Now they are back with 'Boy in the Debs Suit', out 8th March 2021. The Debs (short for debutante) is the end of school celebration in Ireland, a rite of passage for teenagers finishing school. So it is with some poignancy that the lyrics are about a missing boy, who is dressed in his Debs suit in the photograph on a map-post being used to find him. The opening of the track gives a sense of drama from the start with a reverberating guitar riff that is immediate in its impact before the pounding drums join in. The vocal of Marc Raftery is full of emotion which makes us believe in the story he is telling. There is uncertainty around the circumstances of his disappearance. Marc is also the lyricist and with reference to the boys parents, friends and brother all looking for him, it is heartfelt that the boy doesn’t seem to realise he is not alone. Slyrydes have never shied away from Mental Health issues and indeed have opened up about their own struggles. Perhaps there is some double meaning in lines such as:
“A picture his mates took
Weekend to remember
He was losing his mind”
These are thought-provoking lyrics - a weekend to remember yet losing his mind. Is this due to the alcohol or is there a deeper issue? The Debs suit symbolises the end of school which should be a time of excitement, to be finally going out into the world, a world full of possibilities. However here it is symbolising a life lost. As the track progresses Marc's vocals become more and more emotional, there’s almost a desperation to find this boy, and a guilt that he had been seen recently:
“I am in shock ‘cause I saw
him last week.
We were in the same
place…..we didn’t get to speak
I am in shock ‘cause I saw
him last week
We were in the same place.”
Again the heartache of that last line: “We were in the same place” as in physically or mentally? The two different interpretations have a huge impact on the narrative.
The sonic backdrop continues to be full of electricity, ramping up the tension as the song progresses and the emotion builds. Finally there is a repetition of an appeal to share the post so the boy can be found. And simply a final crackle at the end, leaving the situation unresolved.
This is a track I have listened to over and over already, the imagery in conjunction with the perfectly atmospheric guitars and drums fizz with meaning, with intensity, with passion. It deserves all the plaudits it is surely going to get. The band have stated that they “haven’t written the same song 12 times for the album”. Based on 'Boy in the Debs Suit' I am looking forward to its release.
Check out the video for the new single here: