Cavan collective Púka first took shape when vocalist/guitarist Paddy Boyle, bassist Gary Kiernan and drummer Kevin McDonnell decided that a collaboration was in order. The trio, who were already friends, had been out pursuing their own individual endeavours before returning to their hometown of Cootehill last year to team up together.
The meaning of the band’s material is heavily influenced by Irish culture and life in rural surroundings, while the inspiration for their sound is largely taken from folk, with some pop and rock cues thrown in for good measure. They’ve been spending 2015 hard at work readying their debut album for release during the summer. To whet appetites for its arrival, they recently shared the single, “Train Man”.
The track begins with a slow and serene riff that seems to invite listeners to sit back and unwind as it strolls lazily forward. This leads the way to a light and mellow melody that maintains a relaxing rhythm during the first verse, while the instrumentation continues to trot tranquilly through the background.
It eventually erupts into a surprisingly raw and cutting chorus, the vigorous vocals of which play out passionately across slightly more energetic guitars and drums. Things tone back down afterwards as another lethargic instrumental arrangement saunters into a soft harmony.
It’s during the second chorus that the whole thing really takes off though. The music and melody explode excitingly, considerably raising the tempo and upping the momentum. This newfound passion persists into an extended exhibition of rousing riffs and pressing percussion ahead of a calm conclusion that rounds the piece off nicely.
“Train Man” manages to cover a lot of bases during its four minute, forty five second run-time. Starting off as a thrilling chill-out tune, it ultimately ends up being an extremely invigorating folk/rock anthem that’s delightfully deep and dexterous. Based on their efforts here, it certainly seems that Púka have plenty to offer the world in terms of music.