Cry Monster Cry: Tides review – A superb themed record

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Artist: Cry Monster Cry
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Bad Brother Records

There is always something to be said for the no-subterfuge aspects of a decent, old-fashioned song. Cry Monster Cry – Irish brothers Richie and Jamie Martin – can lay the blame for that on lengthy childhood car journeys to their mother's home in Donegal, during which they would listen to albums by the likes of Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Van Morrison, and the Everly Brothers. As if by osmosis, lessons in song craft were learned as their teenage years progressed and by the time the pair left college (Richie studied music, Jamie studied English) there was a ready-made, if transitional unit, ready to run. Following 2015's thematic debut album, Rhythm of Dawn, Tides arrives with an equally interesting set of ideas, except this time there's a darker undertow. It is a beautifully deceptive record: for all the subject matter of (as the press release outlines) "the crushing pain of loss… Self-doubt. Struggles with mental health. Victory. Defeat. New loves…", the warmth of the no-fuss songs envelops the listener in a sonic hug. Comforting and conflicted, Tides ebbs and flows as only a superb themed record can.

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Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

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