With the overwhelming, yet seemingly natural spread of folk-pop globally, songwriters all over these isles are picking up instruments built to illustrate the days of sunny warmth. And with time spent on the circuit in Montreal, Corner Boy has used varied styles in creating his story of travel across North America.
“Rise me up, with the sun” – sang tribe-like, introduces us to title track Morning, Morning. It’s not long before a folk frenzy erupts before settling into an appropriate verse, where Corner Boy himself, Michael D’arcy excels in this style of vocal. The polished production can not be ignored – this is a well crafted EP. It’s likely you’ll be hearing this track regularly, as it’s lined as the score to Discover Ireland’s next advertisement campaign. Heathers, Ham Sandwich and Wallis Bird have strolled down the very same path previously, enjoying much success.
Blues orientated Sunlight develops and early hook matching guitar and vocal trimly, but fails to elaborate any further and at one minute fifty-seven, it’s brazenly short. Let’s Hit The Road (Home) returns to the initial mainstream sound heard on the EP opener, while Move To Paris illustrates the gentler side of Corner Boy nicely, yet the overly executed “hoes” and “hays” could be more subtle – or indeed increased to adopt a drinking game of who has more; The Lumineers or Corner Boy?
The banjo and the harmonica – sounds which permeates the radio waves to no end in current times. The flag of which, currently held aloft by kingpins Mumford & Sons, is the only negative to lay in the lap of Corner Boy. There are major similarities, and being similar doesn’t help when you want to stand out. In saying that, Corner Boy draws other folk elements into his music from the traditional Irish route, using bodhran beats and a modern outlook with effect laden vocals on final track, Go Soft Into The Night. With hints of Imogen Heap, this is the outstanding track, purely for its different flavour and consuming lyrics by D’arcy.
Overall, this is a polished success and the praise is based purely on merit. Corner Boy may well be similar to current radio dominators, but as a first attempt, it’s exciting to imagine how the follow ups will sound.