Ireland-based group August Walk have been making the best kind of noise over in their neck of the woods. They’ve had multiple tracks – including their debut single Success as well as One For The Road – end up at #1 on the Ireland iTunes charts. This sets the bar pretty high for their most recent release, but their newest single Ransom is a powerhouse of an acoustic track that delivers on every level.
August Walk consists of David ‘Dots’ Tobin (vocals, acoustic guitar, songwriting), Rodger Ryan (percussion, backing vocals), Steve Leahy (electric guitar), and Mark Ryan (bass). This talented foursome is a force to be reckoned with in the modern indie rock space. While they’re often releasing their unique brand of Irish rock, on Ransom they’ve dialed it back a touch, with an acoustic-driven, slightly more vulnerable showing of both musical restraint and skill.
Ransom pulls elements from many of the primary acoustic-lead genres – singer-songwriter rhythms, simple folky harmonies, an Americana drive in the beat – but the timbre of Tobin’s voice on this track adds a rock grit. It’s a bit like Nathaniel Rateliff meets Joe Cocker. His distinct, smoky and unapologetically soulful tone takes what could have been an unassuming acoustic track and gives it a welcome edge; a bit more urgency and emotion that takes this song from good and makes it great.
As if the music and vocals weren’t compelling enough on their own, the songwriting adds another excellent layer to this beautiful composition. The lyrics are poetic yet straightforward, with just enough ambiguity to insert your own meaning in between the lines. The opening verse is our favorite:
“You answer the question by the look in your eyes
I’ve seen it before, I’m gonna wait by the door while you hold me for ransom
I’ve been in the soul of 1000 last cases
There in the sun, they’re out of their minds looking for the right places”
Combine all of this with the dynamic string arrangement, a few deftly placed piano sections, and a subtle but persistent build in intensity across the track – there’s so much to like about this single. For those looking for something a little different – a singer-songwriter sound with some sharpness, an Americana track with hard-hitting Irish roots – Ransom is the track to listen to and August Walk is an artist to keep on your radar.
BELOW: Listen to Ransom and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support August Walk by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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