We’ve been taking a listen to the latest single from Irish based artist, Per Ploug, here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today. “Left To Bleed” is Ploug’s fourth single since starting to release songs in 2021.
Left To Bleed is a simple heartbreak song about being dumped! It’s about not yet knowing why it happened and not yet being over it. For a newcomer to songwriting, this may well be a typical theme, but it is written and performed with the proficiency of an artist who has been toiling away at their craft for years.
Left To Bleed starts with a very warm and gentle picked acoustic guitar, reminiscent of a John Prine song. A gentle and distant organ helps to fill the sound.
When Ploug’s vocals come in to the mix, they are clear and present in the track. A very slight Irish accent is perceptible and it’s a charming and authentic heartfelt performance. Left To Bleed has a slightly storytelling, Ralph McTell feel, to the vocal styling. Per Ploug, originally from Denmark, states that he “moved to Ireland after falling in love with the country, the music and an Irish girl, pretty much in that order.”
By the time the second verse comes around, the listener is treated to some beautiful violin lines – both long notes and little riffs between the vocals. A heartbeat style drum enters the mix too and the song really starts to shine.
As time goes by throughout the song, you realise that more and more instrumentation has been added. It’s so subtle that you barely notice, but each and every addition helps to fill the sound out, and also to maintain the listener’s interest. There are some beautiful backing vocals. We think we picked out a mandolin, perhaps, which pans to the left, whilst the violin then pans to the right, making the stereo feel of the song even more listenable.
A lovely and gentle instrumental section without a specific solo instrument then leads into a section where the bass and drum have dropped out – a great trick to make the impact when they do return later in that section.
Per Ploug mentions in his biography that he feels perhaps a little too late in life to make a name for himself as a performer. We have to disagree! This is classy songwriting and a beautiful performance. If unsure about performing, Left To Bleed is most definitely a track which would work well in the background in a TV show and we would urge Per to investigate sync opportunities for this track.
To our ears, some extra warmth could be achieved in the track with a boost centred around 140Hz. The acoustic guitar is resonating (most noticeably in the intro) at 230Hz so a surgical EQ cut here would reduce that slight peak. Finally, a light compressor / limiter with some make up gain (3dB?) would add some more warmth and overall volume to the track as a whole.
Left To Bleed is a beautiful singer-songwriter track that flows along and brings in traditional folk instrumentation with great expertise. Per Ploug is most definitely an artist to watch if you’re a fan of John Prine, Gordon Lightfoot or Ralph McTell, for example.