Ahead of its late September launch we’re sent a copy of ‘Arrivals & Departures’ the debut EP from Co Down singer songwriter Brigid O’Neil.

The opener ‘Arrivals and Departures’ is a clear metaphor based on dealing with the changes and turmoils that life throws at us. “Tried to leave all her baggage behind”, “She’s got to make a landing in another state of mind”. These lines apply to us all as we go through life and adjust ourselves and our feelings to cope. The simple, yet effective message is “No need to run”.

‘Never Going to Get to Heaven’ is a classic country slap in the face song. A musical warning to a betrayer that’s up-tempo featuring big double bass lines, country fiddle, huge harmonies and a knowing vocal. This one takes the listener straight into Bobby Gentry territory.

On ‘Far to Fall’, Brigid’s vocal sounds more Irish and vulnerable. A slower song that deals with the pain and sorrow of loss and tells the listener that sometimes time doesn’t always heal all wounds. There’s a haunting pedal steel playing the whole way through the song that adds to the sweet melancholy of the song.

‘Wrong Time Wrong Place’ sounds like it’s been lifted straight out of a smokey jazz club. Again double bass, trumpet and some very cool piano make this sound like it’s been lifted of a Hal David / Burt Bacharach song sheet. Brigid’s vocal even evokes thoughts of Dionne Warwick and much like ‘Walk on By’ this song also fires a warning shot across the bow of potential time wasters.

Closing the EP is ‘Helium Balloon’ The slowest song of the collection. It takes us out on a high note of positivity and a sense of achievement. Piano based, it gives room for Brigid’s vocals to shine and to tell us that once unshackled we can go forward and develop our potential without limits. The EP is a beautifully produced collection of songs and music that showcases songwriting, musicianship and an artist who’s at home with Americana and Jazz, and we couldn’t help but notice that Brigid has enlisted the help of some of our top musicians to make this recording. John McCullough, Bill Johnson and Gareth Dunlop are only some of the names credited and Gareth Dunlop also shares a production and engineering credit. With top backing this on a debut release it is clear to see that there is belief in Brigid’s work and talents.

Tickets are available for the EP launch show in the Black Box on 24th September. We’ll be there and we recommend you are too.