Just Mustard: Heart Under – Atmospheric sensuality

Irish band’s new album speaks to power of resilience

Heart Under
    
Artist: Just Mustard
Genre: Rock
Label: Partisan

Just Mustard’s follow-up to 2018′s Wednesday takes us to a place of blue; cool and reflective, it is emblematic of a band finding their stride. The five-piece of Katie Ball, Mete Kalyon, David Noonan, Rob Clarke and Shane Maguire have created a work that conveys an anxiety over loss of possibilities, but speaks to the power of resilience.

In many ways, a sense of being under water permeates this record, in tone and timbre, like the Cocteau Twins taking a dip. There is a real sensuality to the album, partly down to Ball’s vocal, which weaves its charms on the atmospheric 23 with its squalling guitars, and on I am You with its masterful bass.

Still is anything-but, full of textured movement, with discordant guitars and gorgeous drums, it contextualises Seed, with guitars that seem to shudder. Blue Chalk is a highlight, a soft, searching landing, a score to a David Lynch film yet to be made, it is ambitious and interesting.

There is something so graceful about Mirrors, with its clever use of vocals, and its dance of tension and release. In Shade keeps us there for a while, with its menacing tone, but Rivers picks us up and takes us to a place where guitar sounds are pleasingly stretched and Ball’s voice guides us to sanctuary, reminding us that although the present might be blue, the future is unwritten.

Siobhán Kane

Siobhán Kane is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in culture