Gordon Barry, an award-winning Irish singer-songwriter from charming Wexford, has remarkably handsome vocal talent and refined musical skills. ‘All the Live Long Year‘, the follow up to Barry’s debut album ‘The Best Way To Kill A Monster‘, is graced with some delicate melodies and alluring harmonies together with the superb skills of established Irish musicians Christian Best (Drums), Conor Brady (Guitar) & Cian Boylan (Piano, keys).
A lot of work has gone into producing this 4-song EP which was recorded in Dublin, New York and Wexford. However, even with his three original songs, Barry struggles to cast off the misery of the opening song, a cover of American singer Jolie Holland (of The Be Good Tanya’s), ‘Old Fashioned Morphine‘. It is difficult to work out why this song has been covered as many times as it has, as it is so easy to think of it as a dull, repetitive dirge. Unless, of course, you are a fan of late-night drug-fuelled sorrow.
‘My Name is Never‘ and ‘Ghost of a River‘, both Barry originals, have engaging melodies and musical rhythms, although again, the dark subject matter never breaks free of sadness and misery. Hence, care and consideration for the listening audience will need to be taken if playing this at home. ‘Roll with the Punches‘, Barry’s self-penned, recently released single, is by far the best of the bunch. It is gently absorbing, although still, lyrically, somewhat melancholy.
‘All The Live Long Year‘ is an EP of great intrigue, but it is not for the fainthearted. You will need to be of sound mind with a vivid imagination to appreciate this delicacy.