Columbia Mills: A Safe Distance to Watch – taut tunes worth taking a closer look at

A Safe Distance to Watch
    
Artist: Columbia Mills
Genre: Rock
Label: Self Release

Some musicians rarely get more than a third chance at making sure their voices are heard, but those committed and (reasonably) financially solvent enough tend to muddle through.

Born out of too many failed ideas they’d rather forget, Columbia Mills started as a duo in Co Wicklow several years ago.

Back then, Fiachra Treacy and Ste Ward were intent on fashioning electro-rock that referenced not only New Order and The Cure but also LCD Soundsystem and Interpol.

Developing their schematics even further for their debut album, they have constructed song narratives rooted in themed true stories around the evasion of emotional toxicity.


That’s a heady mix for any band to maintain, but Columbia Mills (now a permanent five-piece) do just that with a debut that resonates with imperative throbs of guitars, beats and textures.

There are no three-minute pop songs here, but rather lengthy, layered tunes that leave an indelible imprint.

The song titles (Coldest Shoulder, Alone, The Wall Around You, Same Shame and This City Doesn't Feel Like Home to Me) may too obviously reveal their topics, but the taut, tingling music is less willing to do so, and all the better for it.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture