Killian Ruffley is a singer-songwriter from Kildare, making waves with his own brand of songwriting. His new EP, Moonshine & Red Wine, is set to be released on June 24th. A four track record, it’s Killian’s first EP release since 2013’s Perceptions.
On first impressions, there’s too much vocal reverb. On second impressions, it works. The opening title track, is a haunting sweeping song that begs to be set free. It’s not until the 4 minute mark that things pick up, with a solid drum beat coming in with some rolling bass. The guitar plucking turns to strumming and Killian starts trading off lines with his own backing vocal track.
The highlight of the EP is the second track, Purple Lady. More suited to a traditional rock band than a singer-songwriter, it shows a little of Killian’s diversity and talent. Uptempo and catchy, it reminds me of Meath musician Paul Fitzpatrick. A sign of a new Irish scene and sound on the come up, perhaps. Hints of Ryan Sheridan show through with the breakdown, while the drums on the song are the best you’ll hear on the EP.
A Simple Thing follows, and it’s a nice pop-rock song. It’s innocuous, it’s accessible. With an almost doo-wop groove for the verses, the chorus hears Killian singing for another girl. Not as hard as Purple Lady, but a great song nonetheless.
Ending the EP on the slow 20/20 is a bit of a low point, but a good representation of Killian Ruffley himself. He often plays solo, so it makes perfect sense to end on a song we’re likely to hear live. The falsettos in this final track feel a little strained at times, but the vocals in general are very strong with the guitar powering along.
As an EP, Moonshine & Red Wine is great. The mix is a little off at times, sometimes the kick drum clips the bass track, sometimes there’s a little too much reverb on the vocals. There are occasional hiccups in instruments hitting the beat, but this isn’t Snow Patrol, it’s a lot more raw. With every song about a girl, lyrically the EP grows a little weary. Overall though, this is a strong follow-up to Ruffley’s earlier release.