2016 may have been a tough year for music, but that certainly wasn’t the case for emerging Fermanagh band Anto & the Echoes. After only a few short months of forming and honing their sound, they took on their debut gig in July. Punters were turned away from Charlie’s bar as the crowd reached maximum capacity early in the night. A series of well-received gigs around Northern Ireland followed, and the band returned to Charlie’s to close the year with another sell-out show.
This year has built further on their success, after spending some time in the studio, they have returned with a short Irish tour to promote a new three-track EP titled Youth. February saw the Echoes playing Dublin, Omagh, Portrush and The Empire Bar Belfast, finishing their tour with the release of an accompanying music video for their track Severed Ear.
The EP is a collection of three songs, with a vivid and engaging stadium rock sound. The first track, Pick Me Up, is a chaotic upbeat number, with punk & surf-rock guitar sound juxtaposed with flamboyant saloon piano reminiscent of Mungo Jerry’s Summertime, overladen with rich harmonies and a vocal line with hints of Queen and Kate Bush.
The second track, Echoes, is a sentimental and nostalgic party anthem, falling in line with a more familiar stadium rock sound akin to The Killers and U2, with powerful crescendos and rich layered vocals carrying a strong sense of emotion.
Severed Ear is a love song through the eyes of a tortured painter, with a huge dynamic guitar sound played over a host of colourful lyrical metaphors. The accompanying music video perfectly captures the colourful essence of the song, with the location and cast used as a literal blank canvas for a rainbow of expression.
Frontman and songwriter Anthony Breen has worked in the film industry on Game Of Thrones, Line Of Duty and various feature films, and used his experience to envision the video and bring it to life with great help from his cinematographer Declan O’Granah.
Caiman O’Shea is a poet and singer-songwriter, and the driving force behind The Thing Itself.