Lyndsey Lawlor – Dearest Philistine: Invigorating spoken word from Tallaght

Dearest Philistine
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Artist: Lyndsey Lawlor
Genre: Alternative
Label: Self-released

There have been so many exponents of the half-spoken, half-sung art of sprechstimme in recent times (more often than not blokes), it appears that Mark E Smith of The Fall has become as influential as Lou Reed. This makes it genuinely refreshing to hear a female artist approach spoken word in such an invigorating and radical way.

Lyndsey Lawlor from Tallaght released an EP last year called Sake. Its initial promise is now followed by her debut album, Dearest Philistine, a record that is simultaneously beautiful, confessional, angry, confused, but most of all, human.

Calling/Art is Pain opens Dearest Philistine with a meditation on creativity. Large swathes of society at large still associate art with the conventional practices of drawing and painting, a weekend hobby rather than a genuine artistic pursuit, let alone a viable (or desirable) career.

Electronic soundscape

“Art is everybody’s calling, they just don’t know it yet,” affirms Lawlor over a brilliant electronic soundscape produced by Gary O’Reilly. The precarious perils of artists, poverty, politics, class and the gentrification of Dublin (or what Lawlor calls “the death of Dublin’s heart”) all inform this brilliant debut album.


While there is certainly some kinship with For Those I Love, Dearest Philistine is a statement of singular intent. Lawlor’s concerns are highly pertinent, offering firm evidence that the future belongs to young artists like Lyndsey Lawlor.

It’s up to the rest of us to fight to get them heard.