When it comes to Blackaby’s new single ‘I Wanted’, the old proverb ‘quality not quantity’ goes a long way.
Words: Poppy Richler | Photo: Ben Andrewes
The softly lamenting confessions of William Blackaby paired with the simple strums of an acoustic guitar makes this song painfully beautiful. Zoom into the heart-warming lyrics for a mere moment and they’ll yank your heartstrings out. Blackaby’s words are unashamedly vulnerable but such honesty makes this song universally relatable: ‘I stand on idiot feet, kneel down on idiot knees.’ Have we not all been there? Or maybe, just maybe, we’ve never been able to hold our hands up and confess we were wrong?
In the words of the man himself, this song is about: “Talking to someone you think can help you out in some way, but not really being in the mood to talk or even really be there at all. You zone out a bit. Their lips are moving but what are they saying? Desperate to make a genuine connection but if you’re only talking to them to get something you want, this feels unlikely. Just be yourself I think is the take-home message.”
Songs like I Wanted are a welcome addition to the umbrella of punk. Self-described as ‘classy punk’, Blackaby’s current and past releases push past the pretentions of what this genre is often associated with. Blackaby’s music is a send up of male egos that are all too often empty of anything meaningful. If we go back to its roots, punk is about unconventionality and rejecting the excesses of the mainstream, and I Wanted does the job.
Compared with his previous releases (including She’ll Make Some Time on A Monday and What’s On The TV), laden with grungy reverberations and drums, I Wanted gives us an unexpected breather. Perhaps the ‘humble front’ to Blackaby’s ‘desperate plea’ will pave the way towards the crumbling of such despotic egotism (for lord knows we need it). The band headline the Waiting Room, London on September 28th as part of their UK tour.