Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
Lewis Watson knows sad songs and the young man knows that sad songs are supposed to actually make you feel better. There would be no point to them if they were just stories that were going to do nothing but sink you further into a sadness. They're supposed to show the glimmers of hope that are going to become whole colonies of it before too long, spreading gradually and then rapidly, even if it never fully blots out what caused the initial sadness. It's alright for it to stick around and remind us of what transpired, but then there are going to have to be more leaps of faith to come or there's just no point to anything.
He sings of love the way we like to envision it, or more the way we first start to experience it, when we know nothing and everything shocks us about it. It's as younger folks, those messing around with love for the first time - offering a heart and getting back a lump of coal or what feels like a mushy banana - where we try to figure as much of the deal out as we possibly can. It's just that there are too many versions and nuances to deal with. The subtleties will kill you or make you look like a clown.
Watson's two EPs - entitled "It's Got Four Sad Songs On It BTW" and "Another Four Sad Songs" - are inspired, never insipid examinations of what it's like to be thrust, or to throw oneself into the cage with love and see what kind of shape we come out in, if we come out of it alive at all. There's much to be said for just seeing how the wind's blowing and just going with it, even if that's a direction you never considered before. Watson sings, "Just open your eyes/No don't be scared at all/We'll jump out of aeroplanes and the lakes will break our fall/Don't make a sound cause I'll be with you the whole way down/And I told you everything/And I know it's quite soon but you've got a lovely heart/And I hope that you feel it too and a flame follows these sparks/Just don't tell me lies because I've been let down too many times/And I told you everything." It's all asking a lot, to just boldly go where you've never gone before. It's not always going to end with happiness. It's what he's trying to tell us.