Single Review / Essay: Daithi – Falling For You (feat. Sinead White)

By on Friday, 4th November 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

It’s a month now since I last touched down at Dublin Airport, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my trip. America may be a proud nation, but its pride is nothing compared to Ireland’s. Think about the number of times they’ve been invaded and been under someone else’s thumb. And yet they’ve still managed to come out on the other side, holding steadfast to their culture and traditions. How did this happen? Plenty of stewards dedicated to preserving their way of life, the history, even the landscape. You might think that those folk are now few in number and dwindling, aged, but in fact, there are plenty of young people ready to take on the baton and continue their hard work. Daithi, from County Clare in the West of Ireland and staunchly proud of where he is from, is one of them. And he’s decided to go about this in his own unique way through music.

I was lucky enough to be invited along for an outdoor sound-mining expedition the Irish singer/songwriter/producer undertook on a typical autumn day in Ireland. That is, driving past a major sheep farmers’ auction and through windy gales and at times lashing rain, making for a somewhat treacherous but altogether highly memorable experience I will never forget. Along the now famously named Wild Atlantic Way up and down the west coast of Ireland – arguably Ireland’s greatest advertising campaign yet to introduce the world to the splendour of their little, green island – Daithi was eager to collect the sounds of the land he loves. The surf, the pooling and running of water, the wind: these are the evidence of nature’s beautiful fury he committed to tape.

As I mentioned in my review of his Canadian Music Week 2016 show in May at the Rivoli, it is a stretch initially to consider in your mind mixing electronic beats with a fiddle. However, Daithi does it with such finesse, and the same finesse can describe what he’s doing with these recordings so lovingly collected in the field. He is releasing a new EP next March, ‘Holiday Home’, and he’s decided to preview the EP with a single. ‘Falling For You’ was recorded in various cottages in the West Country he rented, so there’s a literal connection between this song and the name of the EP. By living alone and away from most direct everything else, the experience allowed him full immersion into and be inspired directly by his environment.

On vocals is his longtime collaborator Sinead White, whose voice can be heard on the exemplary ‘Love’s on Top’ and ‘April’. This summer, she appeared with him at Irish festivals, and judging from the rapturous response from audiences, theirs is a match made in heaven. Her vocals, which complement the at times grand, at times bouncy instrumentation, were recorded on Valentia Island, off the coast of County Kerry in the southwest part of Ireland. If you’ve read any Greek mythology, you will feel like she’s on a craggy rock off the coast, emoting her siren song out to sea. Sounds from the ocean at Inch Beach in Cork and the gentle tones of a chime that he happened to come across in one of his rented houses on Achill Island in County Mayo are truly distinctive touches he’s placed on this track. Electronic producers are notoriously known for their attention to detail, and Daithi is no exception. Instead of hitting you over the head with these samples, they’ve been layered on to add to and heighten the mood.

The overall effect of ‘Falling For You’ is awe-inspiring, and its accompanying video by Feel Good Lost shows the many faces of Western Ireland. The song sounds nothing like you’ve heard before. While most dance floor bangers have the intention of transporting you to a night out during which you may or may not have made some questionable life decisions, this one’s different. The raw beauty of his homeland, put together with the emotional beauty of elicited from a thing called love, makes for a very special track you won’t soon forget.

9/10

‘Falling For You’ featuring Sinead White, Daithi’s newest single, is out now. It’s the lead single on his ‘Holiday Home’ EP, which is due out in March 2017. For more of my coverage on Daithi on TGTF, follow this link.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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