Another day in the Dub.
The opening line of Mango X MathMan's debut album Casual Work encapsulates just what this album will come to represent.
The duo have always been entrenched in Dublin, their art bleeds navy and sky blue as though they're an aural version of a Dubs jersey. That stretches back to their days as members of The Animators, bleating the word 'marvellous' to shoppers on Grafton St.
Dublin forms stories throughout Casual Work as though it's the River Liffey itself. It flows throughout, and doesn't split North and South, rather it connects. Sure, at the crux of it, Mango and MathMan come to represent both sides of the river, Finglas and Clondalkin respectively.
There are consistent references, direct and indirect, which solidify this dovetailing of place and culture. The likes of 'Any Other Place' are moments on the album whereby you can't escape from the overarching grá that Casual Work showcases for its city. The cameo of Adam Collins on the chorus brings it home even more. Anyone who's experienced it knows that there isn't any other place like Dublin City in the summer.
But that opening line on 'Bread & Butter' also represents beginnings. The start of a new day.
If beginnings are anything to go by, those steeped in the lore of the duo will know that 'Bread & Butter' was originally a spoken word piece performed by Mango the guts of three years ago.
That stroll down Grafton Street was the guts of eight years ago too. In the press leading up to the album, both members talked about the four year process to get to this point.
That process is evident in some skits that are sprinkled within the album. MathMan's frustrations with Mango and his lax nature rear their head on 'Gimme A Call'. These beginnings stretch back further than their debut EP Wheel Up. These beginnings have festered for years. Casual Work is a time capsule of Dublin City, but it's also the result of dedication to a craft which, especially in Dublin, rarely pays you back.
In all facets of Casual Work, you're struck by the volume of versatility showcased by both men. In Mango's lyrics, there's equal parts vulnerability as there is bravado. 'Chest Out' and 'Memories' exist in this realm because complexity runs at the heart of this album's protagonists.
Likewise, MathMan's production nous and penchant to stretch the palette of MxM's music is seen on Casual Work. People expect two-step anthems to beat the band, and whilst there are moments that demand a 'tops off' response, solemn moments on the album are greeted with subtlety.
From DART-based cover to content, Casual Work drips in Dublin. It embodies what it is to live in the city in 2019. There's a love for place, without ever shying away from root of what makes Dublin a difficult partner. Cranes cast shadows over the city whilst its people are crying out for a helping hand. The clubs might die off but the culture lives on, and Casual Work is evidence of that.
You can listen to the full album below: