Debut album by Úna Quinn
Album review by Rob Harrison
The Bus Stop Encounter
Normally I get CDs to review popping through my letter box, or sometimes left on my desk with a badly written note, looking more like a ransom demand than a business correspondence. Or perhaps sent as an email attachment. On this occasion the CD was hastily pressed into my hand while waiting for a bus. “You review stuff”, said the girl looking up at me. “I do”, I replied. End of encounter. Right on cue the bus appeared and we both jumped on it. I fled upstairs to spend the rest of the journey looking at the CD wondering what I had let myself in for.
Post Brexit Blues
As we move towards Brexit what feelings can we pull from the remnants of this uneasy journey, a combination of weariness and anger? What music can we recall to provide a soundtrack to our collective anxiety? Úna Quinn’s new release Inside out perhaps provides that soundtrack to our collective confusion as we stare possible fascism in the face.
The album at times appears to be a cross between the DIY folk of Vashti Bunyan and the art rock experiments of Laurie Anderson, using naive folk vocals coupled with the various avant garde placings between vocals and instrumentation.
On the album Úna seems to touch all the bases of avant garde outsider music. Listening to the tracks you can hear the influence of artists like Nick Drake, Yoko Ono and Bjork, but at the same time she still retains an element of her original voice.
So chuck all this into the pot and we have a heady mix indeed. To describe it in a nutshell it’s perhaps avant garde folk pop in its purest sense. The displaced harmonies reminiscent of the work of Laurie Anderson. This is mixed with the acoustic elements provided by Neil Cambell. So perhaps it’s a record of our times, and how will we reflect on this period that we have now unwittingly find ourselves in. Who knows what will happen, but one thing is certain we are living through history and it’s important to partake in it and not be a bystander to historical change.
And so this strange introduction to the world of Úna Quinn led to a particularly interesting musical journey you should maybe hop on some time too perhaps.