Folk music has seen something of a resurgence in recent years in the form of bands adopting traditional influences and updating them for modern listeners. Cork-based four piece The Good Rain do just this with their debut album “Some Other Plan”.
Describing themselves as somewhere “between indie and Americana, post-punk and folk” The Good Rain have produced a collection of music that defies definition while at the same time hooking the listener with endlessly catchy rhythm.
The album kicks off with the punchy, animated (and almost Dylan-esque) My Favourite Track. It is a powerfully statement of energetic intent that signals a determination to stay true to the band’s folk roots while at the same time creating music that is both contemporary and endlessly listenable.
From there, things flow smoothly from folk to rock to blues and back again several times – hitting a number of points that aren’t so clearly defined at all along the way. All of this is underlined by a distinctive acoustic sound with its basis in the interplay between guitar and cello, as well as the harmonic vocals – alternating between the male and female singers to great effect.
“Some Other Plan” shuffles through several different styles in its early stages, with more folky offerings like Some Other Plan and the wonderfully catchy Rise and Fall giving way to the sultry blues number Blood Red Dress and the dreamy escapism of Through the Window. This range of cross-genre experimentation and influences could result in a collection of diverse songs with little in common, but somehow no matter how far the album strays away from the predictable route, it retains a distinctive sound unlike anything else around.
The second half of the album morphs into one of greater maturity with My War and On Your Soldier breaking out into a chaotic release of emotions that you didn’t even realise were being held back. While the lyrics are incisive throughout, it is here they take on their most obvious critical edge.
The Good Rain have jammed a huge dose of musical diversity into their debut album, but what really sets the four piece band apart is the sheer energy they manage to bring to their recordings, suggestive of a band capable of putting on a spirited live performance. The sheer enjoyment that comes from listening to “Some Other Plan” a few times marks The Good Rain out as a group that need to be seen live to be fully appreciated.