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just like a drummer

i wake up with the thunder of your typewriter, every night

Tag Archives: villagers

I have got absolutely no authority so to speak, when it comes to music. Having no natural claim to Shiva given talent myself, and aside from an attachment to a kazoo – a toy, apparently – called ‘Hank’ after the legendary depressive that is, I have no ability with melodic mechanisms. I am not now, nor do I ever plan to be the kind of person who talks or types about music with that thing called an authentic critical voice. I’m not informed enough to grasp the dialects of comparing musicians to one another, in the seeminly Derridian manner that it is done in, whereby X can only exist insofar as it relates to Y.

It baffles me that, one, you cannot listen to a thing and relate to it on the level where sound can equal a genuine bodily reaction – ‘Carrot Rope’ by Pavement gives me the ‘orn – as opposed to deconstructing it as a sum of parts, examining its  suitability to a list of seemingly biblicaly canonical counterparts. It’s not an attempt to make listening to music a faffy Liberal Humanist affair or anything, its really just another talent I lack, by not being, by nature, a journalist. It baffles me also, that unlike everyone I know who finds a passion and dances with it, I struggle to associate with any particular genre. I think in a way the two problems are somewhat linked. My lack of ability to hear genre and influence merely forces me into the umbrella academy of the uninformed eclectics.

Number Four: Same Taste in Food as me

I think, then, that I should warn you that when I attempt to inform you that Villagers are my favourite thing that have not only emerged from Ireland, but managed to make a dint, however modest, in the infrastructure of the British music appreciating machine, in quite some time, I shall in no way be attempting to telling you that you will like them if you have been similarly enjoying A, B and C. The manner in which I discuss Villagers will be discontinuous, badly worded, and lacking that thing, that central understanding of how the archetypal music blog is supposed to work. I have already continually broken the laws of blogging ettiquette with this outrageous introduction and as expected, you have stopped your scanning with the schizoid expression of ‘too long mate, didn’t read’.

But I will persevere. Villagers is the brainchild of Mallahide born Conor O’Brien, a name that is so unfittingly standard that it would lead a person like me, one seeped in the horribly unfair preconception that Irish singer songwriters are generally worth looking past, do just that and overlook. I would be in that judgement, characteristically wrong. Not only is this an unholy oversight on his musical abilities, but I’d imagine you’d struggled to find a girl who would physically overlook Conor, as he is, as they say, a bit of a ride. Imagine Ian Curtis crossed with… well, actually they’re all a bit alright, and if anyone is interested in discussing this in a manner decidedly less academic, I can forward you on a link to where I’ve ranked them according to The List, a la Hillary Duff; Apparently they all enjoy spontaneously jetting off to exotic locations and public fights and make up sex, how is a girl to choose?

But riding aside, Villagers debut album ‘Becoming a Jackal‘ – Also the name of the albums first single, as though they didn’t notice -, released in May 2010, is as poetic and understated as it is toe-tapping and monumental. The lyrics meander with the thoughtfullness of words that can only ever have been intended to be poetry. The music does not suffer from that horrid thing called over-production, instead coming off polished and yet lightly touched, O’Brien’s minimalistic keening only added to by the mildness of his backing band (I want to scream ‘Bright Eyes’, but both hate to be called a hypocrite and don’t feel the comparisson does either of them justice).

Personal highlights are the album’s opener, ‘I Saw the Dead’ – about as hallucinatorily disturbing as I’d imagine he planned it to be-  and the squalked piano ballad and beautifully titled ‘The Sun is Hanging from a String’. Fans of Villagers can catch them on their tiny, east coast American tour, and later doing the festival circut around Britain and Ireland.

The one word review says  Captivating.


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