Enola Gay’s debut single ‘The Birth of a Nation’ had an immediate impact so it is with much anticipation that second single ‘Sofa Surfing’ lands this week.
With a much more personal backstory than the passionate anti-racism of the debut, ‘Sofa Surfing’ is no less emotive for it. Indeed it is the first track they wrote, so to learn, it is an insight into a particularly difficult chapter in their teens which explains the atmosphere.
The reverb morphing into the bass at the beginning is pulsating. This then moves into a claustrophobic sound with thumping drums which perfectly matches Joe McVeighs lyrics. They are powerful and smart, with a bravery to share details of such a dark time. Fionn Reilly shouts and spits out the lyrics, with heart and passion:
“Gotta go to the sink, gotta blow my nose
Think I lost phone but all I need was a smoke
I don’t need my wallet, I’m already broke
The end of the drag, the butt of the joke””
The double meanings and clever turn of phrases express the confusion and turbulence of that time. There can be a fragility to our society, and once you slip between the cracks it can be very difficult to pull yourself back out again. The initial problem of homelessness leads to the negative impact on mental health, a vicious cycle indeed. Turning to alcohol and medication as coping methods are common responses, but the very fact that Enola Gay are creating this extraordinary music out of such experience is hope in itself.
Listen carefully to the last line and you can hear the final word “repeat” is left unfinished - what considered attention to detail.
I can already hear a trademark sound developing with Enola Gay, particularly in that extraordinary bass guitar. There is a symmetry between the words and the music, perfectly evoking the sentiment being expressed.
Joe and Fionn are joined by Gareth Davies and Davide Durazzano and together they have already performed highly charged online sets at Ireland Music Week, Eurosonic and SXSW, which is an impressive achievement in their short career. Formed in late 2019 the Belfast 4-piece are a band whose socially aware lyrics are layered over a driving rhythm- laden soundscape. I have no doubt they will continue to have much to say, and I look forward to listening to every single word.