Doctor Leaves is the musical moniker of Ben Shorten and Dara Munnis. They have known each other for a very long time. They both took up the piano when they were in the single digits. They both took up the guitar in the double. Between them they also have a grasp over the flute, cello, bass, drums, mandolin, banjo, harmonica and more. They formed their first band together when they were in their mid-teens. Through this, they discovered a passion for writing and performing original music, however, unfortunately, after many years in a 4-piece ensemble, the band disbanded (punt intended). They went their seperate musical ways but still remained buddies, pals, amigos, almost... friends. During this time, Dara began playing with some other bands and artists - The Coronas, Gavin Glass, Jack L - like a mercenary of sorts. Ben experimented with new bands but nothing seemed to stick. Eventually, destiny herself appeared to Dara and instructed him to reignite the musical spark that had once existed between them. They were living together at the time, so it wasn't difficult. They reformed under a new name, with a whole new outlook and philosphy, in a simpler two-piece fashion and began writing again. Their debut 4 track eponymous EP is the product of their efforts since that date, some might say their only worthwhile endevour over the course of their 20+ year friendship. Please treat it with care. It is very special to them.
The 4 track EP, recorded in the Summer of 2009, features a small selection of songs demonsrating the style and originality of Doctor Leaves. To give the music it's true 'full band' sound, we borrowed musicians and brought them into a small studio in Dublin to record for a day. The drums were played by Ciarán Fortune from The Chapters and the bass by Graham Knox from The Coronas. The studio session also featured guitarist Gavin Muddiman on many tracks. Following the studio session, we retreated to our own homemade studio in the spare room of our house to record the rest. Here we laid down guitar, piano, vocals, cello, trumpet and all the other frills. During this phase, we were joined by Turlough Gunawardhana (also borrowed from The Chapters) on cello, Simon Fagan on trumpet and Niamh Farrell and Bairbre Munnis on backing vocals. After a few months of refining and perfecting the songs, it was left in the more than capable hands of Philip Begley to be mixed and then onto Aiden Foley in Masterlabs to master it. The artwork for the finished product was designed by Niamh Farrell.
No Step Forward: Frantic guitar driven verses, with a haunting fragile chorus. The ending is something special altogether. A cacophony of voices; guitars, pianos, trumpets, cellos all coming together in one huge fabulous sound.
When Darkness Turns to Light: And understated, folky acoustic song about a young would-be casanova getting shot down. A blend of intricate acoustic guitar and rich cello lines.
Seven Year Itch: A quirky, energetic little number as catchy as the clap in a cathouse. 'What's a stylophone?' I hear you ask. This song has the answer. Delicious intertwining vocal harmonies in the chorus are countered by a subtle female 'Ooooooh' section.
Small Fish, Small Pond: No modern record is complete without an epic fade-out. That's where this song comes in. It is a cry to be rescued from drowning in a sea of mediocrity and a real foot-tapper to boot.