Anamoe Drive: Breakfast in Bed – Like all your treasured singer-songwriters put through a sonic wringer

Thumper singer Oisín Leahy Furlong’s debut solo album is the yin to Thumper’s yang, a delicate, un-self-pitying collection of heartbreak songs

Breakfast in Bed
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Artist: Anamoe Drive
Genre: Folk/pop
Label: Faction Records

We’re more used to seeing Oisín Leahy Furlong fling himself about onstage and roar into a microphone as other members of his band, Thumper, produce a maelstrom of paint-stripping guitar noise. Now that Thumper are back in songwriting mode, Leahy Furlong has recorded a batch of acoustic songs under the Anamoe Drive moniker that he had been mulling over for several years. They are the yin to Thumper’s yang, that’s for sure, but whoever said that whispering doesn’t carry the same weight as shouting was wrong.

The name Breakfast in Bed, which Leahy Furlong describes as a three-section collection of heartbreak songs, can signify a range of things, from the solitariness of reading a book, scrolling on a smartphone or simply thinking about the night before and the day ahead to a shared experience of chatting, relaxing or just flicking crumbs off the sheets. The songwriter says the title also doubles as the place where the songs were written, poised on the edge, guitar in hands, recapping events that move “between the throes of heartbreak to the bliss of new love, from the depths of loneliness to the slow dissipating of these feelings in the rear-view mirror”. In other words, life sucks, but writing it down and making something of it is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

Heartache is writ large in every song, but such a range of subtle and deftly outlined emotions is involved that nothing on Breakfast in Bed, which was produced by Rian Trench, sounds self-pitying or absurdly tearful. Songs such as Out Like a Light, Goodbye & Goodluck, Procrastination, The Finder’s Keeper and Holiday Song come across like your most treasured singer-songwriters (who might include Nick Drake, Conor Oberst, Phoebe Bridgers, Neil Young and Lennon and McCartney) put through a sonic wringer with the likes of Radiohead, Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins.

The outcome is a delicate deviation suffused with deep regret and (as highlighted on the closing song, Don’t Walk the Wrong One Home), obvious warmth.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture