Photo: Robin Ball
VIDEO BLUE - Dusk Moves
Info: It's almost two years to the day that Dundalk native, now London resident, Jim O'Donoghue Martin shared his debut EP as VIDEO BLUE with the world, that was More Pop Troubles. It was a strong opening salvo, with tracks like 'Filmic' and 'Talisman' still being firm crowd pleasers today. In the intervening period between that release and his full debut LP, Love Scenes, O'Donoghue Martin's output showed no let up, constantly focusing on the original and forward-thinking experimentation. The inevitable growth over the past two years is noticeable, but not much was required, VIDEO BLUE has stayed true to his DIY school when it comes to honing his mix of electro-pop and indie sounds.
Love Scenes opens with a perky guitar progression and a soft and earnest vocal on 'Dogged Animals', before long his trademark minimalistic beats and pops join the fray, an instant showcase of the bedrock of the sound for those who may be unfamiliar. Next track 'Dusk Moves' (above video) is a peach, and combined with the highly engaging video, stands out as one of my definite favourites on the album. There's a funky disco mood, brought on courtesy of the rapid picking of the guitars bass notes, and the unmissable groove of the beat and effects, all leading to the tracks semi-euphoric conclusion.
As the title suggests, 'Pillow Drift' is an ambient and mellow affair, casting us off into a dream sequence, at times I'm reminded of Hail to the Thief and In Rainbows-era Radiohead, albeit for only the briefest of moments, once again, the vocals are perfect for shaping the atmosphere of the track. A hazy indie-pop style raises its head on 'September and October', where additional vocals are finely provided by Muireann O'Keeffe, overall creating a nice balance between mid-90's and contemporary alternative indie.
VIDEO BLUE - Bombshell
Following the twists and turns of the warm yet slightly dark lo-fi psychedelic pop leanings of 'A Blume', we arrive at the truly joyous 'Bombshell' above, in our review of the single last year we observed; "it has all the elements you'd want from a song of unbridled happiness, a merry rhythm, shimmering electric guitar spurts and of course Video Blue's day-glo vocals to warm your cockles." Indeed it does, it was certainly one of the most catchy songs I had the pleasure of hearing last year.
'Hold Muzik' feels like the bridge between old and new VIDEO BLUE, like a postcard from his past, it has that fast-paced rhythm and pointed guitar riffs, a gravely vocal adding to the nonchalant mood of the track, the percussion and electric guitar are top notch on this one. closing with 'Magpies At Dawn', VIDEO BLUE brings us down to the carnival on a quintessentially English promenade at its outset, before plunging into another lo-fi shuffle. It's both poignant and appropriate that it has his DIY imprint all over it, reminding us that the entirety of Love Scenes was recorded and produced in his flat in Hackney. It's a nice moment on which to wave us goodbye, til the next time, knowing O'Donoghue Martin, we won't be waiting too long before he serves us up another delightful gem.
VIDEO BLUE - Dogged Animals
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