Entertainment

Saturday 10 December 2016

Music: Strands by Strands * * * *

Published 22/10/2010 | 05:00

Strands is a new project from one of the domestic music scene's busiest, most in-demand people.

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Stephen Shannon is a founding member of those exemplary instrumentalists Halfset, and he's also in Adrian Crowley's live band. On top of that, he has produced albums for such disparate acts as Babybeef, 202s, Carly Sings and Crayonsmith.

All that experience has been to the benefit of Strands, a life-affirming, electro-pop album which shows that Ireland's electronica movement is in remarkably good health.

The scope and depth here is quite something and, as with Halfset, the devil truly is in the detail, particularly in the wonderfully textured interplay between organic and synthesised sounds.

That is most apparent on the gorgeous Tremor, which starts like a Steve Reich piece of avant-garde experimentalism before fading into sweet strings halfway through. It's an unexpected and quite beautiful jump.

Like his main band, this, too, is an album that could soundtrack an imaginary film. After all, he does know about soundtracks, having worked on the score for the mawkish Neil Jordan film Ondine.

Shannon launches this album tonight at Dublin's Crawdaddy. We're told to expect "brass, woodwinds and multiple drummers", and if he can capture the album's delicate beauty, attendees will be in for a treat.

Burn it: Tremor; The Alamo

Irish Independent

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