FLIPSIDE: Junior Brother - Pull The Right Rope

Pull The Right Rope is an album that can draw you in with its familiar yet fresh melancholic sound.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 12:42 pm
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 12:44 pm

Ronan Kealy, also known as Junior Brother, is an Alternative Irish Folk singer from county Kerry who’s been pushing the boundaries on Irish Folk music in recent years.

Pull The Right Rope is Ronan’s first full cohesive project, sitting at 48 minutes with 8 songs.

At first you might not be too sure about it, but it’s an album that can pull you into all its complexities.

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Ronan manages to create a collection of songs that have a huge sense of familiarity but feel alien all the same, introducing new elements to a genre that hasn’t often strayed from its roots.

The album opens with the track ‘Coping’, leading with Ronan’s voice and his staple intricate guitar playing, matching every note he sings.

The song is a great showcase of his style of guitar playing, which is reminiscent of John Fahey’s primitive guitar style, yet it’s introduced in a new light within the Irish Folk genre.

Aside from the opener track, the other stand out tracks would have to be ‘Full Of Wine’ and ‘The Back Of Her’.

‘Full of Wine’ is the track that stays closest to Irish trad and folk but is kept sounding fresh with Junior’s writing.

The guitar on this track is arguably the most impressive on the album, and the track is a lot more upbeat in comparison to the others on the album.

‘The Back Of Her’ is probably the strongest track on the album, written about a love that’s been lost. It’s arguably one of Junior’s most impressive tracks in his whole discography.

The guitar is a lot more stripped back in the song but that’s mostly to make space for the great songwriting and string section in the latter part of the song.

When the song is at its height it’s got an overwhelming melancholic feel that I think Ronan manages to pull off in a lot of his songs.

Ronan recently released a single called ‘Life’s New Haircut’ in October, and judging by the recent release, if there was another Junior Brother album on the horizon, it’d be sure to pick up where ‘Pull The Right Rope’ left off.

Album: Pull The Right Rope

Artist: Junior Brother

Genre: Alternative Irish Folk

Label: Strange Brew