It’s always refreshing to hear a regional accent and Eileen Gogan’s delightful Irish burr spills through every track of this fresh and interesting album. Opening with the jaunty, bittersweet ‘More Time’ Gogan unfurls a regretful narrative to a jangly guitar bed and subtle instrumentation which explodes during a brief guitar solo and then fades into an evocative coda featuring church bells. So far so interesting.
‘Don’t Let Me Sleep’ has echoes of the Delines with its strong female vocal over a bed of Hammond organ and laid backbeats. The aching guitar break is courtesy of Damian O’Neill from The Undertones. The whole album is a showcase for a Gogan’s beguiling vocals and whilst its roots can be traced to the folk-rock soul of the 70s there is plenty here to arrest the attention of even the most jaded listener. Witness the a cappella version of a Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill poem in the track ‘Celebration’ – a pure folk delivery highlighting Gogan’s affecting voice. Or the funeral paced ‘San Fran 1997’ all open spaced and atmospheric yet still martialled by Gogan’s delivery.
This is a powerful set of songs that combine to make a bewitching and satisfying album. The production is spot on and in many cases amplifies the genuinely felt sentiments coming from Gogan’s voice – a powerful instrument in its own right. Recommended.