Pictured is Tullamore band The Winter Codes made up of David Walshe and Barney Murray.

Offaly band's new album to pay tribute to late band member

Tullamore band The Winter Codes will release their new album later this year as an emotional tribute to late band member Paul Walshe.

The upcoming album 'Set The Darkness Reeling' immortalises Paul who tragically passed away ten years ago and even features some of his expert musicianship.

Musical duo David Walshe and Barney Murray already launched the lead single 'Too Sly To Die' on Friday, May 13.

According to Barney, they will be continuing their trad/folk/punk sound but it is less punk than other projects Barney has worked on with a more folk/pop sound. He said, “It is something of a relief because I don't want to be an angry punk all my life. We went for songs that were catchy and sing along which is how we like our music.”

“We do have a patriotic streak running through the album not just with the covers. We tried to write about the Ireland we know rather than from an emigrants perspective. Hence some of the songs are Friend In Tullamore, Dublin Girl, Last Night In Leixlip. We do have a few songs on it that could be called rebel songs but we wanted to write it mostly about the country as it is now.”

Speaking about the tribute to former band member Paul who passed away ten years ago, Barney said, “Paul was a much loved brother and friend, we were both in a band together years ago and he would come down to Tullamore and we would knock out some songs late into the night with a few cans. David, Paul's brother would come down sometimes with an eight track recording machine and we would bash them out into that. After Paul passed away we still had a good bit of his playing recorded and our sound engineer was able to incorporate it onto the album. He was a great man to write a catchy riff.”

Infused with classic Irish folk that can be heard in the strings and the percussive elements, The Winter Codes embody a unique spirit that generates a sound quite unlike any other. Influenced by traditional artists such as Richard Thompson and Bob Dylan, Barney said, “we try to celebrate what is good and positive about things rather than going around in a blind punk rage all the time which gets old and exhausting eventually.”

“I always loved catchy sing along stuff like The Undertones and Joe Jackson and then when The Pogues came along they got me into the Irish ballads. I liked both equally so to combine them both seemed the right way to express ourselves and it works for me I have to say.”

The band shot the video for their single 'Too Sly To Die' in Dublin landmark pub The Cobblestones the bar is synonymous with traditional Irish music. Barney said, “It's a legendary location for traditional music in Dublin. We recorded it in the daytime before it opened for the night. We love the way it came out.”

The new album will feature exciting collaborations with various artists including Daithi Meila from the Irish/Bluegrass band Jig Jam, folk singer Lisa Loughrey and engineer Sean Montgomery.

The Tullamore musician stated that, “around twenty people ended up playing on the album altogether. The most well known would be the banjo player from local group Jig Jam who played on five of the tracks. Sean Montgomery Dietz also did some bass and classical guitar. Lisa Loughrey is a folk singer who we got to do lead vocals for one song called Troublesome Girl which we are hoping to release as a second single along with the album. She really made the song her own.”