The gorgeous ‘Teddy’s Song’ is the latest single from Irish songwriter Patrick O’Laoighaire, released under his moniker I Have a Tribe. O’Laoighaire’s warm voice floats above layers of instrumentation, dreamily ethereal backing vocals and a hypnotic, pulsing rhythm. Aside from O’Laoighaire’s piano, all that sonic texture comes from Conor O’Brien (Villagers) on trumpet, Oisin Walsh-Peelo on harp, bass from Caimin Gilmore and Dominic Mullan’s drums. It’s beautifully arranged and produced and the result is quietly epic.
O’Laoghaire says of the song: “Teddy is my uncle who was very handsome and very gentle and very loved. He had working sheepdogs called Cap and Prince and Sylvie and they always listened to him. Teddy is also the name of my dog, a sheepdog who wandered in the gate one day and stayed. He had that name already when he arrived. He is very handsome and very loved and he never listens. The dog lives his own way and I learn a lot from the dog. Sometimes he looks at me very deeply for a long time and I wondered if he knows that he’s the teacher and I’m the student. I asked him this once, and he went and got a stick and told me to throw it.” It’s particularly delightful to hear O’Laoighaire explain the song’s inspiration because, without any doubt whatsoever, his dog is the absolute star of this video. Teddy gives a tremendous performance and is a complete natural on film. Please do watch this to see what we mean. The video is a beautifully-shot, artful piece that takes in overhead shots of County Mayo’s rugged coastline, birds in flight and crashing waves; it captures well the tone of the song.
O’Laoighaire has recently enjoyed performances alongside GRAMMY-winning brass player CARM, opening for Bon Iver at Wembley Area and Dublin’s Three Arena and also supported Villagers at their shows in November. This single is the first new music under the I Have a Tribe moniker since the 2016 debut album ‘Beneath a Yellow Moon’ and we’re hoping it the first of many new releases. One final thought from O’Laoighaire is worth everyone taking note of: Teddy is such a good teacher because, “…the dog’s only concern is what is happening exactly at this moment. Mostly he is concerned with playing and responding.” There’s a lesson for us all there.