Cork based musician Elaine Howley has been a significant contributor to the Irish indie underground scene for a while now. She brought her distinct experimental sensibilities to The Altered Hours’ psych-rock as well as the song based electronica of Howlbux and Crevice. Now comes news that this summer she is stepping out from the shadows with the release of her first solo album ‘The Distance Between Heart And Mouth’ via Touch Sensitive on 12th August.
More knotty and narrative than simply a set of songs, the source of the album was a daily audio diary that Howley kept through 2019 and 2020 on a four-track cassette. She’s taken this diligent mixtape of memories, as the foundation for the tracks on the record, giving it a singular flow beyond any dream pop generalisations.
Listen to the first preview track Silent Talk and you’ll get the drift. Taking a processional pace and orchestrated by synth chord falls and cavernous guitar, the song surges and breaks around Howley’s pristine vocals which hover uncannily between the fragile and forthright. Elements of the Cocteaus’ glide, Broadcast’s cool detachment and Jane Weaver’s clarity peep through but this is music ruffled by Howley’s more avant, outsider-art perspective.
It’s this tension that’s captured in Mary Kelleher’s pitch perfect visualisation of the song, grainy and kaleidoscopic with Howley hiding within the most extraordinary hat. Reflecting as the musician says the dilemma of “showing up as your authentic self and the fear that can exist around that”, Silent Talk reveals Howley taking a leap into the open, remaining true to herself while still maintaining a real mystique …with hints of much more magic to come.
Pre-order your copy of ‘The Distance Between Heart And Mouth’ from your local record store or direct from: https://touchsensitiverecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-distance-between-heart-and-mouth