- 02 Nov 17
Impressive solo debut from Mercurial talent.
Previously seen in action as frontman and chief songwriter with Dublin outfits Porn Trauma and (later) The Last Tycoons, AS Fanning's solo debut is remarkably eclectic, with influences ranging from psychedelic pop to darker, more gothic fare. He has talent to burn and, along with a penchant for melodic whimsy, he is in possession of a magnificent baritone voice, which comes across like Nick Cave-meets-Stuart Staples. Second Life's atmospheric title track plays like a post-apocalyptic 'Be My Baby', with the singer essentially narrating his own funeral: "The priest is speaking/ The air is cold/ And my second life is coming in".
'Carmelita' - a 7" release from a few years back - isn't quite the Warren Zevon track of the same name, but it does purloin some of the lyrics from that tune, including the memorable line, "We're all strung out on heroin." Indeed, when Fanning goes on to intone the line "The wild demon Jesus swimming by my side", you know he's not drawn to the lighter side of life. Elsewhere, 'Dark Stare' - all shimmering moody guitars - sounds like something from the soundtrack of Twin Peaks, while 'Never Been Gone' is relatively light and airy, with echoes of The Shins and Simon & Garfunkel. Boasting wonderfully dynamic production, Second Life is an impressively accomplished effort.