Mixing traditional Celtic folk and modern Americana, the Irish group I Draw Slow make the journey to the New World with their album White Wave Chapel. It’s as gritty as it is beautiful, and on “Valentine,” a bit resentful.
“We like to write in the classic style of old-time lyrics,” says the band’s co-founder and guitarist Dave Holden. “So I suppose they are a bit darker than your average. But darker is more interesting, no?”
After discovering bluegrass while busking in Australia, Holden and his sister Louise (who sings in the band) began playing in traditionally-styled groups. Before long they were on to original music.
“We love the classic lineup of old-time music,” Holden tells CMT Edge. “And the music has a real soul to it, which we try to capture in our own songs.”
Laden with banjo and fiddle, “Valentine” has a sea-shanty sway and a focus on a relationship in flames. Soaring harmonies and happy memories try to pull the scorned lovers back together, but there’s no righting this ship.
Filmed in a bar in Dublin, the video stars actor Aidan Gillen, famous for his role as Lord Baelish on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Here he plays another callous and uncaring character, using his searing eyes to throw daggers at Louise. Until she gives it right back, that is.
“My sister would tell you she was a bit intimidated at first,” says Holden. “But I think she stepped up to the plate. However, I think after the beating she gave him during the shoot — they did about 10 takes of her hitting him — he’s probably a little intimidated by her.”
He adds, “I’d like to think we’re not so angry or violent. Generally we are a happier bunch than that.”
Check out I Draw Slow and their Ireland-meets-America variation on string music in their new music video, “Valentine.” Look for White Wave Chapel in the U.S. on July 8.