Possessing a raw energy that few artists can convincingly convey the Irish Pop Rock quartet have already been championed by NME and Radio 2’s Janice Long and Dermot O’Leary as well as bagging an army of cyber fans including Uk.music-jobs who described them as “Serious contenders for next big thing status”.
But the next few months will become very interesting for the lads as they prepare to release their debut album Animate. Aptly named, due to its colourful tunes, enlivening quality and inspiring nature, Animate is both big in sound and stature. With tracks like The Haunting (“4 minutes of thrilling and bone tingling poetry” – Musicvice.com) and Lies (“Urgent pop infused head rush” LeedsMusicScene.net), Animate conveys a plethora of sounds and emotions ranging from the delicate to the immense. Described by ILikeMusic.com as “one of the most eagerly anticipated albums this year”, it incorporates everything from a crashing drum across a studio floor to a 50 strong choral harmony – not to mention, 10 tracks of outstanding quality.
Recorded in Van Morrison’s prestigious Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin (which has seen the likes of The Rolling Stones, REM, Elvis Costello and U2 pass through) the boys’ surrounded themselves with a carefully picked studio team before getting down to business. Produced by Tom McFall, producer and Engineer for Snow Patrol, Bloc Party, Editors, REM and Weezer and mastered by John Davis who has worked with industry heavyweights such as Led Zeppelin, REM, Primal Scream, and Florence and the Machine, Animate offers diversity, originality as well as mainstream appeal. Tom McFall said:
“Black Soul Strangers are one of the most promising young bands I’ve had the pleasure to work with. In Animate, they’ve created a master class in modern Pop Rock that will no doubt prove them to be one of the most talented new bands to emerge in 2010”
With so much hype surrounding the band, it begs the question ‘Just who exactly are the Black Soul Strangers’? Created in an old school house in coastal Donegal, Ireland, when front man and guitarist Barry Gorey and drummer Brendan O’Mahony first started writing together, it wasn’t long before they knew they were onto something. They added bassist and vocalist James O’Brien and guitarist and synth player Philip Wyer and their exceptional musical line-up was complete.
The band’s catchy uproar has already tickled the ears of a few tastemakers - Jo Wiley, Fearne Cotton and Kat Wong, (Zane Lowe’s producer) have all joined Black Soul Strangers ever increasing list of fans. The lads’ music has also attracted some of British cinema’s revered directors – opening album track Panic Sets Direction was used in award winning, British psychological horror film Beacon 77, described by The Leeds International Film Festival as “an absorbing example of the best that British genre cinema has to offer.” Other album track Monster was also used in Eoin Macken’s visceral horror Irish film The Inside which received critical acclaim in much of the Irish media.
Black Soul Strangers fantastic work ethic, obsession with creating great music have already placed them head and shoulders above their competition as they continue to not only justify but elevate the hype already surrounding them. Emerging like a vast Pop-Rock cloud with its soaring riffs and pain ridden vocals, Animate will be released on 5th July.
As NME quite rightly put it, they are “a band who actually look and sound successful before their time…Strangers, eh? Not for much longer” – and with an unquestioning belief in themselves (and not to mention luck of the Irish), they might just be the breakthrough act of 2010.
Edited by musrum on 8 Apr 2010, 17:34
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