Ross A. is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer and voiceover artist who received the Agility Award 2022. Flowing To You, Flowing Through is his first release from collection of work funded in part by the Arts Council bursary enabling artists and arts workers to develop their skills and practices. Formerly Ross Breen, the Kildare musician grew his reputation as a respected songwriter through extensive radio coverage of his work (RTE Radio 1, Today FM, Radio Nova, Newstalk FM Songwriter of the Year), TV appearances (RTÉ 1’s The Saturday Night Show) and consistent presence on the live scene and festival circuit (Electric Picnic, Body and Soul, Indiependence).
Flowing To You, Flowing Through — a reflective track with a decidedly alt-indie folk tilt. The song’s arrangement is deceptively simple at first, before lifting off to explore new territory at its halfway point, where it is richly elevated by ethereal synths and a lush strings section. Produced with Gavin Glass (David Keenan, Paul Brady, Mundy, Jerry Fish) at Orphan Recording in Wexford, the song expands on the easy-sounding template of Ross’ previous single Some Other Time, Maybe with its addition of a sumptuous string quartet arrangement by Cormac Curran (Villagers, Hozier, John Grant, Lisa Hannigan) and influences ranging through Bowie, Beck, Wilco, Bill Callahan and Father John Misty incorporated during its creation.
‘FTYFT’ acts as a natural successor to the dreamy-feeling Some Other Time, Maybe, a track which referenced artists like Serge Gainsbourg, Air, John Grant and Villagers alongside lyrical nods toward Leonard Cohen, George Jones, Patsy Cline and Bob Dylan.
This song is part of a collection developed during lockdown, a quiet couple of years for the artist community. Its first draft was actually shared in a WhatsApp group with some music pals where we’d send performances back and forth to each other in the absence of real-life sessions. I eventually brought it to the studio when normal service resumed. It was tracked with a live band at Orphan Recording in Wexford, where we also brought in a string quartet, who elevated it beautifully.
Flowing To You, Flowing Through deals with the nature of being an artist and why I do it. Songs that mean the most to me are those I feel I’ll be happy to leave behind. This is one. Although the lyric is explorative, its theme, that of valuing the permanence of love above all else, is uncomplicated. In terms of sound, records like Neil Young’s Harvest , Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding and John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band were in my mind when creating this track. So much is brought to a song with a good band playing simply at its heart. More contemporary acts like Dawes, Wilco, Beck, Father John Misty and Bill Callahan also informed my approach. A Bowie-esque element has been noted too, particularly as the song becomes less grounded halfway through, evolving into something more celestial.There is a lot of extraneous, oppressive noise in life, digital and otherwise, along with the common feeling of being overly-busy. Writing this was like creating a breather from modernity for myself”