Calm in the Middle of the Storm: Damien Rices ‘O’.

When I was 10 years old me and my family were returning from France, crossing the English channel in what can only be described as ‘rocky conditions’. There wasn’t a storm per say but apparently the boat was going through the motions in a stong way.

In the years that followed we would look back at this night as our journey on the ‘vomit comet’. Everywhere you looked (or dared not too), people were rediscovering the ferry food they had stuffed down hours before.

It was far from an ideal experience.

I was scrolling through my iPod, trying to find something to drown out the sickening ambience of that trip as quickly as possible. That is when I stumbled across this stange looking album with a mostly blank cover. O by Damien Rice.

Mainly out of couriosity for the cover, I started to play it. A lot changed in that next 5 minuetes.

You could hardly hear it at first, I had to turn the volume up all the way. Damien is barely strumming as ‘Delicate’ kicks in. Suddenly the drums appear – sparcly as if just stepping into a room. This beautiful fallseto tone dances between the gaps. Naively, 10 year old me had no idea weather or not this was a Man or a Woman. In a true self taught style, I had no idea I was listening to Rice singing in Fallsetto.

For the first time ever, I was playing witness to beauty one single person could have over a track. How honest you could be in your lyrics, the vunrability you could display in your voice. Rice contols his emotions in direct corilation to the dynamics of the track – this is a technique I attempted to use all the time from then on out.

This song came on my playlist this morning and reminded me of that strange moment. A clam in the middle of the storm. This track and the album itself really set me on a good course.