It was only last year when Parisian Jo Carcone, a Dublin based musician, released The New Transmission’s debut album, ‘Home’. At the time, it proved full of promise, and when Carcone called on Gavin Glass to help him create music that was “Simple and fresh with a touch of romanticism”, it was difficult to understand how he could achieve a fresher sound than that found on the album. Yet, ‘Out Of The Blue’ does go that one step further, hitting the listener like a cool wave.
The whole thing has an air of other-worldliness to it, thanks in part to the integration of a Persian lute and drum. Opening track Blue Song creates a reflective backdrop for the rest of this EP with its gentle guitar and captivating vocals from Carcone. Waiting For So Long is well thought out and clever in places; Carcone manages to pack the song full of raw emotion without losing the ruminative quality of the music. Stay is by far the stand out track. Its catchy chorus with generic but intelligent lyrics like “Would you stay if I asked you to?” give it a modest exterior, but it is cleverly put together and the added violin as it progresses makes it a powerful track. Ironically it is the one that is likely to ‘stay’ with you long after listening.
Title track Out Of The Blue presents a more varied and exciting sound, with elements of ethnic influences through use of the Tar (Persian lute) alongside a haunting female vocal, creating an aura of calm. The unusual adoption of unconventional instruments works surprisingly well alongside the guitar and keyboard. Not only do they reinforce his desire for something simple and fresh, but they enable the listener to remain in the meditative bubble present from the onset. Love is King is full of good intention and musically it follows in those same reflective footsteps of previous tracks, with help from Carcone’s engaging vocals and the same relaxed guitar heard throughout the EP. Lyrically, however, it at times leaves the listener disappointed, not just because of its own inadequacies, but as a result of the strength of its predecessors.
Out of the Blue has a lot to offer. Not only has Carcone exceeded his own desire for how this new release should be understood, but The New Transmission also manages to grant the wishes of music fans as well – each track, no matter how weak or strong, screams originality. As we find ourselves saturated by predictable singer-songwriter types, The New Transmission offers a welcome alternative.