Rory McLean – The Fire

I think if I were a musician, I’d get so strung up over creating the stand-out opener to a song. York based Rory McLean’s new track The Fire shows how well it can be done as the track shows a burning intent from the off; he completely nails it. Rory asked his grandfather to provide an authoritative spoken opener, and with its slightly fuzzy recording and immediate beaty start, it gives me a brief renaissance for the opener for the song’s 1960’s namesake Fire by Arthur Brown.

Unlike Brown’s song, The Fire focuses upon the spark that is inside us all, which can be incredibly creative and productive but which can sometimes also burn us and consume.

There is a very infectious swirl and roll within The Fire which gives it a slightly psychedelic rock vibe. However the song itself has a pleasing clean tight power pop feel too. After the strong opening, Rory also slowly takes his vocals up the scale to draw together a deliciously full-frontal falsetto assault to bring the tune to a close.       

Here The Fire is full of positive and ambition, although it blends in some of that danger and burn out too. Rory tells us “I wrote it after I walked out of my bar job one day last year. I had this drumbeat in my head and a really strong feeling of ambition and not wanting to wait around for anything. It was mostly all written in one night“.

The Fire is Rory’s second released track, and its production has been a voyage of learning for Rory. He explains that the track was recorded in his student house in York and there are several rough edges that he has left in as a sense of his journey. Listen out for the shower running behind his Granddad’s spoken intro and the click-track running through the end. I tend to preference “real” rather than “perfect” and to me those little traces of what I call recorded patina add an interest and raw sense to the song. Rory produced everything in the song himself, bar the drums by Adam Byrne.

While the song is released on 8th March, there is a video to follow complete with images of a burning building and a huge fire to draw out that strong sense that your desires, ambitions, and addictions can seriously burn you out.  

Chris R

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