By Washington Irving
So here we have folk rockers Washington Irving. Hailing from Glasgow, this five piece brings us their new single in the form of 'Holy Company.' The single consists of two tracks dripping with folky, Celtic charm. Imagine if REM, Arcade Fire and The Pogues got together for a jam, the result would not be dissimilar to this quality effort by Washington Irving. This single is mixed and mastered by Marcus Mackay (Frightened Rabbit, Sparrow and the Workshop) and Grammy nominated Mandy Parnell.
The title track 'Holy Company' telling a story of a man leaving his lover, starts with an acoustic guitar and a pounding drum, sure to get even the coolest of cats up for a jig. The track then builds, bringing in some electric guitar work before dropping back again to make way for vocals, reminiscent of the likes of Damien Dempsey, bringing the whole thing together as a marvellous piece of Folk. Once full instrumentation comes in, the ears are blessed with sounds of mandolins working around fast paced guitars and a driving beat to stamp your feet to. The contrast between the booming lead vocals and the soft female backing works wonderfully, giving acts like Belle and Sebastian a run for their money. The track over all is very well structured, peaking and dropping numerous times, keeping the listener entertained and interested.
The band manages to blend elements of Folk and Rock, whilst still maintaining a good balance, keeping a strong sense of integrity in their sound. This band is a quality change from a lot of the Faux-Folk acts that seem to be big at the moment...Cough, Mumford and Sons...
The single's second track goes by the name of 'BEALACH-AN-RIGH' and it's a good old instrumental. The groups' clear knack for structuring is evident again with this track building like a severe Folk-induced orgasm into spacey, soaring electric guitars and a harmonica. Tracks like this would be most at home being played at a huge venue in front of thousands and I think it may be a real possibility with these guys in the future.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this band and they definitely won me over with their unique brand of Scottish Folk Rock and with an upcoming February tour supporting fellow Scot-Rockers Frightened Rabbit just over the horizon, the future is looking good for Washington Irving. I would definitely recommend to any lovers of Folk, or just awesome music in general, that these guys are ones to watch.