Ciaran Lavery: Not Nearly Dark

review lavery x1 cong

The Press notes compare Lavery to Fionn Regan, which is good: we thought that, too. Regan is an Irish singer/songwriter with a distinctive voice who wrote good tunes — try Be Good Or Be Gone or Underwood Typewriter.
We played this and Regan’s debut back to back and Regan has the edge vocally, possessing a plaintive quality that Lavery’s more workaday voice lacks. Lavery has a beefier sound, though. This isn’t meant to be a review of Regan’s debut from nine years ago but we were captivated by Regan in a way that we’re not with this, though “not captivated” is hardly a criticism. On the other hand, Lavery’s music stands being on repeat better, which more captivating music often does not.
It’s an evocative acoustic pop / folk album, and is more than just one man and his guitar, with instruments fleshing it all out. Opener Little More Time is at the pop end of his range (and opens and closes with a drum sample — maybe an in-joke for old fans?). Track two Lovers Who Make Love is more mournful and perhaps more typical. We also liked American, mournful and with slow brass, with the stand-out possibly Awful Love, a more urgent song with kick drum driving it along.
His track Shame has had nine million plays on YouTube — if they translate to sales, this should sell as many as Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory (8.5m), Coldplay’s X&Y (8.3m) or the Frozen soundtrack (10m). He wishes.
Fans of Fionn Regan should just buy this; lovers of acoustic folk (from Damian Rice to Donovan, though there’s less of the pixie to him than Donovan) should seriously think about this as a Christmas treat for them-selves. Put this in a teacup and give it a spin, as he nearly says on one track.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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