With the current renaissance of synth sounds going on in our part of the world it has given those solitary individuals who stick to their bedrooms, writing and creating music for months on end, something different to play with other than a guitar and misery. Happily, it’s a very cheery disposition that is evident in Mr. Jesse Booth’s first album. Hiding himself away from friends (and their opinions on what he was doing), Dubliner Booth has seemingly enjoyed the process of taking some synth sounds from the small bank of instruments he owns, and his half-spoken, half-singing voice, and creating the most summery Irish album since Cane 141’s Garden Tiger Moth.
Booth wears his influences on his sleeve and there’s very healthy doses of Depeche Mode, New Order and bits and pieces of Underworld especially in the ocassional Karl Hyde-esqe vocals. Perhaps more low-key than Ladyhawke, it’s still the same vibe that comes across – right down to the odd electronic hand-clap – of a one-musician-band with an ear for a great pop sound. It’s quite impressive how accomplished some of the sounds are, albeit in a simple, pop vein. The underlying current of the album has a healthy lack of airs and graces. Nothing is taken too seriously, though sometimes the lyrics are a bit too throwaway such as in ‘Red Pretender’, an unashamed love song to his keyboard. Then you get nicely moody pieces such as the almost-instrumental -‘¦Scullery’, though it hardly pushes far past the first few buttons of common or garden keyboard effects.
As -Everybody Needs A Robot’ begins it could remind the casual listener of Underworld’s -Dark & Long’ but then lyrically it becomes a keenly-observed conversation from a robot to the user. It jumps from the sublime to the ridiculous but it’s not as off as it sounds. The penultimate track is practically a splicing of Depeche Mode and New Order but is a blast too and when you’re at a barbeque that went on all day and it’s after midnight and State feels like a dance this is definitely what we want to shake it to.
Moving In Undercover is light in theme and there are hints that while not wholly original, Booth has stolen from the best. The effortless feeling it has surely indicates he has a fine ear for the electronic pop sound and if justice is served we should be hearing this pumping out of the aforementioned barbeque evenings and convertables as they cruise about the streets of our fair isle in the sun (there will be more sun, right?). That one man on his own can produce some infectious, cheery, homegrown pop a million miles from the large committees of suits, and lump sums it takes to churn out a Lady Ga Ga album deserves a loud cheer and a bit of a shimmy.