Do you have room in your life for another Irish singer/songwriter? If you’re inclined to say ‘no’, who could really blame you? It’s a saturated market in which artists come and go with the frequency and effectiveness of a one season cop show.
However, every once in a while, somebody breaks through the herd with something of undeniable quality and Conchúr White’s ‘Swirling Violets’ is such a moment. The Armagh man’s debut album ‘Swirling Violets’ is a dazzling delight of power pop-infused Americana. There’s a surrealist coming-of-age vibe to much of the material with the influence of The Byrds and Mercury Rev clearly woven throughout the album’s 11 tracks.
At times it feels like entering an alternative universe where Youth Lagoon’s Trevor Powers is adding electronic flourishes to a secret Teenage Fanclub album we’ll never be lucky enough to hear. ‘501’s’ shimmers in memoriam to the innocence of unrequited childhood fantasies, while ‘I Did Good Today’ is propelled by White’s insecurities and palpable need for validation.
The album’s title-track casts off the bell and whistles to further showcase White’s considerable abilities with a breathtakingly simple love song which wouldn’t appear out of place on an Andy Shauf or Benjamin Francis Leftwich album.
‘Swirling Violets’ is the finest album to come out of Northern Ireland in quite some time and should establish Conchúr White alongside CMAT in the new vanguard of Irish songwriters.