If you were looking to read another piece about why this last year-and-change has been terrible, horrible, no good or very bad, you’re in the wrong place. Go check out your crazy aunt’s Facebook page, or pick up any newspaper. Declan Welsh, and his band The Decadent West,have been gearing up for the release of their new EP, It’s Been a Year — an apt, albeit underexaggerated title. With just six songs, the quartet tries their damnedest to distract us from the surrounding world, and lucky for us, ultimately succeeds. I found myself with an actual, non-forced smile on my face listening to their upbeat blend of modern indie and pop-rock, and immediately clicked that stupid little heart icon on Spotify.
In that same spirit,we thought it would be nice to hear someone talk about their bright spots from the last year for a change. Read on for Declan’s Top 5… what are yours?
1) I taught myself how to bedroom produce. Had never used a DAW before lockdown, so just battered into YouTube vids and online articles for months till I could work it. Been amazing, I’ve no idea how it took me this long to do it. At last count I think I have about 100 completed things and loads more half done demos. Meant album 2 will sound a bit different, bit more expansive. A lot of that is thanks to being able to make decent quality home demos now.
2) We released 2 EPs (well it’s maybe just over a year between them but still not bad for lockdown eh). We basically went, right I’m writing loads of different sounding stuff in lockdown, and we already have a bunch of tunes that were written after the album we need to get out, so why don’t we do two EPs of similar-ish things before do something else for album 2. The 2nd one i really like, a lot more harmonies and interesting stuff musically. Lyrically, Another One is a pretty good wee journey through lockdown and Vladmir on it is a song that genuinely makes me laugh. Loved recording both at 7 west too.
3) On a personal level the last year has been me locked in the house w the person I love most and we’ve managed (for the most part) to just have an amazing time. Lockdowns tough for everyone, but I really just loved watching tele w my partner for the last year. We watched the Wire, Westworld, GoT. A bunch of good stuff (the Wire is definitely the best). Dunno if its a highlight, but the most fun i’ve had all year is us buckled laughing watching something stupid on TV.
4) Both my Mum and my Partner over the last few years have gotten distinctions or firsts in their degrees/masters. That was something that made me really proud. They’re two amazing people who are so humble and kind that I don’t think they quite know themselves how great they are. So here’s me being their Cheerleader. You’re both ridiculously smart, amazing people and I’m v proud of you.
5) My Gran kept safe and is now double vaxxed. When this all kicked off, it was terrifying wasn’t it? All of us had a family member who through age or illness you worried about most. My gran (another exceptional woman) is made of incredibly strong stuff but illness doesn’t care does it? So I was pretty scared, and it was a long time I couldn’t see her or my mum. But thanks to they two being super detailed about safety, we managed to make it through w her being healthy, and now she’s double vaxxed and able to head on a wee holiday after shielding for so long. So when ye think back to a year and a bit ago, that seemed impossible. So aye, thats absolutely one of the best things about the last year.
The lovely ‘It’s Been a Year’ EP from Declan Welsh & The Decadent West is out tomorrow, September 2nd, on all major streaming services. Spotify users can click here to tune in. Non-Spotify users: click here.