You may remember me mentioning a chap called Seán Riddick in one of my posts last month. He was, in fact, the first of the two opening acts for the Frank Turner gig at Whelan’s. Whilst I only managed to catch the tail-end of his set, I really enjoyed what I heard of him, so it’s only right that I tell you all about his début EP, Decades.
An EP can be a tough record to do well; you’re limited to an average of say, five or six tracks, so you have to be good at condensing all the variety your music has to offer, whilst also offering a comprehensive and enjoyable listening experience. From the very first listen of Decades, it’s very clear that Mr Riddick has done a rather commendable job.
Kicking off with what has quickly become my favourite track, Only For Tonight, you’re met with the upbeat, raw sound that gives this EP its character. I guarantee that Ben Lawlor’s catchy harmonica riff will have your feet tapping in seconds. The lyrics throughout are clever and wry—in fact, that’s precisely where Riddick’s strength seems to lie; there’s a message in his words, but you’ll certainly get a chuckle out of them too. Check out penultimate track, If I Liked You for the finest example of his characteristic, tongue-in-cheek humour.
The record also plays host to many intriguing instruments, perhaps most notably the addition of a glockenspiel played by Bonnie Stewart on We Had The Snow, which gives the whole song a wonderfully ethereal quality. The good news for you, my dear reader, is that this track is currently available for free download from Seán’s Bandcamp! Goodness for you!
It’s title track Decades which brings the EP to a close, complete with a flourish of vocal harmony from the brilliantly talented Sarah Lawlor and piano-driven verse courtesy of Julia Mahon. It’s a tale of fond nostalgia for the days of reckless adolescent abandon, along with the sneaking feeling that you might be losing sight of your old hopes and dreams.
Each time I listen to this record it offers up something new; the listening experience is always fresh and enjoyable, I promise you that it’ll make you want to get up and dance! I’m really looking forward to catching Seán at a gig sometime soon; Dublin is absolutely crying out for more folk-punk acts like this. It’s almost as though we have a genre that for some reason just hasn’t quite managed to establish itself here yet, and whilst that’s a pity, it means there’s an dynamic, lively scene just waiting to be explored.
Oh, and hey, Irish Frank Turner fans, this is definitely one for you!
I absolutely love this video!