Wolverhampton unsigned artist Eileen Quigley, Jumpers For Goalposts EP - review
Eileen Quigley is the latest alumnus of the writing circle of Dan Whitehouse (Reveal Records).
After she impressed Dan with her acoustic songs while attending his Songwriting Circle workshops in Birmingham's MAC theatre, they decided to put some down on record.
It is the same circle that produced former The Ticket Unsigned page star Danielle Cawdell, and now Eileen will have her eyes set on a debut record like her fellow graduate.
Hailing from Glasgow, Eileen’s Scottish upbringing plays a huge part in her writing – she only moved down to the Midlands in the 90s.
Life experiences and reflections are key elements. But so is her voice. It's not the cleanest, nor is it the most pleasing. But this probably plays into her hands here. Reflections on life – its trials and tribulations – sound more sincere when not coming from the polished vocal chords of a processed pop star.
The opening title track recalls her carefree childhood and how children can find anything to play with. It has to be said that the Uilleann pipes provided by Max Gittings, from The Destroyers, don’t add a great deal to the track and in fact obstruct Eileen a bit. Her memories get lost a little behind the omnipresent sound.
Things get a bit neater with The Philosopher and Ska Band. It’s inspired by the 2013 Clutha Vaults tragedy, which saw 10 people tragically die after a helicopter crashed into the Glaswegian pub they were watching a gig in. “I’m thinking of home,” repeats Eileen and you can see how such a tragedy would turn your thoughts to the people you’ve left behind. It’s a heartfelt and quietly mourning song.
Artificial Flowers is where Eileen does sound like she struggles the most, particularly with the higher pitched vocals. It’s not the easiest to listen to.
But Soundtrack Of Life reflects on the need for positivity in the face of life’s ups and downs and provides a more hopeful ending to the EP with its quietly confident acoustic guitar.
Eileen Quigley will next be performing as part of the Rea River Roots event at Birmingham’s Tower of Song on June 13