The Murder Capital Return With New Single 'Ethel'
Words by Maddy Chelmis
After the critically acclaimed success of their 2019 debut album When I Have Fears, The Murder Capital are back on our sonic radars after the release of their brooding new single Ethel. Featured third on their upcoming album Gigi’s Recovery, which is set to be released January 20th via Human Season Records.
Photo Credit: James Kelly
Ethel begins with melancholic dissonance from the guitars, a hissing hi-hat just in earshot. A haunting bell rings eerily, chiming intermittently alongside a steady beat from the kick drum that almost mimics a heartbeat. Vocalist James McGovern slices through the instrumental with the droning declaration “I always wanted it to be like this for us, strung out on love”. The incongruence between the solemn vocal delivery and optimistic lyrics creates an instant dilemma for the listener, we become invested in the potential façade portrayed by the supposedly happy family, thus a narrative unfolds.
Despite being compared to several post-punk counterparts, with the likes of Shame and fellow Irishmen Fontaines D.C, The Murder Capital have forged their own unique place in the music scene. Their music inspires introspection, lulling the listener into an ethereal, glass eyed state of contemplation.
Ethel sees the band explore new directions, while staying true to their gritty and intense instrumentals. Experimenting with synthetic strings that bring a large and foreboding orchestral sound to the track, fleshing out the already emotionally loaded song.
Inspired by French cinema, Maxim Kelly directs the wonderfully artistic music video for Ethel. The mundanity of family life is delicately portrayed here, yet all the while a hue of black seems to hang over the supposedly idyllic family dynamic.
Building to an epic conclusion, the song grows in intensity. Energy bubbles within as the tempo quickens, the drums grow louder and the poignant first lyric is repeated, this time with a somewhat more sinister implication. The maid dances erratically in the video as the family watch passively. All musical elements convene at the climax of the track, creating a cacophony of noise and feelings.
The Murder Capital are back again to grace us with another album of beautifully constructed tunes that tap into our best kept secrets and fragile emotions. Investigating new musical ventures but not straying from what made us fall in love the first time, Gigi’s Recovery is sure to have us all enraptured.
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