Damien Rice meets Dolly Parton, this is Southern.

Take the cryptic lyrics of Damien, the joyful banjo of Dolly, a dash of rock, angst-tinged chorus, reduce the bra size and meet Thom and Lucy Southern; aptly named country duo from Belfast.

This brother/sister duo insist they are just that, there is no White Stripes trick lurking and that there are a lot of good points to working with a sibling . . .

“I handle the guitar and she handles the rhythm and we both work on the lyrics because we are usually on the same mind-flow”, Thom explains the duo’s dynamic, a winning formula, so far.

However, working with your sister does have its downside . . .

” . . . but that doesn’t mean we don’t bicker . . .”

Arguing over a “made up metaphor”is hardly something that qualifies for family therapy, but I think a few discussions on whether or not a lyric makes sense would crop up, since neither listening to Southern or reading their lyrics offers any clarity. Apparently, there’s a sprinkling of teenage angst in there somewhere, not specifically for just teenagers.

“I wanted to write something everyone can relate to . . .” While penning relatable lyrics, Southern underwent several changes before settling on country, “World Don’t Shine was the first song I wrote when I was just 16, and it’s changed since that first version, there was a point where it included bongos and maracas!”

Country is just the current experiment in the lab. For now, the joyful beat paired with cynical lyrics is Southern’s sound which has seen them draw inspiration from Beck and Led Zeppelin, however, Thom has hinted that the next album may have different vibe altogether, “A more Lou Reed feel”.

The next album aims also to put the spotlight more on Lucy. Listening to their music, Lucy only supplies a few “doo wah wahs” and the last verse of, “Just Think About It”, so it was a relief when Thom said not only does she contribute to the song-writing, but that she has a “beautiful voice”. Before this, I had visions of a Damien Rice/Lucy Hannigan style set-up on the horizon for Southern where Lucy was dumped to allow Thom’s solo career to flourish while she sat slumped on the side of the road with a sign saying, “will sing ‘doo wah wahs’ for food”.

Thankfully, the taste of Lucy’s vocal on “Just Think About It” was a sample of things to come for Southern.

Southern’s self-titled EP is available now.

 

Related posts: