REVIEW: Rebecca Blasband — “Here” (SINGLE)
Music and mythology are inherently intertwined. Not just in the way that music carries a reputation from the point it exists forward, but in the way that’s it developed. We love the romanticization of how an artist was moved to create, whether by a chance meeting of someone who changed their life or a loss, but with Rebecca Blasband with her single “Here” from her album of the same name, it was a mixture of meeting someone who is lost from us. In 1987, a young Blasband and a group of friends experimented with an Ouija board that brought them in contact with the spirit of John Lennon whom they spoke with for several weeks, Blasband wanting to meet his son Julian and low and behold, it worked. On the surface, it makes an entertaining story, something you’d read or hear about on a late-night appearance, but the way this chance encounter affects her music is truly what captivates me.
There’s a free-flowing sense of spirituality on the single and its video, and not in a direct sense, it’s not like it’s a song about speaking with the ghost of John Lennon, but there’s an overall theology of our experiences painting our lives that sticks with you. Blasband has been in the music scene for quite some time, has become more of a mainstream personality thanks to her appearance on the MTV show “The Real World” in 1992. Her music carries a reverence, not as one who’s trying to run from her past, but it’s reflective of life overall, especially from the moody Aimme Mann/Fiona Apple sound that permeates on the single. The video and its look bring to mind another John Lennon connection with the woodland lushness and even the animal pelt-inspired coat she has on reminding one of the covers of the “Plastic Ono Band”. Where this was by coincidence or a happy accident is beside the point.
The video has this sweeping majesty that is both bombastic in its maximalist view with sweeping fields, vistas, and cliffside, but also feels wholly intimate and private at the same time. Who would have thought that a woman who’s spent a great deal of her life around cameras would settle in so naturalistically in front of them and she has this disarming every woman quality that I think captures the spirit of the wanderer in all of us. “Here” is a richly layered production with various subtleties added to the instrumentation and with every chorus reprise the depth of the emotions on this single feel more and more powerful each time. Blasband has crafted the perfect kind of empowerment anthem that doesn’t hit you with a barrage of over-the-top production or lyrical symbolism, instead opting for a more careful and delicate approach.
The story she weaves on this track is applicable to anyone looking for the next step of their life and for the affirmation they need, but it’s the story of Blasband and her continuing musical identity that we’re lucky enough to witness.