Four Quartets: Four Divided By Zero

Now that online technological  innovation is already passé by the time you’ve heard of it, it’s impressive that some of the old behemoths like the BBC can keep up.

I have sung the BBC’s praises many times with regards to their devotion to playing new music.

It wasn’t until fairly recently that I finally realised that the hitherto-mysterious influence of the US music blogs compared to the stubbornly underdog status bestowed on their UK counterparts was almost entirely due to the fact that here the BBC already had that territory covered.

So when BBC 6 Music launches a new show wherein the music and content is entirely dictated by what is being discussed online as the show takes place, cynicism can be cast aside and a simple idea embraced as a genuinely good one.

Closer integration between the main broadcaster of new music and the hobbyists who are regularly referred to as ‘tastemakers’ – but in reality are given little opportunity to influence – might well be a bright idea.

Now. Four Quartets are actually one person. Sneaky, huh? You were fooled by the power of suggestion, right? One-man-bands that make mildly orchestral, low-key power-pop are usually my personal Kryptonite, inducing spasmodic lunges for the ‘off’ switch.

Yet when presented with a song like Pirouette that is so gentle in the way it distributes its waves of warmth, only the meanest, coldest of hearts could truly shun it.

Songs like these, by these artists, have a built-in kamakaze mindset – the temptation to trip over the fine line being trodden into self-indulgent navel-gazing is always looming large.

And yet in Pirouette, Four Quartets deftly avoids this tragedy, producing a song that is endlessly uplifting. And all achieved through the careful application of crushing chord-changes. Lovely.

MORE: four-quartets.co.uk

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