Newly formed at the beginning of the pandemic, Auld Gods released their first album, Older, Wiser? at the beginning of 2022. The trio of Belfast born musicians, Davy McLarnon, Marty Williamson and Mike Williamson, are currently located all over the UK and as now seems traditional for these times, composed and recorded remotely before getting together physically to mix the ten tracks of Older, Wiser? in Southampton.
Kicking off with ‘Careless‘, the album immediately demonstrates that these three musicians know what they’re doing. Huge danceability, great guitars and the line from which comes the title, “older but not really wiser”. From there, we move into the murky world of Northern Irish politics (which at the time of writing, are fully centre stage again in UK / Irish relations) with ‘Red Lines‘ and a cynical look at political promises:
place your X beside my name, I have no sorrow, I feel no shame
The track is full of quiet anger and commentary on how Northern Ireland came to this point, something also touched upon in the final track, ‘Shore‘.
The best track for me is ‘Forgiven‘, a bluesy stroll through the nature of forgiveness and redemption. Davy’s vocals wrap themselves around the melody as the lyrics explore morals and in particular, guilt. As the song says “the last thing I want is to be forgiven”, the listener is left to ponder why this might be – is it not warranted or is the level of guilt acceptable for the bearer?
The rest of the album reflects the band members musical origins of punk (‘Sat on a Stone, a riotous, frenetic joy of a song), folk and indie, with electro pop synths also featuring, most notably on ‘Red Lines’. This is an album with something for everyone.
Auld Gods’ advice for aspiring musicians is simple and comes with the knowledge of musicians who have been making music for years:
“Write good songs, play them, get feedback, write better songs, repeat.”
Older, Wiser? was released in January 2022. Get your copy here.
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