Saturday Afternoon Artist: Aqualung – Strange and Beautiful


“When I sing into the microphone in the studio, I’m whispering my secrets in people’s ears. When it connects, it can be so powerful. It’s still a remarkable process to me.” – Matt Hales a.k.a. Aqualung

As the rain hits my windshield, I pull back the crank and recline my seat, watching the water pool together as I wait.  Outside the car everything turns into fragmented, muted colors.  The abstract art of the Northwest, from inside my car on a rainy day.  This could be a sad moment, before I brave the dentist appointment fast approaching.  But I’m taking every second in for me, before I have to move.  This is what music can do for me. It stops time.  It’s Aqualung, his first record on the stereo that makes this a moment of beauty.

UK singer, songwriter Matt Hales worked with his brother Ben on the first Aqualung record, Strange and Beautiful. Layering keys, vocals, guitars, poetry and electronics.  Matt’s voice floats over the space between the instruments. But it’s the honesty of the words that gets me. The slow bursts of light in the grey…

To bear the weight
and push into the sky
it’s easier to lie
it’s easier to lie

And honestly
to look you in the eye
it’s easier to lie
it’s easier to lie

To be the one
to be the only one
someone has to give a lot
something has to give a lot

And who am I
to give you what you need
when I’m learning
just learning
Learning how to live and

to bear the weight…
and push into the sky
it’s easier to lie
it’s easier to lie

As sad as the record is… there are sparks of hope.  Traces of courage behind the tears.  Like somewhere the sun is there, way above the rain.

Aqualung plays an all-ages show this Saturday, May 1, at Seattle’s Triple Door.

Michele Myers spins Saturdays from 3-6pm on KEXP 90.3FM in Seattle. Each week she picks a favorite artist and plays 3 songs in-a-row from them.  She also produces KEXP Documentaries and DJs “Wake Up” in New York City for KEXP on WNYE 91.5FM Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6-9am.

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