Without knowing anything about Pat Dam Smyth before listening to Goodbye Berlin it’s obvious that there’s a darkness here that comes from experience. For those familiar, Smyth’s music hinges on his direct experiences of growing-up during The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The imagery coming through Smyth’s music draws on the ‘reality’ of life, so to speak, the other side of that carpet. All the while, Smyth creates something altogether filmic. The vision might be dark, but there’s certainly enough progressive-rock magnetism running through Goodbye Berlin to bring you around to another full-circle listen. We listen in, to a storyteller akin to a Grimm’s Brother, to a narrator that sometimes uses female protagonists as way of either symbolising escape from violent situations (‘Juliette’) or life, as with ‘Emily’ where there’s a dual side to this actors life, where ‘performance’ and ‘truth’ are mirrored “…She dances on the screen, but nothing’s ever as it seems..”. What Smyth gives us, as with all his material, is what feels a cathartic release of divulging life’s sinister crevices. Like Cohen, Smyth is a poet and singer-songwriter, offering us words of wisdom worth lending your ears to.
Having enjoyed support from Cerys Matthews and Lauren Laverne on BBC 6 Music you too can soak up the ‘Goodbye Berlin’ EP (released August 11th)! Listen and buy physical copies now!