Boa Morte

Extending the remit of Eirecana with today’s post. After exploring the genres of americana, alt-country, desert rock, desert noir, tex-mex, I venture into the world of lo-fi/alternative folk with the music of Boa Morte.
Boa Morte hail from Cork and have been going for a long time (in musical terms) having formed in the mid-90’s. The group consisting of Bill Twomey (guitars), Cormac Gahan (bass guitar & vocals) Paul Ruxton (guitars & vocals) and Maurice Hallissey (drums) formed in Cork in the late 1990’s. The band’s story is an interesting one of what might have been as well as being a reminder of what the music business was like pre Facebook/Bandcamp/Myspace. They release their debut ep (“Passenger, measure your time”) in 1999 which generated that old phrase “label buzz”. From that the band were signed to Moodfood Records, a label based out of North Carolina (coincidently the same label that released the first Whiskeytown record). From that producer Daniel Presley came to work with the band producing their first album “Soon it will come time to face the world outside”. The band tell a lovely story of how they travelled all over Ireland to find a studio with analogue equipment as that was David Presley’s preference for recording. Interestingly (well for those of you interested in recording processes) the tracks were recorded straight to tape with the drums, bass and guitars being recorded live and the rest added later on.
After the album was recorded there were delays in getting it out. Suffice to say that the album did not emerge until July 2002 with Glasgow based Shoeshine Records releasing it. Finally we get to the sound of Boa Morte. The mood that the music Boa Morte creates might be best described as lo-fi. They have described themselves as alternative-folk. Whatever the genre, if you like Smog, Will Oldham and even the gentler side of The National output, then you will enjoy their music. The band decided last year to make “Soon it will come time to face the world outside” free as a download on Bandcamp to mark 10 years since its release. The reviews the album got at the time would suggest like many albums it was more success in critic circles than as a commercial release. But often music like this is not designed or intended for the masses but for those people who intently listen and make a long-lasting connection with the record. The opening track “Clarence White” is a song named after the late Byrd’s guitarist. Sparse and minimal, it still manages to make an emotional impact on the listener. I haven’t really gone into the lo-fi genre here on the blog much. It is in a way related to americana, with a lot of artists of that genre stemming from folk scene or being related to it. You don’t hear many artists in Ireland making music like this. Boa Morte are, I think, fairly unique in that sense. Their second album was released in 2010. Why the long gap between albums? Well you can follow that story through posts on the news section of their website. Anyway “The Dark Waltz” is the older, wiser sibling of “Soon it will come time to face the world outside” developing the sound and strong lyrical content that the first album had established. Again produced by Daniel Presley, the songs are meditative, haunting and sparse. Both albums “Soon it will come time to face the world outside” and “The Dark Waltz” are available to download on Bandcamp, either for a donation/free or for $5. The band have a official site where you can hear some tracks from their 1999 ep. Finally there is always the Facebook page. Photo: MySpace/Boamorte

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