Run Onwards is the debut EP from singer songwriter Jayne Trimble. After a brief but intense recording session in the USA with John Keane (producer for REM, B-52s, Indigo Girls), she has returned to her Northern Irish homeland with this strong and succinct piece of pure folk goodness.
The title for the EP is taken from its opening track ‘You’ll Follow Me’. Jayne’s Irish roots are immediately apparent in this lyrical ballad, with solo fiddle lilting between rolling melodies and satisfyingly close harmonies. Whimsical lyrics about adventure and “Tir na nOg” are coloured by undulating vocals, running and toying with each other throughout the song. This introductory track perfectly showcases Jayne’s velvety voice, and its smooth and effortless style.
‘I Let Go’ follows on from this as a more obvious nod to her recording time spent in Nashville. With its simple plucked broken chords and steel-guitar style accompaniment it wouldn’t go amiss in an advertisement for herbal tea or a package holiday. Whilst the track has an element of simple beauty, it can at times be let down by the wordiness of the lyrics. The melodic lines tend to stumble a little in trying to fit everything into a phrase, but this a minor grievance in an otherwise charming work.
The climax of the EP has to be the upbeat and cheerful ‘Shine’. Complete with tambourine, mandolin, and a catchy melody, this track is a real sing along piece which wholly lends itself towards live performance. At the danger of becoming too repetitive, the chorus is saved by its contrasting slower tempo and pleasantly dissonant harmonies. The brief interludes of solo mandolin are a welcome boost to the song and help move it along confidently to the final chorus.
The final track, ‘Life Side’, may not be as much an instant earworm as the other songs on this recording, but it perhaps has the best ingredients for a long shelf life. Call-and-response vocal lines coupled with a strong Irish traditional influence make it sound akin to a (slightly less pop) version of The Corrs or The Cranberries. Unexpected shifts from major to minor keys throughout add subtle layers of interest, alongside romantic violin solos and robust cello as the track comes to a close.
Replete with solid Americana harmonies, twinkling mandolin and sweet strings, this EP is a must for fans of country, folk and roots music. After such a confident debut, it is clear that Jayne Trimble can only move on to bigger and better things.
◀ STANDOUT ⁞ Run Onwards ▶
◀ CONNECTION ⁞ The Cranberries ▶