Musician Larss Vincent, stage-name The Wilde, is a man obsessed with the musical and literary culture of Ireland. His latest EP, ‘I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day’ has unlocked traditional Irish laments and rebel style lyrics blended with a modern outlook aimed at our politics of today. His fascination with Oscar Wilde, Patrick Kavanagh and Brendan Behan is clear to see. His lyrics are gentle and composed, while there are elements of Shane McGowan thrown in to add a needed harshness to the overall sound.
The first track, Vote Now, Pay Later, is introduced by a poem entitled ‘Nothing More’ which is a political interpretation of the dire straits of Ireland’s present recession. Spoken by a woman, it adds historic depth to the song but perhaps loses credibility by being overly rebellious. Wilde gives a sobering account of life in Ireland and how we will pay in the future for mistakes made now. His voice is accompanied by a traditional group of acoustic guitar, bass and violin and the words ‘why’ are despairingly repeated at the chorus’ end. Loud claps are included and work excellently, as if representing the Irish people coming together.
Following this, a chilling track called Dublin I’m Dancing With Your Ghosts commences and instantly takes you to a creepy Dublin street corner. The echo-like vocal sounds as though Dublin’s ghosts are alive and singing in the shadows. There is contrasting folk elements with the inclusion of a mandolin and the chorus is a real beauty.
The third song on the EP is called The Girl Who’s Smiling Outside and it cheerfully shifts pace and changes mood. It’s a welcome change and perhaps strategically done so, because it truly broadens the overall sound of the EP. With full-bodied accompaniment on banjo, guitar, violin and whistles, the main hook is a sweet Irish melody and typifies the soundtrack of any decent pub in the country. There is a real traditional essence in this song with the involvement of the whistles and it is charming to the Irish ear indeed.
The final song was not written by The Wilde and has also been recorded by the Pogues among others. Also the title of the EP, I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day is a neat rendition of a beautiful song and it must be said he does it fine justice. Being in a jig time signature, it is truly Irish and why not round things off with a classic.
There are real emotions to be heard on this EP which are engaging to the Irish heart; passion, poetic anger, charm, honesty and sadness. With difficult times for Ireland, we may see a renaissance of our own roots in music and trad may be looking forward rather than behind from now on. The Wilde will be seen busking in Dublin’s city centre throughout November and December.