'Two years after the monumental double albums "World Winding Down" and "The Rural Arcane", Rusted Rail records brought us a new release from Ireland's finest folk act, Agitated Radio Pilot. How I've waited! "A Field Day" comes presented as a 3" CDR in a just as small, simple package and it contains 6 tracks, which should label it EP or mini-CD or something. I say EP and you know what I mean.
Something I've stated before, but will state again, is that I've not been a very long-time listener of Agitated Radio Pilot. I started right after "World Winding Down". But I have experienced that the project has two sides, easily explained. We have the more straight forward folk side and the more experimental ambient side. And the "A Field Day" material leans more towards the folky side, which fits me and the approaching winter just perfectly.
Of course, a review of a 6 track release can't contain as many letters as a review of a 24 track release, but with that said, I do not wish you to believe that a 6 track release can't contain just as much feelings as a 24 track release! "A Field Day" is simply stunning despite the length. which is something that is proven already in the first track, a sweet picking mandolin song that has high replay and sing-along value. As usual, David sings great and delivers especially in the chorus and it's by all means a fine track but "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things" that awaits after it, is certainly my new Agitated Radio Pilot favourite. Oh God. Why are you doing this to me? The combination of simple piano plings and sitar (that actually ain't a sitar at all) is lovely, and the honest, sad vocals are devastating for a romantic heart like mine. The lyrics don't make it any easier for me, and it is something peculiar about David's lyric writing that makes even the most common envisagements sound, and feel, very odd and sad. I played this song on repeat a couple of weeks ago, while waiting for my bus, and I somehow melted into it and just stood there. Fixed my eyes on a dove that went to and fro on the side-walk, and all I could think was "I love that dove, I wish him a happy life". After an unknown amount of minutes the dove flew away and I came to senses again, just to realize that the bus already went by and all people around me went along with it. And I normally hate doves.
Yes, "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things" is for sure the most touching dark folk song of the year, and the following tracks here don't really manage to climb the same heights, but I still recommend you to finish your listening session, because you don't want to miss out on killers like "From the Ghost Gum Glades" and the gorgeous instrumental piece called "The Drunken Poet".
So, time to summarize. "A Field Day" might not change the course of the world, but it's a confident EP from a project that remains unthreatened on the throne it sits on. It has only 6 tracks, but variation, instruments and moods enough to keep you cradled until the next release comes. When that ever might be. I pray that we don't have to wait another two years to hear from Dave Colohan, aka. Agitated Radio Pilot again.' The Shadows Commence
'More unique pseudo-folk brilliance from the Rusted Rail label, this time in the form of Ireland's Agitated Radio Pilot. The group, which encompasses a somewhat rotating group of contributors with David Colohan at its centre, creates music which is unusual yet seamlessly enticing. The lead singer's crisp voice is unmistakeable, a distinct mish-mash of Johnny Cash, Stephin Merritt, and Leonard Cohen, his singing never far off from mere speaking. Instrumentally, A Field Day is based largely around various stringed instruments - including acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, and sitar - but several other instruments help imbue personality to the proceedings. For example, the insanely beautiful title-track would not be quite as sweet if it weren't for the double bass or the subtle addition of accordion and electronics. Meanwhile, marvellously wistful "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things," based around a repeated sitar line, is fitted with a superbly longing piano part; meanwhile, expansive "Far North" features longing solos on melodica and electric guitar. Together, A Field Day is a very strong EP from Colohan and company. Unique delivery, melodic composition, and a knack for atmosphere make these six tracks remarkably unforgettable.' Indieville
"A Field Day", the latest from Agitated Radio Pilot, hits the expected high-climbing mark which David Colohan (also of United Bible Studies) seems unable to avoid. Through a wholesale embrace of the baroque Pop masters the album glories in the simple pleasures of solid songwriting and deft musicianship, void any trace of catholic guilt or precocious insecurity. Though the title track more than ever recalls Magnetic Fields for the somber gait of banjo and baritonic of Colohan�s voice, subsequent "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things" takes a turn toward the dusky Tragically Hip, with its ringing bouzouki and kitchen percolation, and even a bit of Current 93 in the droning, teetering, Orientalist poetry of "From the Ghost Gum Glades". For these sessions joined by four pals on a variety of instruments featured more or less soloistically to give maximum sonic wardrobe to these six tracks, each sustaining the same taut song construction and mature even-keel. "Far North" follows this spate of fatless singles with an extended rave-up of deep reverb and grated strings in chamber perfection. "The Drunken Poet" is a briefer outro and (surely, willfully ironic) the only wordless track, a session of picking like analogue switches to codify the entire strand of the discs impossible DNA. Comes in RR�s standard, handmade insert with photo paste-on and heavy sleeve.' Animal Psi
'This new release from Dave Colohan's Agitated Radio Pilot contains 6 new songs that are amongst his finest. Dave's music is a perfect accompaniment to autumn - minor key and melancholic - although some of the songs on here sound more upbeat than normal with a full band arrangement including double bass, mandolin, guitar, banjo, melodica, piano and some unexpected wah-wah guitar. Wrap up warm, have a single malt and enjoy - this is a treat and a half.' Boa Melody Bar
'Agitated Radio Pilot (David Colohan and cohorts) has a limited 3" CD called A Field Day out on Ireland's Rusted Rail label and it's a 6 track EP of earnest singer songwriter gear that straddles a folkish vibe. Our Business Lady is laughing at the lyrics, I heard a mention of watching Withnail and I which is always good. The musicians play piano, melodica, accordian , banjo etc. and it all sounds really quite delicate leaving plenty of space for the songman to do his thing. If were into the Slow Loris disc then give this a whirl. It's no happy ride mind but a goodie to weep into the whisky glass to.' Norman Records
released 22 November 2009
The Pilot, this time... David Colohan, Bean Dolan, Eddie Keenan, Gary Morrison & Loner Deluxe.
Recorded variously in Creevaghbeg & The Bog
Lane Theatre, Ballymahon, Monaghan, Shannon
Weir, Athlone & Rathfarnham, Dublin between
the Springs of 2008 & 2009. Additional production & mastering done in Rahoon, Galway
& Nottingham, England.
For Fionnuala T.
'Colohan seems to have a preternatural sense of the elemental, those dark places we all go to take off our disguises. So
many artists have treaded this ground before and seemed insincere, but Colohan's vulnerability, his human voice that presents these unadorned truths without spin or motive, makes me want to listen and believe.' Foxy Digitalis...more