FLEAS & DIAMONDS
Irish songwriter Chris McConaghy aka Our Krypton Son is back on our turntables March 10th with sophomore album ‘Fleas & Diamonds’.
An album conceived over two days, from a tent pitched in an abandoned building on his daughter’s toy guitar in the harsh terrains of Ireland’s Creeslough – Chris wrote in his diaries ‘It’s bloody freezing and I’m shivering. Shivering with the starling, shaking with the gorse bush but I’m here to write an album, this village and I.’
That ‘village’ produced a unique set which are introspective, otherworldly and hopelessly romantic. The album is, ‘A song cycle about rebirth, the first growl of love and its final wheeze, the squalor and the glamour of it, one season giving way to another.’
‘Fleas & Diamonds’ is a cathartic experience for both listener and singer. Across its 46 minutes and 47 seconds are moments of profound beauty, honesty and truth. On leaving the desolate turf of Creeslough behind Chris writes ‘There are pearls in them depths’. Seemingly, twelve songs worth.
His self-titled debut album was produced by Sam Williams (Supergrass, The Go Team) and released in 2013 to great acclaim. McConaghy has shared the stage with acts including Snow Patrol, Hozier, dEUS, Two Door Cinema Club, Alabama 3 and performed coveted slots at T Vital and Other Voices in Dingle.
LISTEN TO THE FULL ALBUM
“Exquisite, emotionally potent songwritingwith crushingly resonant lyrics. Our Krypton Son could prove himself to be of the best songwriters ever to come out of this country”
Echoes of Neil Hannon, Richard Hawley, Scott Walker, Magnetic Fields and Leonard Cohen.
A compelling gem of a record. 8/10
One of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard.”
“Classic, often understated pop songs”
Album highlight, ‘Everything Reminds Me of You’, is driven by a rhythmical beating heart, its lush orchestral moments and sweeping vocal harmonies are anchored by Chris’s characteristic, yearning vocal style. On ‘Relics’ grinding electric guitars, buzzing synths, multi-layered harmonies and a sombre, unwavering vocal force reminiscences of your first love and the fragility of all our relationships. ‘Can’t Make You Come Back’, is a beautiful, unadorned piece. On it, Chris, his piano and his honesty shine. Like most of Chris’ material – we’re made to feel as though the songs were written for us alone.
From Chris’s first, glacial, utterances on ‘Winter Taunts Spring’ to his shimmering heartfelt crooning on ‘Loving You Is Sweeter’, the record walks its listener through the frost of heartache and the flames of passion. Personal and poetic, ‘Fleas & Diamonds’ lays bare the inner workings of the heart, each listen conjuring up memories of golden, sun-kissed days and heart-broken, endless nights. The overall effect is meditative and soothing.
Hailing from Derry, McConaghy is a songwriter with uncanny ability to capture elemental human truths as perfectly formed, dream-pop gems. Lush, sweeping arrangements are his trademark sound – on this latest collection he has adorned that landscape with strings and synths to sumptuous effect.