The Casanova Wave – ‘Sundown Yellow Moon’ EP – Review
Sundown Yellow Moon is the new EP from Waterford based musician and producer Brian McCarton, whose musical exploits travel under the moniker of The Casanova Wave. Following on from his 2012 debut album, Joy of Being, McCarton’s current offering is a short but vibrant piece of synth driven pop, resounding strongly with remarkable depth, richly textured, bustling with movement and percussive pleasure. Featuring guest collaborations with a number of contemporary Irish artists, the EP examines the cyclical nature of human relationships and seeks to unearth why such interactions occur and recur in this way.
Opening with dark, brooding synth, handclaps and the driving rhythm of deep electronic drums, ‘New Sensation (Hopes &Aspirations)’ springs into life with the introduction of sparse, light piano and subtle vocals provided by Conor Deasy of Biggles Flys Again. The song speaks of a fractured friendship, nostalgically lamenting shared city based exploits that have become increasingly singular due to the fluid and ever altering nature of how people interact. The romantic lyrics ‘I can’t stand to see you give up on your dreams’ delivers a decidedly wistful tone, a sense of immediacy and urgency and as the drums drop out providing space for a bass break, a beautiful falsetto vocal weaves in the background and the atmospheric interlude builds to a bright crescendo. A melancholic pop hit, lonely yet inviting, made for the city.
Gentle acoustic guitar and soft percussive movement peppers the opening bars of ‘Colours Burst (The Joys of Being)’, as drums thump into life and introduce a more organic noise than first established by the previous track. Waterford/Dublin based band, In the Willows, make an appearance and the guest vocals of this 6-person strong group, male and female, adds a beautiful sense of depth to the track, choir-like and magnificent, reminiscent of Arcade Fire. Gleaming glockenspiel, melodica and smooth rhythmic percussion provides a warm and uplifting aural texture as the song moves towards its electric guitar driven instrumental climax. Suddenly and without warning it all ceases; sometimes, we’re not ready for the joy to end.
‘Sacrifices and Compromises (Criticisms and Doubts)’ begins with whirling noise and electric guitar, affording the listener a gentle waltz, atmospheric and subdued, with subtle melodica and restrained drums providing a pensive and short instrumental piece, whilst ‘The Fear Crescendos (Fade to Lull)’ offers a dynamic and exhilarating finale, slow burning, thumping, measured and momentary, if not a little short.
Although the first two tracks overshadow the latter half of the Sundown Yellow Moon EP in terms of length and content, this is still a bright release from The Casanova Wave, varied and glistening, full of momentum and movement. Not offering any definite conclusions on the cycle of relationships however, this is still a nuanced record worthy of much attention. Go get it.
Review by Andy Guyett