The Death of the Album?

Thursday 7th May 

Emily reflects on the way we consume music and what it means for the latest Starling Arts release

Gone are the days when we would carefully remove a compact disc from its cosy plastic home and slot it inside a CD player, listening to the tracks in order - and in full - until the CD ran out and you either fell asleep or put the next album in. Tapes too, would run, one song after another, until that particular whirr of the spool reaching its end.

These days, I’m more of a musical grazer, listening to my music collections on iTunes or Spotify on shuffle, or tuning into carefully curated playlists or online radio stations. It’d be rare for me to hear an entire album, start to finish, in one sitting. When I do listen to something on a CD, it feels like an occasion. (I wonder if CDs will one day experience the same revival the vinyl record has - or if they’re just not ‘sexy’ enough?)

Does it matter how we consume music? Recent musings make me feel that it might. I can’t help feeling that we miss something of the the overall narrative and architecture of an collection from snacking on an artist’s tracks, rather than dining on the full musical meal they’ve laid out in an album. Maybe we don’t have the collective attention span to focus on one voice for too long anymore. But perhaps it’s a muscle we should all flex a little more often?

In putting together our album High Five- which is released tomorrow - we did a lot of thinking about the shape and feel of it as a collection. With over 100 voices, and a small but mighty band, included, and songs that richly illustrate moments from our five year history, we wanted to make something that felt more like an anthology about community than a slap-dash crowd of unrelated voices. For us, the love of singing as a tool for unity is what drove this album, and we hope it shows!

Here’s a run-down of our tracks and why we included them.

Season of Love - a musical theatre anthem that speaks of marking time. Ideal.

Shake It Out - an utterly uplifting acclamation for the joy of dancing off hard times - and our motto!

Wild Horses - a haunting, heart wrenching track about over-coming adversity

Ode to Bon Jovi - the songs you want to sing at the top of your voice whilst out with your friends

Write It From the Heart / Tell the Tale - a song from our own musical Return to Aesop, and reminder that life is to be lived, shared and celebrated!

Meatloaf Medley - the ultimate fusion of rock and theatre, Meatloaf’s songs capture just about every emotion and the vibrant vocal mix on this track makes for epic listening!

Wrecking Ball - a song about regret, lost love and angst, Miley’s hit lends itself perfectly to beautiful vocal harmony in our unique take on the track.

Anything Can Happen - one of the most fearlessly optimistic songs from a musical ever written, the line ‘go and chase your dreams you won’t regret it’ feels incredibly apt to describe how we feel about setting Starling Arts up.

For Good - we toyed with the idea of including this bonus track on the album, but the lyrics speak so much of the amazing journey we’ve shared not just with each other but with everyone who has been involved with the Starling journey to date, that we felt it too appropriate to leave off!

Emily

Want a copy of the album? Email info@starlingarts.com or come along to our launch party on Friday 8th May