Review by Bobby Green
2016 has been such a glorious year for Irish musicians. For me, being old enough to remember past glories, it has been a time to really take stock and appreciate where ‘the scene’ is right now. It’s 2016 and anyone can make a global statement from their bedroom, the game has changed, the scene has changed, fads will come and go but quality, true quality, will always get noticed. The quality coming from Irish musicians this year has really made my heart beat with joy with its vibrancy and imagination, it has brought me to places long forgotten with its energy and on a few occasions brought me to tears with its beauty. Music has to connect with me emotionally, otherwise it’s just mathematical noise. And on very lucky occasions the music doesn’t just connect with me, it can become part of my very own skin, or a coat of armour or even a favourite jumper.
Madness Is The Mercy, with its faultless delivery has already become a long lost friend that I’ve embraced through its melancholic stories told to me with such distinction is truly a wonderful album. If you’ve not familiarised yourself with August Wells yet try to imagine a vocal delivery with the power of John Grant/Van Morrison with the depth of Luke Kelly mixed with the graceful distribution of Willy Nelson/Lee Hazelwood and you’ll be somewhere close to August Wells.
Ken Griffin’s vocal performance is as slick as it gets, the way his stories dance along with New York pianist John Rauchenberger’s accompaniment is so enchanting. There’s magic within those grooves and before you know it you’re encapsulated within its charm and you’re listening to an old friend tell you stories of their time away. And you already start to form a relationship with the songs, your heart filling up with emotion as they leave footprints across your own memories. August Wells really have connected to their audience with Madness Is The Mercy. It’s classy, slick, intimate and engaging, and charming enough for new fans, and there will be an abundance of them, to fall in love with.
Madness Is The Mercy will be released on FIFA Records September 9th.