(Photo by Katie Farrell)
Mail Order Messiahs, 'Practical Man', single
Info: Mail Order Messiahs (aka Mike Liffey) is a Dublin based multi-instrumentalist and singer who releases his second album Practical, on the 15th of September, which is the follow up to 2009's Plain (with Dar Fahy). Liffey's music wades into various moods seamlessly from the energetic single 'Practical Man' (above) to the atmospheric and gentle piano playing of fifth track 'Genetic'. Described as an album about 'work, love, and life in a society flirting with financial catastrophe', many of the albums tracks take aim at the drudgery of office life, consumerism as well as addressing the hypocrisy of self-assuredness on the humorous 'Rent Control Libertarian' summed up in the lines;
'You are perfection, that is to say, nothing can be added and there's nothing left to take away,
Except for a couple of things, like the way you shout when you mean to sing,
And on matters political, you can be a little right-wing,
how you pontificate about the welfare state,
you who were dropped off at the school front gates in daddy's great big Volvo estate'.
Mail Order Messiahs album is difficult to describe, while it loosely fits into the indie genre, such a tag would give the wrong idea to someone who hasn't listened to Liffey's music. From a contemporary perspective I can see some similarities musically to the likes of Beach House, in a very stripped down sense, on some of the livelier tracks, and also vocal similarities to Sigur Rós' Jónsi on others. There's also definitely a recurrent 80's feel but I just can't adequately find a frame of reference for the softer tracks, perhaps that is simply because there are none. The album closes with the beautiful 'Land Ahoy' and 'The Purist', both of which add significantly to the overall atmosphere of Practical, an album which is very rewarding for the listener and also indicates that Mike Liffey not only knows how to write great songs, but knows what great songs are supposed to sound like.
Additional info: You can pre-order Practical here https://mailordermessiahs.bandcamp.com/album/practical or on
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