‘I Love You To Death’ is the latest offering from Naas, Co. Kildare based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and P Affection front man Padraig McCauley. The LP is McCauley’s third, following on from his 2015 effort ‘Shakin’ and 2014’s ‘Masks’. Under his Disconcerting P moniker, McCauley has built a reputation for old school pop melodies, jangly guitars and clever, charming lyrics; and the appropriately titled “I Love You To Death” is no different.
The album opens with Woman & Man, a tender, lighthearted, acoustic based song declaration of love and its importance in the inevitable face of mortality. McCauley’s fondness for retro sounds are on full display here, the song peppered with country-leaning lap-steel guitars and keys.
This is followed by a song as aptly-named as the LP that gave it a home; In The Clouds With You, a hazy, dreamlike track that if not for it’s length could be considered an interlude. The lyrics are overtly simplistic; a mere repetition of the title drenched in reverb. Just as you think the track has drifted away to a finish; it comes floating back in for a brief moment.
A highlight of the LP is the life-affirming This Is Your Life, in which McCauley introduces a number of landmark and pressing topics that have come along over the course of modern history and continue to pose questions in contemporary society (“female contraception/paying debt collectors/honest information/suicide prevention…”) as the song unravels, building to a crescendo of thoughts before returning to the album’s central theme: “to love without condition”.
McCauley is not one to shy away from his influences. There are elements of Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura and at a push, Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club – whose charm is an obvious and complimentary point of comparison – to be heard over this LP’s 8 tracks. Yes, it is twee fair; but it is incredibly difficult to dislike. The themes are too positive, the moods too cheerful.
It is admittedly a rather twee affair, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Under the Disconcerting P moniker, McCauley has crafted a deliberate sound and vision that is obviously close to his own heart, and should be commended for it.