Edit 24-Jun-2020: At the time of writing (Oct 2017) he wasn’t as famous, he has 4 million active listeners on Spotify and millions of views on YouTube now.
Should music make sense, tell a story, and mean something or ‘Work work work work work work’? This question opened up my music taste to so many alternative musicians, this is about one of them, EDEN.
Jonathan Ng, releases music under the name of Eden. He’s not very popular and he only went on tours last year but all of them saw sell-out crowds and the atmosphere was electric. He’s released 8 albums till now, 6 of them being under a different alias and has collaborated with multiple other artists to produce some amazing music.
First you hear his more popular songs, then YouTube recommends some other and slowly you’re repeating a pattern. The pattern you follow before you fall in love with an artist. What I can say is that it’ll happen a lot faster than it would with pop artists. You can immediately connect to his music because of the vocals, the lyrics, combined with the amazing music. If epiphany could be translated into music, in a sense where different things come together to create something beautiful, this is it.
It’s ironic how his music has been called ‘art in its purest form’ while he uses modulators and electronics to mend his music. As ironic as it is, I would call it the same. Take rock + roll, for example, he talks about finding himself and what he wants to be. He talks about his major inspiration, Jimi Hendrix and uses the same guitar tuning as Hendrix. Moreover, the song contains dialogues from ‘Lost in Translation (2003)’, in which the girl played by Scarlett Johansson is seeking guidance. It is just so pure and simple to listen to. Anyone can relate to it instantly.
Scarlett: “I’m stuck.
Scarlett: “Does it get easier?”
Bill: “It gets easier.”
Scarlett: “Oh yeah? Look at you.”
Bill: “The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”
Scarlett: “Yeah. I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be, you know. I tried being a writer, but I hate what I write. I tried taking pictures, but they were so mediocre. You know, every girl goes through a photography phase. You know, horses… taking dumb pictures of your feet.”
Bill: “You’ll figure that out. I’m not worried about you.”
Bill: “Keep writing.”
Scarlett: “But I’m so mean.”
Bill: “Mean’s okay.”
The name itself strikes as being pretty unique to me, if you’ve played any First Person Shooter Games or watched any military based movies you would know what Man Down means. It’s when one of the soldiers on your side gets shot in battle. To compare that to losing a loved one or a break up and presenting in such a beautiful way, it’s only a few other artists can do (read: The Script before they became famous).
I’m at a loss of words for this one because it’s close to my heart, so I’ll let the lyrics speak for themselves. These are the last few lines of the song, mind it that they are said as if being in the moment rather than sung.
But you’ll never know it.
‘Cos I’m just way too proud.
Hide behind my ego.
Block the whole world out.
And these words they don’t come easy.
And they don’t come loud.
So you’ll never know it.
Screaming man down.
I just saw God.
I just saw God.
Outside the liquor store.
You told me
I was lost.
The Eden Project
He operated under a different Alias a few years ago and released a few albums where the music was usually Electronic House / Trance with less focus on the vocals and other instruments. In my opinion the move from The Eden Project to Eden was triggered partly by demand and partly by a massive life changing experience in his life. You would agree once you’ve heard both his new songs and the old ones.
He did have a few hits as The Eden Project like Kairos, Jupiter, and Fumes. GalaxyMusic YouTube channel released a mix of his best songs from both of his Aliases.
Artists like him, some of whom I will cover soon, brought about a big change in my taste of music when this question popped up in my head: Should music make sense, tell a story, and mean something or ‘Work work work work work work’? He may not have the most amazing voice, he may not ever have a billion listens to his songs, but I think he would prefer to have an impact on the audience and be appreciated for who he is and what his music means than having millions of views on YouTube.
Some of you might feel that his music and lyrics are depressing but once you’ve heard a lot of his songs you would know that they represent a depressed person recovering and coming out stronger. As Kanye would say, What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. At least that’s how I see and appreciate his music. I have started to appreciate how these artists somehow find ways to touch very specific nerves around the heart which might not affect millions, or people in general but some specific individuals who’ve been through the same.
— by Pritish