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Old 08-31-2004, 11:31 AM   #1
dans107
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Featured Artist #8: Damien Rice


“I can’t take my eyes of you” – The Blowers Daughter

It seems no one else can either.

Since his debut into the music world back in the late ‘90’s, Damien Rice has gone from best to better. Those who know him, love him and those who don’t, will.

Born in County Kildare, Ireland during the early 70’s, Rice had a relateively pleasant childhood. He spent endless days in the countryside of Celbridge, fishing by the River Liffey catching little except fish wise, but caught bucketfuls of ideas and inspirations.

He put his ideas down onto paper – both lyrically and artistically. He painted several pictures of image’s he seen throughout the day, or ideas he’d simply plucked from the sky when day dreaming the days away.

Rice began playing soon after, matching his lyrics to rhythmic guitar playing almost perfectly. Ironically, rather than going it alone, he opted for others to be part with him, so made his first band – an indie rock act dubbed Juniper.

Juniper had a limited success. Signing to Polygram in 1997, they released one or two EP’s under the label, and had some moderate radio success with two songs – ‘The World is Dead’ and ‘Weatherman’ – on Irish radio.

Things appeared to be going well, until the label pressured Damien to write more radio friendly songs. He struggled to write songs the label wanted, leading to him leave Juniper.

Writing songs specifically so they would sell wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted to get away, write music for himself. He wanted people to like it, but he didn’t want it to be manufactured. He did the right thing.

In March 1999 he packed his bags and moved to Tuscany. He became a busker all around Europe, showering people with his music. His passionate lyrics and strong, rhythmic guitar playing won the people over. He had no record deal, little money, yet he was already a success.


Twelve months later and he was back in Dublin. He’d had twelve months away. His head was clear and he was brimming with ideas. After going round all of his friends, borrowing an amount of money from each, he put it towards putting some tracks down properly. It didn’t take long and as soon as it was done, he sent it off to David Arnold (Bjork’s producer) and he liked what he heard, sending Rice enough money to buy his own mobile studio.

As a solo artist, his first release came in September 2001, titled ‘The Blowers Daughter’. It was the first single to be taken from his upcoming – not yet finished - album ‘O’. The single went straight into the Top 20 and clubs all over wanted Damien to play. This was the start of it all.

Five months later and the now finished album, entitled ‘O’ was released. February 1st saw critics all over struggling to find a negative point about the album.

Quote:
‘O is a fantastic debut… an absoloute triumph of a great songwriting and honest performing’ The Sunday Tribune

‘At times, as delicate as gossamer and at others like that of a man posses by demons’ The Times There is not a poor song on this album. Buy it *****’ The Times

‘Rice’s personality and deft songwriting hoist him above the mass of bedsit mumblers. O is gorgous and understated *****’ The Guardian

‘This is no reclusive songster…he knows how to shout it loud’ Time Out

‘Distinctive, idiosyncratic… (an) absorbing debut’ The Independent

‘Mesmerising *****’ Q

‘Best Album and Best Debut Album’ Hot Press 2003
The unique thing about ‘O’, is that it wasn’t backed or funded by any major labels directly. He thought if he signed to a label during the recording of ‘O’, they would have a say in what he should do – just like they did with Juniper.

What I also like about 'O', is that some of the songs were recorded on a 16 track recorder, so you can really feel the emotion in his voice. The song crackles sometimes, it hisses at points. It all makes for the next best thing to a live Damien Rice show.


Six weeks of intense touring of Ireland followed, soon accompanied by dates in the UK and all over Europe. He was on the way.

‘O’ was huge. Rice was nominated for the Meteor Irish Music Awards along with a BBC Hot Press Rock Award. Over the following year ‘O’ went platinum in Ireland and constant gigging alongside festival appearances at some of the biggest events of the year – Glastonbury and V Festival to name just a few – shot Rice to stardom.

A few months later and Damien was over in the US, taking part in the CMJ festival, along with having the opportunity to record a live radio session for KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. Unlike most UK artist’s first trips to America, it was a resounding success. A return trip took place earlier this year, where once again, he played it sold out gigs, taking the US by storm. Even Oasis couldn’t do that.

The only problem Damien has, is that he’s a little camera shy, to say the least [one of the reasons why this FA isn't as long as some of the others - there's only a limited amount of information on him]. He does barely any interviews, and has only ‘posed’ for a handful of photographs. Saying this, he has appeared on a host of shows, ranging from ‘Tonight With Jools Holland’ to ‘CD:UK’.

So now were here. Damien’s over in Australia playing a whole host of gigs there. No doubt they’ll also fall in love with him.

For those of you who haven’t heard him. I strongly recommend you get your hands on something by him. I promise you, you won’t regret. I got O for Christmas 2003 and I’ve had to buy a new copy as I’ve worn the original out. When I first got it, I remember it played four or five times back to back.

As Damien has released several singles and other recordings, rather than list them all here, you can see a full list [URL=http://www.damienrice.com/music.html]here[/url].

O – Damien Rice

1. Delicate
2. Volcano
3. The Blower's Daughter
4. Cannonball
5. Older Chests
6. Amie
7. Cheers Darlin'
8. Cold Water
9. I Remember
10. Eskimo

I wrote a review of this album in the CD’s review section. Click [URL=http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145358&highlight=damien]here[/url]to see it.

Recommendations

o The Blowers Daughter
o The Professor
o Cold Water
o Eskimo

These are just the songs that stood the most the first time I heard them. They seem to contain all the elements that make Damien Rice who he is.

The majority of you will download them / some tracks. This is all fine and well but I really, really recommend buying 'O', or any other recording you can find.

Before I finish, I must mention the other 'members' of Damien Rice. Although it is solely Damien Rice, his sound is added to by the likes of -

o Lisa Hannigan (vocals)
o Tomo (drums and percussion)
o Vyvienne Long (cello)
o Shane Fitzsimons (bass)

Damien writes all of the music, but it wouldn't be complete without the above.

I think that’s all. Rice is one in a million. There are hundreds of other singer / songwriter’s out there (if you like Damien, check out Tom McRae, Josh Ritter and Nick Drake). Some make it big, and are actually great. Others aren’t so lucky. However, none are as good as Damien Rice.


Last edited by dans107; 08-31-2004 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 08-31-2004, 11:41 AM   #2
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Awesome review dan



Easily one of my favourite singer songwriters.
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:38 PM   #3
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Great FA. I've only heard one Damien Rice song, and it was okay; I think it had been overhyped a bit before I heard it. Still, I'll be checking him out further.
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:41 PM   #4
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Fantastic review. This guy's musical career promises to get better and better. I love that black and white picture, too.

By the way, I believe he also won the shortlist award. Should be on his site in News somewhere.
 
Old 08-31-2004, 11:49 PM   #5
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*bump*


delete this post when stickied
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Old 09-01-2004, 03:30 AM   #6
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Thanks for the kinds words guys, I thought I'd do Damien Rice as a lot of people are still to hear his stuff. Most have heard is Cannonball single, but that's it.
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Old 09-01-2004, 05:10 AM   #7
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Best FA yet Dan! I was very much hoping you'd do Damien Rice.

The only thing you should do now, is put in a url to www.damienrice.co.uk/music a site where you can download a heap of his songs. They have the Juniper version of Eskimo which I prefer to the album version.

I wish I was 18 so I could go to his gig
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Old 09-01-2004, 05:41 AM   #8
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Yay yay, great work there. I shall now have to run off and put the album on.
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Old 09-01-2004, 06:35 AM   #9
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YES!!! Amazing FA. My favourite artist of the last few years. I bought "O" last year, and I think he is brilliant. I am going to see him in October. Those top and bottom pictures are brilliant too, but there is a really nice pic of him and Lisa that you should've included. :P
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Old 09-01-2004, 07:01 AM   #10
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Yeah, great work Dan
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Old 09-01-2004, 07:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapeworm
YES!!! Amazing FA. My favourite artist of the last few years. I bought "O" last year, and I think he is brilliant. I am going to see him in October. Those top and bottom pictures are brilliant too, but there is a really nice pic of him and Lisa that you should've included. :P
Thanks man, and the pictures...I did it all before I went away to Leeds, then just pasted it into here when I got back. I've probably missed somethings out

I'll have a read through and update if it needs it

Again, thanks for the kind words!

Now go out and buy O.

Now.
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Old 09-01-2004, 08:19 AM   #12
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wow. wonderfully written!


good job!


i love damien rice, it was wonderful to learn so much about him.
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Old 09-01-2004, 08:26 AM   #13
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Before I really got into Damien Rice, I had only heard his "Cannonball" and "Volcano" singles on the radio. I was more impressed by "Volcano" at first, and then I came across the album. Oh. My. God. That album is an experience. I will reiterate the afformentioned suggestions of BUY IT NOW, DAMMIT and say that anyone who has heard the "Cannonball" single should buy "O" to hear what it's really like on the album. The album version of that song entirely blew me away, especially with its perfect placement after the wonderful "The Blower's Daughter". Anyone who hasn't bought this album has to. It is an amazing achievement. Damien Rice has quickly become one of my favorite musicians, and I await the discovery of more of his work (haven't had the time to check out the website yet).

Thanks for the excellent FA and review.

-Mike
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Old 09-02-2004, 09:42 AM   #14
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i've only heard 'cannonball', but i've heard only good stuff about him, and plan to pick up "O" in the near future.

p.s. shotgun next F.A.
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Old 09-04-2004, 07:34 PM   #15
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Awesome! What are you doing?
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Old 09-04-2004, 09:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GurS
i've only heard 'cannonball', but i've heard only good stuff about him, and plan to pick up "O" in the near future.

p.s. shotgun next F.A.
Radio "Cannonball", or album?

Get "O". Work of art. A little avant garde at times, but we can accept that.

Who's going to be F.A.'d next?
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Old 09-04-2004, 09:41 PM   #17
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GurS has taken dibs on the next one; we're not to know who he's profiling until it gets put up though, in a couple of weeks.
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Old 09-04-2004, 09:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by br3ad_man
Awesome! What are you doing?
He is not aloud to say
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Old 09-04-2004, 10:24 PM   #19
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oh....
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Old 09-05-2004, 12:04 AM   #20
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hes not allowed to, either!


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Old 09-05-2004, 07:02 AM   #21
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I've only heard "I Remember", and I thought it was beautiful. I'm planning on getting O someday.. hehe
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Old 09-05-2004, 07:17 AM   #22
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Awesome FA, i've never heard his to stuff but i'll make a note to check it out.
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Old 09-05-2004, 07:23 AM   #23
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I persnally think that damien rice's music seems a bit depressing for me
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Old 09-05-2004, 07:50 AM   #24
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I've been on a Damien Rice kick this week, now I've downloaded the whole album, and plan to buy it soon. br3ad_man, that site is great, thanks for more music.

Great FA, he's one of my favourite new artists now.
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Old 09-05-2004, 10:20 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastaciko
I persnally think that damien rice's music seems a bit depressing for me
You should take another listen. Sure, songs like Cannonball are a bit on the sad side, but The Blower's Daughter and Delicate are very sweet songs, and also quite uplifting.
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Old 09-05-2004, 01:15 PM   #26
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Great artist, great FA.

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Old 09-06-2004, 02:18 AM   #27
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Quote:
You should take another listen. Sure, songs like Cannonball are a bit on the sad side, but The Blower's Daughter and Delicate are very sweet songs, and also quite uplifting.
I agree.

He has such a variety of emotions in his songs...sweet, depressed, angry, hatred, happy...it's all their, just got to listen to the album!

/shameless O promotion
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Old 09-06-2004, 03:34 AM   #28
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The Blower's Daughter and Cannonball are such incredible songs. Not to mention Amie and Eskimo.
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Old 09-06-2004, 03:45 AM   #29
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It's strange, because he is *that* good of a singer. But the emotion he puts into the songs.

He's cried live when playing Delicate, I read somewhere.

Mr Rice is the man
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Old 09-06-2004, 03:56 AM   #30
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Yep.

I got my friend into him today
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