“As even-handed a collaboration as they come, and rooted as much in shared experiences as a continued love (and command) of music. The songs vary in form but confidently reside on the more reflective end of the spectrum, with Go-Betweens references here…. Ultimately what emerges is a creative synergy that time hasn’t had the nerve to erase” ~ The Irish Times
“Best of all is the New Order/Bunnymen-esque ‘Far From Home’. In another dimension, it’s a huge hit, and its two authors finally get their deserved houses overlooking the bay with the sports cars in the drive, before O’Neill inevitably overdoes it in a Paris bathtub” ~ HotPress
“A rich and mature sound. A welcome breath of fresh air… captures a shared sense of both nostalgia and optimism with melodies and harmonies that soar assuredly, building on solid orchestration, resonating” ~ Big Takeover Magazine
“‘Far From Home’ strips back New Order’s ‘Crystal’ to portray a fragile character reflecting upon a relationship. Their take is more New Order at sunrise rather than sunset which, allows a joyous tension to arise between past and present during the solo” ~ Travellers Tunes
Two artists who need no introduction in their homeland of Ireland, David Long and Shane O’Neill have announced their ‘Far From Home’ 3-track single. While each of them are perhaps best known as frontmen / vocalists of successful 1980’s post-punk / indie rock bands, the two songwriters have now joined forces to create some inspiring new music.
This maxi-single features title track ‘Far From Home’, b-side ‘Shake Me, I’m Magic’ and bonus track ‘Hand Of Love’, a cover of a song by Adrian Borland’s The Sound. Recorded remotely over a distance due to lockdown limitations, this release previews the duo’s ‘Moll & Zeis’ LP, to be released in August 2021.
David Long was the face of 1980s band Into Paradise, who released two albums and several EP’s on legendary British independent label Setanta Records and also one major – Ensign. Their most successful album was their major record label debut, the Adrian Borland-produced ‘Churchtown’.
Shane O’Neill fronted Blue In Heaven, who recorded / released a few singles and demos (including one produced by U2′s The Edge) before signing to Island Records in 1985. Their debut album ‘All The Gods Men’ was produced by Martin Hannett (Joy Division, Magazine, New Order, OMD, Happy Mondays). 1986 brought the ‘Explicit Material’ LP, produced by Island Records head Chris Blackwell and Eric Thorngren. Their popularity grew as they toured with the likes of U2, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Damned. In 1990, the band reformed as The Blue Angels.
Hailing from the same part of Dublin, Long and O’Neill have known each other since they were 6 or 7, when they knocked over Shane’s TV set, fighting over which channel to watch. Their first band was a trio called amuse with David on bass and vocals, Shane on guitar, and Dave Clarke (Warren Zevon, now Hothouse Flowers) on drums. After splitting and doing their separate thing, around 1996 they recorded an album as Supernaut.
Their new music output can be described as folk art garage rock, recalling a time when bands were clumsy and unrehearsed. Atmospheric, emotional, not interested in technique, or campfire sing-songs. The reverb is as important as the notes in some places, and it’s a good thing if you cannot recreate the full sound live.
“We wanted to make an album that could and should be listened to all the way through. It was an equal collaboration, Shane and myself have known each other so long that there was never a problem editing each other if something didn’t fit with the song. We had no time restrictions, or release dates to go by, so we took our time with this album and thought about every aspect of it, song titles, running order, album cover, album name, and what songs to leave on and leave off. The instrumentals are very important to the album’s story.,” says Dave Long.
“We were always the kind of musicians who couldn’t play other people’s songs properly, barely able to play some of our own songs. We’ve always loved music but didn’t always get some of the community surrounding it. I was trying to use my memories of working with Hannett to help create atmospherics and space behind the guitars and drums, (he used to stop the tape and joke it was mixed if the echo was interesting). Dave wanted an early style of guitar I used to play, less bar chords, more angular ringing notes,” says Shane O’Neill.
As of July 16, the ‘Far From Home’ maxi-single will be available across online platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. The ‘Moll & Zeis’ album will be released everywhere digitally in September.
1 Far From Home
2 Shake Me, I’m Magic
3 Hand Of Love (The Sound cover)
Written, arranged, recorded and produced by David Long & Shane O’Neill
Album Cover Art by Noel Farrell
Country Pylon Recordings 2021
FOR FANS OF: Tom Petty, Beck, The Sound, Echo and The Bunnymen, the Go-Betweens, The Wallflowers, New Order, Jeff Lynne