[the] caseworker – Boats

The magic formula for us typically brings together a slew of chiming guitars, an endless seam of rich melodies and a large dollop of boy/girl vocals. Sure we’ll take enjoyable detours but sooner or later we return to the warm fuzzy surrounds of jangle pop. That’s why Irish duo [the] caseworker are such a perfect fit for Indiecater. Our first voyage together is a 5-track EP called ‘Boats’ which is awash with lush indie pop gems boasting subtle arrangements and sweet hooks.

Pull up a couch now and read Conor Devlin’s (singer/guitarist) lowdown on [the] caseworker:

I guess it’s been a while since we put a record out; about three years. We seem to be one of those groups that take ages to make records. I never thought we were like this, but we must be: the first record took 2 years, so did the second, and the third, which we just finished in June, took over three years from start to finish.

We started the band in San francisco in 2002, but by mid 2008, and after 6 years of constant activity, we’d had enough and went to live somewhere else (Eimer ended up in Ireland and I went to South Africa). After a few emails, we reconvened back in San Francisco in late 2009 with Monte Vallier at Ruminator Audio to finally mix the third record. We actually managed to finish it on time and then I left for South Africa again. Eimer went to live in Petaluma in northern California. And the tapes got put in a cupboard.

In April or so, Kevin from Indiecater (who’d blogged about us previously) asked if we had any new music that he could release and that motivated us to master the record and hand over some songs for this EP……it’s three new songs, and two old ones.

‘Boats’ is a new song. It’s generally about driving over the Golden Gate bridge on a summer’s day and seeing all the white sails out on the water and knowing I’d be leaving soon, and being alright with that. It’s probably one of my favourite songs that we’ve written.

‘Scene In The Viewfinder’ is a song from our second lp and is the one that appeared on mp3hugger. It came out of a three note guitar riff that Monte and I would tinker with when we were bored in the studio. Will Waghorn came over and played the first thing he could think of on the drums. Monte hit some cymbals. Eventually Eimer took it away and came up with the great vocal. I’ve no idea what it’s “about”.

‘National Runner’ is another new one and took about five mixing attempts to get right. In the 1970’s every long distance race in the Olympics seemed to be won by a Kenyan or an Ethiopian. No one else got a look-in. This song is about Miruts Yifter (‘Yifter the Shifter’), probably the most charismatic of them all.

‘Sea Years’ is the last new one on here. Eimer came up with the vocal in half an hour in the kitchen of her husband’s uncle, with the microphone balanced on a spice rack. She moved to Ireland for a year the next week so this is her take on leaving the US. Waggers played a lot of percussion on this one, including two long thin metal strips which he waved above his head like a lasso. I’m not sure what they were, but they’re on here somewhere.

‘Mullin’s Hill’ is another song from the second lp and real hard to play live. I’d found a will belonging to my great great great grandfather online and noticed that our family had been living for generations on a hill in Northern Ireland called Mullin’s Hill. The song is some sort of vague imaginary tale, and the lyrics are a bit whimsical in hindsight. But whatever. You win some, you lose some.

2 thoughts on “[the] caseworker – Boats”

  1. this is a haunting track from a haunting band that has, um, haunted me ever since the great Monte (Vallier) turned me on to them oh so very ago. nice to see {the} case-ies re-emergent. cheers.

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