Louis Claffey – Easy
Dublin maestro previews upcoming album with delicious throwback single.
Louis Claffey is a Dublin singer/songwriter with a wonderful habit of doing things his own way. Unrestrained by the typical confines of music making, Louis freely draws inspiration from Britpop, New Wave, Psychedelic Rock, and countless other genres. The results are always interesting, and often quite brilliant.
His self-produced debut Ep ‘Cold Showers’ is a wonderfully eclectic treat which turned heads upon its release in 2019. Recorded primarily on a scarlet 16i8, that record is proof positive of the outrageous amounts of creativity and talent Louis has at his disposal. As a result, Claffey earned himself a slot supporting Sam Lewis at Whelans and coveted slots on the Radio Nova and BIRP Fm playlists. Pre-lockdown, Louis had been busy gigging around Dublin, receiving plaudits for some show-stealing performances at the International Bar.
Over the last year, this resourceful artist has been working with Jamie Hyland and Mark Butler to create a full-band album which will get a release this summer. As a teaser for that project, Louis has released this fantastic single to whet our appetites.
Sonically ‘Easy’ has a lot in common with the kind of
up-tempo Beatles track one might find on Rubber Soul or Revolver. The assured 60’s inspired swagger and swirling harmonies are all very familiar and performed with gusto.
At a moment in time where this sound seems to be slipping away in favour of more modern fare, it’s great to hear a song like this done so well. ‘Easy’ will most definitely appeal to the classic rock enthusiasts, but its punchy production and evergreen pop principles will certainly satisfy the contemporary listener. The track feels fresh and has a great energy to it, perhaps representative of the love and care poured into its creation.
Lyrically ‘Easy’ is so joyously cheeky. The main character is an old man on his death bed looking back at his life, contemplating regrets and trying to make peace with his soul. Morbidly reminiscing amidst a gleefully upbeat instrumental, the gallows humour on show here is quite brilliant. It reminded me of the famous crucifixion scene in ‘The Life Of Brian’ where Eric Idle cheerfully sings “Always look on the bright side of life” on Calvary hill. What makes this work is the poignancy that coexists with the humour, and that’s the mark of a great lyricist. Louis expresses a full spectrum of emotion over the coarse of the tracks runtime. Happiness, sadness, fear and love all coexist harmoniously within the song, making ‘Easy’ a nuanced listening experience.
In keeping with the lyrics, easy and breezy are two words I would associate with Claffeys vocal performance on this track. He sounds great and perfectly translates our protagonists melancholic dilemma. The instrumentation and production are also top notch. It’s not easy to nail that 60’s vibe in a way that sounds authentic but also modern, and the lads have done a top job here.
‘Easy’ by Louis Claffey is a delightful song elevated by sharp songwriting, satisfying nods to the past, and a vibrant performance from the band. If this is what we can expect from his upcoming album, Louis is most definitely an artist on the rise.