Fionn Regan exited stage left with 2012’s ‘The Bunkhouse Vol.1: Anchor Black Tattoo’ album, vanishing from the social media mad world soon after with the stealthy precision of Kaiser Soze. Regan has clearly used his time out of the spotlight wisely. His fifth album ‘The Meetings of the Waters’ – perhaps his best to date – is an entrancing, luscious stream of ethereal folktronica, considered ballads, curious instrumentals and almost rock n’ roll.
Titular single Meetings of the Waters opens the ephemeral dam with a flutter of keys before a hypnotic rhythm figure sets the scene for Regan’s poetic lyricism to thrive. “Pulled a Rainbow from my skull and said look alive” declares Regan in the opening line of Cormorant Bird, signalling the heady journey to follow with the impressive interplay between acoustic guitars as our sonic guide. Turn The Blue Skies On is perhaps the most traditionally Regan track on the album, relying simply on his guitar and his voice. By now it’s clear that the album is laid out in such a way that the each subsequent track is slightly more sonically robust than the last, beginning with the woozy and slowly crystalizing into focus.
Cape Of Diamonds screams radio thanks to its Snow Patrol-esque chorus of “Think I’m haunted by you lover” and will surely take over your stations in the not too distant future due to its unadulterated anthemic feel. Similarly, Book of the Moon pushes the needle slightly further with a pulsating drum beat and octave piano line. Despite the slow thickening of sound it is still unexpected when Babushka-Yai Ya delivers a distorted boppy ode to Kate Bush before the sound collapses for a dip into the instrumental river with Ai, which Regan returns to for the album’s hypnotic 12-minute closer, Tsuneni Ai (Always Love).
But first the album experiences a three song coda that retraces its earlier steps. The dreamy Wall Of Silver is followed by the considered ballad Euphoria, culminating with synth rocker Up into The Rafters which echoes The Killers and The Flaming Lips.
‘The Meetings of the Waters’ is a solid comeback from Fionn Regan and a timely reminder of his talent as a songwriter and lyricist. Even the most immediate songs on the album reveal themselves slowly over the course of repeated listens. Intentionally or not, Fionn Regan has laid down a marker for his fellow singer-songwriters to follow in 2017 with ‘The Meetings of the Waters’.