Debut CD from Dublin dreampop trio named after a Danish astronomer...
Lucy Davies 2003
This is is the debut, self produced album of Dublin Trio, the Tycho Brahe. Accomplished and intimate, lo-fi and warm, this is an album that is far too short.
All the tracks are very organic, with beautiful, poetic lyrics. There's a relaxed feel about everything;throughout the strings are played without vibrato, everything is pared down; sounds are used for their warmth, daubed onto a freeform canvas, and everything's given room to breathe.
The album starts with "Sailing at Half Mast" which has a lilting rhythm underpinning it throughout with the words...
'If I'm half what I should be,
Still more than I was before,
And if I'm more than I could be,
Still half what we were...'
Former Plague Monkey Carol Keogh's distinctive voice uses her immaculate poetry to take snapshots of life, holding onto sentiments that jigsaw into an entire song.
For example,Listless: "In a plane full of people, who are listlessly eating and wordlessly singing, to the world of the working. And full-on rush hour traffic welcome home".
The busy chaos is reflected in the tempo and distorted drums, and in Carol not being able to get her words out for laughing. But finally, through the blasts of strings and saxophone, it feels as though all the humans and machinery have gone to bed, leaving only the saxophones to wash back and forth, like the incoming tide.
The strings that begin "Your house from mine" are beautiful and real. You can hear the slow vibrato and the coarseness of open strings - and then the best song, for me, begins.
The line 'Bloody lows, bloody highs' can get stuck in your head for hours, days. The Tycho Brahe take a sentiment and build it into something else through repetition. The core of the song is that line, and 'I need to see your house from mine'. Both represent an unsettlement, and perhaps loneliness that can be cured by knowledge of another. This gives the song a simultaneousair of sadness and euphoria.
The Tycho Brahe are also confident enough to leave us with a couple of whimsical jams like "Emily is going"; a little finger picking with the occasional piano plink, in accompaniment to the sound of children playing. Likewise, "Tycho Brahe" ends with a car alarm in the background.
The is a self assured, beautiful and understated album. I only hope that their success is huge but doesn't stop them from making such fantastic music in the future.