‘A Glorious Ruction’, the third studio album from Anna’s Anchor, is a long player framed by an interesting and unique concept that sees Marty Ryan develop and progress not only as songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, but also as producer and engineer.
As Ryan outlined in his recent interview with us, each track on the album is timed around different stages of the famous Three Bridges Walk in Limerick city, with a dual narrative that not only reflects his thoughts on the local surroundings, but one which also explores much deeper elements of the human experience.
The album begins with Shannon Bridge, a song of indie pop perfection, which just might be the most complete Anna’s Anchor track to date, with expertly layered elements that delight. The chorus suggests the majesty of the river and the search for hope where there is only doubt “Drag me across the river, to see that there is a glimmer”. Sarsfield Bridge provides a perfect companion piece to the album opener and again features Claire O’Brien’s exemplary backing vocals.
A more sedate mood is struck on Sky is Closer and the gentle interlude Falls, quiet, reflective creations constructed around Ryan’s delicate acoustic guitar play.
We are then treated to a powerfully emotive double of A Treaty of Sorts and Thomond Bridge, with both tracks featuring sublime synths and keys, a feature throughout the record, a new bow in Ryan’s armoury expertly utilised.
Derelict brings the album to a heart-aching close, but as with the opening track there is a sliver of hopefulness even where all seems lost “The dream is over, it’s totally fucked, but I survived this year”, with beautifully resonating melancholic strings provided by Justin Grounds.
‘A Glorious Ruction’ is an album that not only sees a river run through it, but also the heartbeat of an artist who’s musical ambition and maturity shines through.