Saturday, 11 August 2018

Album: Making County - The Ballad of Feargal

Making County - The Ballad of Feargal


Info: Making County are two lovely lads from out-of-town. Fresh faced and naive, the folk-duo are trying to make waves on the scene by singing songs about fictional friends. Between their lovelorn progressions and mordant lyrics you find an image of Ireland's lost youth, hopeful, and uniquely humorous.

The Maynooth pair released a concept album last December called 'The Ballad of Feargal'. Inspired by Irish society and striving to capture life in Ireland as a young person lost amongst the notions of modern identity politics and the traditional view of Irish culture. The music is inspired by lush pop and jazz records and our lyrics are sardonic and absurd.

"Go to the bookies, today I'll be lucky, that's what my horoscope said, I want to support Leeds, nothing much this year, look sure at least I'm not dead ". The opening self-titled track on Maynooth duo Making County's album The Ballad of Feargal, brings the personality of the LP into sharp focus straight away. Airy, semi-optimistic and ultimately detached are the characters that pepper this highly enjoyable collection of stories. 

'Feelings' is another early delight, almost bossa nova style acoustic guitar and nailed on harmonies, recounting a day at the race-track, and in the middle of describing the scene our protagonists thoughts are so distracted he begins to wonder at the niceties of meeting someone from his past. This is a thematic cornerstone of The Ballad of Feargal, scattered minds, everyday seemingly banal thoughts turned into dramatically visual stories, brought to full and charming life by the vocals and music of the Making County pair.

'Weather Report' takes a more overt dark turn, a despondent loner watching the weather is suddenly spoken to directly by the presenter, eschewing philosophical advice on how to be a good person during a psychedelic interlude at the 1:50 mark. The lines between reality and fantasy become increasingly blurred; "But one final thing you should know," he said, "Remember the 26 is typically late; The state should improve their public transport services and that’s all I have to say about that". 

A delightful slice of classic delta blues inspired recounting occurs on 'The Clock Strikes 12', again showing how the band can easily fall in and out of various acoustic-based genres of music. This switch even occurs within the song itself, with the tone shifting half-way to a more traditional Irish folk style. "Folks, I'm gonna die, I guess I'm just that sort of guy, no chance of a sequel, I'm here drowning in a sea of people", a reminder that despite the jest which runs through the album, there is an emphasis on social isolation also, drifting towards becoming separated from the community with age, whilst their small world stands still, and the inevitable tension that will ensue.

There is so much to enjoy on Making County's The Ballad of Feargal, you can zone out and purely enjoy the excellent music and vocals, or zone in and let their stories become your own, and allow your imagination to add to those stories through your own experiences. A really charming and well-thought out piece of modern satire.


Like & Listen:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakingCounty/

Bandcamp: https://makingcounty.bandcamp.com/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2cQKNUzWvIwRURT6gPmeW7?si=DhF29I4BR52X0fTUkVS8WA

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