Participant – Shelter – Play It Again, Sam

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Ambient, Electronic, and Sincere

Ireland has been churning out some pretty solid music recently. Varied, too. There’s infectious alt rock in the form of Otherkin, frankly unnerving post punkers Girl Band, soulful troubadour Hozier, and now ambient alternative pop from Participant (or Stephen Tiernan if you’re feeling familiar) .

“Shelter” is taken from Stephen’s debut EP Bit Slow which he’s been tipping away at for the last year. It’s a low-key, gentle yet passionate mixture of electronics and softly strummed guitar with Tiernan’s unobtrusive vocals over the top. Tiernan describes the music he creates as, “combining ambient and electronic elements with sincere songs,” and to be honest I could not describe his creation better myself.

The video for the track, directed, written and edited by Bob Gallagher, is a quirky affair. It explores the troubled romantic relationship between two snails as they traverse the natural hazards of the Irish countryside. Think of Blur’s video for “Coffee and TV”, but a touch more subdued, a tad more “Irish” (read mournful and downtrodden).

We at Overblown are enjoying Participant’s music so much we feel we must include another link to another of his songs, “Start to Try”, also available on his debut EP.


Click on Participant’s Bandcamp link below and name your price to acquire the sonic goodness of his Bit Slow EP.

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