Everyone knows that the good people of Cork like to do things a little differently to the rest of you and The Hard Ground are no exception to the rule.
With ‘Triptych’, the leeside-based quintet have eschewed the traditional long player album format, instead opting for a more unique form of release. ‘Triptych: One’ is the first of 3 installments which will initially be released as digital EPs with the complete trilogy getting both digital and physical releases in early 2015.
The product of a Fund:it campaign, it’s intended as a more real-time experience which will be influenced by their lives throughout the year, resulting in a fresher, more contemporaneous output.
Though ‘Triptych: One’ is just 4 tracks long, it manages to demonstrate the versatility of the outfit, showcasing their adaptability across a whole bunch of genres from country to rambunctious rock ‘n’ roll. The collective mix it up even further, alternating Marlene Enright and Pat Carey on lead vocal duty. ‘Triptych: One’ does seem like a simpler affair than its predecessor, 2012’s ‘Broken Conversations’, and we’d imagine that it will translate wonderfully to a live setting.
On album opener, Belles and Beaux, Marlene takes us on a coquettish romp through modern romance. Next, the bluesy rhythms of Ashes compliment Carey’s Tom Waits-esque gutteral growl. EP highlight, Two by Two, is an impressive baroque pop number where Marlene’s vocal recalls Nina Persson’s delicate melodies.
The Triptych project is far from a novel concept- it’s actually really clever. The scarcity of tracks did lead us to really focus on each one as an individual entity and knowing that this EP is just the first of a trilogy has left us longing for the next chapter.