As we begin our gradual emergence from enforced hibernation, in Ireland at least, it’s encouraging and gratifying to do so with a record of diverse, and exciting, homespun ditties such as this one. Quarantine has been disproportionately unkind to the creative community but there is an upside to everything and time away from touring, promotion, day jobs and all the other distractions of quotidian existence has been an artistic boon for some. Paddy McGovern’s debut EP, The Woods, made my end of year list in 2016. I still listen to it now.
His lo-fi indie is reminiscent of Sebadoh and modern indie gems like So Cow, Yip Man, and Benjamin Shaw. The first release from the EP came out a year ago and the COVID-19 lockdown has given him the opportunity to finish The Mines. The music feels simultaneously lush and sparse. It's warm and inviting like slipping into old pyjamas. ‘Room’s guitar solo has a Sonic Youth vibe and, as with The Woods, there’s a different feel and different genre on each track. It's an old-fashioned approach that lends The Mines a timeless quality.
I've previously compared them to The Flaming Lips, Jose Gonzalez, Pugwash, The Beta Band and ‘60s bands like The Kinks and Herman’s Hermits. I can comfortably trot out those same references, and add in Louth’s Elephant, after seeing them a few times at Vantastival. ‘Mash Potato’ is a daft Beach Boys tune with shades of The Wiggles and Weezer. The wonky guitar solo only adds gravy to this delightfully unselfconscious ditty. The bluesy, psychedelic ‘River’ closes out affairs with a distinctly ‘70s vibe, and lashing of Hendrix-y lead lines.
Until the record shops reopen, show your support and download ‘Room’ today, and The Mines when it comes out on Friday July 10.