the band no favours either, as several songs from the Paris set were cut, although there was a surprise rendition of a track from all the way back in 2001 (‘Sitting’) that went down fairly well.
I love M83, and I will never get sick of them. there’s barely a song of theirs that I dislike, and they will continually be an influence on anything and everything I do within the musical world. and I’m eternally grateful to Channel 4 for choosing such a fantastic track to soundtrack an advert for what turned out to be a fairly mediocre series.
reblogging cause I have more to add.
on June 1st 2012 (early hours of June 2nd, to be precise), at Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, I genuinely had my favourite experience at a musical event, EVER. a group of about 8 of us watched M83 play an admittedly shortened but no less enthralling set, and we just drunkenly danced and sang our way through the entire gig. I almost feel as if it was the culmination of all the years I’ve put into listening to and loving M83, and I’m not sure if anything in my life will top the feeling I had that night, at least not for a while.
on Wednesday, I’ll be seeing M83 again at the Picture House in Edinburgh. the fourth time I’ll have seen them, in a fourth different city. naturally, I cannot wait. also, the band who are supporting them, Man Without Country, are headlining a gig that my own band are playing on July 17th. so I can now claim two degrees of separation to my musical heroes. life is good.
Derek Connor BA(Hons)
There’s a girl who always appears in one of my Facebook friend’s photos and I sometimes find myself looking at her and getting extremely annoyed. It’s just so ridiculous how someone can be that good looking. Honestly, it’s like she’s been sculpted out of nothing but hope and glory.
I’d tell you all that I love her, but I don’t. There’s no point in loving a girl like that. She’s the type of girl who could sell her chewing gum on Ebay to guys like me.
I also know a girl like this. I feel like the worst kind of facebook creep every time I ‘accidentally’ see a photo she’s been tagged in.
DEREK CONNOR IS A COMPLETE CUNT!
I am. I endorse this fully.