Corner Boy – ‘True North’ EP – Review
Corner Boy are a five piece contemporary rock folk band from the south east. Their second EP “True North“ is due for release on March 13th. It follows their outstanding “Morning Morning“ EP from February last year. “Morning Morning“ was bursting with their infectious foot stomping style of uplifting trad folk rock fusion. “True North“ sees a Corner Boy moving towards a more contemplative style, addressing the themes of emigration, urban and rural, love and loss.
Songwriter and singer Michael D’Arcy formed “Corner Boy“ upon his return from a year in Quebec. Having embraced the folk scene there, he states his influences as “Everything from the delta/ Mississippi /Chicago blues of Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy & Robert Johnson to more Irish traditional artists like the Dubliners, Clancy Brothers”. These flavours of fiddle, lyrical story telling and dramatic arrangements certainly show through on the first track “Cold Love“. Hints of disconnection, loss with questioning filter through. “Who’s gonna fall at your knees? Cold Love’s a fragile and futile thing?“ Soundscape raspy vocals wrap a sense of isolation around the lonesome violin laced into acoustic guitars and banjos.
The self titled track “True North“ embodies the spirit of travel. Opening with a cute arrangement of violins it’s a toe tapper from the start. Travel both voluntary and enforced comes across here, following a little on the isolation from “Cold Love“ with “So give me this life and fill it with days, more than you can lay me down, while I’m looking for True North”. Vocal echoes and soul sought answers melt this one into a keeper.
“Ghost Town City“, picks up the pace. Hollowed out heart felt singing implores the traveller to “come away with me, board the next train, by an hour we’ll see the sea“. “Ghost town city streets“ discover them, escape, just follow the music into the wild blue yonder. That’s not the lyrical content, but it whispers to me in the tempting traditional chords of a gentle banjo and harmonica.
“Oxen Of The Sun“ sees the fragile vocals of Karen O’ Connor match the pared back simple style of this track, capturing and enhancing the atmosphere running throughout this EP. “Till The End“ punctuating these emotions in a sad yet romantic lyrical promise with the depth and integrity of a true love.
The new EP “True North” is released on 14th March and the debut single “Ghost Town City” is released on 28th February.
Corner Boy have a nationwide tour lined up. Catch them and their melodies live; ”Ghost Town City“ hits iTunes on Feb 28th, Whelan’s March 13th for the EP launch, and then off to The Wexford Opera House on March 14th for the locals! For more info, check out their website, cornerboy.org, their Facebook page and Breakingtunes page.
Review by Ciara Sheahan