Ireland has an unhealthy love for singer-songwriters – look no further for proof than the fact that David Gray’s ‘White Ladder’ holds the honour of been the country’s highest selling record. It doesn’t stop there either; this country seems to produce an endless amount of singer-songwriters. Next off the never-ending conveyor belt is Mere Moths, otherwise known as Patrick Wright.
‘Time’ marks Wright’s second release of this year having brought out his debut EP, ‘You Grew Up’, in February. This picks up where his debut left off, with Wright’s brand of acoustic folk coming with a slightly unconventional flavour. It certainly owes more to the likes of Ben Howard or James Vincent McMorrow than it does to a more traditional brand of folk. This is a positive, Wrights left of centre approach making for interesting listening – at least for the EP’s first two tracks anyway.
First up is the title track- a hushed and reserved acoustic number that sees Wright whisper his vocals over some subtle guitar playing. The sparse arrangement works well, giving centre stage to striking vocals. A blast of electric guitar as the song works to its finish serves as a nice change of pace too. It all makes for a fine lead single. It’s followed by Save You, another interesting composition. Once again this one is understated, simply comprising of just acoustic guitar and drums. Minimalist it may be but boring it is not; another exquisitely arranged number, with its wistful, folky vibe it brings to mind Led Zeppelins Going to California.
Unfortunately the second two tracks on this EP don’t match the quality of the first two. Break Left is a mundane, plodding ballad. If the first half of the EP felt oft-kilter this one can be safely filed as MOR. Dance Music is better, but still only average at best. In its favour, it brims with energy and is somewhat of a toe-tapper. On the other hand, it feels quite formulaic and compared with Time and Save You definitely has an air of filler to it.
With the abundance of singer-songwriters this country produces it takes something special to stand out amongst the pack. With ‘Time’, Mere Moths doesn’t quite distinguish himself fully but there are plenty of glimmers of promise here. Still in his teens, Wright has plenty of time to develop that promise too. For now, though, he remains very much the unfinished article.