Pierce Turner: Terrible Good review – seeking majesty in the mundane

Hope is part of Turner’s philosophy, along with an everyday kind of romance

Teerible Good
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Artist: Pierce Turner
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: StorySound

The songs for Turner’s new record came over a four year period, resulting in collaboration with Bowie alumnus, guitarist Gerry Leonard. The impulse for the record can be found in its title, using “a negative out of context with the positive”, something that is a recurrent theme on Terrible Good, that sense that life always contains a duality.

Musically, this duality is born out in many ways. For example, on Love Never Fails, where Leonard’s guitar resembles an oboe. A highlight of the album, with its shanty-like sway, and scuzzy rock underpinning, it plays like a worn Irish ballad, stumbling out into the 21st century light, with its resonant message about hope being worn as a “crown”.

Hope is part of Turner’s philosophy, along with romance, the everyday kind, whether being “filled up on Chopin” as on the early-Pavement-meets-late-Television Love of Angels, the ambient guitar and strings on the bittersweet Where It Should Be, the ramped up playfulness on Australia, the swirling doo-wop rockiness of Don’t Get Too Fallen, or through revisiting older compositions such as Stephen, and More.

This record seeks to find grace, at times folding in the spacier end of the Stones, and the sensual R&B aesthetic of Marvin Gaye, but other less obvious artists also come to mind, sometimes Paddy McAloon, and sometimes Elvis Costello, maverick artists who often seek the majesty in the seemingly mundane, as Turner so deftly does.

Siobhán Kane

Siobhán Kane is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in culture