Let's face it, soul and funk are not genres that we Irish have traditionally excelled in, but with their third studio album Dublin pop four-piece Saville have broken the mould and succeeded where others have failed. This is probably because there's no sense of imitation here - it's more like an organic merging of genres, identity and influences. Nostalgia seems an appropriate title for an album clearly influenced by classic soul and 70s funk as well as the 60s pop rock of The Beatles, The Kinks and The Zombies, but it is the lyrics of the title track that really sum up the ethos of this record - "Nostalgia's fine/but when it plays on your mind/Don't look back, don't ever look back".
Words like smooth, cool and funky are inherently un-Irish, but Saville have managed to incorporate a clear sense of Irish identity, with lyrics reproaching "too much Catholic guilt" and siting Dublin place names, within an album that is just that. There's a subdued, tranquil ambience among these tracks that make it perfect summer evening music, but more up-tempo moments mean it's not solely limited to that.
The opening strings, Spanish guitar and old-fashioned trumpet of The Lonely Ghost and the cowboy guitar contrasted with ghostly reverberating backing vocals of Flares stand out from the album's prevailing vibe to prove Saville are no one trick pony. And while Sweet Music delves further into funk, sounding not unlike our other home-grown funksters Republic of Loose, it has a depth and authenticity their peers lack.
Through a mixture of self-assurance and retro fusion, Saville have created a timeless quality among these songs which suggests that Nostalgia will have a certain lasting power that's rare among albums these days, a feeling compounded by the fact that it only gets better with repeated listens.