One of our finest songwriters returned today with new single ‘Late Afternoon in the Meadow (1887)‘. Joshua Burnside releases the beautiful new track alongside the promise of a new EP of the same name later this year.
Burnside’s music has taken in places as far afield as Colombia and California but ‘Late Afternoon in the Meadow (1887)’ sits amongst his best as he looks closer to home in Belfast. There’s a bleakness around Burnside’s voice and his lyrics on the darkest parts of the city and the burden of a mental health crisis. It’s all beautifully descriptive despite the sombre tone, though the song soon reaches for warmth and “somewhere warmer, kinder, softer on the soul”. Lyrically Burnside brings out the personality of Belfast from passing mentions of Black Mountain and “used to play for Cliftonville until I wrecked my knee”. A compelling vignette of Belfast and Westlink. ‘Late Afternoon in the Meadow (1887)’ fastens light and dark together, wrapped in intimately fingerpicked guitar, gentle rhythms, strings and looped textures.
“Belfast was redesigned for military, social and economic reasons during the late end of the century. It was rebuilt to suit a car-driving suburban middle class, which is why the centre is mostly encircled by car parks, empty buildings, empty land and motorways twisting and rising above or below you. It is sadly apt then, that people wishing to take their own life, often choose the Westlink as the place to do it, jumping from the bridges that cross it. This song is about someone at the end of their tether. And if you are feeling this way, then I dedicate this song to you.“
‘Late Afternoon in the Meadow (1887)’ is released with a suitably lofi and focussed video by Nathan Magee. Belfast’s Joshua Burnside will release his new EP on 18 November, while he plays his biggest headline show in the iconic Ulster Hall on 23 December, with support from Lemoncello.