- 17 Jun 21
Heartfelt album from Limerick indie-rocker.
Just seven months after the release of his debut album All My Days, John Steele is back with Naturally Nocturnal. Written during lockdown (“this is what happens when you can’t gig”, Steele has joked), it is a plaintive offering about finding darkness in the light.
It’s an impressive feat for Steele, who mixed, produced and recorded the entire album himself. There are hints of Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash in the half-spoken ‘I Was That Soldier’, with a string section and Aileen Downes’ stunning backing vocals completing a wonderful track.
On ‘The Motorways Have Broken Hearts’, Steele delivers a John Cale-style vocal, keeping things nicely understated, and allowing the visceral lyrics to shine.
‘It’s A Liar’s World’ is perhaps the most electronic-leaning effort, with a synthy intro and an explosive chorus. Album closer ‘The Night Sky’, meanwhile, is a heart-stopping ballad dedicated to Steele’s close friend Stuart Byrne. A fine way to end a stirring album.