Shane Joyce, 'Those Who Pay Rent'
Info: Shane Joyce is the front-man of Kilkenny Americana / roots band The Midnight Union and debut single 'Those Who Pay Rent' is his first venture into the solo world. This first outing impresses on multiple levels, the initial evident strength comes from the poetic nature of the lyrics which swim with meaning from the very opening of the song. It's rare that the first line of a song immediately engages you to concentrate and listen to the words the whole way through, usually that's a point you reach after a few listens. Joyce sings 'You show me the wound and I'll show you the knife, the hand and the blood and the reason, I'll take your advice, and step away from this life, and leave you to bleed in your pool of treason.' Pretty powerful and evocative stuff.
Musically the undercurrent is that of a late 60's troubadour venturing optimistically into the future while bidding farewell to the scars of the past, although vocally very different I think of slightly sombre take on Don McClean's Tapestry album, and self-professed influences of Dylan and Cohen are also evident, particularly the latters 'Famous Blue Raincoat'. The backing vocals are also very pleasant, half soul sista, half Mama Cass and Michelle Phillips from The Mamas & The Papas they add perfectly to Joyce's gentle and calming guitar playing. 'Those Who Pay Rent' is enchanting and feels very genuine, it's as fine a debut single, or any single within the genre for that matter, that you'll hear from an Irish singer-songwriter this year, future releases will reveal further interesting strands to this new solo adventure no doubt.