Adrian Crowley: Dark Eyed Messenger – bad news about love, beautifully delivered

Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 04:00


Dark Eyed Messenger

Adrian Crowley

Chemikal Underground


You can’t be anything but still when listening to Adrian Crowley’s Dark Eyed Messenger. It weighs on your heart, with pangs of despair, as the Dublin-based singer-songwriter narrates the crushing devastation that love can bring.

The album is produced by Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett, who will be familiar to most from his work with Sufjan Stevens, Martha Wainwright and The Gloaming, so the emotive drive is powerful, if not chilling, throughout. 

Isolated piano chords open the album on The Wish. “You are the cloak and you are the dagger/You are the strange and the stranger/You are the wish and you are the fountain/You are the dare and you are the danger,” he sings in his deep, guttural voice, as strings subtly build up to a crescendo.

If it was your friend, you’d warn them not to fall so hard, but Crowley is in the thick of this all-consuming love. He refers to the “perfume ghost that trails along the avenue”, on Little Breath, and the ways in which relationships can haunt us long after they’ve ended. 

The (very) faint optimism on Still This Desire, which details the indestructible nature of love and passion, is the light at the end of a very long and very dark tunnel.