Since my first time seeing Donegal singer/songwriter Eve Belle perform at The Ruby Sessions in Whelan’s as the support act for Frightened Rabbit back in 2017, she has been one of my favourite songwriters on the Irish music scene.

There was something about Belle’s brand of introspective and emotional lyrics backed with upbeat and positive instrumentation that appealed to me, and it made me pay more attention to the career of the talented performer. Since her 2015 single, Too Young To Feel This OldBelle has continually produced songwriting of the highest standard with her EP Things I Once Believed, released in 2018, being very well received by critics and the music community in Ireland in general.

The songwriter has just released her eagerly anticipated new EP The Fine Line Between Brave and Stupid last weekend, and it marked another accomplished step forward in the career of the Donegal musician.

The EP was proceeded by the single Cutthroat in February of this year, featuring collaboration with the Bristol hip-hop artist Isaiah Dreads, and marked out the direction that Belle was taking as it contained all the hallmarks of her songwriting up this point. This is a fantastic exploration of being intimately involved with someone and despite all the obvious flaws to the relationship you can’t bring yourself to end it, and it is done with typical wit and sensitivity by Belle. This track also shows off an element of the songwriters writing that I feel helps to make her music feel so real, and that is her use of the everyday vernacular to tell a story. It comes at the end of the chorus when she bemoans that fact that she’ll still go back to this unhealthy and damaged situation that she finds herself in, but this is articulated in a way that every one could relate to.

“Fuck it, I’ll still call you at the end of the night.”

The anticipation created by this track was further built upon by the next single from Belle which would proceed the release of the actual EP, Out of Town. This is an excellent piece of music that investigates that process of falling in love with everything about another person to the point that you find yourself focusing on the smallest details about them. It also marked a change in the sentiment that can be found in most of Belle’s music up this point, as we were treated to an upbeat and positive song.

However, the talented Gaoth Dobhair native was clear to state that this was not going to be consistent across the EP.

The EP, when it eventually reached us, was well worth the wait, and it was clear that this was a body of work that meant an awful lot to the Donegal singer/songwriter.

This is an incredibly accomplished collections of tracks that chronicle various events in the life of the performer and they are brought to life in a real and powerful way here through outstanding songwriting. The EP deals with the difficulties that come with all relationships from recognising that often you can be the problem, to having to deal with a scenario where one party is more invested than the other.

The stand out track on this EP for me is the outstanding One Foot out the Door. This is a heartbreaking exploration into what it’s like to be romantically involved with someone that you know is not as invested in the relationship as you are, and something that I found to be extremely relatable. There is a raw emotion to this track that is incredible compelling and makes you feel as though you are actually privy to the relationship in question, it was on repeat for a long time.

This is one of the best EPs that you will hear this year. Fantastic.

Eve plays a headline show in Whelans on 24 July, tickets are available here.

MK

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