I have mixed feelings about Conchita Wurst nowadays. So much so, I walk away from the Austrian artist more often than not.
If I was honest, I would like to walk away permanently. Life would be simpler that way.
The problem comes in, however, when Conchita — or these days WURST, aka Tom Neuwirth — releases new music.
Because there is not one other artist on the planet whose voice affects me like his.
Take WURST’s just-released-on-YouTube FM4 Session. A live session of three songs WURST recorded at Vienna’s alternative music radio station sometime recently.
Three songs from WURST’s recently released album Truth Over Magnitude. An album I have listened to over 1,000 times and, no, I am not exaggerating.
It was my favorite release of 2019.
‘Satori‘, ‘Can’t Come Back‘, and ‘Six’. Three superb songs in their own right. But absolutely the best three songs from an album of superb songs.
It’s not just the songs that are wonderful in this FM4 Session, however.
It is primarily Tom Neuwirth and that voice.
A voice that has the capacity to hit impossible high notes and impossible low notes, and everything in between, but all with an absolute rawness of emotion you only ever get in the greats.
And, beyond proving Tom Neuwirth’s ridiculous talent, WURST’s FM4 Session is also proof of something I have always noticed about the diminutive Austrian singer.
The fact that every time he releases a new song, the first two or three times he sings it live you can pretty much guarantee it’s not going to be great.
What has always fascinated me about this Austrian artist though is how he uses those shaky first performances as a foundation to build what will quickly become a live performance of a song beyond the capability of most other singers.
Performances that are a visceral illustration of the soul of steel that inhabits this man. A soul that never gives up, no matter what obstacles he faces or who tries to push him down.
Watch, and most importantly, listen to the three videos from WURST’s FM4 Session and, if you saw his early live performances of any of these songs, you’ll see what I mean.
Because the immense talent showcased in these three tracks is astounding, with utterly superb vocals of songs that are hellishly difficult to sing live.
So good are they, in many parts it is hard to tell the difference between the live version and the album. Although, to me, the live version is even better as that emotion in his voice and on his face is so raw it hurts.
Remember too all of these songs, and every other song on Truth Over Magnitude, were written about things that have happened to Tom Neuwirth himself.
So when he sings them, he is pulling from the depth of his soul the way he first felt when it did. That’s the emotion you see on his face.
Finally, as far as my comment about WURST/Tom Neuwirth’s ability to produce incredible live performances from shaky beginnings, if you haven’t been to one of his Truth Over Magnitude concerts yet, you are missing something spectacular.
Because I have been to well over 1,500 concerts in the last 20 years, in a myriad of countries and on four continents, yet WURST’s album release concert for Truth Over Magnitude late last year is firmly fixed in my top 3.
If you want to experience what this insanely talented singer does live, WURST has just kicked off his Truth Over Magnitude European tour, and some concerts (surprisingly!) still have tickets left. You can grab them from WURST’s website.
His Truth Over Magnitude tour ends on March 13th in Graz, Austria. Don’t miss it.