There is something intricately beautiful within Hail The Carpenter. Something simplistic and resonating within the layers, wholesome and familiar, and, so, pleasantly soothing yet breath-taking.
“I wrote this track as an ode to my late grandfather, Jack Tobin Sr.” Sean says proudly. “He was a carpenter and a business agent for Passaic County in northern New Jersey, and a huge influence on me as a writer.”
A never-ending, always enduring story of an endearing love desperately waiting to be told, from a singer that desperately wants to share it. Of that special and unbreakable bond that a grandson holds up towards an always devoted grandfather. And that story shines through, comes back to life, across the verses of Sean’s soulful, reminiscent vocals that hold such wistfulness amidst the haunting guitar that guides and prompts, and whose strings are gently cajoled whilst the earliest of memories are so obviously being conjured back to be lovingly replayed, to be rejoiced over: “Look Grandpa, this is what I have done”.
Hail The Carpenter is a song that tells of a love that is confident and strong and full of inspiration and wonder, and that can now be told of in the most simple of terms. It doesn’t require the bang of a big band, or to have its vocals screamed out in some vain attempt at persuasion. It just needs the careful vocals from a grandson simply looking back, and accompanied only by an ever-faithful guitar; a poetic eulogy put so-seemingly-casually to a melody coloured by pride.
But nothing is casual in his new single: no note Sean plays, no single word he sings or chord he comprises is really simplistic. Everything contained within, that you now hear, or feel that you are about to intrude upon, is so very precise, to be held within its chosen place to therefore tell this tale of love and tenderness, and inspiration.
Born and raised on the New Jersey shore, Sean Tobin was influenced by folk-singing troubadours and high-energy rockers alike. His high-energy performances and rock n’ roll-tinged releases are due mostly in part to his upbringing in the Jersey shore bar scene. As he admits, he honed his craft, “playing countless shows in dives, clubs and basements,” and paid his dues, “busking on the streets of Galway, Ireland”, throughout 2015 and 2017. Sean has performed at festivals such as SXSW, Americanafest, North2Shore, and Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings, and has opened for the likes of Jason Isbell and Rhett Miller, whilst he, along with his band, Boardwalk Fire, are being widely tipped to be Asbury’s “next national act”.
Hail The Carpenter is a lovely song, a fitting ode and a fulfilling poem that regales the most simplistic of loves, and which harks of, with always appreciative nods towards, Bluegrass, but it is, simultaneously, adorned in the very modern trappings of the current new wave alternative-folk that is revitalising a whole music genre. It is so obviously a proud, undiluted and never-ending love song, twinged with the regret of loss yet coloured with those memories of pride.
If you only have time to discover one new single this week then let Sean Tobin’s gorgeous Hail The Carpenter be the one.
Hail The Carpenter is out now, whilst the new album, Hands Like Mine, will be available in early November… Just in time for, For The Love of Bands’ exclusive new interview with Sean.
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Find Hail the Carpenter on our Lazy Indie Morning playlist.