Obituary: The Child of Lov - By Volume

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Obituary: The Child of Lov

I remember seeing the video for “Give Me” premier. I remember digesting that this artist, who’d seemingly appeared without a past, would be releasing a soul/funk album produced by Damon Albarn featuring DOOM. I clicked play as fast as humanly possible, to “Give Me”, which would go on to relate a phenomenon that would hold […]

Author: on December 17, 2013
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I remember seeing the video for “Give Me” premier. I remember digesting that this artist, who’d seemingly appeared without a past, would be releasing a soul/funk album produced by Damon Albarn featuring DOOM. I clicked play as fast as humanly possible, to “Give Me”, which would go on to relate a phenomenon that would hold relevance throughout my year, like some self-fulfilling prophecy:

“Don’t know how I’m gonna get it.

I fell in love with an angel girl,
How I’m gonna get it,
She makes me fall in love with the, with the world,

And everybody knows it.”

Jumbo Records. I never flick through the 7” section, but I did. I spotted “Heal”, which had “One Mo’Gin” as a B-Side – D’Angelo’s Voodoo is what I considered to be the apex of artistry and I was interested in the cover, later learning it was the only album The Child of Lov had on his listening device for a significant period of his life. I bought it, because for a moment I was just so dumbfounded by the simple and brilliant notion that I’d seen this man’s work and could give the usual thanks: buying, his work and supporting his efforts all the way from my local record shop.

For many underground artists, generating blog buzz is a sure-fire step towards ‘making it’. These splashes are simply drops in the vastest of oceans, and up-and-comers go by just as quick as hyper-information perpetuates short memories. The Child of Lov grew up in the Netherlands, and was known as Cole Williams. On dying, he was referred to as the Belgian-born Martijn William Zimri Teerlinck. Medical conditions aside, he was aware the time one has is short and unpredictable, and in the moments his reach was at its widest, he made sure his actions had all of his heart behind them, even pulling out of a tour for the sincerest reason of wanting to do a live appearance justice. His pre-NME anonymity was down to his desire to seek our ears’ opinion instead of our eyes’.

He leaves his mark in the form of his self-titled debut, which looks set to define his life for so many of us. It’s one of the most characterful releases 2013 has seen, each track well and truly imbued with his colourful spirit. Occupying his own space in the current generation of R’n’B, Williams’ take on the genre-mashed soul and funk with gritty attitude, his warbled voice and grave tone reminiscent of Tom Waits. There was a daring twist to his funk that I hadn’t felt since OutKast, a dazzling panache of vintage repurposed into something wild and distinct. In his own words, that at the time of writing sit in his Twitter biography, “I make pop for thugs.”

In a selfish way, it’s upsetting that we who still live on this plane won’t hear more of his work. It’s comforting then, perhaps for both him and us, that our experience of Williams was holistic and well-representative of his personality. We’re left with the fruits of undisputed dedication and desire to give nothing but the best, and Williams witnessed his art stand on its own feet, apart from the rest, having come to terms with an uncertain future and little to regret. In my eyes, that’s among the greatest of legacies a human could leave behind.

“Nothing is for certain,
In this lifetime or the next one.”

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