Thursday, November 26, 2020

Basciville 'Calvary' Single Review

I’ve always been in love with music. I wouldn’t say that has ever really faded but there were parts of my life where it fell by the way side a bit. So about four years ago I started compiling a list of musicians and songs that remind me of why I love music and I think I’ve just found a new addition. Scratch that. I know I’ve found a new addition.

This new addition comes in the form of Basciville’s new single ‘Calvary’ released, ironically enough, on Friday the 13th in 2020. I can outright say there was nothing even remotely unlucky about this, these guys get better and better. For those of you who read my article on the resurgence of Irish folk music, you would’ve seen me mention the duo (consisting of brothers Lorcan and Cillian Byrne), in short referencing their uncanny ability to translate almost any emotion into music. Well lucky me, I get to devote an entire article to one song this time.

As I mentioned when I originally wrote about Basciville, no matter what song you listen to, you will feel something. I think this can be attributed to several factors. The first is that these guys understand how to construct good music from the base up; a quality not only garnered from education and constant exposure to music but also from a gut instinct for it. The second is excellent lyricism - there’s no other way to say it. Cillian Byrne’s vocals deserve mention; vocals that sit at the intersection of raw emotion and stellar control. And finally a true sense of collaboration between the brothers. Both play a heavy hand in the creation of their music. For instance, as I have come to understand it we have Lorcan Byrne to thank for the melody of this particular tune and Cillian Byrne to thank for the lyrics.

‘Calvary’, true to its name, comes in with a rolling, military-inspired drumbeat (provided by Lorcan Byrne) and a lyrical guitar riff. Piano and strings are used initially to accent the rhythmic base but eventually build to a distinctly cinematic, dramatic sound that stand independently.  I think what’s immediately clear in this song is that these guys don’t overdo anything. They know exactly when to build, they know exactly when to cut back and this is especially noticeable for me in the final third of the song. Foregoing the traditional use of a bridge and use of a final dramatized version of the chorus, music and vocal runs (brought to the fore through excellent production) are all this song needs to come to an ambient close.

I’m firmly of the opinion that you should listen to all of Basciville’s music and keep an eye out for their upcoming debut album in the new year. ‘Calvary’ is an excellent start on this musical journey though and I implore you all to go listen to it. 

- Chloe Boehm



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