The independent circuit in Ireland is, not necessarily on a whole, but for the most part, a world of single-strum guitar bands and folk-style men and women, it is a delight to come across Black Balloon the four track EP by Dublin based Electro-light band, Swords.
The three piece band have already received favourable media attention, which has evidently rocketed since the release of the EP on the 11th of this month. One listen to even the first track, Go, will give you reason enough to understand why the likes of HotPress and The Sunday Roast have already picked up on Swords. Go, is a Jazzy electronic number with, as per the remaining three songs, the main focus being on the keyboard arrangements and leader singer Diane Anglim’s powerful vocal stylings. It is the kind of track you can dance to and if the right force is put behind it, it is likely to become a hit in Dublin’s most popular Indie clubs; an assured dance-floor filler.
Special Shows that this band are not just about synthy keyboards and danceable beats; they do have a sensitive side also. It is a delicate number in which Anglim’s vocals are at their most stunning. The simple bass and light keyboard compliment the singer’s voice, all making for mesmerising track that is much suited to radio airplay. Chasm is perhaps the band’s most well known song, with it getting particular praise from HotPress. It is a funky song, one that is easy to enjoy and sing along to, but those who have heard this and enjoyed it, are in for a treat with this EP as it is not the strongest song on the EP, by any means, and yet it is still of high quality. The title track on the EP is not to be overlooked. It’s eighties vibe adds something special for the end of the EP; it is a swaying and interesting number, which only stands to the versatility of this wonderful band. Each track, in fact, is a testimony to how talented and multifaceted this band are; while the genre remains electronica throughout, each song offers something different, be it a potential dance-floor anthem, clever musical/vocal composition, beauty or complexity.
It would be a shame to see this band unable to to reach the heights they deserve based on this intriguing EP. It is no wonder it is so remarkable with such a noteworthy production background; produced by Karl Odlum who has worked with The Frames and Ham Sandwich, and mastered in the famous Abbey Road Studios. The production quality, however, only highlights the natural talent that comes across on the EP, talent which is comparable to some bands that have “made it” in the worldwide sense of the phrase.