Album Review: Fionn Regan – 100 Acres of Sycamore

By on Wednesday, 1st February 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Fionn Regan is so much more than your typical Irish troubadour. He’s developed his music into a beautiful thing that swirls through your head and wraps around your body like a warm jumper you forgot you had. The layers of each song deepen and showcase the lyrical talent of this mop-headed singer/songwriter. The graceful guitar, poignant piano and understated orchestration gorgeously support Regan’s poetic lyrics.

While ‘100 Acres of Sycamore’ harkens back to the more acoustic sound of his 2006 Mercury Prize nominated debut album ‘The End of History’, this album is infinitely richer in all aspects. The title track opens the album with an elegant bit of orchestration that sets up the lushness of the rest of the album. The deftly evocative ‘Dogwood Blossom’ lends a plaintive tone as it describes a lover who “keep[s] climbing into my head without knocking, and you fix yourself there like a map pin, on this ghost of this street where I’m living, I’m in a chrysalis and I’m snowed in” (stream the track below). In ‘Vodka Sorrow’, he sings to the bottom of an empty glass, a place more than a few have been, intoning “vodka sorrow” like a dirge.

Heavily doused in Regan’s brand of metaphor and romanticism, each song roils with imagery that flows through the heart and gives every listener their own personal experience with love. Beautiful to listen to with layers to discover over and over, Regan’s third offering is a stunning testament to a man making music his way. Recorded in a converted barn, he had all his musicians playing live and completed the recording in just 7 days.

Regan describes his current work saying, “my previous record ‘The Shadow of an Empire’ was me looking out of a window at the world. With this one, it’s a clear look in”. Regan’s soul must be full of love lost, beauty and nature, and love found.

8.5/10

This album was just released yesterday in America but has been available digitally in the rest of the world since August 2011 via Heavenly Recordings / Cooperative Music / Downtown. A live performance at the Workmans Club in Ireland by Regan of ‘North Star Lover’, accompanied by the Staves, can be viewed below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsInTJD1U8c[/youtube]

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