As I sat listening to the hoarse vocals crying through the sparse opening bars of ‘Back To Where I Begun‘, the debut single from Dublin duo, Motions, I couldn’t help but feel that I’d heard that rasping plaintiveness somewhere before. It was on the tip of my tongue and brim of my brain but nah …
Fate stepped in, it was getting bored, and whilst humming the melody I turned my head sideways and lo, there it was, a CD jutting out from my stockpile that immediate caught my eye. The album, ‘Violator’, the band Depeche Mode. Wham! It hit me. This cigarette stained and strained, guttural yet strong and commanding vocal was redolent of Mode frontman Dave Gahan on ‘Condemnation’, widely held by DM fans to be his finest vocal hour.
But this isn’t about Mode … this is about Motions, the upcoming Irish duo whose very single, in all its debut innocence, was voted by savvy music fans into the Top 10 Fresh Faves over on the BBC Introducing feeding ground, Fresh on the Net – click here to read the review!
Motions aka @MotionsMusic is the enigmatic and mysterious Tom Daly and Dave Nulty, and currently an unknown entity. ‘Faceless anonymii’ about town around which wafts an air of Celtic mystery.
There’s no mystery to their music though – it’s attention-grabbing, showstopping alt-rock. Musical headlights with an option of dip function. Full throttle anthemic built on a weave of potent, grizzling guitars, spacious spiralling synths, vibrant drum rhythms and that ‘oh so amazing’, infectious vocal.
‘Back To Where I Begun’ opens in a near empty soundscape of spacious ‘piano’ chords and a wistful vocal, that from the outset create a brooding and regretful atmosphere. A steady, introspective build follows, as the song makes a gloriously dramatic ascent through chorus and verse to a clamorous climax. The chassis of the clangour is redolent of the chaos of the lyrics. Layers of looping sequences and thrashing percussion underpin Daly’s honest and memorable vocal and save for a momentary dip of the afore-mentioned headlights, bring the track to a dramatic close.
Instrumentally solid with a vocal powerhouse in Daly’s voice, Motions have effortlessly arrived at the perfect combination of musical strength and lyrical insightfulness. In fact, this duo make songwriting seem easy.
With a cleverly choreographed, ‘”Leave Your Emotional Baggage Behind” before it’s too late’ themed video, ‘Back To Where I Begun‘ is as ready-to-market/radio a commercial package as I have come across. [Although there are some scenes in the video that I wish I’d never seen, thanks, and someone give that guy a razor #beardrash]
The vocals are potent, the lyrics thought-provoking, the music anthemic and for a debut single, that’s something special.
In a word, ‘memorable’.
Watch the Motions visual mini-drama whilst feeling your pulse soar here,