“Song about a Song” by Alana Henderson – Contributed by Tiger Cooke

Having written mainly about older tunes for this series, I’ve decided to mix it up a little today.  Hailing from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, although originally from Armagh, Alana Henderson has just released “Song about a Song” on an EP called “Wax and Wane”.

I’m really struggling to tie a label to this tune.  I adore the lyrics, and have become slightly obsessed with it (as I’m wont to do).  Just when you think you have the song pinned down, the time shifts, and veers off in a different direction evading capture.  There are some lovely warm and ornate vocal lines here, borrowing from the traditional I think, which are sadly missing in much modern Irish music.  (I think!)

To my ears it sounds like an old song, from a bygone era… and yet current, like those old records from The Band where you feel that the vinyl’s been dropped into your lap straight out of the American Civil War.  Somehow everyone’s playing electric instruments – but it still makes sense.  It’s an anomaly, but a serendipitous one.

The recording online is a demo, I think, but the EP, I’m told, will be on its way shortly.  In the meantime, you can satisfy yourselves with the demo version : http://alanahenderson.bandcamp.com
EDIT : The EP has just dropped!]

WARNING : Please bear in mind that upon hearing a demo version, you may prefer that to any version that follows.  It’s the age-old demo problem, and the reason many bands dislike polishing demos up before going in to studio.  Trying to recapture magic that’s already been bottled is a tricky business.  (Yes, magic is elusive.  Who knew?  Okay, everyone knew.  Whisht!)  So you’ve been warned.  Download it, just in case you can’t get it at a later date.

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Tiger Cooke is an impoverished indie artist with a soulful dark-folk sound, a blend of early Paul Simon, Marvin Gaye and Phoenix. He is powered by a heady cocktail of dark humour, late-night toasted cheese sandwiches, and copious amounts of tea, and regularly weakened by heartache, eye-strain, and kryptonite.

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