Dundalk band We, The Oceanographers have been pretty busy on the touring scene in the first half of 2015. Made up of Conal McIntyre and Joseph Edwards, they’re a neo-folk band who create lo-fi DIY Music.
McIntyre writes lengthy posts on the band’s site, at the start of which he apologises in advance for their breadth, by which point you can tell they’re the real deal.
‘Ventures.002’ is made out of a plethora of different sounds, brought together atmospherically rather than in the form of any continuous rhythm, giving the sense of being made of the steam of compulsion rather than a whole lot of compulsive planning.
McIntyre‘s voice is of a vulnerable, lump-in-your-throat kind and is central to their sound. On first track, Overcoming Foxes, he croons “Put a little poison in your soul,” sort of like a rallying call at overt kindness, urging a little strength.
What is quite evident is that a small-town mentality is bemoaned by the band. The feeling of owning a whole ocean in the confines of a bedroom, is fairly significant in that it shows the introversion in their song’s subjects.
And in their lyrics it’s all about comforting the alienated, with lines like “It looks a little brighter growing up,” and “I don’t remember who I used to be,” and finally with cries of “You’ll be so much brighter, You’ll be such a fighter.”
But they’re not just confined to playing the comforter. This Is Why turns aggressive, pointing the finger. McIntyre finally sounds fed-up as he goes about calling out a “Broken kettle” in his own very distinct fashion.
Laid-back is hard to pull off. You want to sound relaxed without being unenthusiastic and We, The Oceanographers get this. The Northern twang in McIntyre‘s voice is a massive help, while the lyrics add dimensions to what the band is doing, filling out their themes with a larger emphasis.
Whatever went before they finish on a positive note thematically, with the final song Cats and Dogs surrounding like a mist, as Mcintyre sings “I’ve said it once, I’ll say it once again. I could go around with you” casual as you like.