Sean Tobin Reflects Toward Better Days On

St. Patrick’s Day Forever

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Review by Kenny Bieber

March 17, 2021

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Chronicling the aftermath of adapting to our current circumstances is slowly becoming a trend for singer-songwriters to explore and admittedly can be a thorny prospect. When done right however, the results can lead to some truly honest, soulful and vital music that can strike an immediate chord with the listener. For Asbury Park singer-songwriter Sean Tobin, he rises to the challenge with the tremendously powerful and personal EP St. Patrick’s Day Forever. The record deals with both the struggles of adapting to a COVID-era world while also exploring nostalgia and the changing of time with a poetic, rousing and sincere perspective that allows each of it’s 4 tracks to make a significant impact with the listener. As a performer and songwriter Tobin (following his latest release East Coast Artifacts) crafts some of his most purposeful and immediate work yet and musically and vocally strips down his material to further enhance the raw and visceral nature of his subject matter. The EP kicks off in sterling fashion with the high-energy and hard-hitting “St. Patrick’s Day Forever,” an anthem about perseverance in the wake of tough times which feels especially timely and relevant with a soaring hook and exuberant songwriting to back it up.

Other songs find Tobin conjuring up a specific time and place for deeply human and poignant results such as on tracks “Ode To Anna Liffey’s” and “Dirty Old Town”. Tobin’s lyrical concerns here deal greatly with nostalgia and how one draws upon it in times of need and his straightforward yet soulful approach allows both tracks to achieve levels of heartbreak and wistfulness that a more bombastic technique might not have allowed. His use of imagery and details as well paints a literary and vivid scope and the emotional range here is welcomely dynamic with moments that feel euphoric, tragic and wryly humorous sometimes all in the same song. Musically, St. Patrick’s Day Forever’s arrangements are sparse and largely acoustic but its organic style and aesthetic merge seamlessly with the its themes and tone and help create space for Tobin’s performances and songwriting to emerge fully on each selection. At just 4 tracks, it’s important especially for the EP to feel cohesive and fluid and thankfully each track manages to build upon or expand upon the other with a true sophistication and artistry that manages to linger with the listener.

Listen!

In an era of uncertainty, creating and sharing art can be enormously valuable especially when it’s a time of great struggle as well. With St. Patrick’s Day Forever, Sean Tobin establishes his presence as one of the Jersey music scene’s most passionate, personal and poetic songwriters and more than effectively builds upon his strong momentum and promise as well. While St. Patrick’s Day will most likely be looking very different this year, if there’s any reason to celebrate it’s that artists are still creating raw, honest and pure music such as the kind found here. That in itself is more than worth celebrating if you ask me.

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Kenny Bieber is a local music journalist and photographer who also highly values a good pun, quality milkshake and swears he doesn’t have too many records. He’s generally just happy to be here.

https://www.instagram.com/k94photography/

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