Kilkenny musician Shane Joyce began his career with The Midnight Union Band, who are still recording and touring. Shane’s first solo E.P, An Introduction, takes influences from folk roots, and poetic interest.

Blame opens the record with soft guitar strums, and a simple yet memorable melody that gets stuck in your head. And strong, almost bluesy vocals lamenting about a love gone wrong. Drums and tambourine added to heighten the feeling in the song. Shane has a hint of accent in his vocals that give a personal touch. There is also a bitterness in the vocals, evoking further meaning – an emotional track that speaks to the human side of listeners. The harmonica added near the end brings the song to a sturdy, instrumentally full close.

Song 2, The Same Old Song starts with harmonica and strings, paired with the same old-style vocals that give the song a retro atmosphere, and showcase Shane’s influence from Leonard Cohen. The lyrics are, at the same time, strongly worded and almost political, but still deep and poetic, commenting on the state of the government that will resonate with almost all Irish people. Powerful guitar strumming emphasis the frustration and passion felt in the song.

Those Who Pay Rent is the third track on the E.P, and has more subtle guitar strumming, making way for deep and personal lyrics, once again. Female backing vocals add an almost eerie air, and give the tune true depth. We hear a different tone to Shane’s voice that is nothing short of beautiful. He creates powerful notes without shouting, that are still effortless and laced with so much meaning. Faster piano playing and backing vocals all combine to the crescendo of the song.

Fourth song, Your (and My) Contradictions is a more upbeat, faster paced track that shows the diversity in Shane’s musical style. Again deep, personal vocals that cement his talent as not just a singer, but a songwriter. Harmonica makes an appearance again echoing the vocal melody. The song is full of clever little contradictions that mimic the title and add a little fun to the E.P.

Sophie is the most slow-paced song of the record, closing the E.P with gentle guitar accompaniment and the same powerful, deep vocals, showcasing a story of loss and longing. Harmonica comes in again at the bridge, mimicking the sadness of the vocals, and finishing the album with a memorable, almost haunting tone.

An Introduction is released on March 11th, and will be followed by tour dates all around Ireland, so be sure to check out Shane’s Facebook page for more details.