A curious, often fascinating return from the Irish songwriter...
'The Curious Hand'

Inquisitive Irish-born talent Seamus Fogarty joins Domino for his new album ‘The Curious Hand’, and the title is no mere joke – it’s a highly curious, always fascinating affair.

The County Mayo songwriter served warning with his debut full length ‘God Damn You Mountain’, but this new selection deepens his idiosyncrasies and adds refreshing new elements.

Opening track ‘Short Ballad For A Long Man’ delves into tall tales and rabid mythology, the wheezing woodwind and drawn out strings providing supple bed for his reeling, rollicking vocal.

‘Van Gogh’s Ear’ is a whiskey soaked lamentation, while the somnambulist waltz of ‘The Curious Hand’ affords plenty of space for freewheeling fiddle and a softly moving spoken word sample.

The cooperation of Leo Abrahams adds thrilling new elements to Seamus Fogarty’s aural palette. ‘St John’s Square’ is a curious 90 second vignette of distorted electronics and inverted organic samples, as far away from ‘singer-songwriter’ tropes as it’s possible to get.

Together, the pair seem to delight in breaking down barriers and building them anew. Check out the whimsical audio surrealism of ‘Tommy The Cat’ for yet more evidence – part detuned guitar meditation and part Bagpuss theme it ends with borrowed samples from an Irish gala.

A rich, fascinating, and perplexing album, ‘The Curious Hand’ continually deals out new and unexpected elements, stretching Seamus’ until it breaks into the spirit of fanciful experimentation.

Suitably, it ends on one of the album’s most straightforward notes, with ‘Number 1’ offering the following, rather wry, advice:

“Finding a good woman is like writing a good song / First it sounds amazing but soon there’s something wrong…”

8/10

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