Pocket Promise – Waving at Strangers
Pocket Promise, formed some seven years ago, have just released their debut EP and boy, it’s an accomplished release. Recorded in Black Box Studios, France and produced by Dave Odlum, who previously worked with the Frames and Gemma Hayes. ‘Facing Down’, the lead track hooks us from the very beginning with a melodic guitar, up-tempo beat and piano and when the vocals come in, all warm and heartfelt, we realise that the Tyrone four piece have created something very pleasant indeed. The other four tracks are as emotive and lovely as the first, with ‘Safety in Numbers’ bringing the EP to an instrumental close. All in all, we are impressed with this effort. We just hope we don’t have to wait seven years for the album.
Frend – Angel she’s a Killer
Frend, a limited 10″ and accompanying art booklet, is special, in every sense of the word. Frend (not a typo) is the first instalment of a series of albums championing the close relationship between visual art and music. This initial chapter works wonderfully as a package. It provides a platform for some of the best talent in Irish music and visual art, including Adrian Crowley, Goodtime John, MeNoFemBo (Una Mullally and friends), to show their wares. Subsequent instalments of the series will incorporate talents from further a field, (Volume Two promises only contributions from Canadian artists). The cynical among us may be of the opinion that it is a little pretentious and a little too cool for it’s own sake but, if you embrace it for what it is, you’ll think it’s wonderful too.
Green Lights – Small Curious Things
This sure is… interesting. Starting with an electronic instrumental then heading into bland rock band territory, this EP shows that, although the Green Lights have potential, they just don’t quiet make this genre-hopping, throw-everything-in-but-the-kitchen-sink EP work.
Incorporating many musical elements can work wonderfully for others, but the Green Lights need to re-assess their approach. A shame that this doesn’t really hit the mark, as the Monaghan lads obviously have an abundance of talent.
Jimmy Behan – In the Sudden Distance EP
Apparently, his current work “focuses on finding emotional connections between the physicality of sounds and their contexts and the In the Sudden Distance EP attempts to capture that moment when the present suddenly becomes the past, rendering the passing of time as a sudden shift in perspective”. Right so..
Nice and all as this EP is, it sounds like something a shyster yoga teacher or some such new age leader may try to sell you to help find your inner-self/spirit guide/whatever. Maybe I’m just not deep enough to fully appreciate Behan’s “emotional connections between the physicality of sounds and their contexts” but judge for yourself and get the free download from Zymogen.net.
Rachel Austin – Hello My Uglies
Although only three tracks long, we lean very quickly that Rachel Austin has a magical ability to combine melody and emotion. Her jazz, folk and indie influences are apparent and her poetic lyrics that give her an edge on her competition. Our favourite is the dramatic ‘Go Away’. We likes what we hear.