Dundalk native Jim O’Donoghue Martin, better known as Video Blue, combines spoken word, ambient electronica and guitar driven alt-pop on his third record The Pull. Anyone familiar with O’Donoghue Martin’s previous self-recorded, self-produced albums and EP’s to date will notice a new maturity to the music on his latest offering – possibly because this was written and recorded during lockdowns.
Indeed, some of the tracks in this collection such as ‘Weatherspeak’ reflect the mundanity of these times with repetitious lyrics and beats that build to a total earworm by the climax. Others, like single ‘First Snow’, are reminiscent of New Order with shades of She Wants Revenge. ‘The War Room’ and ‘Red Mist’ are recall the music of Howard Jones, while ‘Redux’ has definite tinges of Gary Numan’s more recent material such as last year’s excellent Intruder.
Of course, any electronica heavy album tends to draw comparisons like these, but influences loom very heavy on The Pull. These feel both fresh and yet as if they have come before – everything old is new again. And that’s not a complaint – eighties nostalgia is huge at the moment and there are far worse places you could hang your hat.
The Pull is a haunting album – probably partly because of the circumstances in which it was recorded. The songs linger and merit multiple listens. It’s melancholic and contemplative but never depressing or downbeat, which is a difficult balance to attain but once which O’Donoghue Martin has acheived on his third record.