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Captain Kennedy – See You When I See You

Nichola Eastwood


See You When I See You is the debut effort from the Northern Ireland based Captain Kennedy.  It’s been a busy year for the seven piece with the release of two singles, no small amount of press attention, shows alongside the likes of Noah and the Whale and Mumford and Sons and, of course, the October launch of their debut.

Opener Bring It All Home is an impressive, laid back folk track completed by Ciaran Lavery’s gruff, earthy vocals.  The band excel at their distinctive brand of quirky, bluesy rock and they make sure we know it from the off.  Stretch That Penny proves Bring It All Home is no fluke, a violin infused number that is darkly brooding and moody, with a chorus that’ll stick to you like glue.

Sweetest Friend is a beautifully sincere moment.  Ciaran’s soulful vocals are set amidst a backdrop of melodic harmonies and graceful violin.  The result is a mellow tune that bursts to life in a heartfelt chorus.  Factory Whistle Call stays in this territory of earnest folk, with Ciaran crying ‘Listen to me’ (it doesn’t get much more frank than that) alongside chilled out guitar and the ever present fiddle.  An unexpected treat comes in the shape of an edgy little guitar solo, it adds to what is already quite a pristine track.  Frankly, Factory Whistle Call is a neon sign pointing out what a diversely talented bunch Captain Kennedy are.

Hard Time Wakin’ veers away from the mellow sound of its predecessors, falling on the folk rock side of the band’s sound.  It’s edgier than what we’ve heard so far, sitting among the other tracks like a sulky teenager in a room full of adults.  It’s the black sheep of the album and that’s why you can’t help but love it.  Roll Ramona is a country infused track; with a chorus that’s just designed for a rowdy sing along down the pub.

Suppertime is a quietly sprightly number, Ciaran’s gruff vocals adding depth to the adorably innocent and sweet piano, violin and guitar.  It’s a whimsical, dreamy moment that starts to wind down the album like a lullaby.  The closing track, aptly entitled After The Crowd Have Gone, sees Ciaran’s vocals take on an echoing, distant quality.  It’s a minimalist number, vocals accompanied by sparse piano, violin and guitar.  This stripped bare effort showcases Ciaran’s vocal talent to the full, as his singing largely carries the track; it’s a haunting conclusion not to be forgotten in a hurry.

See You When I See You is a skilful demonstration of just how varied and unique Captain Kennedy’s sound is.  It’s hard to believe this is the group’s debut, with an album that would make more seasoned artists green with envy you can certainly expect to see a lot more from Captain Kennedy.