Do you remember 1994? The World Cup in the USA. OJ and the Bronco. Nelson Mandela inaugurated as President of South Africa. Perhaps, the first time you heard Leonard Cohens’s”Hallelujah” covered by Jeff Buckley? Cards on the table, I don’t have concrete memories of the last two. I was too busy going all Easy Rider on the world and playing soccer in the front yard doing my best Tab Ramos* impersonation.
Maybe, and don’t be embarrassed, you first got wind of the emotional “Hallelujah” when you caught Rufus doing his thing with it. And, according to statistics I’m making up right now that I feel are actually correct, chances are the first time you heard it was with this hit television moment. There’s no shame in that. As a matter of fact people liked it so much they used it again two seasons later when they finally did what had to be done. (at the 2:28 mark Ryan even smiles for crying out loud.)
Now it’s 2012, and while it took me way too long to fully appreciate what was going on, Luke Sital-Singh forces his way into the conversation of the best emotional, crescendoing songsmiths currently being listened to by the cooler guy next to you with Final Draft open. All four songs on his EP, Fail For You, hearken to the absolute best parts of “Hallelujah” no matter who covers it (save for Imogen Heap… that one felt kinda awkward). In the eyes this humble blogger, “Fail For You,” is the best crafted song while “Honest Man” and “I Have Been a Fire” are the best vocal showcases.
Make no mistake, this is not your run of the mill man with a guitar. To fully grasp Sital-Singh’s gift heed my advice: plug in your best headphones, go somewhere quiet, turn up the volume so you can’t hear your own fingers on your keyboard and double-click “I Have Been a Fire.” You will be rewarded with a song that boasts vocals which glide seamlessly between the delicate, timid and quiet to the muscular, bold and robust.
The guy is popping up everywhere on the web lately– there’s a reason for that. He’s fantastic. Do yourself the favor, click, listen, and fall for him now so when he’s playing at the apex of a forlorn moment during your favorite television show or movie you can tell your friend, “Oh this song! You gotta check out this blog The Swill Merchants, they’re the ones that made a Tab Ramos, Rufus Wainwright and Nelson Mandela reference while going on about him.”
* Big ups to the ’94, CONCACAF Player of the Year.