A CHANGE is as good as a rest they sometimes say, and HamsandwicH certainly believe in the truth of that old chestnut, employing it as the rule of thumb for their forthcoming album.
In April, the Meath band, who have impressed with their left-field indie-rock, through the albums Carry The Meek (2008 ) and White Fox (2011 ), unveiled the pleasing single ‘Illuminate’, which was something of a departure with its acoustic, indie-folk sound, accessible melodies, and brass accompaniment. “We knew that the song came from a different place,” says vocalist Niamh Farrell.
Their most ‘commercial’ single yet? Definitely. It is one you can imagine getting airplay on daytime radio. Should we worry they’re getting too mainstream? Well, there was enough in Niamh’s lilting melodies to keeps things just the right side of indie, and touches of Belle and Sebastian are discernible.
The build-up towards the release of the forthcoming third album continued recently with the release of the ‘Apollo’ single, which long term fans will be relieved to hear stays more within the indie framework, but again there are noticeable differences from previous material.
As band leader Podge McNamee explains: “We’ve fallen in love with song arrangements and discovered that we all have a strong knack for it. The new songs sound bigger. We’ve become more conscious of layering. It allows us to sound different yet it’s completely us, and that’s difficult to achieve.”
So given these two sonically different singles, what can fans expect to hear once the new album is released?
“The biggest change about this new album,” says Podge, “is that we’re majorly fussy about it. Most artists will say that the best ideas come easy, without much effort in the creative process, but that’s debatable. Throughout the gathering of the new material, we worked very hard and had many ideas for each song. Ultimately, we didn’t want to write anything contrived. Musically, we’re braver.”
“You want to aim for, achieve and retain these,” says Niamh, “so that people can listen to the new material and know it isn’t going to sound like previous albums, yet it’s still going to sound like HamsandwicH. You want, ideally, people to hear the song on the radio without the DJ or presenter introducing the band name, but the listener will know it’s us.”
HamsandwicH play the Róisín Dubh on Friday November 28 at 9pm. Tickets are available at www.roisindubh.net, the Ticket Desk at OMG Zhivago, Shop Street, and The Róisín Dubh.