The excellent debut album from Dublin band After the Ibis was reviewed on these pages a year ago (ReggaeMusic.org.uk 1st June 2014). Now comes the belated release of the first single from the album. Entitled ‘Dig Up’, it’s a strong and slow-burning song, melancholy in feel, and musically powerful.
The song was written and produced by the band, with mixing and mastering from Jim Fox of Lion & Fox recording studio in Washington, DC. About the writing process, trumpet player Cillian Kenny says: “we write in a very organic way…all eight of us have very different musical backgrounds and we never know how a song is going to end up from when we have the first demo. We love to obsess over composition and there’s nothing like playing the tracks live for the first time to know what the crowd gets behind and what we still need to refine.”
Especially distinctive on this single is its Irish vocal sound – nothing faux-Jamaican or mid-Atlantic here – with Clare O Kennedy in fine voice, along with its sympathetic production. The instrumentation of the song is thoughtful and subtle – illustrating perhaps more effectively than any other band how the inspiration of the reggae tradition can inform new original work like this.
After the Ibis, ‘Dig Up’, released July 2015