Country music has undergone a resurgence in recent years and, here in 2018, Irish trio The Rising are leading the charge, largely thanks to their impressive new album Moving On.
The opening number, the album’s title track, sets the tone for the entire collection, with its distinctive, strong country sound that blends modern day country pop with Americana, and I dare you not to be seriously impressed by the high notes at the very end.
Forgive And Not Forget meanwhile has an air of Taylor Swift about it, with a toe-tapping rhythm and lyrics that are not only super easy to learn, but also radio friendly and ideal for a huge crowd singalong thanks to lines such as: “You go looking for love and this is what you get. You go, looking for love, it’s not over yet” – on a personal note, I was semi-dancing to this song in my car!
The group’s instrumental talents – performed by guitar, banjo and mandolin player Chris Logan and bassist Brian Mellors, are given their time to shine on With You, each one blending seamlessly with Chantelle McAteer’s own instrument, her smooth yet strong and utterly gorgeous vocal as she once again demonstrates her impressive range during the closing few seconds. Following on from this comes Even The Stars Fall For You, the first ballad on the album, and yet, it also plays out like a powerful romantic anthem – a testament to the power of love and having a special someone in your life: “I bleed for you, I breathe for you, I don’t wanna let this fade away”. There’s almost heart-wrenching emotion running through the entire track that could find some listeners being brought to tears (it happened to me) but such emotion only makes the track better and stronger – it’s easily a highlight.
Kicking the tempo back up a few notches, Back To Me is pure, full on Irish pop-folk fun. It fizzes with an energy that will likely have people dancing with almost reckless abandon, and Reasonable plays like a song the likes of Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift might wish they’d written. It’s a stadium worthy banger, with yet another toe-tapping rhythm and a fantastic piano bridge.
With a stomping drum beat, Just Another Name will keep listeners bopping around wherever they happen to be (again, do be careful if playing this in your car!) and although the instrumentation slightly overpowers Chantelle’s vocal a couple of times, she quickly fires back all guns blazing and makes the song really shine.
Rebound, the first single to be taken from the album, slows things down again, and, like Even The Stars…, this heartfelt ballad is another standout inclusion on the collection. Chantelle’s vocal brims with undeniable emotion, while the lyrics themselves are so honest – it’ll be hard for those who hear it who have been in any kind of relationship, especially like the one the song addresses, not to find themselves identifying with each and every one of them.
With a fantastic underlying piano rhythm, Take A Hint kicks things back into high gear, but it’s the parts where the calls of “STOP” see the lyrics and instruments cut out that really make this song stand tall. It would be unlikely to work on any other track by any other artist, but here it rockets the song to another level, and together with Chantelle’s strong and energized vocal, it’s yet ANOTHER toe-tapping, ‘stuck in your head’ song that’ll stay with you long after it’s ended.
There’s something almost Australian about the beat of Yellow House, and as different as this comes across, somehow it fits perfectly with each and every track that has come before it – it cements the almost certainty that this band can try different country sounds and styles, and pull them off with aplomb, while the “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh” at the very end will sound awesome as and when it’s sung by a mass of people at a concert or festival.
Love Is is perhaps the most stirring and emotive track on the collection, and whether a listener has experienced a relationship or not, the lyrics, notably the first line of the chorus, “love is hurt, love is pain…”, will and can resonate with everyone who has ever felt any kind of hurt in their lives. As the song builds towards its end, so does Chantelle’s vocal, and the power with which she delivers each lyric suggests she personally has grown and become stronger from and as a result of the darker and harder times in her life. It’s a raw, powerful piece of music.
Beginning with a catchy instrumental, Finally Found You is an almost lyrically perfect love song, complete with electric guitar, that blends sick instrumentation and yet another great vocal performance from Chantelle. Closing number Roundabouts maintains the perfect blend, only this time, via the musical interlude, each has their time in the spotlight and then they reunite to deliver the closing moments of a track that will work surely phenomenally well live.
Ultimately, Moving On cements The Rising’s evolution and how strong they have become since starting out as an all-male outfit; Chantelle’s presence in the group has seen them develop from a band who have earned themselves considerable attention to a band who you just can’t ignore anymore, and on the back of this collection, the world is sure – and needs – to start sitting up and taking notice.