14 October 2010

Ascending: O Emperor

[The following entry was contributed by TNOP's County Clare correspondent, Celtic Ray.]

The Co. Waterford band O Emperor has burst on to the Irish music scene with the release of its first long-player, Hither, Thither. In between gigs around the island - including appearances at Oxygen and Electric Picnic - the band has spent the better part of the last year writing and recording the LP in a drafty country house. The results are quite impressive: the five piece group drifts among many styles, utilizing a number of instruments in their arsenal.

"Sedalia" is a dreamy, Beatlesque ballad, showing off the gorgeous vocals of Paul Savage and the piano of Philip Christie. The narrator is a weary follower in a relationship, realizing how the passage of time has robbed him of forward promise.

O Emperor freely admits to a Radiohead influence, and it is on prominent display in the first single and album opener, "Po":

Another highlight is "Don't Mind Me," which takes this writer back to the Fleetwood Mac days of the 1970s (pre-Buckingham/Nicks). This take of the swaying tune at Limerick Live on Cruises Street from February shows off the versatility of O Emperor. The boys have been playing together since they were 17, and it shows with this tight performance (thanks to Indie Limerick for the video):

O Emperor's multi-faceted sound combined with thoughtful lyrics make them a band on the come. Beware of a breakout in the coming months.

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