It’s hard to know where to begin in presenting an apt description of Aodhán O’Reilly’s EP. Straight away we’re treated to a looping drum sample and some sparse instrumentation. Atmospheric is probably an apt description. We’ve heard this done before; this is the kind of thing that Beck does so well, Bjork and Radiohead too when the mood takes them. They however, are fantastic songwriters.
Perhaps the most astounding thing about the opening track Indian Summer is its farcical running time of 3:52. O’Reilly seems to be of the persuasion that a drum loop and some abstract piano noodling constitutes a song. This is perhaps the most infuriating trend in Irish music right now. Songs are presented under a commonly utilised smoke screen of pretension so young men and woman can waste everyone’s time on a twenty euro Casio keyboard and an iPad. I’m sure O’Reilly had fun, but as a piece of art it’s utter nonsense.
Things kick on with Unicorn, not so much a track but rather the sound of someone shaking a cutlery drawer and stopping and starting again at clever intervals. Only the third and final track, ludicrously entitled Piano #5 offers some real reprieve, only in the sense that it can be defined as a piece of music. As a standalone piano piece it graduates from unlistenable self-regarding nonsense to complete musical drivel.
It perhaps seems unfair to be so harsh on an unsigned artist. However the growing dilution in the actual craft of song writing has to be the most frustrating by-product of the electronic approach to music, which is thrilling if placed in the right hands. This is precisely the kind of half-baked avant-garde slop that leaves people stroking their ironic beards in appreciation while common sense is abandoned. Hopefully the majority won’t be fooled.