Formed in 2010, The Heads of State (THOS) hail from Donegal and ‘These Times’ is the first studio recording released by the group. Sounding like Mumford and Sons with an Irish twist this EP promises to be the start of bigger things to come. With an initial release in their native county, the rest of the country gets to check out the EP this month. There are four tracks featured here and the sound is predominantly uplifting full of poignant lyrics and plenty of sing-along choruses.
Lead single Days Are Long tells the story of the end of a relationship and the jealously that can accompany it when comparing your situation to that of “the lucky ones”. It’s a very rich sounding song with Orri McBrearty’s mandolin taking the song to another level. This, accompanied by Tommy Callaghan’s vocal makes it the stand-out track and an excellent choice for lead single.
Carry Me is the best example of the sing-along choruses that the band are capable of playing. It also features an intro not too dissimilar to the Take That song I Want You Back (which these days is no bad thing). Here they demonstrate that not only can they play indie sounding songs, but they are also capable of writing radio friendly pop music. This track possibly features the best vocal of the four songs and builds up to a musical crescendo with all elements of the band working really well in tandem.
THOS have done some solid touring in order to raise their profile this year including making a couple of festival appearances at Castlepalooza and Electric Picnic. The former appearance was thanks to The John Murray radio show where they were selected as one of ten acts to play the stage. It’s not been all good news for the band with them having some equipment stolen in April, however this hasn’t derailed them and more tour dates are set to follow for the end of the year.
With the Mumfords going on indefinite hiatus there is certainly a gap in the market for bands with a sound like THOS. ‘These Times’ is a really relaxed sounding EP where the songs seem to have been well thought-out with nothing sounding rushed or left to chance. A full album is something to really look forward to.