"SOON IT WILL COME TIME TO FACE THE WORLD OUTSIDE" (2002)
Irish Times, July 2002 ****
"Slowly and dolefully creeping out of Cork city, the time is certainly here for Boa Morte's resolutely elegant debut to face the world outside. While it was recorded for a US label some time ago and shamefully left on the long finger, Teenage Fanclub drummer Francis McDonald stepped in to push this little beauty into the public domain via his Glasgow-based Shoeshine Records. Distilling pure gold from ennui and pathos and creating a gorgeously arranged, intelligent and spacious collection of Americana melancholy, Soon it will come.wraps around you and tilts your head to the stars. Like Smog or Oldham or any great purveyors of rural lament, it offers warm solace through the perpetual tumbling movement of the seasons."
Uncut Magazine, July 2002 ****
"Cork quartet in spellbinding debut...
Occasionally a record comes along that's so intimate and immediate you want to disconect the phone, get under the duvet and forget the outside world. Soon It Will Come...is one of those records, and the more you play it the more seductive it sounds. Singer Paul Ruxton has a distinctive and elegant voice with a soft Irish accent, but it's the spares instrumentation, haunting orchestrations and organic production that makes this such a rewarding and memorable debut". ****
Mojo, July 2002 ****
"By the time you've got the full measure of their sombre elegance, the band are confirmed masters, not slaves, of the idiom. Bare-boned thrums like Unfortunate Leader or Burn, a single phrase like "Oh, tired eyes, they hold their water", are ultimately priceless."
Dubfly - Album of the Month, July 2002 *****
"What is it about melancholy that makes you feel all warm and syrupy inside, as if a big, sad-looking floppy teddy just fell pathetically out of skip into your childhood arms? Did I just write that? Sorry, I¹m listening to this Boa Morte album at the moment and it does things to you. It¹s simultaneously life-affirming and heart-wrenching; easily-grasped yet possessing infinite layers of complex melodic emotions. Sometimes 100 words is too little to accurately pin down such a great work. Lamentably this is one of those times. Boa Morte have graduated from that school of pondering, YLT-esque melancholy with top honours."
Sorted, August 2002 *****
"The cumbersomely titled debut album from Cork-based quartet Boa Morte is a delight to tired ears. A reflective mix of melancholia and soft-spoken delight. 'Tonight she said' is a beautiful song built on a gentle, bare guitar melody, while the vocals and strings in the chorus are almost tear-inducing in their honesty. 'Tonight...' is but one jewel in Boa Morte's shimmering crown. The entire album is aglow with more stars than a summer night sky. From the haunting opener 'Clarence White' through to the slightly up-lifting 'Tired eyes', the stunning 'December' and on to the closing track, the atmospheric instrumental 'Milking machine', this is a perfectly rounded collection of emotional outpouring. It may sound quiet and unimposing enough to be background music, but, to really appreciate this, you need to let it wash over you, uninterrupted. A brief pause for breath in an all too hectic world, Boa Morte have created morning music to ready you to face whatever surprises life may hold in store. "
RTE Guide, July 2002
"As if to prove that Cork is about more than absurd proto punks, cartoon indie bands and, of course, world-class midfielders, Boa Morte have released a debut album pitched somewhere between the broken-down madness of Bonnie Prince Billy and the purity of Smog. Released on Shoeshine, the label run by Teenage Fanclub's Francis McDonald, Soon It Will Come... is another fine addition to the growing ranks of Irish bands with an appreciation of the oft-abused Americana tag, but Boa Morte avoid the pitfalls of straight imitation with several songs here achieving the same poignancy of acoustic tunemeisters The Kings of Convenience. Sweet and very low down."
Hot Press, June 2002
"Boa Morte Soon it Will Come Time to Face the World Outside (Shoeshine Records) 05 Jun 2002 Cork’s Boa Morte have forged an interesting musical link with Glasgow – the thriving city of a thousand independent bands and esteemed cottage labels. Glaswegian band Teenage Fanclub were so enamoured with Boa Morte’s demos that Francis McDonald found them a suitable home for their recordings on his own self-styled award winning imprint Shoeshine Records.
Soon It Will Come Time To Face The World Outside is a gentle, soothing song cycle of enriching melancholia, deeply reflective yet never devoid of hope. Paul Ruxton and Cormac Gahan's vocal interplay is rich in quirky emotions and inflections, enveloping the listener into the Boa Morte inner sanctum of warm sounds. ‘Tonight She Said’ is a jauntily narrated dysfunctional waltz, supplemented by a subtle string arrangement and sparse and individual effects. My favourite jewels in this firnament are ‘Burn’ and ‘North Star’, the most engaging and sonically adventurous moments to be found amidst these twelve lovingly crafted tunes."
Americana-UK, June 2002
"If you like lo-fi, and you like alternative- country, but you’ve never quite found the ideal combination to satisfy both appetites, then welcome to the world of Irish based quartet (Cork to be precise), Boa Morte. Evocative from the word go of both folk icons such as Nick Drake and lofi highflyers like Low, the music is redolent with hints of the kind of amazing ear for songwriting that both Mark Linkous and David Berman have in their quieter moments. “Milking Machine” ambiently and barely audibly waves its way round some stirring chord changes while “Tonight She Says” isn’t your conventional love song, carried by the native violin and original narrative throughout. (“Bring me the fatty calf, Because I have been gone for a year and a half”) “December” too, with its Anna Kashfi type tempo and arrangement, makes its mark as the third best song with the month in its title (read Counting Crows and Mazzy Star here) As with all albums that veer into the lo-fi genre, the problem is that if you’re not in the mood, it can be become an incredibly laborous listen, the songs often requiring a lot of work to familiarise yourself with - we’re not talking stadium rock here. But then that’s also the beauty of the album - it slowly burns its way into your consciousness after repeated late night listens. At three o’clock in the morning with a single candle in a darkened room, you won’t want to listen to anything else."
JB Hi-Fi Australia October 2002
"Mellow and understated beauty - the kind of music that is hard to string words together to describe. You know not everyone wants to chill out to the latest goddamn Moby CD - and for those of you out there (and there are quite a few) this could be just for you. Laidback country-folk similar to the Silver Jews or latter-day Palace (but with a LOT more melody than either of those), this really does get under your skin. And if I could string a few well placed words together I would also tell you about how well put together this is and throw in words like 'hypnotic' or 'seductive' or many more that all come to the same conclusion: BUY ME."
Anthony Fortune, Zeitgeist, May 2002
"Boa Morte's debut album arrives into an over crowded downbeat-indie rock market. Every Tom, Dick and Mervyn seems to be releasing "monumental" albums of profound harmonies and minimalist string arrangements. They all usually culminate in ear battering crescendos of feedback that are considered avant-garde by a couple of overweight people in check shirts. Thankfully, Boa Morte produce music that does not pretend to be something it isn't. It's not released into a scene propped up by an inner clique of uber music nerds. It was borne in an environment devoid of backslapping and name checking. "Soon It Will." comes from a vacuum where the one constant is the talent of the main protagonists.
Boa Morte have not abandoned their Cork lilt in favour of a faux Midwest alt. country accent. They embrace Americana without being totally immersed in it. They have a unique voice in Paul Ruxton, though they still fit into the Nick Drake mould while avoiding the clichés of sorrowful torment. It's this that sets them apart from the horde of Dublin bands that ply their wares week in week out in "intimate venues".
Standout songs include 'Clarence White', 'Tonight She Said', the more up-tempo 'Tired Eyes' and the instrumental 'Milking Machine' complete with ambient milk parlour atmospherics. All these are songs that contain a recognisable warmth usually found in this kind of reflective music. This is a refreshingly unpretentious collection of beautifully orchestral songs, where gentle melodies accompany understated lyrics to give us what will no doubt be the Irish album of the year.
All in all Boa Morte make The Frames look like the second rate Will Oldham cover band that they are. Its time for Boa Morte to step out of Cork, face the world outside and take their applause that they so richly deserve."
drownedinmusic.com, May 2002
"Why a Cork band who used to practice above a milking parlour would name themselves after one of the Premiership’s least celebrated players is a mystery. Fortunately, any similarity to the lumbering Fulham forward ends with the name. From the opening bars of ‘Soon it Will Come Time to Face the World Outside’ it seems obvious what kind of band Boa Morte are. Nick Drake melancholia, delicate acoustic guitars and echoing pianos - everything’s in its right place, but is it anything new?
Not really, but what impresses is the way the band don’t seem to be doing much, but end up with swaying, melancholic gems that are so much more than the sum of their parts. Guitarist Bill Twomey repeats four note arpeggios over and over - think ‘She’s So Heavy’, but less ominous - and singer Paul Ruxton murmurs lines as though they were mantras (‘Burn’, ‘Tired Eyes’). At first it sounds primitive and sparse, but as bar builds on bar the effect is enchanting. It’s a trick Jason Pierce knows well.
Boa Morte may not have the immediate catchiness of fellow tortured souls Belle and Sebastian or The Beauty Shop, but - though the wordy title suggests otherwise - ‘Soon it Will Come Time to Face the World Outside’ is conclusive proof that less can be more."
"THE DIAL WALTZ" (2010)
Uncut Magazine ****
"Cork band channeling their inner Bonnie "‘Prince’. Hard to resist comparisons with Will Oldham, but Boa Morte have been mining this seam since 1998, releasing their debut on Glasgow indie ‘Shoeshine’ in 2002. Clearly they’re in no rush, and while this set does sound as it was recorded in Bonnie Prince Billy’s conservatory on a cloudy Sunday, the melodies are delicate and the mood of weary sadness well rendered. ‘Priceless Prize’ has the feel of Low at their most sepulchral, and, because life isn’t all glum, ‘Lunimous Plankton’ boasts lyrics which Ivor Cutler might have appreciated. And a nice trombone”
Q Magazine ****
"It’s not just Boa Morte’s groove that displays all the urgency of an anaesthetised sloth; their website still advised fans to watch our for this release in “Winter 2005”. Nine years after their debut, Boa Morte finally release this sombre follow-up. Song titles such as “Darkened Doorway” and “Night And The Return” tell their own tale of the twilight landscape they traverse, Paul Ruxtons mournful vocals gliding over the most plaintive of guitar-bass-drums accompaniment. Much as it’s a supremely elegant soundtrack for staring into your half-empty pint, it would be welcome if some light occasionally shone through the cracks"
Hot Press ****
"Delicately beautiful new record from cork alt-folkies. Boa Morte are really good. Theoretically, a band like Boa Morte could reach out with music like this and reach and galvanise an
international tribe of its own. Because it is, really, a very, very fine record."
The Metro-Herald ****
"Recalling the hillbilly goth of Bill Calahan and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, the Cork collective's first album in nearly a decade is a thing of bleak, muted beauty. A shoo-in for the next Choice shortlist if there's any justice in the world."
Irish News of the World ****
“A lo-fi delight……..It’s like Pavement on valium”
"'The Dial Waltz' is more poetry than mere music."
Tunesmith (US blog)
“The bands understated folk, folk-rock songs are well crafted with killer vocals and downright beautiful arrangements”
Das Klienicum (German Blog)
“if you don’t yet know this band you can look forward to excellent sound experiences and comforting melancholy”
Ketelmuziek (Dutch Blog)
“Now, The Dial Waltz is finally out and it's a beautiful picture”
“Fans of fellow Irishman Adrian Crowley will fall in love with this one instantly. It’s one of those perfect late night bedtime albums, beautifully soothing stuff”
The Irish Examiner
"A moving and amazing record."
Songs To learn and Sing Blog
“The band has delivered another sparse, downbeat masterpiece. This album is not to be jumped in and out of - it deserves to be played from start to finish and then unbeknownst to yourself you've just hit play again. The Dial Waltz is a great record.”
Underground of Happiness Blog
“a beautiful, heart-rending result. Most often compared to Smog and Will Oldham but also traces of Jim O'Rourke and showing avant garde as well as folk tendencies”
The Irish Times
“The Dial Waltz is a warm, earthy folk album, brimming with sloping, melancholic electric guitar and understated percussion.
PASSENGER MEASURE YOUR TIME (1998)
Road Record Review - Sept '98
This is the debut 3 track EP from Cork's new lo-fi four piece. Described on the sleeve of the EP as 'Sparse, lo-fi and country-ish'. Their own description is pretty much spot on. This EP reminds me very much of a lot of the work of Domino's 'Smog'. A very low key affair, mellow guitars and brush stroked drums, the vocalist is in the top ten of the unhappiest men in the world. Absolutely perfect sound for this kind of material. Things are looking good for Irish music again, bring on the album boys !
The List - Oct '98
As someone who has lost faith in indie rock, I approached this with trepidation, only to be pleasantly surprised with a reflective three-song CD awash with plangent strumming, gently stroked drums and occasional piano and strings in an American sadcore vein (Palace Brothers, Jubilee Allstars etc.). Buy it - not because it's from Cork, but because it's good. An excellent start.
SOME RANDOM GIG REVIEWS:
Boa Morte/Webb Brothers, The Lobby, Cork - March 2001
Corks Boa Morte demonstrate why, if quiet is not quite the new loud, then slow is certainly the new fast. Not for this lot the frenzied beginnings and turbulent flight of many fledgling local acts. Instead, their songs take wing almost imperceptibly and then proceed to wow you with their elegance and grace. Its been a while since their 'Passenger measure your time' EP first announced their presence, but the new album on Moodfood will surely introduce their stately sound to a wider audience.........
Hot Press, 28 March 2001
The Lobby Bar, Cork - March 2000
Boa Morte and Joe Pernice
Support on the night was supplied by Cork's very own Boa Morte who offered an extremely mellow and laid back evening of entertainment. Sounding not unlike the mellower Frames tunes and coincidently featuring a guitarist with an uncanny resemblance to Glen Hansard, these lads + 1 lady have a large local following. Something tells me that most of the crowd there that evening, were there to see Boa Morte (who have recently singed to Moodfood records) and they were not disappointed by a band who put on a very tight and pleasing show. An extremely talented band with a mastery of their instruments which deserves respect.
Zeitgeist - Mar 2002