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Adrian Crowley — Some Blue Morning

Adrian Crowley — Some Blue Morning [November 10th, 2014]

Adrian Crowley — Some Blue Morning

Ξ→       Crowley achieves a number of interesting and brilliant advances with this collection. The compositions move between sparse dream~state ghost~songs and song~stories to all~out epic numbers with tense nerve~ending strings. We hear essential contributions from members of London string ensemble Geese, cellist Kevin Murphy and singer Katie Kim, amongst others. ‘Some Blue Morning’ was recorded in Dublin with long time friend Steve Shannon.
Ξ→       “Používáním jednoduchých obrysů namísto podrobných, expresivních obrazů, nechávám posluchačovu fantazii, aby přišla na zbytek sama. Je to něco, co jsem si zvykl dělat v průběhu času, kde jsem hledal ekonomii ve všem. Tam, kde jsem chtěl říct nebo napsat něco tak, aby to nebylo trvalé samo o sobě, ale vytvářelo něco jiného ve vaší mysli. Nevím. Svým způsobem se mi líbí představa něčeho, co přichází k životu až ve vaší fantazii právě z podnětu slov a hudby dohromady. Vytvářím pohybující se obraz nebo pocit v hlavě, ale nejsem si nutně vědom úplného dopadu těchto slov, když s tím vycházím nevenek. Někdy se přes popisné pasáže může něco nečekaného dostat do cesty. Je to jako když se toho ukazuje příliš mnoho..., jako kniha s příliš mnoha obrázky; nemůžete si vytvořit svůj vlastní obraz o tom, co čtete.”                                      
Born: 1968, Sliema, Malta
Location: Dublin, Leinster ~ Connacht, Galway City Council, Ireland
Notable instruments: Epiphone Riviera, Fender Telecaster
Album release: November 10th, 2014
Recording date: 2013, 2014
Record Label: Chemikal Underground
Duration:     46:43
01. Some Blue Morning      4:15
02. The Hungry Grass      5:00
03. The Magpie Song      4:57
04. The Stranger      3:59
05. Trouble      3:22
06. The Gift      1:22
07. The Angel      3:05
08. Follow If You Must      3:44
09. The Wild Boar      7:45
10. The Hatchet Song      6:18
11. Golden Palominos      2:56
Ξ      Mary Barnecutt Cello
Ξ      Ted Barnes Hammer Dulcimer
Ξ      Alex Beamont Cello
Ξ      Adrian Crowley Autoharp, Clarinet, Composer, Effects, Engineer, Guitar (Ac.), Guitar (El.), Guitar (Nylon String), Harmonium, Marxophone, Mixing, Omnichord,  Producer, Sax (Alto), Sound Effects, Synthesizer, Vocals
Ξ      Steve Gullick Photography
Ξ      Dave Hingerty Drums
Ξ      Katie Kim Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Ξ      Kenny MacLeod Mastering
Ξ      Kevin Murphy Cello
Ξ      Stephen Shannon Analogue Synthesizer, Chimes, Engineer, Guitar (Baritone), Guitar (Bass), Guitar (Nylon String), Mixing, Organ, Producer, Programming, Synthesizer
Ξ      Vincent Sipprell Viola
Ξ      Emma Smith Violin
Ξ      Michelle So Cello
Band members:
Ξ      Mary Barnecutt — Cello
Ξ      Katie Kim — vocals
Ξ      Jeff Martin — Guitar
Ξ      Steven Shannon — Bass guitar
Ξ      Cillian Mc Donnell — Drums
Ξ      Kevin Murphy — Cello
Ξ      Marja Tuhkanen Gaynor — Viola, violin, viola de gamba, viol
Ξ      Adem Ilhan — Harmonium, vocals, percussion
Ξ      Kate Ellis — Cello
Ξ      Thomas Haugh — Drums, zither
Ξ      Andrew Bushe — Drums
Ξ      Sarah Fox — Bass guitar, double bass, vocals
Ξ      Emma Smith — Violin, vocals
Ξ      Vince Sipprell — Viola
Ξ      Cameron Miller — Bass guitar, double bass, vocals
Ξ      Sarah Jones — Drums
Ξ      Christopher Mayo — Bass guitar
Ξ      James Yorkston — Concertina, guitar, vocals
Ξ      Alex Neilson — Drums
Ξ      Otto Hauser — Drums
Ξ      Jesse Sparhawk — Bass guitar
Ξ      Viking Moses
Ξ      Dave Hingerty — drums
Ξ      Bill Blackmore — flugelhorn, trumpet
•       The Irish Times placed Crowley at number eight in a list of “The 50 Best Irish Acts Right Now” published in April 2009, noting his “majestic songs, rich voice and subtle blend of atmospherics and master~level wordplay”.
•       In a 2005 Rolling Stone interview, Ryan Adams cited Crowley when asked “Who’s the best songwriter that no one’s heard of”.
Choice Music Prize:
•       Long Distance Swimmer was nominated for the Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year 2007 but lost to Super Extra Bonus Party’s Super Extra Bonus Party LP.
Season of the Sparks won the Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year 2009. •   Crowley received a prize of €10,000 cheque. He described himself as “totally flabbergasted”, adding “I didn’t really think it was the sort of record that was going to win awards”. Crowley promised to use the money to fund his music. He was one of eight nominees who performed at the awards ceremony. He is a friend of fellow nominee Valerie Francis.
•   2008      Long Distance Swimmer   Irish Album of the Year 2007     Nominated
•   2010      Season of the Sparks   Irish Album of the Year 2009     Won
•   2013      “I See Three Birds Flying”   Irish album of the year 2012     Nominated
•      Crowley’s style has been compared to that of Bill Callahan, Nick Drake and Tim Buckley, while Irish Independent reviewer Eamon Sweeney has said the singer is “a master of understatement”. The vocals of Noah and the Whale's Charlie Fink are said to be reminiscent of Crowley's. As well as singing Crowley plays the electric guitar and the Rhodes piano; he never plays the acoustic guitar. He experiences music while he sleeps:
•      “Since I started doing music full time, I actually hear it in my sleep and sometimes wake up and wonder who left the stereo on — and it’s really in my head. It’s unbelievable. I think it’s a kind of natural aural hallucination. I’ll hear it as I’m waking — it might wake me. I’ll be dreaming music but then it might take me out of my dream. Once I’m wide awake it’s gone.”
Ξ     Some Blue Morning, the new record by Adrian Crowley, finds one of contemporary folk music’s unsung heroes in fine form on an album that advances his unique sound and eye for detail into new areas while remaining true to himself. With the assistance of long time friend Steve Shannon, who adds numerous instrumental contributions throughout in addition to his input as engineer and producer, Adrian has created his best album to date; it’s a worthy addition to his already impressive back catalogue which augurs well for the future.
Ξ     The title track Some Blue Morning opens the album, a masterclass in cinematic soundtracks for imaginary films with Kevin Murphy’s urgent cello punctuating the hovering drones of harmonium and treated guitars like ghosts of futures past. Katie Kim’s haunting backing vocals wrap around Adrian’s deep, rich vocals as the song unfolds, modulating between minor and major keys. The Hungry Grass builds on the epic widescreen sound blueprint in a tale of barely suppressed passion as Adrian and Katie’s voices entwine, rising and falling like spirit dancers locked in a perfectly synchronised embrace.
Ξ     Lyrically The Magpie Song draws on the age~old superstitions around this beautiful bird as a harbinger of doom but does so in the oblique yet detailed way that is such a hallmark of Adrian’s songwriting. Musically the sense of otherworldliness is almost overwhelming in its subtle power with Emma Smith’s violin and Ted Barnes’ hammered dulcimer filling the middle eight with an air of foreboding.
Ξ     The Stranger, a slow, heartbroken reverie on a love gone bad and the ensuing lonely introspection, is perhaps the most deeply personal lyric on this album and one can’t help wondering if the diverse range of instruments that Adrian plays simply reflect the song’s uncertain intimacy or enhance it. Either way, the result is a riveting listen and one of the highlights of the record.
Ξ     According to Adrian’s sleeve notes, Trouble was “partly inspired by a conversation with two gents after a show in Deventer, Holland” and while it’s to be hoped that this was a civilised discourse and that his words aren’t a euphemism for a punch~up outside the stage door, the outcome is a gently optimistic anticipation of a new friendship. Katie Kim’s vocals and the twin cellos of Kevin Murphy and Mary Barnecutt provide a wonderful backdrop and Adrian’s drily sardonic worldview is glimpsed through one of the finest couplets I’ve heard in a long time:
“And do you have a vacancy
For a ‘wet leaf rail track picker’?”
Ξ     Awash with shimmering, treated guitars and Adrian’s delicate clarinet motif, The Gift is a short instrumental interlude which sets the scene for the lyrical afterglow of The Angel. In contrast to the gentleness of Adrian’s words, there’s a distinctly abrasive edge to the unusual musical arrangement of three cellos (Kevin Murphy, Alex Beamont, Michelle So) with a glittering hammered dulcimer (Ted Barnes) cutting through the surprisingly ominous atmosphere. Follow If You Must ponders the uncertainties of personal relationships and, like The Stranger, finds Adrian playing a multiplicity of instruments to dramatic effect. Katie Kim’s vocals are shrouded in reverb like wreaths of smoke from the last bonfire of autumn as Dave Hingerty’s drums beat a slow retreat.
Ξ     The undoubted centrepiece of the record comes with The Wild Boar, which taps into the ancient Celtic myths that appear throughout our shared cultural folk memories. In The Mabinogion he appears as Twrch Trwyth (Triath in Irish mythology), an enchanted wild boar in the Arthurian legend of Culhwch and Olwen. The story is updated here for the twenty~first century but its telling is no less enthralling — particularly as Adrian delivers the lyric as a spoken~word recitation over a sparse instrumental arrangement which slowly gathers in intensity to create a compelling dreamlike atmosphere for this hugely evocative allegory for our times.
Ξ     The Hatchet Song returns to the theme of love and the extremes of emotion and passion it can generate. Adrian’s fingerstyle guitar is the perfect complement to the lyrical bitter pill while the strings of Emma Smith (violin) and Vincent Sipprell (viola) add the perfect measure of sweetness. The record concludes with the perfectly placed Golden Palominos and its retrospective look at the inevitable passing of our lives; despite this potentially gloomy subject, the major key arrangement turns the song into an uplifting and positive closer.
Ξ     As the autumn chill tightens its grip and the days grow shorter, Some Blue Morning is the perfect accompaniment to an evening curled up by the fireside. From sweeping sonic panoramas to ethereal tales imbued with an almost ghostly presence, this is a record whose heart and soul burn with a heat and passion that will keep you warm through the long dark nights of the advancing winter. :: http://www.folkradio.co.uk/
Ξ    Adrian Crowley captures life as insightfully as any contemporary Irish songwriter does. The Galway native has steered a trusty course throughout his career, each album a musical progression yet anchored by that commanding, sonorous voice and reflective, evocative lyric~poems that bind love, life and nature together. Strings play a more prominent role than ever before on his seventh album, elevating the opening title track to an uplifting finale, dancing lithely through The Hungry Grass, galloping through The Angel and punctuating the soft waltz of The Stranger. Spoken word track The Wild Boar is a highlight, but the whole record is a blissful, rich, cinematic soundtrack to autumn and winter that is bracing and snug in all the right places."
In french:
Ξ     Nouvel album du singer songwriter irlandais qui par moments fait penser a  Leonard Cohen. A découvrir.
•  Adrian Crowley has released seven albums.
Ξ  A Strange Kind (1999)
Ξ  When You Are Here You Are Family (2002)
Ξ  A Northern Country (2004)
Ξ  Long Distance Swimmer (2007)
Ξ  Season of the Sparks (2009)
Ξ  I See Three Birds Flying (2012)
Ξ  Some Blue Morning (November 10th, 2014)
Bandcamp: http://adriancrowley.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.adriancrowley.com/
MySpace: https://myspace.com/adriancrowley
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrian.crowley.5
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adrian-Crowley/1497023113844535
INTERVIEW, Written by: Ian Maleney: http://totallydublin.ie/music/music-features/the-simple-fact-of-loving-to-tell-a-story-adrian-crowley-interviewed/

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