Friday, 18 November 2016

EP Premiere: Luke Clerkin - Ink Written Messages

Luke Clerkin Ink Written Messages

Luke Clerkin - Ink Written Messages EP

Info: Luke Clerkin is a singer songwriter from Dublin. Before releasing his debut single Stones in aid of Cycle Against Suicide in April, Luke played over 250 gigs all around Ireland in 2015, including sets at Electric Picnic and Body & Soul. Stones reached number 2 on the iTunes Singer Songwriter chart on the day of its release, which was then followed by a tour of Northern Ireland.

After finishing recording his debut E.P. entitled 'Ink Written Messages', Luke traveled to LA in September to showcase his music to industry professionals at Youbloom Music Summit & Festival. 'Ink Written Messages' is released everywhere today, 18th of November, and will be followed by a headline show in the Workman's Club main room on the 23rd of November.

Opening with the tender ode to Dublin, 'Home', sung beautifully by Orlagh Kenny, Luke Clerkin's Ink Written Messages lays out it's urban folk leanings from the very beginning. The string arrangements have a familiar early-Frames feel , whilst the tenderness of the track recalls, albeit different to, Mic Christopher's more stripped down and quieter moments. 

On the EP's title track, Clerkin's vocals exude a warm and glowing charm, a comforting familiarity, and visually recreate a distant and fond memory seen through the lens of a crackled and distorted old VHS home video.

With 'Second Starts' we're drawn to the vibrant yet restrained acoustic strum, again warmth abounds; 'you should be feeling happy, instead you're feeling harm, any time I'm honest, you're mistaking it for charm, and I wish that I could help you, I wish you'd let me in, but your pain it makes you sour, when it's lost within your skin'. Up front it may appear as an appeal to another, but the sense is that Clerkin is perhaps addressing himself.

'Console' encapsulates the strand of enchantment that runs the whole way through 'Ink Written Messages', it's just a man, his voice, and his guitar, isn't it? It's rare to be able to pull off a song with such minimalism, no bells or whistles, and make a discernible impact such as this. For me, Clerkin's debut EP is a celebration of everything that was good in the past in the sometimes maligned singer-songwriter genre, and everything that is bright as you look down the road at the future.

Luke Clerkin plays a headline show in The Workman's Club, Dublin on Wednesday, the 23rd of November. Event info is here

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