When it comes to reviewing albums, something has to grab me – where the band is from, their influences, and sometimes even the band's name…that's what drew me to Socks in the Frying Pan. This is a trio from Ireland that does traditional Irish/Celtic music with unique twists and turns. The trio consists of two brothers, Shane and Fiachra Hayes, and Aodán Coyne. The trio is from County Clare and is now moving out of West Ireland to take on the world. They're embarking on their first US tour in 2014.
They mailed me their self-titled CD from Ireland, which was nice of them – I don't get mail from overseas often. In taking a look at the packaging, I actually appreciate that they identified what kind of song each track was – a reel, a jig, a “song”(which means vocals), etc. That gave me some idea of what I was listening too. Five of the twelve tracks include vocals, the others are instrumental.
I like the mix of instrumental and vocal. The reels and jigs tend to be upbeat and high energy. They immediately went in my “writing” playlist. Not only do these tracks get your toes tapping, but at least my fingers flying across keyboards (yes, I type to tempo). I'm amused that the first track on the album is called “The Finale”. The songs have lovely woven harmonies to the melody in that traditional Celtic sound that's both soothing and energetic, especially since you can hear the brogue in the vocals.
In albums like this, it's hard to pick a track that stands out, it all flows over and around in cohesive whole, but if I had to pick one – it would be “Foreign Lander”. This is the only a cappella song, and it's not only tight vocally, it's a haunting melody and gorgeously arranged. The Track for the Criac brings in several other musicians to play – as The Odd Socks (which makes me giggle) – and is beautiful community track with all the extra layers.
So let's welcome Socks in the Frying Pan to the US. If you have a chance to see them perform, go. It'll be worth it. If you can't, pick up the album and just let it wash over you.
Rhonda Eudaly lives in Arlington, Texas with her husband, and two dogs. She's ventured into several industries and occupations for a wide variety of experience. She has a well-rounded publication history in both fiction and non-fiction many of which can be found on www.RhondaEudaly.com.