Marcus Valance: The Whole World’s Gone Mad (2022) Single

Multi-instrumentalist Marcus Valance is a British indie-folk artist influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Paul Simon. He released his latest single, ‘The Whole World’s Gone Mad,’ on November 11. Valance has also released an EP entitled ‘Dust’ (2015), and another single, ‘Yesterday’ (2022). The Whole World’s Gone Mad was recorded in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and London, UK, and it sees Valance on harmonica, piano, guitar, and vocals, with contributions from Joel and Ben Bogen on drums, bass, and the string arrangement.

The brief intro has a strummed guitar followed by a little harmonica flourish that embellishes the vocal melody when it repeats later on. Moving quickly into the first verse, it’s just Valance’s singing accompanied by guitar until 0:32, when the drums, piano, and strings come in for the second verse, along with the bass at 0:42. Lyrically, it’s a reflective expression of concern and doubt about the state of current world affairs, ‘Who made the rules? / What bloody fools they are.’ Yet while the verses are full of bleak observations and uncertainty, the chorus offers a counter-balance, ‘You’re not alone in this bad dream / You’re not alone in this world’. Valance’s smooth voice and tone ranges in colour from dark to light and lends this song emotional depth and feeling. It’s reminiscent of Eddie Vedder’s folkier side and thematically parallel to Vedder’s ‘Society’.

Valance is truly an excellent songwriter and musician. If you like The Whole World’s Gone Mad then be sure to listen to his previous releases and to follow him on his socials!

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