It’s great when a song’s musical make-up reflects the message being pushed in its lyrics. So, as James O’Connor reinforces the edge of madness vibe by repeated use of the title as a recurring lyrical motif, he does so over a brooding bassline and simple, relentless beat to drive the idea home. And by the time he finally unlocks this claustrophobic groove, it feels like a merciful release and we welcome the explosion of sonic colour which follows.
A Day Away From Madness is a wonderful hybrid of modern pop, indie cool and a nod to an 80’s synth-pop heyday. Yet it doesn’t tug at nostalgic heartstrings, instead just using the energy and adventure that the sound provides, fuelling his modern-day creation with it.
And lyrically too there is a lot to love here, this is clearly a man who can turn a phrase and a melody to match, and given that the album that this comes from is titled “A Cluster of Narratives,” I suspect that this is just the tip of the iceberg of wordplay and lyricism that he has to offer.
Oh yes, and anyone who has rubbed shoulders with luminaries such as Steve Wickham and Duke Special is always going to get my vote!