tweety stuff @ronanfromcork
first published in @The Evening Echo 2014-5-1
While some bands take their time to find their sound and direction, Yearning Curve have come straight out of the traps with their debut album within a year of forming. Bairbre Flood, one half of the band along with Lawrence O’Donnell, spoke with Ronan Leonard and reflected on how quickly things have fallen together, “I came to music late enough – I was in my thirties before I picked up a guitar – I’ve always been writing though and had an interest in grassroots politics. Lawrence has been teaching music in the Cork Academy of Music for over ten years and has always been writing and composing – he still writes a lot of film score music. We met and started playing together, originally just messing around and it just developed into a really fruitful, easy partnership”.”
Their two disparate styles have led to a sound that Bairbre describes “a punk sensibility with gentle harmonies and soothing melodies! We’re a bit of a mixed bag as we listen to so many different styles between the two of us. For Lawrence, orchestral would be his main love along with prog rock; and for me, I listen to loads of hip-hop artists like Brother Ali and Immortal Technique and also wildcard musicians like Jinx Lennon from Dundalk.”
Bairbre’s engagement with politics has led to a record that grapples with strong contemporary themes, for instance the opening track sample the Anglo-Irish tapes, Vincent Browne and Bertie Ahern; “the idea was to explore ‘The Murder Machine’ from a range of personal, political and philosophical perspectives. We were inspired by Patrick Pearse’s book ‘The Murder Machine’ where he talks about a machine “vast, complicated, with a multitude of far-reaching arms…carrying out mysterious and long drawn processes of shaping and moulding.” We wanted to look at that from a more modern view, whereas Pearse was concerned with the imperialism of his day we’re concerned with the grinders of our day. I don’t think the world is any fairer today than it was back in 1914 – mass starvation caused by economic systems, pollution, horrendous working conditions for so many in the Third World, even here in Ireland, the gap between rich and poor widening every year…the list of inequality is endless. The concept of this machine of inequality and greed and oppression is just as relevant.”
While the theme of the record is a solid one Bairbre pointed out it wasn’t as preconceived as it might sound, “we never consciously sat down to come up with this – it’s just what you’re reading, what you’re listening to, what concerns you starts coming out in the songs. Once you sit down to write, the conscious, deliberate part of you has to go on a little holiday for a while. It can come back in the editing process, and that’s where a lot of work happens too – but for the most part, its pure expression – pure observation. We write plenty of love songs too, but these murder machine songs just seemed a lot more important to get out there at the moment.”
Bairbre and Lawrence have a refreshing attitude on how they will judge their album’s success, “we’ve made this album as interesting as we can, musically and lyrically. If it has weaknesses, that’s fine. If it doesn’t sell a million copies, that’s fine. If, as artists we don’t even attempt to engage with what’s going on around us, that’s not fine.”
Yearning Curve’s debut album ‘The Murder Machine’ is available today (Thursday 1 May) for free via www.soundcloud.com/yearningcurve and play a free launch concert in Coughlans on Douglas Street on Thursday 8 May.