Saturday, July 28, 2007

The buzz has slowly but steadily building about Irish singer/songwriter Fionn Regan. The tale is a familiar one-- a guy with a guitar singing folksy songs that make the girls swoon. This was what I originally thought when I sat down preparing to listen to his album, The End of History. And that is indeed what I got, but that's not all.

What saves Regan from the droll passivity of becoming just another folk singer is the same thing that distinguishes musicians like, say, fellow Irishman Glen Hansard of The Frames-- a firm root in the cultural (specifically musical, in this case) background of his nationality. The traditions of Irish songwriting speak loudly and clearly through Regan's music, though perhaps unintentionally. To his credit, Regan has mastered the skill of mixing that influence with the tradition of American folk music. The obvious influence would be Nick Drake, who comes through most clearly on the track "The Underwood Typewriter", which is ripe with plucky guitar work and a melody you want to tap your foot along to.

His talents haven't gone unnoticed, either; on 18 July 2007, Regan was nominated for the coveted Mercury Prize, the UK equivalent to the Grammy (only with much better music). The End of History is a compelling album, one rich with stories of the old country just under the surface, as well as a showcase for a comfortable talent such as Regan's, and it's an album you should definitely check out.

Fionn Regan - The Underwood Typewriter
Buy the album

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