Irish acoustic trio Elevens released their second EP, Torn at the Seams, at a performance in Dublin’s Unitarian Church on Friday November 11th, or 11/11/11. Elevens is the new project of former Sack frontman Martin McCann, who is backed on acoustic guitar and vocals by Tony Barrett (ex-The Brilliant Trees), and Mark Healy (ex- Jerry Fish and The Mudbug Club).
Torn At The Seams follows on the success of the EP Tender To The Touch, released earlier in 2011, and finds the group in familiar territory. McCann’s intimate and melancholy lyrics conjure images of broken dreams and empty lives which are sublimely backed by a sophisticated blend of acoustic layers, married with various guest instrumental elements, such as violin on “Torn At The Seams” and soprano sax on “We Really Do Care”‘ and “Love In An Instant.” These three tracks are joined on the EP by three more, which were recorded live in April 2011 at Dublin’s Project Art’s Theatre: “The Art Of Landing On Your Feet,” “Dry Land,” and “No Two Clouds The Same.”
It’s hard to put a foot wrong when you have the calibre of McCann’s sweet and sentimental voice (said to be a favourite of former Smiths singer Morrissey) in your arsenal. The sparse arrangements, with the accompaniment of hand-bells, omnichord, and melodica, make for an unusually sentimental and reflective pop style (sounding very close to some early EBTG) which thankfully continues the recent trend of emerging Irish acts with a distinctly non-Irish sound.
The asthetics and acoustics of the Unitarian Church on Stephen’s Green werethe perfect setting for a harmonious 90 minutes of music, which set the tone for the release of the EP to a packed, albeit reasonably medium sized venue. Elevens made clever use of some distant microphone placements, which enhanced the natural acoustics of the venue itself and the trio were joined on stage/altar by live additions of soprano sax and violin from Ciaran Wilde and Kenneth Rice respectively.
Torn at the Seams is available from iTunes, and Elevens continue to promote the EP release on a mini-nationational tour of Ireland, playing Weds 23 – Cork -THE ROUNDY BAR and Fri 25 – Belfast – BLACK BOX (with Mary Coughlan).