If there was indie album I would encourage you to buy this year, it would be the debut album from Irish indie-pop outfit ‘The Countryside’.
The album which is called ‘Beggars On Horseback’ is a now available through digital release only from iTunes and other digital retailers.
The 11 tracks are a complied list of works from the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Graeme Slattery who wrote and produced the album over the last five years in various locations including San Francisco, New York, Dublin and Wicklow.
Slattery, who was one time the guitarist in critically acclaimed Irish band The Devlins, now lives in a converted 17th century stable in Rathmichael, Co. Wicklow, where he recorded the majority of the album – and counts the scenic countryside setting where he lives high on his list of influences on the sound of the record.
The album takes you on a wonderful musical journey through Slattery’s life as a city living business man to his life in the country with his wife and children, and I think most people will be able to relate to the mellow and haunting sound of this album, where his musical influences like The Blue Nile and Elliott Smith are clearly heard. I would recommend going straight to the brilliant track – ‘Mr Snow’.
Speaking on his influence for the album, “Having lived in apartments in built-up cities for the majority of my life, I longed to be in the countryside and feel some space around me. But I’ve never been in the position to live off the land, so to speak, so have to be close to the city to earn my crust. Where I am now gives me the best of both worlds while providing a truly inspirational setting for my music and a great place for the girls to grow up. You can’t beat the smell of cow manure first thing in the morning!”
While Slattery has been writing and recording for more than 20 years, it took the birth of his third daughter to get him to actually release a record. “It’s funny, most people write songs to get girls, I do it to feed them!,” he said. “I’ve always loved writing, arranging and recording but never felt the need for external recognition, so I never released anything. Now, if I can make a few quid to help lighten the weekly shopping bill by releasing something I love and hopefully will resonate with music fans in some way, then why not?”
Speaking on his musical influence and what he grew up listening to, Graeme had this to say: “I grew up in the 80’s so feel very fortunate to have been surrounded by some truly great pop records. As a teenage I’d spend hours listening to High Land, Hard Rain by Aztec Camera and working out how to play the really complicated songs. I was utterly obsessed with the melodic and lyrical genius of Paddy McAloon and Prefab Sprout, and I think this influence is obvious when you hear a song like ‘Lester Piggott’.
”I think people will notice other influences coming through on the album including Elliott Smith, The Velvet Underground, Trashcan Sinatras, and The Blue Nile to name a few.”
You can check out the album at soundcloud.com/thecountryside/sets/beggars-on-horseback