“School” is the debut single of Irish singer and songwriter Chris Comhaill, the first of a series of releases the artist intends to publish in 2022. Co-written by Danny Mahony, “School” feels fresh to the ear, a lightweight and summery song that brings back memories through Comhaill’s warm voice and a radiant acoustic arrangement.
With “School”, Chris Comhaill depicts a period of his life when he, like most of us, felt somehow inadequate. And yet, in looking back, he also focuses on the beauty of those days: the radiance and hope those moments carried.
“It felt right that the first song I put out under my own name be about one of the first things I can remember,” explains Chris. “I think school is an odd and fascinating time; a world of possibilities and anxieties running mad and unbridled. I didn’t have a very good time of it at school but despite that I still feel the pull to look back on it with rose-tinted glasses. That romanticisation of the past, coupled with the intensity of that time of life that we all go through, is something I wanted to capture and investigate.”
Exploring the themes of nostalgia and the passage of time, the debut single is a deep and enveloping acoustic piece that matches the intensity of the formative years the song describes. The reflective and hopeful lyrics are accompanied by an uplifting instrumental texture where the acoustic guitar is the backbone, with the electric guitar and piano enriching the piece with shifting, pleasant melodies.
It’s also nice to hear a carefully crafted organic rhythm section, often neglected by songwriters, which gives more strength to the track and pushes it forward.
The vocal contributions of Filipa Quintino (Comhaill’s regular collaborator) and Charlie Livingstone further enhance the melancholic atmosphere the track exudes. Influences of Americana, jazz and folk are evident in “School” and give some insight into Comhaill’s rich musical background.
Together with oud player Yusef Hourani, Chris Comhaill plays in the project Between Two Moons. Furthermore, he’s the director of the w-IRE Me project together with singer Filipa Quintino. This variety of musical experiences gives Comhaill a diverse creative background that informs the broad sonic palette that bleeds through his single debut.
Weaving together different music genres into a coherent and pleasing composition, Comhaill brings listeners on a journey back in time.
Alongside him, we relive the moments and intensity of those school days when limits were imposed on us but all possibilities were open, too – those times of youth when everything we experienced felt so vivid.
If going back to “School” is a signal of what’s to come, then I look forward to listening to the other releases Comhaill has in store for us for 2022.