I’ve been saying recently that Mumblin’ Deaf Ro is one of the few songwriters whose lyrics I pay attention to. Ronan Hession’s third album is the perfect example of why. Dictionary Crimes is largely concerned with the idea of the family, a word with a meaning which morphs from a social unit you obliviously and unwittingly join when you’re born to one you willingly choose to start yourself. Like I said a few weeks ago – Ro has a charming way of writing and singing about normal life that he uncovers “insights” and rarely clichés.
This is the Mumblin’ Deaf Ro song formula:
chords + childhood + inadvertent influence from passing ice cream van + (Good ideas/total ideas – bad ideas) + bass line from ‘band on the run’ (disguised) = song
It appears to be working. The arrangements on Dictionary Crimes are striking in a calming and charming way. The guitar is buoyant in the way it sprightly leads the soft percussion and bass guitar. There is much to explore and ruminate, and the instrumentation lifts the head and clears the mind. Listen to the album, certainly one of my favourites of the year so far:
Mumblin’ Deaf Ro is playing the free Minimum Maximum daytime gig in the Monster Truck gallery in Temple Bar this Saturday, September 8th at 6pm. Dictionary Crimes is released on Popical Island next week with a launch gig on September 14th Upstairs in Whelan’s with support from Lie-Ins.