Cork musician and songwriter Eoin French has experienced a rollercoaster ride over the past five years. The success of his 2017 debut album, Wild Alee, prised him away from his drawing board (he’s an architect by trade) and introduced his gentle, mercurial music to a wider audience not only on home turf but also in the UK and Europe.
French’s second album, 2019′s Far Out Dust, broadened his reach even further as it took him on tour itineraries with the likes of Dermot Kennedy and performing on the same stage as Bon Iver. Other, perhaps more commercially minded songwriters might have taken the hint that playing in front of large numbers of people can help shift music, Spotify streams and merchandise, but French’s third album doesn’t play those games.
Those fully acquainted with Talos’s material will know it comprises pop songs but as not we know them, yet across Dear Chaos the familiar is disrupted even more with beautiful touches that subliminally remind the listener of Sigur Ros, the Blue Nile, Radiohead and other not necessarily niche music acts but certainly those that aren’t staples of daytime radio play. Not that French, or we, should care about that; songs such as Farewell/Kamikaze, Spinning Away, Meridians, Dance Against the Calm, and Crows (a remarkably sublime outing with Lisa Hannigan) are certifiable proof that he is waiting patiently in the undergrowth to pounce.