Long awaited return of the Co. Laois troubadour Davie Furey
Release Date: 19th February 2021
County Laois singer/songwriter Davie Furey has built quite a reputation for himself. His 2015 debut album, Easy Come Easy Go, sent ripples across Ireland, Britain, Europe and quite a bit of the rest of the world too. Now he’s back with his long-awaited follow-up and it’s a gem! The new album, Haunted Streets, has already gained deserved plaudits from such luminaries as Christy Moore, Donovan and Luka Bloom and singles Secret Light, Flames On The River, Fire and Gold, The Final Frontier and now Who Am I have all featured highly in the Irish Singer/Songwriter and Rock Download charts to serve notice of what we are about to receive.
For this new album, Davie has managed to assemble an all-star cast that reads like a Who’s Who of Irish music: Steve Wickham (The Waterboys), Darren Holden (The High Kings), ELLYD, Susan O’Neill, Clare Sands, Robbie Campion, Martin Quinn, Andrew Quinn and Francie Conway all provide their inputs and the result is a widely varied collection of songs that cover all bases from a full-on U2/Springsteen sound, via intimate Celtic-flavoured ballads to simple acoustic guitar songs. There truly is something for everyone here.
Opening track Flames On The River starts proceedings at the more bombastic end of Davie’s musical spectrum. To a backing of throbbing bass and steady, understated guitar, the song is a covert swipe at Trump’s desecration of America’s reputation. In comparison, Secret Light simmers along with acoustic guitar and military-styled drums highlighted by the occasional crashing electric guitar chord and some tasteful vocal embellishments from ELLYD – all contributing that a tune that gets right under the skin, even after a single listen.
Things are stripped right back for Farewell Returning Blues; a laid-back piece in which the piano, acoustic guitar and brushed drums provide the perfect accompaniment to Davie’s vocal. Indeed, it’s worth mentioning here that Davie’s vocals are an outstanding feature throughout the album. He doesn’t attempt to conceal his wonderful Irish accent and his mellow tones remind me very much of Christy Moore or Kieran Halpin.
Just Like The Wind is another soft acoustic number with some exquisite woodwind touches and lead single, Who Am I is simply wonderful – almost hymnal with a strong Celtic feel – and the song is topped off by a beautiful violin solo.
Fire And Gold, another of the singles that have already been extracted, is anthemic, poppy and commercially appealing and sounds like it will be a great crowd-pleaser once we get back to live performance and the soft, intimate The Ghost in Me is rounded off by more wonderful violin. Spaces Full is an enjoyable and lively stomper before we get to The Final Frontier, yet another of the album’s singles and, at least in my opinion, the album’s crowning glory. It’s a slow-burning rocker, spiced up by some excellent electric guitar licks and awesome violin flourishes from Clare Sands.
And we’re still not done! The Magic Of The Ocean tackles the impact that climate change is having on the world’s oceans, with the message double-underlined by some lovely flute and guest vocal passages, before things are wrapped up by the acoustic folk song, The Music Man.
Haunted Streets is an excellent album from a singer/songwriter who is clearly going places. The songs are melodic and mature and Davie’s songwriting is versatile and insightful. On the evidence of this album, I’d also expect that his live performances are something special too. A planned 2020 tour of Ireland, the UK, Germany and the US has been shelved, but rescheduled dates are being planned and I for one will be there when the touring resumes!
Listen to The Final Frontier from the album here: