Sound is the new album from Niall Connolly – an album of songs written from the perspective of a life less ordinary. The Cork songwriter has spent the last six years in New York City, breathing deeply and soaking up the myriad influences of one of the world’s greatest and most vibrant cities.
The album was recorded with Connolly’s regular live band, featuring performances by Manchester-born songwriter, Warren Malone, Brandon Wilde (Black Bunny, This Way), Len Monachello (All Night Chemists, This Way) and Dennis Cronin ( Lambchop, Josh Rouse, Camera Obscura, Vic Chestnutt).
Similar to many great Irish songwriters, Connolly has always managed to convey the personal in a manner that allowed his listeners to feel included; to take something from his songs that we could call our own, while also feeling that we were sharing an insight into a life worth considering.
Sound takes us in new directions, however. Years of touring the US and Europe, meeting new people, confronting different cultures, has brought both the songwriter and listener to a point where we are now sharing these songs with a far larger number of people.
In the words of the songwriter: “Some of the songs are imagined biographies, or rather chapters of biographies of people I’ve never known. The album is full of curiosity – about the lives, personalities and circumstances of the fleeting encounters with countless people. The people who, in a way, make all the things I do worth doing.”
Whether it is his observations on the financial wasteland of the West (‘Lily of the Mohawks’) or the erosion of common decency around our world (‘Come Back to the Table’), Connolly, writes intelligently and with extraordinary clarity about some of the issues of our day.
Far from lecturing, however, Connolly’s songs contain hope and no shortage of a dry Irish wit. Take ‘Brooklyn Sky’, where ‘Mohammed and Jacob and Jesus are all kicking in the basement playing Bluegrass tunes’. In an imagined world where this can happen, surely anything is possible?
Niall returns to Ireland in April for a series of gigs, followed by more UK and USA dates to promote Sound.
Wednesday April 17 – Bewley’s Theatre, Dublin
Thursday April 18 – Bewley’s Theatre, Dublin
Friday April 19 – Geallach Gorm Theatre Singer Songwriter Festival,Kill, Waterford,
Saturday April 20 – The Half Moon Theatre, Cork
Sunday April 21 – The Crane Bar, Galway