Hot Press

coverWhite Wave Chapel : I Draw Slow

Key Track: ‘Now You’re Gone’


I Draw Slow’s third album sees the Dublin 5 piece successfully blend Irish Folk and Americana, mixing ingredients from bluegrass, trad and country, into a lip-smackingly flavorsome dish. Co-produced by the highly experienced Brian Masterson (Planxty, The Chieftans), White Wave Chapel may have been born in Ireland, but it’s heartbeat comes from high in the Appalachians, as the fiddle swings, the guitar strums and the voices snake around each other like star crossed lovers.

When they hit Full flow on songs like the superb ‘All Souls’ or ‘The Captain’, I Draw Slow call to mind the Indigo Girls at their prime, and in folk terms that’s a serious compliment. ‘Don’t You Cry My Honey’ is a pure-blood bluegrass hoedown, while ‘Whiskey Mirrors’ is one minute and sixteen seconds of infectious harmonies, , understated banjo and toe-tapping melody. The incredible ‘Bread & Butter’ dances into your consciousness, a holerin’ and a whoopin’, and practically begs you to sing along, tap your heel or slap your thigh in time.

When they slow down, however, the quality remains just as high, as on the beautifully tender ‘Souvenirs’, which is all simple plucked guitar and vocals, or the equally beguiling warmth of ‘Springtime’, complete with divine harmonies. ‘Now You’re Gone’ is an old time waltz, where the Holden siblings, Dave and Louise, get to show off their lyrical prowess, referencing everything from William Faulkner to ‘The Green Fields Of France’, while the delicious, closing ‘Old Wars’ drips melancholy from every syllable.

I Draw Slow have rightly been gaining a reputation in international folk circles and White Wave Chapel should see their list of admirers grow, as they manage to meld their indigenous influences with a more international flavor. Great Stuff.

John Walshe