From the foggy apprehension of ‘Taking The Wheel’ to the golden wanderlust of “Far Away The Hills Are Green’, the songwriting duo of Laura Quirke (Lemoncello) and Joshua Burnside bares beautiful, imagery laden folk music.
Their partnership culminates on the release of their EP ‘In The Half-light’. A diverse four track record that explores the tension between longing for a better life and accepting the here and now. The faces and stories they conjure through their spellbinding mix of alternative music, found sounds, and Irish folk are universal, thrust into the world in search of an escape from the confinement of their realities.
Pitching between the sublime and the strained, ‘In The Half-light’ is powered by the traditions of Americana and Irish folk but has its eyes fixed squarely upon new horizons. Gently rambling through the Californian vistas or rainswept back roads, Burnside and Quirke’s songwriting transports you into the same unknowns as their dramatis personae. And no track symbolises this more than the release’s lead single ‘Rana The Fortunate’, the duet that inspired the partnership.
Listen to ‘In The Half-light’ – BELOW:
“I read somewhere about a Turkish soldier in the first world war, a woman sniper who had been terrorising the Allied forces at Gallipoli. She was eventually killed by all accounts, and was found with 50 ID tags of the soldiers she had killed and 50 pounds. I thought there was something incredibly sad and powerful about this woman’s story, and wondered where she had come from. I decided to invent a little prequel to it – perhaps she was a court lady of the Imperial Harem, longing for adventure, bored of the trappings of high society and servitude to men. In the Sultan’s Harem, court ladies who were often slaves captured in wars, could rise the ranks and attain the status ikbal (‘the fortunate’) hence the name Rana the Fortunate.
The song was written as part of a larger concept album that was never completed. It wasn’t originally intended to be duet, but its structure lends itself well to it I think, with the alternate verses, and Laura’s harmonies in the latter part of the song, which really lift it far beyond what it would have been otherwise. In my version of the story, Rana relishes the war, dancing to the beat of the bombs and interpreting the event as a violent rebirth.” – Joshua Burnside
First heard as a part of the duet the two singers performed in The Duncairn, Belfast, a once forgotten track found new life in the care of Burnside and Quirke. Listeners receive a serenade to wartime as a lost soul finds new purpose and beginning in the fire and fury of Gallipoli. Bombshells replace bells and bass drums, providing the soundtrack to a nameless sniper’s dance of death above the war-torn streets of Turkey. Much like the characters present in ‘Taking The Wheel’ and ‘Far Away The Hills Are Green’ Rana finds purpose and rebirth in the unknown, and ultimately finds her end.