new internet discovery: Noosa, “Walk On By”

Soundtrack in my head: Noosa, “Walk On By (Sound Remedy Remix)”

A new internet discovery has given me a new favorite song. At some point while on YouTube, I stumbled across this video showing time-lapse scenes of life in Madison.  The time-lapse filming is incredible in and of itself but what blew me away was the song that accompanied it.  The closing credits of the video told me that the song was by Noosa and the title of the song was “Walk On By (Sound Remedy Remix).”  The video is below:

This video always makes me proud of living in Madison, even if the non-campus areas of Madison are given scant attention. The complex rhythm of the vocals backed by the synth arpeggios evoke Enya in the late 80’s, except with a beat that can be danced to. This complexity set against the time-lapse imagery makes me imagine the lifeblood of Madison flowing through the corridors of the city, and captures the vibrance that drew me here more than a decade ago. It captures the livelihood of the city now that the warm months are here

As always happens for me, once I hear a song I love, I want to hear more from the artist. I discovered that this song, which I downloaded for free from Sound Remedy’s Facebook page, was actually a re-mix of the original song.

The video for the original song is below and it is powerful in its own right. The beat is minimized and more appropriate to the subject of the song, which seems to be about a relationship breaking up. Both the song and the video capture the sadness of the subject, but in a beautiful way, with metaphors that capture in a remarkable way the cascade of feelings associated with the decline of a relationship.

The free download from Sound Remedy’s Facebook page probably generates business for this remix artist, who seems to be quite good. That free download and seeing the original video on YouTube made me want to learn more about Noosa. I probably would not have heard of Noosa were it not for the fact that it was used as the soundtrack for a Madison timelapse video. Ultimately, I bought and downloaded Noosa’s “Wonderland” from eMusic.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work. Placing an artist’s work online in a reasonably liberal way draws attention to the artist and then more sales of their music can result. In this case, Noosa released this debut album on her own label, which more and more artists are doing so that they can control how their music is being marketed. I think many artists choose this option because some record companies are so stringent about making sure that their music isn’t pirated that they end up cutting themselves off from potential customers–to the detriment of both potential customers and the artists.

Unfortunately, many Internet service providers are advocating for a two-tiered internet in which websites and companies unable to pay a high premium for accessibility would be relegated to the “slow lane” of the Internet. Given the slowness and inconsistency of Internet service in the U.S. compared to other countries, such sites would be effectively blocked. One possible side effect of this is that record companies might once again be able to exert tight control over what music listeners might hear, as they did when radio was the primary way we learned about music.  This would be a sad development if this did happen.

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