When a future banker and a drop-out bartender got together for some late night drinking and ranting sessions, an adult angst was born. NYC-based Celtic rock band, The Narrowbacks, are combining rebel attitudes with classic folk-rock rhythms. On their upcoming record, Arrogance & Ignorance, releasing next month, the 6-piece group try their hand at old-school agony with “Loisaida”.
The third track on the record opens with a heavy Celtic folk rhythm, which quickly evolves to include complex multi-instrumental overlays. Frontman Seamus Keane’s gruff vocals enter, singing dismal images of “old neon signs” and a woman hanging out in a rainy city. After he passionately tells us that “She was soaked to the bone/Back to the empty apartment that she called home”, a rock ‘n roll harmonic camraderie steps onto the scene followed by more wild strings and percussive beats. According to banjo and mandolin player, Barry Walsh, “Loisaida” is influenced by an Irish jig, which explains the rapid rhythms, and it “tells the story of a former lover looking back on her ruined relationship in hindsight with remorse and regret,” which explains the lyrical angst and gloomy overtones despite the track’s fast-paced upbeat rhythms.
Pooling their talents, The Narrowbacks take elements of in-your-face 90s rock bands and develop an uncommon old-school/modern Irish folk-rock jig for bittersweet drinking, ranting, and reminiscing.