“The Word according to Nick Carswell & The Elective Orchestra”, (to give the album it’s full title!) is the debut long-player from the Limerick natives.
More details from www.theelectiveorchestra.com
The band members include sisters Deirdre Cussen (cello) and Kate Cussen (violin) as well as Sian Murray (vocals), Bart Kiely (drums) and Colin Bartley (double bass). Songwriter Nick Carswell performs on guitar, piano and vocals and the delicate mix and rich arrangements define The Elective Orchestra’s unique sound, which has been compared to The Frames and Sigur Ros. Hotpress also lauded the band’s originality in being “prepared to think, write and play outside the box.”
Based around the songs of Nick Carswell, The Elective Orchestra has been playing together for just about three years. The debut LP is full of the warm melodies, lush strings, and meaningful lyrics that have earned the band a sterling reputation for "emotive songwriting and enthralling live performances." (state.ie
) The album features some curious track titles (e.g. Plus! A TV Theme Tune For The New Chief!) and other musical oddities, including two ‘trilogies’ or three-act pieces, complete with introductions and musical codas.
Songwriter Nick Carswell explains; “From playing live together over the last few years, we have developed some extended instrumental pieces based around the songs, and we wanted to recreate that on this record. In the end, several sketches and improvisations are also included. Consider it a musical miscellany, or even an opus.”
Making music together since the end of 2007, the album encompasses both old and new songs and pieces. “Some of the songs have a history nearly ten years old, while others were written in the last six months, which makes for an interesting work when they’re all presented together.”
“As well as the studio recordings we made with Ross O’Donovan in Kerry,” Nick explains, “other recordings were made in two different churches in Limerick and Dublin and an apartment on the site of an old monastery, overlooking the river Blackwater in Youghal. Combine this with that fact that most of the songs are about God, or at least use the jargon of religion, we said we’d go all out and name the album after the Gospel. Why not?”