A long wait for The Long Stay.
The second album from Belfast folk band The Long Stay opens with the title track ‘Fear of Water’. The song takes the listener on an almost mythical dream-like journey through a series of catastrophic events painted in extremely descriptive and vivid lyrics. Is the song a dream or a metaphor for passing time?
We certainly don’t know and we love the wonderful ambiguity contained within. Cleverly backed by some beautiful and skillful playing which on first listen distracts from the content of the song, it is only on repeated listens that the listener realises the contrast between the apparent lightness of the music and darker themes contained within the song. If there was ever a song that exemplified the phrase beautiful melancholy then this is it.
I saw you drowning there. I heard you scream. The moon was shining out over the fields, and the strange light it cast made it seem so real. Seem so real.
‘Walls come Tumbling Down’ is a song that could easily have appeared on Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’. The bouncy upbeat rhythm and catchy riffs make it sound like a mixture of ‘Graceland’ and Booker T’s ‘Soul Limbo’. Once again we simply amazed by the beautiful and stunning musicianship of this band
‘Box of Life’ continues in the now established vein of upbeat folk-pop and features Belfast singer-songwriter Una Clarkin providing smooth harmonies. The song itself has a simple message. Don’t keep life’s loves and experiences locked up in your heart. Open it up and share them. The heart is the box of life.
Oh life is full of all the things, little things you say or do. Sometimes we’ll put them in a box, put them away, save them for another day. It’s a box of life, a box of love, a box of hope, a box of joy.
The Long Stay have been playing together since the 1990s.