A global pandemic is a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to the creative process. On one hand, daily uncertainty and international strife aren’t particularly great for the soul, but on the other hand, they sure do give a lot of stories to tell. For Dublin art-rock quintet Silverbacks, the latter proved true as their slice-of-life writing style became perfect for documenting the new upended status quo. While Archive Material, their upcoming sophomore LP, largely looks outwards for its catalogue of character studies, their latest single ‘A Job Worth Something’ sees the band looking inwards at their place in life.
In a melancholy, self-reflective manner, ‘A Job Worth Something’ becomes impressively moving over its two and a half minutes of runtime. Centering singer Daniel O’Kelly’s enunciated lyrics regarding his pandemic-fueled time in the doldrums, the track hammers home the stagnant feeling of shame that clouded many over the past few years. As O’Kelly explains, “For most of the pandemic I lived with my sister who is a healthcare worker and was working in the designated Covid hospital in St James’ Dublin. Unfortunately, I was far less heroic, writing copy for a car insurance company. This song is about feeling embarrassed about how different our lives were at this time”.
With heartfelt emotions embedded deep into the band’s performances, helped in part by production from Gilla Band’s Daniel Fox, it becomes hard not to feel affected by the quintet. Tying the song together, the band elegantly arrange determined rhythm sections and melodic backing vocals. As Pavement-esque guitar chords and leadlines further colour the song with a nostalgic vignette, the track is elevated to being a true stunner. Moving quickly towards the release of their upcoming LP, the Dubliners excitingly continue to mark songwriting successes, setting them up well for the release of their second album, Archive Material.
Words: Varun Govil // Photo: Róisín Murphy O’Sullivan
‘A Jov Worth Something is out now via Full Time Hobby, taken from the upcoming album ‘Archive Material’, out January 21st. Stream and purchase the track on Bandcamp.