I recently went back on a retrospective of Killarney native Ian Whitty’s work. I remember a college friend of mine being a huge fan nearly a decade ago but I was too far gone into metal/emo/the dark side of the moon to fully appreciate what that friend was trying to tell me. However, the return of Ian Whitty & The Exchange with single “Cash Crop”, now featuring on Bandcamp, and the promise of a new album after nearly 8 years absence sent me on this quest.

One of the things that cannot be missed is how artists evolve, sometimes they all evolve in the same direction, but others while exploring their creative thoughts do so following only a path known to them. Whitty seems to have a brought the lessons of 8 years with him. There is a noticeable change in tone, his already distinctive voice taking on a more folk sensibility and his lyrics unapologetic in their visceral. As he bemoans the fact that “I Sleep and I work and I eat // Then I put my life on the net” only for it to show “But my Blog it’s a tale of regrets”. Looking at how the world has evolved along with him in the last 8 years Whitty cannot help but feel disappointed in how values have changed away from his own. Or did his change away from the worlds?

The track not only demonstrates Whitty’s strong lyrical sense but the lead guitar that comes in for the refrain is like a call to arms. A protest of how far we have strayed. This is a strong opener from Ian Whitty & The Exchange and if this is how they mean to go on the album should be a blinder.

You can pre-order the new album from the bandcamp page and listen to “Cash Crop” below.