In The Willows “Vantage Point” EP – Review

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in-the-willows-vantage-point-epIn The Willows are a really interesting home-grown hero, the six piece, hailing from Waterford, are on the verge of releasing their ‘Vantage Point EP’ on the 28th of May. The EP acts to give you a taster of this brilliant band right before they release their impressive debut album, ‘Before Everybody Disappears’ which is to be released this coming September. If releasing an album wasn’t impressive enough, two of their singles from the forthcoming album ‘Rowing Boats’ and ‘Sirens’ have already been released receiving national airplay and their accompanying videos wetting the appetite of the band’s growing audience. If that didn’t gauge your interest enough well then consider this when you listen to them- whilst in the midst of recording and producing of everything involved with the new single, In The Willows undertook a Fund: it campaign where they managed to raise in excess of their €2,000 target, proceeds of which will go towards the costs of producing the album.  I’m getting tired just writing about their impressive biography. The band are clearly a firm favourite on the Irish music scene having finished a series of national shows last year; during their  ‘Rowing Boats Tour’ they managed to sell out Whelan’s (Dublin), Garter Lane (Waterford) and a list of other nationwide venues.  Having garnered some serious musical experience from their touring, the six piece retired away to work on their fantastic album.

‘Sirens’, the second single from their “Vantage Point EP” has this charming and engrossing twinkle to it. The harmonising of the vocals really engages the ear and has a sort of soothing element to it; despite this being the band’s first toe dip into the musical lagoon its rather impressive. It’s easy to see why ‘Sirens’ has so  quickly become a crowd favourite, there’s this resonating element to it, a sort of slow and steadied pace that harkens back to a younger Snow Patrol. This single quickly demonstrates that In The Willows refuses to be pigeonholed; instead, they choose to blur the lines between folk, alternative, and pop, rock to create their own heart-warming and aurally fulfilling sound. ‘Wake Me If I’m Asleep’ once again demonstrates a haunting quality that the band seems to capture within their music. It’s easy to envision this sound being played out on a grand stage. It’s a single that has a sort of entrancing and prominent presence, its demands to be acknowledged as the hallmark single of a band ready to take the Irish music scene by storm. The progression towards the end of the track further amplifies the fact that this is a group who cannot simply be categorised into a single genre- they have a multifaceted quality. ‘It’s Over’ has a sort of bittersweet ballad quality to it- it pulls on the heartstrings and, after two listens or so, I’m not complaining. There’s a sort of deep reliability to it, that sort of overwhelming sense of acceptance about relationships, one that demonstrates this is a group containing some talented songwriters. ‘Vantage Point’ again has this sort of melodious ballad element to it, they perfectly encapsulate heartbreak- in a succinct and yet effective manner, it really is charming.

I feel like this is a definite dark horse in the Irish music scene, it won’t be long before their talents are truly unmasked and appreciated- so you better start listening to their back catalogue! This back catalogue will include the new release can be found on iTunes, Bandcamp, YouTube and are also contactable on Facebook at www.facebook.com/inthewillows. In fact, on the 30th of this month they play The Morrison Hotel Dublin whilst simultaneously releasing their EP Launch. It’s a show that’s not to be missed and will perfectly kick off the summer.

Review by Elaine McDonald

 

Mark O'Brien

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