Far From Home – David Long & Shane O’Neill (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If you look up the phrase, “more than the sum of its parts” in the dictionary, what you will find is the cover artwork of this three-track collaboration between David Long and Shane O’Neill. Those with an interest in Irish music, indie music, underground music, actually…. just great music in general, will know these two master music makers from previous bands Into Paradise and Blue in Heaven respectively. And, after leading largely separate musical lives, the childhood friends are back together.

Far From Home is one of those songs which, through clever production, sounds both DIY and totally professional, it’s indie music as you remember it from your own first bands or formative gig experiences, music which is slightly frayed and wilfully ragged, raw and honest, and all the better for it.

It is the gaps where clever studio tricks would be placed and space behind and between the instruments which creates a certain atmosphere, one that speaks of demo tapes and cheap studios, second hand instruments, substance over style, passion over profit and the wide-eyed innocence of fledgling music makers first steps. Something made all the more impressive because of it being a deliberate choice.

Far From Home echoes with the sound of New Order or The Go-Betweens and shimmers with the same cinematic qualities which graced Echo & The Bunnymen’s music. With an album lined up for August, this is the perfect way of dipping a toe before immersing yourself completely in the cool sonic waters to follow.

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