Armed initially with only an acoustic guitar, soulful vocals and a poetic, hopeful yet realist outlook, Bobbo Byrnes paints a powerful picture with his decidedly relevant new single.
This is a charming and wistful Christmas song that sneaks up with cold hands and a mug of warm toddy to let you know that you matter.
There’s nothing to hide behind here, no over-use of effects or production details, this is just the artist and his music, as authentic as can be.
A stunning collection, humble yet brilliant – precisely the kind of artist we should all be celebrating.
A far stretch away from the bells and over-production more commonly on display at this time of year. Joe The Bluesman leans towards the likes of The Pogues with this single, yet maintaining the opening acoustic purity throughout the entire lifespan of the beautifully thoughtful and appreciative Christmas With You.
Line undoubtedly is an act set on stirring things up lyrically, offering what no artist has before, and doing so under a professional and skillful musical light. Shocking, uncomfortable, chaotic lyrics ride alongside of pristine ambiances and melodic purity.
Leading with a touch of that country twang, a blues or folk-like soundscape, a quietly uplifting shuffle of a rhythm, and an almost trip-hop-like aura on the whole, the song strands tall on the strength of its own concept, and Kris Angelis more than delivers.
Very much channelling a Lumineers vibe, we get treated to a guitar solo, subtle layer of busy backing vocals, additional percussion, a dead stop… yup, there is loads going on, but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels great!
There is no question of a lead vocal performance being copied and pasted into position here, the variety of takes between the repeated patterns is as organic and fresh as you like, giving the song a living, beating heart to focus on. Smooth.
“Sufjan Stevens was a huge inspiration. So I began bleeding that with folk sounds like Mumford or Lumineers. I also spent a lot of time listening to speaches by Alan watts.”
Delicately rhythmic and intimate production meets with softly emotive vocal work, deeply human lyricism, and a quiet rain of detail; building atmospheric bliss and ultimately offering powerful respite from the weight of the world.
Though the vast majority of the lyrics deal with regret and negative reflections on life, what really lingers with you is the simplicity of that line about hope – the lasting image of you (hopefully) opening your door. The song leaves you wondering, but it also leaves you with an air of optimism.