BRIARS are the new band who hail from the South East of Ireland, but are based in Cork City. They play original alternative folk with traditional elements. The band is made up of two main writers, Michael Grace & Paul O’Shea, but they turn into an energetic 5/6 piece band when playing in a live setting, where they are joined by some of Ireland’s finest musicians.
BRIARS released their debut single entitled ‘There There’ on April 22nd and have now followed this up with their newest release ‘Even Keel’, which was released on the 1st of July. After listening to this song, there is no denying that these lads are Irish! Their accent shines through in a wonderful way on this track. In my opinion, ‘Even Keel’ trumps ‘There There’ both in sound and in lyrics. That’s not to say that ‘There There’ isn’t a great offering but BRIARS, even though they’re only on their second release, have already stepped it up from their debut single.
The song opens with the lines “I’ve been walking uphill for days, stepping in puddles and shaking the rain from my hair, Avoiding these signs of you that seem to be everywhere. And no longer will I just fall in to your arms she said, no longer will I come here to sleep let alone do anything else in your bed”. This implies a broken love, one that was at some stage happy and full but has since broken down. The chorus of this song goes on to say that both parties are trying to “keep things on an even keel” and remain friends, despite this being tough for them. The instruments used for this song compliment the style and sound of the song really well, despite the fact that they sound upbeat and the lyrics are just the opposite.
The song ends with a change in music style, which reminded me a little of Romani music. A single line of “I’d rather wait here with you in the dark” is repeated until the final line, which hits hard with “I’d rather wait all alone in the dark”.
‘Even Keel’ is a promising release from BRIARS and as they are a very new band to the Irish music scene, we are excited to see what the future has in store for them!
You can listen to ‘Even Keel’ over on Spotify here.