Dave Carey is a native of Cork, Ireland and self-taught musician. The passion for music stemmed from a very early age from a constant exposure to oldies and classic rock and roll within the household environment. Carey discovered his love for piano and keyboard though a family members Christmas present of a fan powered organ which later magnetized him to an old rickety upright piano he noticed one evening on the second floor of a social club. The keys were beaten down and cobwebs smothered the cabinet, but it didn't stop him from spending hours there teaching himself chords and songs.
There was an appetite to progress to guitar, and to view songwriting from a different prospective, so Carey committed to learning an instrument which brought with it the fruits of another angle on chords and riffs and merging poems with this music. Being a fan of Buddy Holly, it seemed inevitable he would wander to the guitar. Few years on, the opportunity has arose to play drums in an original working band named BackTrack, at thirteen years old it was a challenge, however borrowing a battered Ludwig snare drum, and an ice box as a bass drum, along with one hi-hat symbol, Carey was rough and ready to begin rehearsing and later gigging as a drummer.
Carey recalls the first time being placed in front of an actual drum kit, it was a weird but amusing situation, to one day be banging on a pitiful snare drum that was fit for the garbage truck, to the next day sitting in front of something like a Yamaha stage custom. After things went south with the band, Carey formed his own with the remnants of what was left. The Daystars was a 3 piece combo that covered everything from Elvis to Oasis and originals. A song called “For as Long” written by Carey was given airplay by Corks 96 FM in the early 2000s. By the end of that bands era, Carey had armed himself with the knowledge of playing bass guitar, not favorable from a songwriting sense, but an extra bow in the arrow so to speak.
Around 2013, Carey left Ireland and moved to Toronto, Canada, in pursuit of a desire to play to an unknown audience, he was received well, performing in open mic nights, singer songwriter sessions, and with local musicians. Some ideas for his EP had sprouted from this spell in Toronto, and after 2 years returned to Ireland with the bones of his project, and lyrics scattered on pieces of paper and memo recordings on the cell phone. The Backroom Window Ep was put in place and recorded with top producer Martin Quinn at Jam studios, who worked with the likes of savage garden and the Celtic tenors. Carey’s first single release “Only a Moment” went on to the UK songwriting competition’s semi final snatching 5 stars from highly acclaimed industry pros.
The opening “Only a Moment” is a nice, warm and mellow tune filled with delightful melodies and an equally mellow trumpet sound. I can hear the post-Beatles sound and style and I liked Carey’s choice to fade this one out. Next, the beginning to “I Will Not Forget” reminded me of The Beatles “Let it Be” but the backing vocal harmonies touch nicely on that classic Brian Wilson/Beach Boys sound. Overall, the song’s melody is melancholy but lighthearted, and lyrically, the words complement the melody perfectly. I have a soft spot for these kinds of “tear jerkers” – so I enjoyed this one quite a bit.
“Pretty Penny” reminds me of parts from The Beatles “Rocky Raccoon” or The Kinks “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” or even something from Wilson’s Smile album, but perhaps not as wacky as those first two songs I mentioned? I absolutely loved the Carey playing the piano in a smoky-like tradition a la Billy Joel’s “The Stranger.” But you’ll also hear stringed accompaniment, which pairs very well with the piano. Carey’s words reflect a loss, either through a death of someone close or a breakup of a relationship. The last number is “La Luna De Lobo” and finds Carey once again playing the piano with little else but strings and a Spanish styled acoustic joining him. This one is all instrumental and damn, it’s so absolutely beautiful I had to listen to it again.
In the end, Backroom Window is a brilliant sampling of songs from a well-seasoned Irish artist. I would recommend listening to them all, even though each one seemed to me strong enough to stand on its own.
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