Fine debut EP from Dublin band 'Red Sail' which more than hints at a long career and a superb future debut album.
Red Sail are two guys and a girl who bring their talents together to create a kind of indie folk music which is big on charm and atmosphere but struggles to provide impact. Some of the songs remind me of Declan O'Rouke from his 'Since Kyabram' days or of Henrietta Game without the strings. Their folk sound has a distinctly 'Irish' feel to it as well as a 'around the campfire' communal folk group feel to it. The harmonies are lovely and they possess the ability to create atmospheric well written songs with just guitars, keys and vocals. 'Paper Cutouts' is a great beginning for a young band that is together for under a year.
The key track for me is the closing epic song 'Sitting at the Keys'. It's a positive song which twists and turns but keeps your attention for the full six minutes with fantastic lead vocals from songwriter Dan. On 'Tracks in the Long Grass' Sarah provides the lead vocals and it reminds me of the pure folk music of Janis Ian. Here the female/male harmonies work very well. The title track has a nice indie pop edge to it while the track 'Twists' with all the backing oooing and aahing vocals as well as a splash of glockenspiel gives the song that communal campfire feel I mentioned earlier.
The EP is really good but I feel that the Red Sail sound is missing something. Inclusion of strings would provide a number of the tracks that impact which is lacking from some of the tracks. That being said, I become a satisfied customer every time I finish listening to the EP with that wonderful song 'Sitting at the Keys'.
Red Sail - Paper Cutouts [9 out of 12]