This is the second solo album from Dublin based singer-songwriter Niall Thomas which showcases ten self-penned thoughtful songs delivered in a mainly acoustic style. Thomas himself describes each song as forming a snapshot of time drawn from personal experience and the surroundings in Dublin’s North Inner City, where he has lived for fourteen years. What the songs do demonstrate is that this a man who has a keen eye on the human condition and a social conscience as these are pieces of work displaying real depth and feeling.
The opening tracks are somewhat melancholic in feel although the general feeling of the album gets lighter as it unfolds. ‘What Now’ is a plantive piece reeling in uncertainty at the coming of winter after the relative joys of summer and ‘Wait and See’ is a cutting and all too real polemic on the current state of the world in so many ways. “The silver lining is torn at the seams, you pray to your god, wished I believed it’s in the hands of men now we’ll wait and see” is a line that so many of us can identify with at this very moment. ‘My Oh My’ continues in that vein with the lament that there are no surprises anymore in the world with the clear reference to world politics.
There is optimism in ‘Burrow’ which features a captivating acoustic guitar and a lilting melody with the catch line “when push comes to shove hand on heart I choose love”. Like many proper albums as opposed to collections of songs, this is one that takes a time to get to know and grows on the listener after a few plays. Very much in the style of Nick Drake, this will definitely be one for you if that is your thing.