I bloody love Ranger3. Their debut album, ‘Old Simplicity’ was one of my favourites of last year. Here’s what I said about it at the time:
Ranger3 are Anglo-Irish duo, Jim Perkins and Ronan Burke and take their name from the unmanned, technology-laden US rocket which should have guided itself to the moon, but instead missed its target by 36,000km and spiralled off into space, losing contact with the Earth. This self-deprecating nod to their own technology-laden folk sound shows an unnecessary modesty.
Their debut album, ‘Old Simplicity’ hits its target so firmly that it would be quite reasonable for them to shout it from the rooftops. But, I guess, it would be difficult for someone brimming with arrogance to come up with such intricate and beautiful music as this. Using a plethora of folk instruments, the duo create rich sounds, which are often cut up and rearranged, providing astonishing backing for Ronan’s layered vocals.
Stand out tracks, ‘Pendulum’ and ‘Old Simplicity’ are prime examples of how the duo construct songs. On the former, cut up and pitched up vocal sounds act in contrast to Efterklang-esque, choral melodies over music that slowly builds to a rumbling crescendo. The title track may once have been a traditional folk song, and in many ways it still is, although the guitar part has been pulled apart note by note and put back together in a different order. Such heavy editing is not always used, though. The duo know when something is better left alone and these tracks show a gentler side and unearth more subtleties in their songwriting.
This album is an astonishing feat of musical ability and studio skill. Ranger3 manage to give folk an excitingly modern twist, without losing the warmth at its heart.
This week they release their latest single, ‘Sense Of Direction’, the video for which you can check out right here: