Blood Drive is the second single to be taken from Belfast-based songwriter Joshua Burnside‘s forthcoming debut Ephrata (5 May via Quiet Arch Records). It is both rich and sparse showcasing Burnside’s skilful fingerpicking and angst-ridden vocals set against a haunting, insistent melody, blending avant-folk with elements of electronica. With nods to both country music and Latin folk, “Blood Drive” explores the distance between the everyday and the apocalyptic: something as routine as having one’s blood taken becomes a crisis, prompting a fight-or-flight anxiety attack and thoughts of the end of the world. Echoes of Jose Gonzalez, The National and Bon Iver are evident, and the song’s simplicity is enhanced by the layering of curious noises such as a TV spluttering in the distance, organs with endless delays, banjos and vocoder.
The video is directed by David Moody and shot on the rugged north coast of Ireland, we are presented with a post-apocalyptic world, and follow a lone survivor scavenging a bleak and barren landscape to survive. The two antagonists of the story are the anthropomorphic characters Mr.Fox and Mr.Duck, two bloodied axe welding maniacs, which with a nod to Orwell represent the power hungry, destructive masculinity of many of today’s most powerful politicians. “Blood Drive” and many of the songs on the new album Ephrata deal with apocalyptic themes, as well as those of isolation, technophobia, and PTSD, but there is a glimmer of hope that runs throughout, and we are left on an upbeat note when the survivors find comfort together and in the form of an old radio they manage to get working again.
Joshua Burnside Live Dates
Sunday 30th April – Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival – Duke of York – Belfast
Tuesday 9th May – Nice and Sleazy Glasgow
Thursday 11th May – Servant Jazz Quarters , London
Saturday 13th May – Ursa Minor – Ballycastle
Saturday 27th May – Craft Village – Derry
Thursday 1st June – Bellobar – Dublin