FRESH DOUBLE A-SIDE: KIERAN O’BRIEN – Submerged / Ready to Go
Kieran O’Brien – Submerged / Ready to Go are available at Bandcamp.
by Walter Price
Ahead of the highly anticipated release of his new LP, Galway, Ireland’s Kieran O’Brien dropped a double A-Side “Submerged / Ready to Go”. And as you’ll soon realize from listening to the two varied singles and from the songwriter’s own words, O’Brien is expanding his soundscapes. While both songs are certainly different in texture from what we’re accustomed to from this artist, the underlying expanse of theme and technical finesse is intriguing. I’m going to go out on a limb with a guess that his new album will be a self-discovery opus of sorts. Heavy on emotional storylines, experimentation cradled in rootsy-psych-pop…time will tell all.
In a statement provided to the GTC, O’Brien explained the project and singles, “Both songs are taken from my upcoming album, which carries itself a little differently from my previous ‘full sounding’ releases. A lot more somber and sparse in nature, stripped back, and personal. In comparison to my previous work, my intention here was to let my voice speak for itself and let the instrumentation take more of a backseat this time around.
“The first single ‘Submerged‘ opens with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a simple drum machine loop, introducing a character who feels lost and abandoned, pleading not to be left behind, light instrumentation develops across the track with the use of electric guitar and EBow, to bring depth, that of the ocean, surrounding the listener and pulling them deep down, to the bottom of the seabed. Melancholy, probably, as most of my tracks are, but this was not my intention with this track, rather I feel a sense of release, an enjoyable suspension, freedom perhaps, in sinking down from one level to another.
The second track is titled ‘Ready to Go‘, A short track, only featuring vocals and Spanish guitar reminiscent of light rain on the window. It captures the heavier grief-stricken nature of the album. A part of me which still re-surfaces from release to release, obviously not released enough. The lyric “Even in summertime, I feel so cold” highlights my state of mind at the time, when everything is good externally yet you still cannot shake whatever is happening inside.
Submerged / Ready to Go
Artist photo via Facebook
Written, recorded and produced by Kieran O’Brien
Galway, Ireland 2020
“Kieran O’Brien is a songwriter from Galway, on the west coast of Ireland, combining sparse, dreamy and sometimes psychedelic textures to deliver a low-fi indie/folky sound.” – bio