Highlights: 100 Acres Of Sycamore, The Lake District, For A Nightingale, 1st Day Of May
It strikes me how people can get all wet about Bon Iver (whose latest is so bland and washed-out it barely exists) and never hear or care about someone like Fionn Regan. But then there’s nothing hip, beardie or neo-folkie-like about this man – just plenty of class and masterful, truly timeless sounding songs.
Fionn comes from Ireland, and his folk music is explicitly cold, desolate, but with a great touch of poignant melancholia and beauty. With song titles like “Woodberry Cemetery” and lyrics like “there’ll be hell to pay in heaven”, it’s all extremely evocative, moody and romantic – strongly reminiscent of Nick Drake in terms of atmosphere and elegant, Bryter Layter-style orchestration. But by far the best thing about 100 Acres Of Sycamore is how it keeps revealing itself with time – all those beautiful piano and guitar lines, understated melodies, gorgeous vocal tones.
I’ve gone a long way with one – from thinking it’s a nice little autumnal record to actually considering it a nice little modern-day folk classic. Even if there’s so little ‘modern-day’ about it.