So you co-write and play bass for a band. You’re always noodling away writing solo material, so what do you do next? Well if you’re Ruairi Connolly then you get a few friends together who also happen to be musicians (Leanne Doherty /Betty lee and the blondes and Conor Crampsie/Exit pursued by bears) and you throw together your noodling and record yourself a side project. It helps if the record happens to be rather spiffing. That was 2011’s his debut E.P ‘Rip through her sky’ recorded as ‘Owl Parliament’, now what? Well they’re back, they’ve changed their name (Ruari and the Owls), theres a new band member on board (Mike Hamill) and they have a new record.
‘Fishing in your dark‘ is the new release from Connolly and co. and the good news is they’ve released another perfectly formed EP. Single ‘Let you out‘ is a tremendous song, its euphoric pop with an undertone of soulfulness that goes a long way. You get two singers for the price of one on this track with Stevie Martin AKA ‘Rainy Boy Sleep’ chirping in on proceedings. Opening track ‘Vapour’ is the kind of power pop Belle & Sebastian used to make. It’s a catchy number that burns its way into your mind. ‘Tired Eyes’ shifts down a gear and is more of an anthemic /ballady number that is perfectly pleasant and shows the outfits range. It’s a lovely track. Last number ‘Boomerang’ deals with the familiar theme of lost love and closes off proceedings nicely.
The Limavady native has fashioned an interesting sophomore effort that’s chockfull of decent melodies and solid lyrics. Leanne’s backing vocals compliment Connolly’s vocals well and Crampsie’s percussion really ties things together well. Ruairí and the Owls has been getting plenty of good write-ups and on the evidence of this release they’re well deserved. They’re an act I shall be making an effort to catch live. I suggest you do the same.