Robert O’Conner is a budding singer songwriter from our very own Dublin City. Making his second attempt to break into the music scene, he treats us, the anxious public, to his new EP ‘Resistance’. Now, the track list, at a glance, doesn’t exactly blow me away; ‘Older,’ ‘Too Late,’ ‘Over’? The titles are as generic as they come, and in the Irish music scene, they really do keep coming. So what am I to expect? Substandard chord progressions with breathy vocals, to add to the list of insufferable acoustic solo acts sweeping the nation? I do expect it. I slump. I press play. I am wrong.
Instead of a derivative vocal snoozefest, I find myself listening to some intriguing lyrics, clever guitar ideas and really compelling melodies! My surprise is put on the backburner as I’m forced into deep concentration so that I can drink in the sounds pulsing from my headphones. Incidentally, what I am hearing is ‘Older’, the first track on the EP, so with that in mind, let’s get to it.
With ‘Older’, we get the first taste of what the young Robert can offer: some nice melodies, a clever guitar idea and a pretty decent hook. In a recent interview he spoke of how his news songs have an almost Motown quality about them, This is clearly represented in this short opening track, and leaves me eager to listen to the remaining three. ‘Too Late’ comes next, providing the listener with a nostalgia-quake by reminding us of any number of sitcoms from the 90s. Despite having slightly awkward lyrics it still pushes the EP along nicely. My least favourite song on the EP, ‘Over’, breezes by without any real impact, which is rather unfortunate as it brings the momentum down considerably.
The last track breathes fresh life back into the listening, and allows us to finish up on a high note: enter ‘Resistance’, the title track. It could be argued that this toe tapping tune drives on without any real acceleration, but to do so would be to overlook it’s charm. Grazing on the style of Gorillaz at points; Resistance sends the EP off in style with some sweet guitar and a catchy bridge.
A wild summary appears! Basically what we have here is an above average acoustic singer songwriter who has more potential and less ego than most others in this country at the moment. If I have but one major criticism of the four tracks, it’s that the production could be better, but one cannot really focus on such things when dealing with an artist so early in his career. I predict great things for Robert, with a style that has the potential to evolve beautifully, he’s certainly ready to grow tall in Irelands ever changing music scene.