Little Hours: Now the Lights Have Changed – More Ed Sheeran than Van Morrison
Now the Lights Have Changed
Sony Music Ireland
He began his career in music as a Phil Lynott-loving bass player in cover bands in his native Killybegs, Co Donegal. These days, John Doherty is pitching for stadiums with his glossy brand of emotive folk-pop.
Formerly part of a duo featuring guitarist Ryan McCloskey, the piano-playing songwriter is going it alone for his debut album, packed with lovelorn ballads that are all variations on a very similar theme.
Doherty may cite the likes of John Martyn and Van Morrison as influences, but these songs sound more like OneRepublic and Ed Sheeran. Moody production, gospel-inflected backing vocals and Doherty’s swarthy voice dominate the indistinguishable Walk on By and Lost Boys.
Little Hours - Dream, Girl
The best songs are the ones where everything is pulled back and softened just a smidge; you can even heard his Donegal lilt on standout Favourite Clothes, while How Could I Love You provides a welcome change of tempo.
Little Hours are undoubtedly gunning for big things with this album, but it sounds like Doherty still needs time to find his own unique voice. It’s in here somewhere, even if it’s smothered by overcooked and overplayed songs.