There are some albums that you listen to and you just know that they still stick with you. That’s how Aaron English’s album Songs from Somewhere Else feels. This album fills up the soul right from the get-go. This collection of eleven songs is a powerful blend of sounds and feelings that span the entire globe.
The first track ‘Coming of Age in Hard Times’ is a knockout of a song. It feels like standing in the middle of a crowded street. We’re screaming for someone to hear us, to understand. But even though no one is listening, all hope is not lost. We’re assured that, even though things are difficult, we will make it through. The song ends on a very quiet, but reassuring There is a place where you belong.
Then we get whisked away to another country entirely with ‘Afande’. This Swahili word is a term of respect for soldiers. The blend of both voices and languages and flawless, and creates a very intense and blood-pumping effect. The chorus about coming to a city with a suitcase full of dreams really makes us feel the sense of distance throughout this entire album, even after just two songs.
This is the story of a wingless bird… The stories that are being painted in these songs are so vivid. The tempo and the tone slow down a lot in ‘Wingless Bird’. This song is heavy. The feeling of defeat. Giving up on your dreams. But even when all hope seems lost, it’s not over.
The final song ‘Wild at Heart’ has a similar feeling of being caged. But this time, it’s as a human, stuck in the doldrums of real life. But even though this is a harsh reality for so many, as he says “We stay wild beneath it all.” Even in the worst of times, there is beauty and hope to be found at every corner of the globe.
And that really seems to be the driving force behind this entire album. And English’s has an uncanny ability to make us feel the entire range of human emotion in such a small short of time. And even more impressive, he reminds us that the world isn’t all that big and we’re just people trying to make it through.
It’s a beautiful album. Listen to it all down below.