Flush with the dreams and wishes of by-gone eras, the new single from Cork 6-piece, Cardinals steeps itself in a fantastical old-world vision.
Pitched as a folk song for Cork, set in New York – taking its name from a Portishead gig-poster guitarist/vocalist Euan Manning had hung on its bedroom wall – there’s no trace of brutal modernity in Cardinals’ high-flown romances. Telling a foolhardy tale of youthful love – “I was only sixteen when I found her, still wrapped up in my pride” – ‘Roseland’ is a place of heart-break goodbyes at train stations; a place where people pledge to write each other letters and are overwrought by a Christian God.
And musically too, while channeling the fuzzed-out sprawls of Pavement during its dynamic heights, it’s heart remains fixed in the traditions of old Irish Folk: the swaying waltz-time, and the lyricism of a keening squeeze-box smack of wall-to-wall nostalgia. One thinks of the Grian Chatten’s ‘Salt Throwers off A Truck’, or the melancholic lyrics of The Pogues’ ‘A Pair of Brown Eyes’ when stretching for similarly rose-tinted indie reminiscence.
And with its 80s VHS-style visualiser too -, showing the band traipsing through arcades and miming in dark, lime-lit spaces – it’s clear that Cardinals are here to serve up sublime, cathartic refuge, one tear-jerking tale at a time.
Photo by Emilyn Cardona
We spoke to Cardinals in Issue Forty-Four of So Young. Pick up a copy here.
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