Singer-songwriter Judith Owen’s new single, Send Me A Line, takes a look at how dependent we are on technology. She’s been kind enough to let us have first sight of the video too. Which we’re watching on our phone. On the loo.
I’m a controlling neat freak, an obsessive-compulsive musician who’s almost killed people with her cooking, but it’s the combination of two of my most ‘endearing’ flaws, constant second-guessing and self-loathing, that keep me human while driving me mad.
I have ‘good child’ syndrome, you see. I’m a born pleaser, and I’m also convinced that with my omnipotent superpowers, I have the ability with each decision, (whether it’s world peace or Bran Flakes), to save or ruin lives. I don’t even have bloody kids but just leaving my dog to go on tour makes me feel more like a war criminal than a musician with a career.
Put this all together and you can see why a simple thing like writing an email or sending a text is a minefield. Who hasn’t written a rushed text or email, hit the ‘send’ button and immediately regretted it?
We’re all so used to communicating anywhere, anytime and God forbid if someone doesn’t answer us immediately! Of course, like any other narcissistic artist who has to self-promote, I’m addicted to the internet/smartphone/computer/iPad/selfie stick. Though I’m not like the woman who I saw taking selfies of herself at the opera the other night DURING the performance, I use Twitter, Facebook and Periscope to connect globally as an artist every day.
“I probably just need to let go a little, be less hard on myself, try to be a bit more ‘C’est la vie’, and a bit less ‘They hate me.”
They’re incredible tools and I love using them, particularly Periscope which enables me to perform live and interact with the viewers, something I thrive on. I’ve Periscoped live shows, performances from my living room and even recordings as they’re going down.
Last year I was opening for Bryan Ferry when he had to cancel his Royal Albert Hall show at the last minute due to a throat infection. What could have been one of the most disappointing moments of my career became a highlight when we all trooped back to mine and did our opening show anyway on Periscope, live from my living room.
I’ve got into the habit of doing these spontaneous sessions, whether it’s with my legendary bass player Leland Sklar, my wonderful female string section or just a single guest performer. It’s quite remarkable to perform and see all these amazing comments coming up on the screen from people all over the world.
I’ve often yearned for a time machine to get back those two minutes that would have told me (on second reading), that maybe I sounded slightly unhinged, or had a dose of verbal diarrhoea. I’ve wasted days wallowing in a mire of self-loathing, imagining all manner of repercussions, from getting the tone wrong, or merely using bad grammar, just to hate myself when the inevitable tardy reply – “So good to hear from you” – came in.
I probably just need to let go a little, be less hard on myself, try to be a bit more ‘C’est la vie’, and a bit less ‘They hate me’. At the same time I wouldn’t be writing emotionally honest songs and confessing to the platelet-sized faults that we all relate to if I didn’t have this need to point out my flaws and laugh before anyone else does.
All that said, if you are replying to one of my emails, please can you hurry it up? I’m dying here…
Send Me A Line is from Judith’s new album Somebody’s Child released on 6 May.
Visit www.judithowen.net for tour dates.