Label: So Far So Good
Release Date: 31st July 2020
"True Love Waits is clear evidence that despite their turbulent year, The Coronas remain one of Ireland’s best musical talents."
As they playfully admit in their Spotify bio, The Coronas are perhaps the most unfortunately named band in the world right now. A four-piece for their previous five studio albums, the band were shocked to the core when guitarist Dave McPhillips decided to leave, depriving the Dublin-based group of both a fantastic guitarist and a man who had been part of their journey for the last thirteen years.
Their new album True Love Waits reflects this change in dynamic, with the trio creating more mellow and melodic offerings than they had previously been known for. Danny O’Reilly explained what had changed, stating that “for the first time we used real brass, there are extra guest backing vocalists, guest guitar players and our first featured duet. From early on, the guys encouraged me to use my voice differently, just pushing me to try something that I wouldn’t have done previously”. All of this results in a different sound to the dominant sounds of Irish music for the past decade.
The title song is also the first on the album and sets the tone for the rest of the tracks. Catchy with powerful lyrics, it encapsulates the imaginative and innovative direction that The Coronas have taken this release and introduces the coming tracks, which do not disappoint.
‘Lost In The Thick Of It’, a fantastic duet with Gabrielle Aplin, is another example of the transition that the band has undergone since their last album in 2017. Featuring on the EP from earlier this year, it combines beautiful harmonies with the melodic piano without a trace of the guitar which came to characterise the band.
Whilst understated and subservient to Aplin’s voice in ‘Lost In The Thick Of It’, O’Reilly’s voice returns front and centre in 'Find The Water', with incredible range and gravitas that instantly conjures images of spotlit stages and enthralled fans. A somewhat typical Coronas first verse gives way to a higher-pitched hook and chorus which gives the song a truly unique feel and makes it one of the best on the album.
The band give a lot of the credit for the album to its producer George Murphy, who persuaded the three to experiment with ideas out of their comfort zone and "knew exactly the kind of album we wanted to make".The result is proof of this, a forty-six minute, thoroughly enjoyable journey through a diverse group of sounds and emotions. As the last notes of the final track ‘LA At Night’ fade into silence, it gives a moment to reflect on just how impressive the record is.
The trio was due to embark on a six-month tour before their namesake virus put the brakes on their venture. True Love Waits is clear evidence that despite their turbulent year, The Coronas remain one of Ireland’s best musical talents, and that Danny’s voice remains as powerful and timeless as it has ever been.
Words by Ben Browning.
26th July 2020.