EOIN DOLAN, one of Galway city's finest young singer-songwriters, will launch his new EP, Something Good, with a gig at Club Árus na nGael, Dominick Street, this Wednesday [February 17] at 9pm.
Something Good is the follow-up to Dolan's well received debut EP, Placid Ocean, and marks a step forward for the artist. "With Placid Ocean I was just finding my feet," says Dolan. "It was a great experience but I think I'm a lot more confident now in what kind of music I want to produce. I decided to create a more upbeat and sharper sound. Thats one of the main reasons I got other musicians involved - James Casserly, Robin Van Der Klooster, Conor Deasy, Abby Rekas. Having the guys play on the EP definitely made the arrangements more expansive, full, and melodic.
While the influence of The Beatles is keenly felt on the EP, French music, particularly AIR and Serge Gainsbourg, is also apparent. "That really influenced my thinking as to how I wanted the record to sound," he says of those Gallic inspirations. "I was also keen to keep it heartfelt and not overly clinical."
Speaking about the individual songs, Dolan describes 'Something Good' as a "message to myself. A reminder to do good for others. I came up with the melody messing around on the piano in my home in Renmore. I'm sure I drove the neighbours mad cause I must have played it a thousand times over the space of an afternoon!"
'Spain' has been aired at Dolan's solo shows over the last 18 months or so, where it is a fast paced folk-pop number. For the EP, a slower, more expansive, arrangement is adopted, which brings to the fore the yearning melancholy that lurks within the song's heart.
"A number of years ago I was living in Liverpool," says Dolan. "One wet evening after a particularly unfruitful busking session, I passed by a travel agent that was advertising ferry trips to Spain. That got my imagination going and I had the song pretty much written in my head by the time I got home. It was a pretty bleak time in my life, but the song remained with me through the years, and it was great to get it down on record."
'Who Am I To Tell You?' deals with "the pressures of adulthood". Explains Dolan: "Expectations, imagined or otherwise, can crush the youthful soul. It's basically just a commentary on that. For the recording, I wanted a really tight sound to match the sentiment in the song."
Beginning with a guitar figure that recalls Kraftwerk's 'Autobhan' (if you have a vivd enough imagination! ), 'Heavenly Possessed" morphs into a sensitive, melodically, sophisticated number. "I had this phrase and a narrative to go with it for some time," he says. "The word 'possessed' is often used in a negative context. I wanted to change it around and see it from another angle. Sometime's its good to be 'possessed' by an ideal or feeling, as long as it's coming from a good place. It keeps us human!"
This is a 'Citóg Records presents...' event. Support is from Tomorrows, Sheepy, and Villy Raze. Admission is €5.