- 11 Oct 19
Stalwart of Dublin scene strikes out on his own.
While the title might give the impression that this is a farewell live album, it’s actually a debut solo outing for O’Duffy, who’s played with the illustrious likes of The Experiment, Light A Big Fire, The Citizens and, most notably, Saville. Overall, it’s a strikingly confident debut.
O’Duffy brings a relaxed, Jarvis Cocker-style suavity to ‘Where The Water Rushes Grow’, which also has generous hints of Leonard Cohen. ‘He Wishes The Best for His Departed Love’ is a farewell-to-love song, delivered with a rare compassion and sincerity. He sounds like both Bono and Neil Hannon at times on the smooth title track, and the ghosts of both pop up again for parts of the elegant ‘Between Wake And Sleep’. He gets a bit industrial-lite on the evocative ‘The Weeds’, which also features a hint of Leonard again. ‘In The Spring’ owes a debt to The Divine Comedy, while the pared down ‘Are We Nearly There’ shows that his voice needs no camouflage.
O’Duffy wears his influences in plain sight, and why not? He chooses them from the top shelf. The arrangements are from a familiar pop-rock palette: some more rule-bending would not have gone amiss. But there’s a consistent European flavour holding it all together, as well as O’Duffy’s melodic voice. Also of note are the high quality songcraft, and the generous input of Ingmar Kiang (Bob Marley, U2) at his Hey Nineteen studio in Co. Wicklow. O’Duffy’s solo career is off to an impressive start.