In The Willows’ ‘Before Everybody Disappears’ reviewed
Irish band In The Willows are set to release their debut album ‘Before Everybody Disappears’ on September 12th.
‘Wake Me If I’m Asleep’ is a mystical opening song that bursts into an uplifting, mighty folk tune. The constant violin adds immense power and fantasy. It is hypnotic with a sense of traditional Irish genre, and overall, an impressive and strong introduction to In The Willows.
With a tough act to follow, the second song ‘Time Of Year’ lives up to the standard set. Singers Dave Greene and Tara Heffernan’s soothing voices float together over the gentle guitar chords in divine harmony. There is a stark contrast to the previous tune, with the tempo now slowed. Although different, it is just as magnificent – relaxing and heartfelt, breathtaking and celestial.
The next track opens with a mandolin, violin and echoing vocals – a perfect combination for a spellbinding song. Heffernan’s voice is full of sweetness – charming and alluring. I adore ‘Trying’. Even in this high quality album it manages to stand out – absorbing, romantic and devastatingly enchanting. It’s the song that will draw you in and stir your emotions. It’s the song that you will play again, and again. It is my personal favourite within this outstanding album.
‘I can’t cage you’ – the poignant and catchy chorus line of ‘Cage’; a song that is so both meaningful and pretty. With a simple beat, gentle piano notes and the violin that In The Willows so very often use with adept, this song is pleasing to the ear. It is, like every song with reference to human relationships, relatable – “In time you’ll realise I was trying to love you”. If not relatable, it is at least an engrossing tale of two beings, told in poetic verse – and as well as that, it is a hard song not to love.
‘Rowing Boats’ screams revelry and celebration – a tune lifted by a vivacious bouzouki and soaring harmonies. Much like that stated in the lyrics, we too ‘can feel it in our souls’. ‘Le Danse’ also fuels us, claiming the role of evoking a sway. Containing both rhythm and a glorious viola, it is drenched in merriment, making for one enjoyable tune.
‘It’s Over’ achieves a grand feeling of empowerment in both theme and instrument. Its message relates to an individual coming to terms with their emotions and seemingly, finally finding courage. This comforting meaning is further enhanced by the building notes of violin and piano. The music heightens with might and then, we can feel it – the bravery, the fiery strength burning.
‘Before Everybody Disappears’ alters from subtle to soaring, from extravagant folk to traditional, from tame to unyielding. This album proves the artistic ability and range of In The Willows, a band that we can be assured of, will leave a significant mark on the Irish music scene.
See In The Willows live at Whelan’s Upstairs on the 11th of September.
Review by Shannon Welby