Every week when I was a kid we’d head up the path beside our house to my Granny’s bungalow to pay the rent on 60 Pole Barn Lane. And every week after she filled in the rent book she’d hand over two Fox’s Glacier Fruit and our 10p pocket money. The candy was a thrill but the pocket money was the escape pod. Ten whole pence that, if one was sensible and avoided the sweet shop, could be saved up to become a 7″ single. And if it was March the 8th and that 10p became a birthday card and £1, a long-player. Saving up for a sound escape. The anticipation, the appreciation, the artwork, the gatefold and the glorious black vinyl combining to create a feeling I’ll never forget.
Fast forward 40 years or so and it feels as if music waits for no one. Instant downloads, sudden streaming, overnight announcements. But there is a pause for brilliance to be had out there and amongst today’s endless desire for instant gratification, some artists can still create that long lost sense of anticipation and appreciation.
One of the few who does so is Solange. So it seems only right on the day that she drops When I Get Home and I get set to experience the tingle of a new long-playing obsession in my life, I celebrate her and the seat she’s had at my table since 2016. Cranes In The Sky has to be one of the finest ways of spending four minutes my life has ever given me. A life I actually find hard to imagine soundtracked without her. Empowering, enchanting and electrifying, Solange’s A Seat At The Table is a long player filled with tears, joy and redemption. A moment of magic that rescues me with every play, a moment in music that ensures we are the better for it. A moment so good, the joy is not in the waiting but the delivery. A delivery I will forever take with me on the journey ahead. Now, where’s my 10p?