pearse mcgloughlin and the nocturnes In Movement (Urchin)
Back in the day, I was hanging out in Belfast with Terri Hooley, the one-eyed maverick who released Teenage Kicks on his little Good Vibrations label.
One afternoon, on a whim, he dragged me past army checkpoints and police barriers to meet a cub reporter who he admired. Hooley, babbling about rare vinyl 45s, reckoned we should be introduced.
That's how I met Eugene Moloney. Hooley was right. Eugene was enthusiastic, good-natured, tolerant and talented, forever willing to big-up a new artist and, like Hooley, promote the underdog. Recently, a friend passed on a message from Eugene about two new acts I should check out.
Early on Sunday morning, Eugene was killed on Camden Street not far from his home.
If I was to meet him this week he'd ask what I'd been listening to. I'd have recommended this guy McGloughlin. Eugene would probably tell me he had his debut album Busy Whisper.
McGloughlin's accomplished schtick is quiet and whispery. Instead of sweeping you off your feet like a tidal wave, this music announces itself by lapping in around your ankles.
From Sligo, McGloughlin's narratives are thoughtful and engaging. He can write a bona fide pop melody. As on Bright Star, he delivers it with a lo-fi garden shed rationale that makes it the polar opposite of current high-tek chart action.
It's possible that all-round whiz-kid Enda Roche has done his best work overseeing the production on this track, which wouldn't shame Badly Drawn Boy.
Elsewhere, Jimmy Edie directs McGloughlin's multi-instrumental palette. The memorable Morning Mist (The Birds) makes the most of "a loose-skinned Arabian bongo" since With The Beatles.
The haunting Caught In The Craft carries echoes of Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue.
On Stage Fright, those echoes combine with a hint of Keith West (Excerpt from a Teenage Opera).
Overall, less of a Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) influence might be good. But Pearse is definitely getting there. Nice one. HHHII