Ethereal electronic five-piece can clearly cut the mustard

Just Mustard...at the Roisin Dubh this Friday night
Just Mustard...at the Roisin Dubh this Friday night

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

There’s something about the ethereal, electronic dream-pop of Dundalk five-piece Just Mustard that makes the group’s sound seem both welcoming and abrasive. Falling under the bracket of ‘shoegaze’ music, the band blends a noisy, jagged sound with the smooth, glazed vocals of lead-singer Katie Ball.

Now, with two new singles earning plenty of praise in the public domain, the group’s summer shows are set to highlight the progression they have continued to make over the course of the last year.

This Friday, Just Mustard play Galway’s Róisín Dubh. Having toured alongside their esteemed countrymen Fontaines D.C. not so long ago, it marks another point of development for the band.

Headline shows offer a different opportunity to support slots and Just Mustard will be hoping for a successful tour following the recent release of new tracks Frank and October.

It was no surprise to see Wednesday, the band’s 2018 debut album, receive critical acclaim given the intricacy of the musicianship on the self-produced LP.

Over eight tracks, the tone of the record flickers and wavers between overarching, screeching guitar and quieter, ambient moments of respite.

The vocals are nonchalant and minimalist – Ball and fellow singer David Noonan create the dreamy atmosphere that dominates the record despite the pace and intensity of the instrumentation.

Indeed, the album opens with a blaring, distorted guitar that announces the brash, assertive approach on which the band intends to rely.

The moments of calm in that opening track Boo, and in pretty much every track on Wednesday, are juxtaposed by the harshness of those bullish, louder sections. It’s a balance that the band seems comfortable striking and it allows them to maintain an interesting, layered soundscape.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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