Strings & Things – What If

Neo-Trad globetrotters have all the answers on rousing new single.


James O’Meara Ryan, Eoin Shelly, Sean Mongey, and Eoin Salmon are a tightly knit unit who have been around thd block a time or two. The core of the group has been together since 2013 and their journey has taken them from their home counties of Tipperary and Galway, across Europe, and on to the famous Raglan Road in Disney Springs, Orlando, Florida. Now back in Ireland, Strings & Things are using that togetherness to power through the current world situation with all the character, charm, and pure talent that has seen them shine on a world stage.

Classified as a neo-trad group, Strings & Things signature sound is a collision of rock, folk, and traditional Irish music. Their live shows bring all the fire and entertainment factors of each of those genres. Thus far they have pulled off the difficult feat of reproducing the magic of their live show on their albums. Looking to build on the success of 2017’s ‘Turbulence, 2018’s ‘Four Thousand Miles’, and subsequent singles ‘Jigtime’ and ‘Fuaim Gathering’, Strings & Things are back with their brilliant new track ‘What if’.

Opening with an inquisitive descending banjo part, James O’Meara Ryan’s vocal meets us at the door with one of the many questions that populate this lively number. “What if the world were flat? Would we fall off the side?” he ponders, annunciating beautifully with a full-bodied singing voice. The tempo of the song picks up mid-verse with some choppy guitar before the full band comes together with purposeful Celtic fury for a rousing chorus.

“I wrote these lyrics coming home on a flight from a concert in Birmingham,” says lyricist Eoin Shelly, who handles percussion and vocal duties “Inspiration strikes in the strangest places, and being on a plane I was pondering the concept of flight itself. I started jotting down questions, and wondering if certain things were different, would we be where we are now? How would the world work? While introspective, the song has a hopeful tone. It’s like how a child would contemplate the world, they’ll ask questions, but with genuine wonder and curiosity.”

Alongside the intriguing lyrics, the musicianship on display here is top-notch as the band thrash out the song with abandon. That kinetic live energy that Strings & Things are known for is on display for all to hear, and although the instruments are of the traditional variety, this is most definitely a rock song in the truest sense. Special praise must be given to an absolutely sickening bass solo from Eoin Salmon that launches the listener into the track’s triumphant final movement. I can only imagine how a raucous crowd might react to such an irresistible crescendo.

‘What if’ marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for this band of brothers. They’ve been around the world and back, and are now poised to make a big impression on the Irish music scene.

‘What if’ is available to stream in Spotify now. Keep up to date with Strings & Things at their official Instagram.

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