Adrian Crowley review: Deep in the Leonard Cohen zone

Fri, Oct 6, 2017, 05:00


Dark Eyed Messenger

Adrian Crowley

Chemikal Underground

Singer / Songwriter

Working with Thomas Bartlett (Doveman, The Gloaming), Adrian Crowley’s eighth album stands apart from his previous work. Recorded over four days, Dark Eyed Messenger is a collection of atmospheric mood pieces, Crowley’s baritone supported by Bartlett’s piano and a host of distorted noises, lonely strings and pulse-like beats.

It’s the Galway native’s closest approximation of a Leonard Cohen album; the music a sparse, unshowy vehicle for the studied lyrics. At his most compelling, Crowley’s gift for storytelling casts a magnetic spell: a runaway’s letter of apology on the sublime Halfway to Andalucia, the cutting metamorphosis of Silver Birch Tree and the vivid memory-puzzle captured in The Photographs.

An icy facade pervades much of the material, cooling Crowley’s warm timbre and making Dark Eyed Messenger a curiously stoical affair.