Decemberish Music and Album Review

‘Til I’m Back Home
by Eric McGrath

Before checking out my album review below, have a taste of this holiday inspired song from the same singer/songwriter. I love it!

This review originally appeared in Expats Post Online Magazine.

From Ireland, Spain and to the rest of the world, Little Ripples by Eric McGrath creates bigger tides to captivate listeners.

One of the arresting things in Eric McGrath’s album cover is that big splash of orange paint.He looks at the camera almost Zen like. The CD artwork has that Jackson Pollock style. Little Ripples has 11 tracks released during the summer of 2012 through White Cliff Records. Album tracks: Let’s Get Curious/ A Lost Romance/ Abuelo/ Alone We Stand/ These Are The Good Old Days/Alluring Lady/ And Here’s Me Thinking…/Carousel/ Before You Left/ Sixty Seconds.

Photo taken by Alex Hutchinson Photography

Photo taken by Alex Hutchinson Photography

Being brought up in an Irish household, Eric McGrath has mastered the guitar, bass, violin, piano, banjo, mandolin, ukulele and keyboards. It is known that in Ireland, anyone knows how to play more than one instrument. It is this genetic connection to music that flows in his creativity. But apart from his Irish roots, he is also one half Spanish. It is the Latin side of his bloodline that shows its dominance in the compositional style of Little Ripples. There are also traces of 60′s surf music (reminiscent of Mamas and Papas or The Beach Boys). His songwriting structure is very much universal that appeals to a wider audience.

My personal favorites are: Ripples into Waves, A Lost Romance, Abuelo,These Are The Good Old Days and Before you Left. I like them due to their rich atmosphere and captivating melodies. Most of the songs in Little Ripples are like ambient landscapes. They make you forget the stressful realities of the world if you allow yourself to just get lost to the music.

I think that the album is maximized for head phones. I listened to both ways and the headphones make you notice little details. For instance, the piano or guitar parts sound like you are transported into a languid afternoon siesta while everything around you is covered in sepia.It has a sunny characteristic and positive vibe. The sound mixing also attempts to mimic the warm analog sounds of the 60s and 70s. I swear it feels like I am listening to a vinyl LP. If you love reggae, bossa nova and acoustic rock then Little Ripples is for you.

Watch out for my exclusive interview with Eric McGrath soon.


Bigger and Better Things

In this issue: Eric McGrath, This Flight Tonight and The Paper Kites

This Flight Tonight: Photographer: D. McKissock-Davis

With the brush of fingers, a stroke of musical ideas, singer/songwriters can create cathedrals of imaginations. They somehow subconsciously satisfy that part of us that screams of unrequited love and loss. For me, owning an album is like taking that part of a musician with you. It is like a personal note a friend has slipped inside your pocket, and you take it with you to keep you warm through the cold months of uncertainty.

This is what’s music supposed to do. To fill that empty space and take you out of the depths of madness into the blazing light of self recovery. The following are young artists who are making waves and they are aiming for bigger and better things. And yes, they aim to inspire and enrich.

Eric McGrath

I got the link to his video through Dublin based singer/songwriter Fiach Moriarty. This man is creating smooth tunes that makes me think of the good ol’ songs half a century ago. His delivery is genuine and there is something about his voice that’s unpretentious. After scanning more videos, I found more and more of his style that makes me conclude that this is a fine example of Irish pop music: intelligent, melodic but also mature. He made a great impression alright.


Born in Dublin to a Spanish mother and Irish father, Eric was raised on a healthy mix of music from around the globe. With a strong love of Latin grooves, 1920’s North American song craftsmanship, and 1960’s Surf harmonies, it wasn’t long before Eric began to blend his diverse inspirations through his own unique compositions. After completing an honours degree in Chemistry at UCD, Eric finally succumbed to his true calling by obtaining a Masters in Music and Media from Trinity College Dublin.

He recently supported Bic Runga at The Cork Opera House and The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, as well as supporting a host of Irish musical luminaries, including Cathy Davey, Dave Geraghty, Vyvienne Long and Tiger Cooke. In July 2011 Eric was invited as guest performer to the American Ireland Fund’s Summer Event in New York where he performed every night from 17 -24 July, including the main event on the 21st.

A wider audience awaits…

More info here:


This Flight Tonight

Ralph Engle formed a band that is steeped in visual music. People who are fans of Radiohead and most 90’s bands associated with the genre will really warm up to This Flight Tonight. I saw the video “Barb Wire” featuring interpretative dance and I was like Holy Shit! These guys really take their artistry to the next level.

Apart from the Thom Yorke-like vocals, Ralph has this theatrical quality about him that calls for expansive compositions and challenging vocal acrobats. The music is spacey but intense that it makes you want to listen repeatedly in order for you to interpret rifts and layers of the notes that they worked into the songs.

I’d say discover more of their music and I am sure this band will grow on you.


The Paper Kites

Someone posted this band in the chat room where I frequent. My taste is eclectic and that includes sweet ballads from Australia.  Well, this band doesn’t need further intro because a LOT has been written about them. At first I thought they are from the UK but their facebook page says they are from down under. Members are:

Sam Bentley
Christina Lacy
Dave Powys
Sam Rasmussen
Josh Bentley

But no corresponding instrument is mentioned opposite each name. Sigh. They have two sites in case you are in the mood for music hunting: