Debut album by the Elective Orchestra gets an official launch

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

THE WORD according to Nick Carswell and the Elective Orchestra - the long awaited debut long player from the talented local six-piece band - gets a full and proper release this coming Friday, May 20, with an album launch in Dolan’s Warehouse.

THE WORD according to Nick Carswell and the Elective Orchestra - the long awaited debut long player from the talented local six-piece band - gets a full and proper release this coming Friday, May 20, with an album launch in Dolan’s Warehouse.

The album has been critically acclaimed in recent weeks, including on these pages, receiving a four star review, and has had regular airplay on RTE Radio One and the Paul McLoone show on Today FM. The much anticipated offering - almost two years in the making - brings a delightful orchestration, delicate songwriting and gorgeously warm musicianship, in the mould of Nick Drake, Chris Martin and Paul McCartney, to a proper, old-fashioned “album” concept, in our view.

Based around the songs of Limerick man Nick Carswell, The Elective Orchestra have been playing together for three years. The band is made up of sisters Deirdre and Kate Cussen on cello and violin respectively, as well as Sian Murray on backing vocals and well known local musicians Bart Kiely on drums and Colin Bartley, of Walter Mitty and the Realists on double bass.

The album includes some new and old material, as Nick explains.

“Some of the songs have a history nearly ten years old, while others were written in the last six months, which makes for an interesting work when they’re all presented together,” he says.

“As well as the studio recordings we made with (engineer) Ross O’Donovan in Kerry, other recordings were made in two different churches in Limerick and Dublin and an apartment on the site of an old monastery, overlooking the river Blackwater in Youghal,” he adds.

The album, full of instrumental pieces, slow, orchestral build-ups, acoustic rock and eclectic touches, was nearly two years in recording, and Nick considers it a “musical miscellany, or even an opus”.

“From playing live together over the last few years, we have developed some extended instrumental pieces based around the songs, and we wanted to recreate that on this record. In the end, several sketches and improvisations are also included,” he explains.

Live, this band is an exciting proposition, and the Elective Orchestra are looking forward to playing in their hometown this Friday night. Joining them on the bill are highly rated local up and comers, Birdthistle.

Nick Carswell and the Elective Orchestra play in Dolan’s Warehouse this Friday night, doors at 8pm. The Word According to.. is available now.