Once upon a time I used to review music albums and concerts on my blog.
I always enjoyed doing this because music is such an important part of my life. I only allow myself to watch TV/Netflix on weekends, but I listen to music all day every day.
I got away from blogging about music the further I progressed in my writing journey, centering most posts on that instead. This was especially the case after I reduced my blogging schedule from once a week to twice a month.
About three weeks ago, though, I thought to myself, I should start blogging about music again, to change things up a bit.
And then the world as we knew it completely changed.
COVID-19. Global pandemic. Borders closed. Cities under lockdown. People quarantined at home on a massive scale to help slow the spread of the disease.
Suddenly blogging about music again seemed less just a fun idea and more a glaring necessity.
I listen to a lot of what could be characterized as New Age, classical crossover, or otherwise “easy listening” music. This is because I spend the majority of my time either a) working, b) working out, c) reading, or d) writing, and for three out of four of these, I need to be relaxed to perform them effectively.
A lot of people could use some relaxation and stress relief right about now.
As such, from the confines of my home that I now almost never leave, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite New Age/classical crossover/singer-songwriter artists that might help ease our passage through this challenging time, the way art invariably does in times of hardship.
Eurielle is the stage name of Lauren Walker, an independent classical crossover recording artist from the UK who has multiple studio albums, singles, cover songs, and numerous film, TV, and video soundtrack vocal credits to her name.
Even though her debut studio album, Arcadia, was released back in 2015, I only learned about her in 2018, randomly on YouTube.
As an indie artist, she has a large YouTube presence thanks to a number of cinematic videos for her music, one of the best known being for her heartfelt ballad “Carry Me” (the first of her songs that I heard on YouTube).
Arcadia as an album is diverse, sentimental, and somewhat ethereal, Eurielle’s clear, classically-trained voice at times wistful, at times soaring, and at times also layered in multi-part choral arrangements with herself.
She sings in English, French, and Latin on themes of love, loss, longing, heartbreak, death/the process of dying, and salvation, using imagery of nature, colours, the afterlife, historical figures, and more in her evocative lyrics.
Arcadia immediately drew me in and receives almost daily play, to which I often sing along to “Carry Me” and other favourite tracks like “Raindrops”, a jubilant song about falling in love; “Whispers”, a pensive vocalise; and “Burning Cold”, a multi-layered track about unwavering faith that draws a comparison between that of Joan of Arc.
Eurielle’s most recent album, Goodbye Butterfly, was released late last year and again, I learned of it by accident … and on YouTube.
Although I’d long subscribed to her channel, I hadn’t enabled notifications, so it was purely by luck that I saw a teaser for an upcoming live broadcast of a single (“Petit Papillon”) from her forthcoming album.
“Petit Papillon” (French for “Little Butterfly”) is a bright, whimsical earworm of the operatic kind, yet with a wistful message about saying goodbye.
The album itself echoes this sense of things ending in a number of tracks, it having been written, according to the album’s liner notes, following the breakup of a long-term relationship.
At first listen, this album is a simpler composition, featuring less layering of Eurielle’s voice and less variance among its songs, many of which are ballads.
However their melodies, combined with the poignancy of Eurielle’s voice, are incredibly compelling, to the point that despite initially dismissing it, my overall favourite song on the album is the sorrowful ballad “Feels Like Yesterday”.
Beyond songs about breakup, Goodbye Butterfly also touches upon the environment/the climate crisis, the sacrifice of veterans in war, the false promises of mythological creatures, forbidden love, and the predicted supernova of the sun 5 billion years from now and the destruction of the earth and the other inner planets that will result.
Eurielle is an artist to watch, and one whose engaging music might bring you comfort during this difficult time. You can find her music on all major online retail and streaming platforms.
A/N: For the record, I only ever use over-the-head style headphones. I’ve tried a number of styles of earbuds but they just will not stay in my ears. I chose the title “inside my earbuds” purely for its alliterative artistry.
(Image source – J.G. Noelle)