Belfast four-piece trad/folk ensemble Lonesome George have released their new single ‘The Lying Devil’ out now.
A band of songwriters and traditional musicians from Belfast with a talent for weaving activism and social philosophy into their wholesome and engaging version of folk-fusion, the summer of 2021 sees them gradually releasing tracks from a new album as we all wait for live music to re-enter the building.
Their new release, ‘The Lying Devil’ is a meditative and calming song with insightful lyrics which examine the nature of belief in modern Ireland. Using low whistle, mandolin, bodhrán and guitar, Lonesome George carry a tastefully reserved arrangement as the story unfolds, before leaning into their traditional roots with a reel (Palmers Gate) woven into the song for the latter half.
Songwriter Myles McCormack says about the song…”Born out of frustration with the churches influence in the country, the song expresses a common philosophy among younger generations, of atheism or disillusionment. The lyrics describe a scene in which someone is threatening hell and damnation (the lying devil) and culminate in the succinct chorus “Hell, my hell is heaven as well…” in which the chords become suitably dark or light depending on the words. Whilst being essentially critical of the churches role in todays world, The Lying Devil ultimately lands on a tone of acceptance and compassion around how everyone is entitled to their own belief and interpretation of these indescribable things.”
At the heart of the project are the two songwriters, Joe Campbell-McArdle and Myles McCormack; two old friends who approached traditional music at the same time and have
learned alongside one another. They are joined by Stephen Loughran, a flute player and prolific composer, and Dermot Moynagh, whose contemporary style on the bodhran has brought him all round the world and established him as one of the best percussionists in Belfast. Lonesome George was the last of his species; a Pinta island (one of the Galapagos island’s off the coast of Ecuador) tortoise. As the band’s namesake, he exists as a symbol of resistance, a legacy of a time gone by, the last of his kind. “We imagine him to be a kindred spirit. He is a proud, majestic creature, gentle yet strong, hardy and a survivor. In honour of him and all other survivors, we celebrate the symbols which represent a grassroots struggle against global capitalism and the destruction of this beautiful Earth by the forces of profit!”