T.M. O'Neill | Inbetweens

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Folk: Political Folk Moods: Mood: Brooding
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Inbetweens

by T.M. O'Neill

A majestic, brooding, romantic protest song that goes straight to the heart of modern discontent.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
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1. Inbetweens
5:10 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
T.M. O’Neill – Inbetweens
Released April 15th on Square 1 Productions.
Cat number SQ101
Recent years have seen politicized music very much back on the agenda with P.J. Harvey's 'Shake England Shake' and Dorian Lynskey's 33revolutionsperminute that details its history. 'Inbetweens' by T.M.O’Neill is not so much a call to arms as a fractured account of one man’s struggle against forces beyond his control. Musically, there are echoes of Cave and Cohen with the low hushed vocal and lush, layered orchestration, delivering smooth, trance like invocations. But this is no retro pastiche, it has a satirical bite that confronts today's labyrinthine issues, delivered with the restrained urgency of Johnny Cash. A potent lyrical kaleidoscope laced with gallows humour, it chronicles many modern ills in half – remembered flashbacks as the anger builds to the proposition of that most delicious and prescient of old testament sins : vengeance. As the song's intro reference’s rap's finest moment with the ironic/mocking laugh from Grand Master Flash's ‘The Message’, it’s coda reinterprets rock’s most iconic of clarion calls ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula,’ as less a cry of unbridled joy and more of a laconic, ominous meditation on loss. This is a cerebral as well as a visceral journey.
The video was made in Liverpool’s Bridewell studios, the once notorious police station, where several scenes from Alan Bleasedale’s ’Boys From the Blackstuff' were filmed. The mood conjured by this seminal work seemed as prescient and vital today as it did back then and became the wellspring from where the 'Inbetweens' project was born. It kicks off with a sample of George Osbourne's 'we are all in this together', an insipid, sickening mantra that tried to convince people of a cohesive community. Against this backdrop, along with many other oblique references to crises from recent history, sits T.M. in reflective detachment, decadently surveying the dystopia as if plucked from a Dutch Master’s oil painting. This juxtaposition elevates the song above the aching monochrome, earnestness often associated with this genre to something more timeless and original. Unwilling to 'steal high' up the ladder or 'submarine' to a life of criminality, the narrator finds himself struggling to know which mast to nail his colours to, feeling the anguish of being 'stitched up inbetween'.
‘Inbetweens’ is a subtle, literate, fully realized protest song, whose insistent refrain lingers on in the mind like some half remembered lullaby, a sea shanty slipping under the waves. There is much going on here musically and lyrically that, Russian Doll like, will reveal a soulful kernel of truth upon repeated listens…and introduce the world to a fine, fresh talent.

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