Dublin, County Dublin
Tujacques plays a fusion of beat poetry, alt-country, alt-folk, punk and swamp rock: basic psychedelic cowboy music. On 8 July 2013 Tujacques released a new EP, Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas, a compilation of four songs on a theme of contemporary Dublin in troubling times. Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas' is the motto of the fair city of Dublin and appears on the city's Coat of Arms along with three burning castles, which represent three gates into the ancient Viking city and two women carrying olive branches. The motto translates as "the obedience of the citizens produces a happy city." The title of the EP is, of course, ironic, as Dublin is anything but an obedient city. Yet, given the many sad revelations of institutional abuses, the suffocating financial crimes, and increased emigration there is an unsettling acquiescence across the city. But, there is also a persistent willingness to go on, or to paraphrase Beckett, it is a city that 'can't go on' but will nonetheless, 'go on'. Perhaps it is courage that leads the city to go on, perhaps it is otherwise, perhaps it is obedience to an exhausted system.
'Tall Ships' is a jazz inflected, beat poetry, film noir homage to Dublin. Although, it may represent an outraged voice, it is, in a backhanded manner, a love letter to the city and its strange draw. 'Rain' is a tender song of memory and regret for those who have left and those who choose to stay behind. It is an immigrant's song sung by an ex-pat. 'Red River' ventures far afield from Dublin toward my homeland in Louisiana. It is what we playfully call ‘psychedelic cowboy music.’ Red River is a tale of spectral appearances and haunted worlds. The EP rounds off with 'Beautiful People', an anthemic, yet mournful ode to those whose lives have been brutalised and stolen and for whom redemption seems unrealistic.
Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas
released 08 July 2013
Music and Lyrics by Matthew Causey
Produced and Mixed by Cameron Doyle
Master by Tim Martin
Matthew Causey, Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Stevie Darragh, Guitar
Scott Johnson, Drums
Matthew Nolan, Bass
Richie Buckley, Sax
Cameron Doyle, Vocals, Keyboards
Ryan Doyle, Vocals
Bryan O'Connell, Drums
Windmill Lane Studios
Produced and Mixed by Cameron Doyle
Engineered by Alan Kelly
'Rain', 'Red River' and 'Beautiful People'
Recorded and Mixed at
ATRL: Arts Technology Research Laboratory
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Produced, Mixed and Engineered by Cameron Doyle
The musicians of Tujacques (pronounced 'two-jacks') include Matthew Causey on guitar and vocals. Texas-born but Dublin-resident musician and new media researcher, Causey is bringing the rhythm-and-blues of Louisiana to his own brand of mixed influences in Tujacques. Causey, who is Associate Professor of Drama and Director of the Arts Technology Research Laboratory at Trinity College Dublin was brought to music along an academic path: via an exploration of authenticity in digital culture, leading to a desire to create a fusion band unique in the Irish scene. Tujacques is that, bringing together some of Ireland’s foremost musicians in a blend of gospel, punk, alternative-country and Delta blues. Players past and present in Tujacques include Matthew Nolan on bass, Stevie Darragh on lead guitar and Scott Johnson on drums.
Tujacques debut album, 'The Art of Living' (released July 2012 and available at tujacques.bandcamp.com or towerrecords.ie) was recorded at Windmill Lane Studios and features Richie Buckley (saxophone), N.C. Lawlor (pedal steel), Rhiannon Clark (backing vocals) and Bryan O'Connell (drums). The album of original tunes written by Causey includes ‘Wicked Wind’, a plaintive alt-country tune, which Peter Naegle of the respected blog 2UIBestow wrote, “This song is amazing!”. The song was also featured on Vanessa Monaghan’s Culture Café on RTE2XM Radio.
Golden Plec wrote of Tujacques and 'The Art of Living':
'A rowdy, almost raucous energy runs through a lot of the songs. Wayfaring Stranger and Naked Brain are wild, heavy, growling tracks, with raw guitars and crashing drums ripping through the paces. Bourbon and Coke continues this on, as bold and excessive as its title suggests, with a freewheeling saxophone in the background only adding to the sense of frenzy. [...] Other songs take on a darker twist. Radiation, charged with reverb, Causey’s haunted vocals and a simple but ominous riff, actually feels quite sinister, while Henry David Thoreau takes that up another notch. Opening with a restrained, menacing guitar and slow, troubled vocals, it lures you into its drugged, unsettled story before a loaded, thrilling sound crashes in completely unexpectedly, quickly establishing this as the album highlight.
Given what’s gone before, the quieter moments are surprisingly rich and delicate: seductive sax whirls around the subtle guitar-work and soft percussion. There’s an air of Neil Young in his ‘Harvest Moon’ phase about songs like Wicked Wind, The Highway Back and Last Man Standing, while the album’s title track is one of the most straightforward, and revealing on here: its simple construction allows a lot to be said.' - Orlaithe Grehan