Nomad Dooley – Trying to Survive (2020)

Nomad Dooley is a folk-rock band made up of friends Nomad Dooley (vocals, acoustic guitar), Hazel Flannigan (violin), Lady D (backing vocals, bodhran), David Smaylen (cajon) and Anthony Cope (acoustic guitar). The friends played in different bands across the Midlands and UK. They have now released their album Trying to Survive which is an eclectic mix of music.

The album takes a look at some of the major issues facing the world today. This is done on both political and personal levels. Each track is inspired by something new and tackles problems with meaningful lyrics and fun beats.



The first track is ‘Billy’ and it grabs your attention with the violin opening. This gripping ballad is a perfect introduction to what the band and album have for you. There is a bit of a western cinema sound to this track while the lyrics tell the sad tale of Billy. The haunting violin threads throughout the track adding a sad undertone to the track.

‘Money Alone’ uses a combination of violin and guitar to hook you. The melody is different from ‘Billy’ and the lyrics look at the impact capitalism has on the environment. The lyrics of the track are hard-hitting and really make you think.

‘If Life Was’ has a more traditional folk opening with acoustic guitars being gently strummed. The lyrics of this track are really motivational and make you want to actually do something with your life. There are a lot of interesting questions asked in the song that really make you think. While it is one of the longest on the album, it does seem to go very quickly.

The title track ‘Trying to Survive’ has a really dynamic melody that is a bit more upbeat than the others. The use of strings boosts the lyrics of this classic political protest song. The folk vibe to this track is great and gets your foot tapping to the beat.

‘Until the Last Ride’ continues the trend of hooking you with a solid violin opening. This track tells the tale of Evie and Tom. This track has all the marking of a traditional folk song and is easy to listen to.


Nomad Dooley

‘Freedom Fighter’ was inspired by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and has a melancholic tone to it. The song provides a rationale behind freedom fighters helping you put yourself in their shoes. It is a stripped back track that is hauntingly beautiful.

‘A Cornish Memory’ lays out a memory of time spent at a Cornish folk festival. The lyrics paint the picture and you can clearly imagine the band having a great time. The music has a free jamming vibe to it with the guitars, violin and vocals working perfectly in an almost impromptu manner.

‘Reality’ brings a bit more drum into the melody and you would not be surprised to hear it while chilling in a meadow. As the title suggests, this track is all about reality and how it can bring you down. There is a very familiar feel to this track that makes it easy to listen to.

‘The Stars in Your Life’ is another track with a slightly upbeat melody to it. The melody is simple, but it is the lyrics that really get you with this track. They drive you to want to grab onto your dreams or the stars in your life.

The last track is ‘Peace’ and is the perfect ending to this thought-provoking album. The song is full of everything that makes the world good. It highlights everything that makes the world peaceful and that most people search for but do not see around them.

Nomad Dooley tackles political and personal issues using dynamic folk tones and haunting violins in Trying to Survive. Each track makes you think about the lyrics and leaves you feeling melancholy, motivated or mad at what is happening in the world. While the melodies appear simple, they hook you from the first moments and will not let you go until your subconscious is ready.

Find out more about Nomad Dooley on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

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