Monday, 28 March 2016

Video: The Crayon Set - O'Connell Street, 1916

The Crayon Set O'Connell Street 1916

The Crayon Set - O'Connell Street, 1916

Info: Dublin indie and alt-pop six-piece, The Crayon Set, have released a video for 'O'Connell Street, 1916' from their forthcoming second album produced by Gavin Glass, Lost Languages, which is due out this year. As well as the obvious reference we can glean from the track's title, it is also a look at some of the darker aspects of Irish life.

This song is a thing of sweet and understated beauty, from the twinkling piano throughout to the softly-spoken monologue which reminded me of A House's 'Endless Art' or Whipping Boys' 'When We Were Young'. The lyrics are poetic and moving, such as the second verse; 'Mrs McCanns not looking to great / Is it her hair, has she lost some weight / Her son Paul went to my school / When Paul took his life, he took hers too' and opener; 'Jim's out of work and back on the booze / He's living on crisps and John Player Blue / His wife Lil is down in the Bons / They think that it's back and spread to her lungs.' 

With symbolic and upfront references to the country's deeply religious past, and an assessment of our national character, vices and apathy, 'O'Connell Street, 1916' is perhaps a question about what improvements we've made ourselves, both personally and nationally, to make Ireland a better place, with the capital's maligned main thoroughfare used as an imaginary stage for us to make the judgement for ourselves. 

I agree with a previous review that this song from The Crayon Set has all the hallmarks of an Irish classic, it has both substance and depth and is musically powerful and moving. As this is my first exposure to the Dublin act, I am now curious to take in their debut self-titled album from 2013 and looking forward to their next release at the same time.

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