Music is an art; there is no denying that. And Art is supposed to make you ponder, make you think and encourage a nod of appreciation. That is exactly what happens when you listen to Mullingar man, Peter Doran‘s album, ‘Overhead The Stars’.
Doran’s talent is showcased in an eclectic, likeable Album. Beginning with Perfumed Letter, Doran allows the listener to ease into the album with an evocative, musically perfect song complete with lyrics in which most people will find some familiar emotions. From the simple and delicate electric guitar to the atmospheric piano, this song was made for a live performance and it is hard not to imagine oneself absorbing the thumping and urgent drumbeat and Doran’s delightfully raspy vocals from a bar stool in a crowded pub.
While clearly gifted at creating what you might call an ambient and mood-lifting song, Doran is not averse to writing and singing a softer, more stripped-down track such as Every Little Thing; a summer-soaked acoustic affair. This song would have accompanied a lazy summer’s day perfectly, had the Island of Ireland been graced with such a blissful occurrence this year. It is totally bare except for a rolling acoustic guitar, tender and intermittent piano and softly sung lyrics. Doran’s voice has previously sounded raspy on the album, this track makes it comparable to that of David Gray’s; sung from the throat and hanging over certain words in nasally held notes.
The opposite of Every Little Thing is the faster paced, lurking track, Out of Here. Doran’s ominous rasp appears again in this track accompanied by warped and distorted guitar and a beat so compelling it would take a lot of might not to tap your foot along to the chorus. The song is not a happy one; it is wreaking of frustration and anxiety which adds to its overall awkward charm. The highlight of the album is Julia. There are not enough synonyms of the word ‘beautiful’ to describe this song adequately.
It is touching, with hypnotically mournful guitar and a ballad-like drum pattern. It tells the story of a playful and loving relationship so wonderfully through the medium of delicate music and poetic lyrics that, when listening, you feel obliged to sit still and imagine the ordinary yet romantic scenario being delivered through the speakers. It is in stark contrast to the anxiousness of Out of Here proving that Peter Doran has the rare gift of conveying multiple emotions through a remarkable talent.
Doran’s music is no doubt made for the stage and recordings do not do justice to his admirable talent, however this album is not only enjoyable but thought-provoking. These days it is rare to come across an album or Album you can easily listen to from start to finish. With thousands of songs available on one device it takes a special set of songs to keep a listener interested for the entirety of a record and that is exactly what ‘Overhead The Stars’ does. It’s a beautiful, varied, incredibly written and artistic collection of songs.