Stepping out of a crowded acoustic scene and shining bright relies on two things: songs and singing. Well, three, really; but the third is intangible. Some musicians use gimmicks, others try talking to connect… Limerance? They pull you into their world and leave you infatuated with the sound they make. And now they’ve managed to capture the magic on tape. By Alan O’Hare.
I was watching a documentary about The Everly Brothers recently. You know the type, talking heads and tell-tale TV clips. Anyway, Art Garfunkel appeared on-screen and started rhapsodising about Phil and Don’s influence on Simon & Garfunkel. He was great… but then he said something that struck me kind of funny: “Nobody sings harmony like family.” I knew what he meant, of course. But Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel aren’t related. Hey, they may share a hairline, but they certainly don’t share a mother or father. The exception to the rule? Perhaps. But I’ve found another one: Limerance.
Limerance are a stop-you-in-your-tracks duo with one acoustic guitar, two voices in close harmony and three or four songs to knock you out. They’ve been playing around Liverpool’s acoustic circuit for a while now and have developed into a must-see attraction at any place they pop-up. Just recently, though, they’ve slowed down on the open-mics, played some big support slots and recorded a debut EP to break your heart. “You’d be my dew when snow is falling, I’d be your midwinter sun,” goes first single ‘Shine On’; coming on all First Aid Kit and The Lumineers. The harmonies are fabulous – but it’s when Jenny Coyle and Calum Gilligan take a verse each solo that your breath really gets taken away.
Perfect harmonies are dangerous, you see, they can negate the need for a truly great melody and song. You’d never notice in the crowd, but taking music home and letting it into your life requires a much bigger leap of faith. Luckily, Limerance’s brand new EP, ‘In The First Place’, has it all. Circular guitar figures that will get into your brain and stay there for a while; Gilligan’s lightness of touch on guitar that gets the close-mic treatment it deserves; instinctive and intelligent harmony lines to give you a giddy feeling and homespun lyrics that retain just enough of a Gaelic influence to keep the tunes away from faux-Americana.
True, four songs isn’t nearly enough to build a house on, but it’s a fair foundation. The aforementioned ‘Shine On’ may stand in line behind, say, First Aid Kit’s ‘Emmylou’ and The Lumineers’ ‘Hey Ho’, but there’s plenty here (and within the likes of ‘Hellbound’ and ‘My Old Skye’) to tempt and to tantalise. Limerance live are a lovely proposition, too, as Coyle and Gilligan share a mic and draw you into their world without even trying. That’s the trick, isn’t it, to make the audience care about what you care about.
Let Limerance in and care about them. But, be careful, they’ll have you infatuated immediately.
Limerance EP Launch
Wednesday, September 20th 2017, 7.30pm
Studio 2, Parr Street, Liverpool
Pic by Lucy McLachlan