Over a year ago I added the song "We Have it All" by Pim Stones to one of my writing playlists. It popped up in the Discover Weekly section that Spotify curates every Monday, and it quickly became one of my favorite songs. The artist has a beautiful, distinct voice, and I've never been able to shake the song, a haunting story about making a deal with the devil.
I've casually tried to find more of Pim Stones' music to no avail. He only has two songs available on Spotify, but I've encountered quite a few lesser-known musicians that house their music elsewhere, so I didn't think much of it.
Until this weekend.
I came across another one of his songs and decided that I was going to do a deep dive and find the rest of his music, but instead, I fell into an hour-long rabbit hole that produced way more questions than answers, and, honestly, I think I may have gone a little insane in the process.
It turns out, Pim Stones has only ever released about seven songs between 2010 and now (as far as my research can tell). He released the songs "The Last One I Made" in 2010 and "We Have it All" in 2015, which was supposed to be a precursor to a 2015 EP. After he released the second music video for "We Have it All" in April of 2015, his social media accounts all went inactive. They still exist, but he hasn't used them. His website no longer exists, and, as one of my friend's pointed out (yes, I got my friends involved), he doesn't have any fan bios or Wikipedia pages.
But the strangeness goes on. In 2016 a new song of his, "Neon Lights", was featured on Teen Wolf, and that's the only other song of his I can find on Spotify or iTunes. Last month, someone posted a YouTube video that features a black background and a song called "The Life We Could Have Had" that they claim is by Pim Stones, and is definitely carried by his unmistakable British accent. He also has a song called "Chaos in the Jungle", which I was able to find on a Grooveshark playlist and YouTube. The same playlist has the songs "Take Down the Bricks" and "A Hymn for Gordonstoun" listed, but the files actually play "We Have it All" and "The Last One I Made" instead.
(Update: "Take Down the Bricks"/"A Hymn for Gordonstoun" can be found here. Shoutout to Dan in the comments section for this find!)
Needless to say, this took me down a road I was not anticipating. I also tracked down an article from 2015, showcasing "We Have it All", that said he's previously dropped off the planet and deleted most of his pre-2012 work, which is even more bizarre. It's like he's snatching the chords of the piano back as soon as he presses down on the keys.
The unfortunate conclusion that I have come to is that the man who goes by Pim Stones does not want to be found.
Which brings me here, slightly depressed and adding the five Pim Stones songs I have found to a YouTube playlist that I can play on repeat and cry to for a week.
But it's also made me realize how rare it is today to have such an enigma on our hands. It's rare to run into an artist and not be able to sift through their past work. It's rare to watch someone erase their history in front of your eyes. In a world where stars are born every day, it's rare to watch one vanish (seemingly) on purpose.
Social media has made actors, artists, and activists so accessible that it's actually jarring when one disappears. Pim Stones made a name for himself and still managed to circumvent our society's instant gratification problem. And as demoralizing as this search has been, I have to congratulate him on his uncanny ability to be untraceable in this day and age, a feat he has obviously* coveted.
So where in the world is Pim Stones? Maybe he's still kicking back in a submarine, coming up for air to release a new song every couple years, or maybe he's just an incredibly talented artist who has moved on to another chapter of his life. Either way, the world gets a little less creative every day he's gone.
(*Someone brought a different theory to my attention, that Pim Stones' disappearance could be due to legal reasons or a possible breach of contract, which would actually better explain why his music has all but vanished. If that's true, this gets a lot more heartbreaking.)
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