The Manhattan Syndrome do not mislead potential listeners with the title of their striking debut EP And we left it behind. As the name suggests it is dripping with lament and suggestions of melancholy. With this impressive debut offering, the band show that it is possible to move any music fan with just four hard-hitting and emotional tracks.
Perhaps the most grabbing of all songs on the EP is the delicious “Hollowheads”, in which the alluring vocals bemoan a lost and seemingly hopeless love backed up by thumping and ardent drums. It is clear from this one track that the band behold an immense talent and seriousness about their music, that is lacking among many Irish bands. They are a stripped down version of many other unsigned Dublin acts, baring an emphatic resemblance to The National, right down to the deep and contemplative vocals over each track. Despite the obvious tones of regret, there is a certain warmth within this band’s music, stemming from the honesty and naturalness of lyrics. This most obviously shines through in “Cold Company”, a beautiful track with the potential of becoming a hit. The upbeat piano is cleverly contrasted to the sentimental lyrics, the ingredients of a radio friendly song.
While not entirely alternative, or indeed uplifting, the EP is moving, thought-provoking and a perfect example of the talent that is brewing in Ireland’s underground music scene. Easy to listen to, and even easier to love, it would be unsurprising if The Manhattan Syndrome experienced growing success over the next two or three years.