On August 4th, John Lynch released his new EP, 1922. The six songs are an ode to Irish culture and history, and the people behind it. The songs are stripped raw, giving way to the stories they are trying to tell.
It starts off with ‘Guardians’ by honoring the large chimneys that stand tall in Dublin, but more importantly, the song is about the workers that have tread the land and seen these smoke chimneys before him. Now, he recognizes that these towering figures are there to guide him as he grows into a working man.
The next track, ‘Dark Horse on the Wind’, is an Irish folk song from the 1970s. The song is a call to action, and brings a stark awareness to how things have still not started to look up for the working class. Though written nearly 50 years ago, Lynch’s rendition brings a sad anger that reminds listeners that the issue is still very much present.
It is followed by the more playful ‘Kerosene Light’, an excellent feat of storytelling. Lynch recounts the stories his grandfather would share about his life, all under the faint glow of an oil lamp. It connects all these moments in his grandfather’s life to this faint but persistent glow that they power themselves. Lynch emphasizes on the connection his grandfather and he had through this constant repetition of the kerosene light.
Next on the tracklist is the ballad ‘Sands of Time.’ The song is about how little time there is to get everything done in life, and how much you don’t realize how much time went by. There is a yearning for more, for missing all the things that you didn’t have time to do. But at the same time, that loss is as inevitable as the forward motion of time.
‘Sands of Time’ is followed by the humorous and jaunty tale of ‘Johnny Jump Up.’ The title refers to a heavy pint of cider that seems to strengthen anyone who drinks it. The story follows the singer as he goes through an eventful night of poor decisions and impressive physical feats as the cider runs its course.
Finally, the EP ends with the titular track, ‘1922.’ The song points out the freedom that was gained by Southern Ireland that year seems to be almost pointless because so many people are trapped by the abuses of the working class in Ireland. Truly, it seems only the rich, who Lynch calls the ‘Big Boss Man’, are the ones fully benefitting from the Irish Free State Act.
In all, the EP is a love letter to the proletariat of Ireland. It honors all the people who have worked so hard before Lynch, but also demands better treatment of the working class today. People like Lynch’s grandfather paved the way for him to take a stance and make his voice heard today. Check out this folk masterpiece!
This EP is available now on major streaming platforms like YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music.
Percy Sampson, New Orleans born and Virginia bred, is finishing up their time at University of Mary Washington, where they are double majoring in English and Theatre. A passionate writer, they spend most of their free time working on (mostly horror) scripts and short stories.
Flow-bending artist aSanTIS discusses art, culture, and whether sound can solve the world’s problems in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
My interview with Amy Santis aka aSanTIS began in the most unexpected way. The Maryland-based flow-bending artist and lyrical storyteller came prepared to engage in conversation around questions I had posed – and she also brought one or two of her own thoughtful prompts based on her curiosities around my view of learning.
This practice of taking in her surroundings deeply through observation and inquiry has come naturally to aSanTIS ever since she was a young child. In terms of her early starts in music, she notes that she began as a discerning listener. “Just listening to music from my mom, on the radio, just being a consumer in the world of sound. But I think mainly, my mom has always loved dancing and listening to music, so that was sort of like second nature. We play music at gatherings, we play music in the car, and these songs are sort of like diaries that take us into a specific place.”
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