A Burial At Sea defies the ordinary. Their latest offering, “Close To Home,” is a vivid canvas, painting an auditory journey that oscillates between familiarity and innovation. As a band that has gracefully transitioned from the raw energy of their early EP ‘…And The Sum Of Its Parts’ to the mature and introspective ‘Close To Home,’ their evolution is not just in sound, but in spirit.
The genesis of ‘Close To Home‘ is as organic as it is intriguing. Envisioned in a series of 16 writing sessions, it bears the hallmark of spontaneity and authenticity. The band’s frontman, during our interview, reminisced about these sessions as a natural progression, a series of moments leading to the realization that they were onto something profound.
The album, conceived mostly post-lockdown, is imbued with a sense of longing, a tribute to the places and people that anchor us.
In the track ‘páirc béal uisce‘, the band encapsulates the essence of nostalgia, naming it after a park significant to their past. This personal connection is a recurring theme, with the album featuring tracks named after family members, mythical Irish islands, and local landmarks. Such elements make ‘Close To Home‘ a mosaic of memories, each song a story in itself.
Their sound, a confluence of shoegaze, math-metal, afro-jazz, and post-rock, speaks to their fearless experimentation.
The inclusion of trumpet, initially a serendipitous experiment, has now become a defining aspect of their music. This unique blend underscores the band’s commitment to exploring new sonic territories while remaining grounded in their roots.
A Burial At Sea’s influence spectrum is broad, drawing inspiration from bands like Holy Fawn, Hammock, The War on Drugs, Bon Iver, and M83. These influences subtly weave through ‘Close To Home’, shaping its sound while allowing the band’s originality to shine through. The album is a reflection of their journey as artists and individuals, marked by lineup changes and the evolution from a band to a collective of close-knit musicians.
Looking ahead, A Burial At Sea teases the possibility of an ambient record, hinting at yet another evolution in their artistic narrative. With a tour across Asia and collaborations with admired bands on the horizon, the future seems as promising as their past year has been rewarding.
In our conversation, the band members expressed their excitement and pride in their latest work. Their approach to music creation, marked by an organic, laptop-first methodology, has resulted in a collection of songs that are both emotionally resonant and technically challenging. The transition from digital composition to live performance is a journey they eagerly anticipate, with a sense of both excitement and uncertainty.
As they stand at the precipice of 2024, A Burial At Sea reflects on a year marked by significant milestones. We discussed this and a lot more in our interview below.
When you reflect on the past year, what moments or experiences with ‘Close To Home’ feel like they’ve truly resonated with your artistic soul? Is there a specific instance that felt like a defining point for the album?
I don’t think there was any defining moment , the album was wrote in about 16 writing sessions. I would pop over to Dara’s for a cuppa and we just got cracking, the process was so natural. There was certainly moments of realising we wrote a good song or section, this album is definitely in my opinion the best songs we have ever wrote and I think Dara and the rest of the band would agree too.
In ‘páirc béal uisce’, you’ve tapped into the essence of a place from your past. How do these personal narratives and landscapes shape your music, and what other hidden stories might we find woven into your songs?
The Song was originally called sample Idea and we needed another name for it, trying to keep within the theme of the album I thought it’d be cool to name it after the park I grew up in. This album has songs titles that are named after family members , mythical Irish islands , landmarks and town lands.
As you composed ‘Close To Home’, what were the thoughts and emotions circulating in your mind? Was there a particular mindset or creative process that guided this journey?
these were songs That myself and Dara produced over lockdown , or certainly just after it. I think maybe missing home or subconsciously creating an emotional direction because we did miss home made the songs in the same vein and direction. This certainly is the darkest and emotional songs we’ve wrote.
Your music blends genres like shoegaze, math-metal, and afro-jazz with a post-rock foundation. Can you describe a moment during the creation of this album where these diverse influences collided in a way that gave you chills or a profound sense of achievement?
That’s a very hard question. We’re very lucky to be gifted with an incredible brass player John Naylor to provide the emotion on that vibration. We also have the timbre king Dara Tohill to add al these textures. Honestly we just write the tunes and see if they sound good we’ll keep them.
In the past we always wrote everything in the room and Brough it to the studio. This album was wrote entirely on a laptop and we had to learn the parts again before heading into the studio. we still don’t know how to play them live lol , but It shouldn’t be any problem recreating the compositions live! fingers crossed.
Looking at 2023, what have been some of the most captivating musical offerings you’ve come across? Are there any particular artists or albums that have left a lasting impression on you and perhaps influenced your creative direction?
Bands like Holy Fawn , Hammock , The War on Drugs, Bon Iver and M83 influenced Close to home for sure.
Your journey from the ‘…And The Sum Of Its Parts’ EP to ‘Close To Home’ seems like a path of both growth and introspection. How do you feel this evolution has changed you as artists and individuals?
The band has changed lineup several times since then. From being a band to being more a collective of musicians who are really good friends. I feel like this is the strongest lineup we’ve had in terms of artistic relationships and understandings. I think every band matures, we’ve been a group since university and toured endlessly since. I think our music and art has also matured since we started.
The use of brass in your music adds a unique layer to the post-rock genre. How did this element come to be a part of your sound, and how do you feel it transforms the emotional landscape of your music?
It was actually kind of a fluke. Joel, who has since left the band brought his trumpet to practice to see if he could write some tunes with it. We where actually unaware he could play trumpet, but we wrote a handful of songs with it and then we brought John Naylor in to play trumpet with the band.
When fans listen to ‘Close To Home’, what do you hope they take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or message you wish to convey through this album?
Honestly, I just hope people like the new direction we’ve went in. I feel like its honest and something that we’re super proud of.
As you look towards the future, are there new musical territories or themes you’re eager to explore? What’s the next chapter in A Burial At Sea’s story?
I think well start writing some new tunes very soon. Me and Dara have talked about writing a more ambient record. There’s definitely a direction and glimpses of this in Close to Home.
Looking ahead, what can fans expect from A Burial At Sea in terms of live performances next year? Are there any specific venues or events you’re particularly excited about playing?
We’ve got our album Tour coming in the new year which will be 6ish weeks and then we’re touring Asia for bit with another band we love!
As we approach the end of the year and look towards the future, is there anything else you’d like to add or share? Perhaps something you consider significant to convey at this pivotal moment, reflecting on the past and anticipating your new journey.
2023 was definitely the best year we’ve had. We had the privilege of touring and playing with the likes of ASIWYFA, This Will Destroy You and The Ocean.
I honestly can’t wait to get the ball rolling on the new album campaign.
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