Heard A Long Gone Song
[River Lee Records]
On her fourth record, Heard A Long Gone Song, Lisa O’Neill shares stories of Irish experiences sung colloquially and rich in traditional flourishes. Combining original material with acquired songs from the ages, namely The Lass of Aughrim and The Galway Shawl, O’Neill’s treatment of each composition is respectful to the folk canon upon which she draws from.
A range of revered musicians including Lankum’s Radie Peat, Cormac Begley and Christophe Capewell feature throughout, adding gorgeous harmonies and arrangements to the songs. If you close your eyes whilst listening to the record, you can easily place yourself in a cosy corner of a pub, comforted by the communal spirit synonymous to a Sunday evening musical session.
There is an instant familiarity on the tracks as O’Neill guides her listener through Dublin, capturing the essence of the city in Along The North Stand, Rock the Machine and The Factory Girl. On the latter, her lungs are full, her tone deeply expressive. The distinct beauty of her vocal range is displayed in the highs and lows of the ballad.
Pared-back instrumentation dominants the soundscape of Heard A Long Gone Song making it an intensely intimate listening experience. The nine tracks are challenging, at times, but always rich in specificity and heart.
Words: Zara Hedderman
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