Music has an ability to create vivid and clear representations of psychological landscapes. Very often a song can help to perfectly capture and recreate the essence of a location, or even an aspect of a certain location that might be closed off to some listeners.
An example of such a song is the recent single by esteemed Dublin hip-hop duo Mango X Mathman, comprising of Karl Mangan (lyrics) and Adam Fogarty (music and production). Entitled Deep Blue, this is a haunting track that takes a look at the city of Dublin and takes time to watch how things seem to be continually changing in it’s make up, and yet there is still some of traditional Dublin to be found if you look hard enough. There is also an underlying theme of hopelessness and evasive dreams and aspirations that make this one of the best tracks of the year.
The first thing that hits you when you listen to the song is the powerful sincerity that surrounds every lyric that Mango (Mangan) utters throughout the song. Offering a fascinating commentary on the state that faces many young people in Ireland at the moment, Mango talks about dreams and aspirations of youth but a lack of means in which to do it. He talks about people searching for distractions from the bleakness of their current situation in a way that will hit home in a big way with many of the millennial generation as they listen.
It is impossible to talk about this song without referencing the feature artist. Lisa Hannigan is deservedly regarding as one of the most esteemed figures on the Irish music scene, and her vocals during the chorus of this track add a haunting nature to the sentiments begin expressed. The lyrics sang by Hannigan manage to say so much with so little. We are presented with the idea that even when times are tough they will still feel a strong connection with their home of Dublin. However, there is also the suggestion that you’re merely surviving as you are forced to stay, this is not necessarily a success story.
” No matter where I go, I know, you’re always going to be there waiting for me,
And when I drift ashore, there’s nowhere I’d rather be more than,
Drowning in your deep blue sea…”
The instrumentation on this song is also particularly powerful as MathMan (Fogarty) creates an atmospheric and haunting soundscape to represent the vastness of Dublin city as both a home and an entrapment. This is further solidified by the fantastic music video for the song, directed by Emma Fraser and Aislinn Lawlor, which is a stunning cinematic walk through Dublin city.
Most importantly this is a song that helps to remind you of the fact that Dublin, like every other big global city, is alive. As you walk it’s streets, you will pass people who have wishes, dreams, and desires that they have either laid to rest or are still wishing to pursue. It can often be easy to lose sight of this as life continues to get busier, songs like Deep Blue remind us of how beautiful and sometimes heavy the sensation of sonder actually is sometimes. A stunning feat of songwriting.