Acoustic EP of tracks from 2021 release confirms potential but breaks no new ground
Phenomenology was an album released by Irish singer songwriter Micheal Gallagher in 2021 and this is a selection of tracks that were recoded acoustically at the original album’s sessions. Based loosely around the character of Talby in John Carpenter’s cult sci fi film Dark Star. An interesting starting point, sometimes you just have to deal with a temperamental bomb.
This feels like a series of demos as perhaps it would do if these songs were originally written on guitar, and it certainly sounds like it. At five tracks it is a short meal with no trimmings and perhaps it’s the missing trimmings that one notices after a couple of plays. The palette is bare and the production that raised these songs above the ordinary in the original release was perhaps there for a reason, to give dynamism to simple songs that perhaps were never meant to be simple. Pick of the bunch is ‘Universal Son’ where the vocals feel warmer and more urgent and perhaps even more cogent.
There is obvious talent here but this feels like an exercise in treading water rather than uncovering a diamond hidden by production; quite the opposite in fact, it sends you scurrying back to the original release from last year.