The Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell
It’s been ten years since Kevin Herm Connolly’s debut album Monsters – but the development of the Galway musician’s sound and style on his newly released second record seems worthy of a decade. Make It Up, the Ballinasloe native’s brand new ten-track LP, is refined and contemplative – it is the work of a mature artist who has gradually cultivated a style befitting his ability.
The album is largely minimalist. Connolly adds weight to his lyrics by giving them space to breathe and settle.
For much of the upcoming single, I’m Still in Love with You, his words sit alone atop the gentle strums of an acoustic guitar and the eventual introduction of slow, melodic lead is made more powerful as a result.
The same can be said for the album’s title track – while the guitars blend and harmonise early in the song, it is the introduction of strings at the halfway point that turns Make It Up into a full, well-rounded piece.
The album is tied together by Connolly’s drawling, raspy vocals that sound simultaneously smooth and on the verge of breaking throughout.
The lyrics tie into the tone of the vocals which are often resigned and forlorn. There is, however, an underlying optimism on the record – the singer seems to acknowledge the depth and sadness of some of the experiences that have inspired his songs without totally dwelling on them.
That sense of hope comes to the fore in the album’s livelier tracks. Lemon Bee, a vibrant indie-rock number, opens with the line ‘Come walk with me in the mud’.
■ Make It Up by Kevin Herm Connolly is available now on all major streaming platforms.
This is a preview only, for the full article, see this week’s Tribune
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