Shares new video for “Tunnels Pt.2”
Taken from Ephrata due 5 May via Quiet Arch Records
Watch “Tunnels pt.2” here
Northern Irish newcomer Joshua Burnside shares new video for “Tunnels pt.2”, the lead single from his forthcoming debut album Ephrata (out on 5 May via Quiet Arch Records – home to Northern Irish Music Prize winner Ciaran Lavery, as well as Ryan Vail and Tucan). The video is premiering now at For The Rabbits, who describe “Tunnels Pt.2” as; “a fascinating blend of Joshua’s traditionally folk-tinged vocals, with fluttering electronics, steady driving drum beats and pulsating horns.”
Directed by Darren Lee of Maverick Renegade Productions, and scripted by Joshua Burnside with cast Chris Mcgivern, Gareth Maguire, Emily Mcilwaine and Connor Burnside, the video was shot in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, a few yards from where the Titanic was built. This location was appropriate as the themes of modern technology and financial globalisation in the video could be seen as an eventual result of the industrial revolution at the turn of the 20th century, and the ensuing rampant capitalist of the later half of that century.
It was decided early on that the video would be set during the internet boom of the 90’s, with props like old computers, floppy disks, fax machines etc as there was something very unglamorous about these new technologies, the computers were square and grey, and primarily used for unglamorous work, like finance, making money from money, but not really making anything at all. The video’s loose narrative could be described thusly: the protagonist is an office drone, who is confronted and chased by a disheveled doppelganger after learning a terrible truth about the consequences of his work.
Joshua Burnside said of the video: “The imagery of blue ink on the faces was used as a kind of tribal thing, which we thought was a nice way to juxtapose the refined ‘modern man’ with his inner beast, and the lyrics of the third verse reflects this duplicity of being both animal and machine: ‘we used to wait all night for something we’d never seen before, now I don’t know where the wires end and my veins begin….God help me I’ve seen everything’.”
Joshua Burnside’s debut album Ephrata was written in a burst of a few weeks whilst living in northern Colombia, the songs on the album deal with a diverse range of themes, from PTSD and technophobia, to larger questions about time, love and death in the modern age. The influences of his Irish background and his love of Gothic Folk-Americana, has brought him fans both in the UK and America. Ephrata is the name of a small town in Pennsylvania, nodding to the transatlantic connection. Burnside visited Ephrata whilst on tour a few years ago, when a nearby market burnt down on the first night he was there and fire engines drove past all night. He explains his state of mind whilst writing the title track; “I was going in between dreaming and being awake, having apocalyptic dreams. The song uses synths and upbeat Colombian rhythms to contrast the dark lyrical themes.”
Ephrata sees a change in direction for Burnside, moving away from a strictly folk sound. The gothic and religious themes remain but a distinct Latin flavour has found its way into the music, inspired by his time in South America. In need of a change of scene and creative stimulus, he stayed with his cousin who was living in Colombia for a few months. He had no money when he went out there so he borrowed a small classical guitar and stared writing the album. He even played with a local Cumbia group (mixing traditional African dance music with European instrumentation) and soaked up the rhythmic influences, most notably in songs such as “26th Street” (named after the street in Bogota where the political satirist Jaime Garzon was assassinated) and “fightorfight” (featuring guest vocals from Hozier cellist and backing vocalist Alana Henderson).
Burnside’s contemporary influences include bands such as Sun Kil Moon, Dirty Three, The Books and The Microphones, but this year has also found himself listening to a variety of old tapes, with the incongruous mixture of Dick Gaughan, Talking Heads, Toto La Mompasina and The Cure creeping into his own sound.
A multi-instrumentalist, Burnside played most of the sounds on the album but was also joined by a number of collaborators and producers including his brother Connor on drums and percussion, electronic solo artist Rachael Boyd on violin and synths, Clark Phillips on bass and Sarah Martin on trumpet.
Sunday 30th April – Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival – Duke of York – Belfast
Tuesday 9th May – Nice and Sleazy Glasgow
Thursday 11th May – Servant Jazz Quarters , London
Saturday 13th May – Ursa Minor – Ballycastle
Saturday 27th May – Craft Village – Derry
Thursday 1st June – Bellobar – Dublin
Quiet Arch Records – 5 May
The Unrequited Kind
The Good Word