When Canadian country/folk singer Patrick Ballantyne released a self-titled compilation in 2008, it was originally just meant to be a collection of demos. However, after it started to generate a fair amount of hype and gain favourable reviews, it became something much more monumental. Its follow-up, Days of Rain, was co-produced with Mark Plancke and, with the exception of some help from drummer Christian Bonk, was performed entirely by Ballantyne himself. This led to his being named Now Magazine’s “Best Song Writer of 2014” in his homeland.

Ballantyne is currently engaged in an ambitious new endeavour, the goal of which is to drop a new single every month. June’s contribution, “Mirror, Mirror”, sees him collaborate with fellow musicians The Oh Clays. It stomps off upon an urgent and enthusiastic acoustic riff. Pleasant percussion joins in during a verse that features a tranquil and touching harmony. Continuously gaining momentum, the piece uplifts as it sets an optimistic atmosphere.

The eager instrumentation jogs along jovially, ensuring that things remain cheerful. At the same, the vivid vocals resonate rousingly, eventually transitioning into a delightful duet which adds an even more affecting edge to an already spirited serenade. The melody becomes particularly moving as the music tones back briefly just past the five minute mark, then the whole thing erupts again for a forceful finale.

Its fast pace and riveting rhythm rarely relent, meaning that it’s a consistently captivating composition. There’s not a dull moment throughout, despite its near seven minute run-time. This is an easy and innocuous acoustic folk anthem that’s worth investigating. Check it out on iTunes now.

Patrick Ballantyne: Mirror, Mirror single review
Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at davecsimpson.wordpress.com, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at dave@puremzine.com