Music reviewsFront Door1 - Eisley2 -Wir sind Helden3 - Antony&Johnsons4 - Blue States5 - Gruff Rhys6 - Innocence7 - The Radio9 - t.A.T.u.10 - Whipping Boy11- Ladytron12 - Covers13 - Patty Griffin14 - OK Go15 - Beth Orton16 - Rilo Kiley17 - Butterfly18 - Lauren Hoffman19 - Pipettes20 -Fairies21 - Talk Talk
Sound of Music 8 - Kathleen Edwards

 Hi folk, this is now the eighth of these columns I’ve written. At this stage hopefully you’re starting to see certain patterns emerging.  For instance, I notice that I’ve mentioned the Chemical Brothers in passing in a number of previous columns.  I talk about the joys of electronic music and the joys of the extended remix, but yet very little dance bands have featured in these columns to date.  They will eventually, but not to the extent they seem to cast a shadow over the rest of my impressions.


As The Animals said “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good, Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” My real weakness is strength of lyrics.  Over the coming few columns, I’d like to introduce a few of my lyrical heroes.


Primary among these has to be Tom McRae.  I think the man is great - and yet I haven’t given him a column.  There are two reasons for this.  Firstly, he’s fairly well known and the purpose of this column is to try to impress you with the obscurity of my musical tastes.  Second reason is because his second and third albums weren’t as much to my tastes as the first was.  Dear Reader, I wouldn’t recommend an artist to you unless I was convinced they had a solid gold reputation.  Try the following – the song ‘End of the World News’ taken from his eponymous first album


You wake up to the sound of alarms

and you’re driving your fabulous car

Listening to the music that reminds you

You used to be young,

You used to be young


And now you’re searching,

for a sign with your name

To define you, the king of the game

What will you do when there’s nothing left

For you to earn and for you to learn

This is the end of the world news - sponsored by God


Simply brilliant as far as I am concerned.  Similarly opening track from the same album ‘You cut her hair’:



Has coloured in

The black and white

Of your sin


A song of longing and desire that, to my mind is up there competing with Elvis Costello’s ‘I want you’ to be title track on my all time classic stalker soundtrack album.  For similar reasons, I’m a massive Radiohead fan. 


And yet the majority of my lyrical heroes aren’t male.  I have a particular weakness for a female singer-songwriter telling things as it really are.  Three chords & the truth and all that.  To my mind, female singer-songwriters have a different perspective on life and how it inflicts itself upon us.  While men are speculating what new worlds to conquer, the female is trying to cope with the abusive relationship or the drink problem.  There are many such artists – Beth Gibbons, Patty Griffin, Gemma Hayes, Aimee Mann, Beth Orton and Laura Veirs to name just a few (at least one of which will be the subject of a future column).


kathleen edwards - failer.jpg

Subject of this week's column however is Kathleen Edwards.  It is a source of some regret to me that I once missed a signing session by her in the Wicklow Street branch of Tower Records due to a simple timekeeping error (I thought the world revolved around me and it turned out it didn’t!).  She’s a Canadian singer-songwriter who came to my attention for her 2003 debut Failer.  I picked it up from a sample track on a giveaway CD in obscurist music mag Foggy Notions.  I liked it so much I went off and bought the album and never regretted it.  Take the lyrics for stand-out track ‘Hockey Skates


Going down in the same old town down the same street to the same bar

And the same old people saying hi and I don't care

Going down in the same old bar and I don't even order anymore

I am so sick of consequence and the look on your face

I am tired of playing defense

I don't even have hockey skates


It positively reeks of world-weariness and emotional fatigue. Instead of losing the plot and throwing out a mediocre second album, 2005’s Back to Me just improved the reputation. Take first track ‘In State’ where a woman in an abusive relationship with a petty thief considers her options.


kathleen edwards - back to me.jpg

You only call me honey when we’re alone

Hiding at your place up on slack road

You’ve got an answer for every little thing

You can’t even tell me where you’ve been

My face couldn’t make you leave it behind

Maybe 20 years in state will change your mind

Cuz I know where the cops hang out

I know where you’ll be found

I know what you’re all about

I know when you’re going down


Check out the power of a real woman here.



The Sound of Music | Front Door | Sound of Music 1 - Eisley | Sound of Music 2 - Wir sind Helden | Sound of Music 3 - Antony & the Johnsons | Sound of Music 4 - Blue States | Sound of Music 5 - Gruff Rhys | Sound of Music 6 - The Innocence Mission | Sound of Music 7 - The Radio | Sound of Music 9 -tATu | Sound of Music 10 - Whipping Boy | Sound of Music 11 - Ladytron | Sound of Music 12 - Covers | Sound of Music 13 - Patty Griffin | Sound Of Music 14 - OK Go | Sound of Music 15 - Beth Orton | Sound of Music 16 - Rilo Kiley | Sound of Music 17 - Butterfly Explosion | Sound of Music 18 - Lauren Hoffman | Sound of Music 19 - The Pipettes | Sound of Music 20 - Sugarplum Fairies | Sound of Music 21 - Talk Talk