Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Tune of the Week – “The Wishing Seat”

Quiet: master at work The last time Adrian Crowley launched an album, there were maybe 30 people in the house. It was Whelan’s on a Sunday night in late 2007, the singer-songwriter was fighting the flu and not many people …

Thu, Apr 23, 2009, 10:35

   

Quiet: master at work

The last time Adrian Crowley launched an album, there were maybe 30 people in the house. It was Whelan’s on a Sunday night in late 2007, the singer-songwriter was fighting the flu and not many people seemed to be feeling one thing or the other about “Long Distance Swimmer”, the album in question. That was understandable: it was Crowley’s fourth album, the previous three hadn’t really set the world alight and no-one in their right mind releases a new album in December.

Last night in Dublin’s Sugar Club, though, was a different matter. This time, Crowley was launching his new album “Season of the Sparks” on the back of the best media reaction and word-of-mouth buzz of his career. Thanks to people falling for “Long Distance Swimmer” in the months after its release, he’s now firmly on the map.

It’s amazing what that sort of feedback can do for a performer. Last night, Crowley was confident and assured, able to joke and communicate with the audience without losing the run of himself or his show. Backed by three-quarters of Halfset, he played a goodly number of songs from the new album, showed off an effects pedal he acquired in New York which turns his guitar into an organ and seemed to be having a whale of a time. Best of all, his actual performance indicates that he has moved up several levels in one bound. From apprentice to grandmaster, that kind of thing.

Most of all, the new songs (like “The Wishing Seat”) punctuate this move. They’re stately, sublime and subtle, awash with this masterly wordcraft and a knowledge that you don’t have to over-emphasise a phrase or an idea to make it work. Crowley has come of age.

You can hear the album in full here, read an interview with Crowley here or watch the video for “The Wishing Seat” below. “Season of the Sparks” is released in Ireland on May 1 and he plays Galway’s Roisin Dubh tonight and Cork’s Cyprus Avenue on Saturday night.

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