“Continental Dares” by Ed Tullett
from his self-released Never Joy
Here is an 18 year old kid who compares himself to Justin Vernon. The results are pretty much as expected (successfully, I might add). That’s not a bad thing, in any way, but I still feel the need to pronounce it.
Did the cover art attract me before his music? Yes. Did I intentionally pick the song that sounded least like Bon Iver? Absolutely. Should I feel bad about being honest, at the risk of criticizing someone’s art? Perhaps, but I do not intend to criticize, nor censor.
There is nothing wrong with teenage poets. Or pop musicians. I have admittedly been both.
Ed has been seeing some hype around the internet. I understand why. I hope he capitalizes on it.
It should be noted that the album art, as well as the vocal on this particular song, was fortunate enough to gain contributions by the lovely Ffion Atkinson.
The tone of this article feels slightly insulting. It shouldn’t. Never Joy is a great example of how far you can take “bedroom folk” in a certain direction; it is, ultimately, a beautiful piece that deserves attention. I like Ed’s music a lot, I just happen to use the writing within this project as a form of cathartic self-analysis, which sometimes leads to seemingly negative articles like this.
I should also mention, quite simply, that I enjoy his poetry.
of war in words
crack over head,
and little teeth
would sink into mine,
and I would be
Sometimes it was part of me,
A flash of urge to find the streets,
from boyhood vigour
and shadowed figures
you’d taught me.
Frozen hands were pocket bound,
an hour was enough for me;
a ball of snow,
a wound to treat.
Eyes to lights in sky,
no need to define,
to give a name is to lie;
hollow but beautiful.
Afraid of all the stares
and continental dares
I had lost,
and that fear will sparkle,
and then fall out.
For the childhood
I owed you everything
that I am scared of,
[EDIT: this piece makes me feel uncomfortable, but I do not intend to change it.]