Rufus Coates & Jess Smith new single Cut Us All Open – not for the faint-hearted

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Rufus Coates and Jess Smith, purveyors of midnight-black folk blues from Ireland, probably don’t crack a smile all too easily.

Just a guess. Or they’re the kind of people who pull gloomy faces and then crack up giggling as soon as the camera’s off them (see video); but y’know, probably not. If you’re looking for anything in the vague direction of Don’t Worry Be Happy, keep on looking brother, you ain’t gonna find it here.

How ponderous and dark the underbelly of the world

With sparse acoustic instrumentation announcing that Cut Us All Open is beginning, you’ll probably either metaphorically move the dial in search of sunnier climes or else stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, and sit down for a Listening. If it’s possible to find an exact diametric opposite from what is the 21st Century’s constantly-moving, checking-updates, nodding-your-head-and-going-uh-huh-uh-huh, skimming-the-surface-of-things approach to life, then this could just be it. You hear from the first low, moody syllables of Rufus’s ominous voice that this is a man who has something to say and is going to take his time to say it. Don’t try and hurry me sonny, I am about to explain to you just how ponderous and dark the underbelly of the world is – he seems to say (to me at least but you know, that’s just me). While Jess Smith, perhaps intended at some point with her floating and airy vocals threaded among the gravel to lighten the mood, instead adds somehow to the overweening sense of hanging-gallery, baleful prescience, especially as that long howl breaks out of her towards the end of the track.

…stare pensively out at the darkly hanging, threatening clouds as they gather out there in the blackness, and lay one on

Don’t listen to this song first thing in the morning, is my advice. Otherwise the day will be shot. Rather wait until some small time after midnight, when everyone else has gone to bed, pour yourself a whiskey, position yourself where you can stare pensively out at the darkly hanging, threatening clouds as they gather out there in the blackness, and lay one on.

Cut Us All Open is the second single from the album Not One For The Gallery, out on Gold Watch Records (yes, the studio that has reinvented the studio system in Berlin is now apparently turning into a record label) in the Autumn.

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