- 10 Jul 19
Accomplished effort from homegrown alt-folkster.
It has been all of 10 years since Galway singer-songwriter Kevin Herm Connolly unleashed his debut album, Monsters, to great acclaim. He has now returned with sophomore effort Make It Up, a collection of reflective alt-folk.
The album opens with a brace of mid-tempo pieces, including the rewarding ‘Lemon Bee’, but then takes one of many pleasantly surprising turns; we are suddenly confronted with album highlight, ‘I’m Still In Love With You’. It’s a beautiful slow-burner with all the best elements of melancholy Americana; awash with brooding tremolo guitar, the track climaxes with mournful violin. This is the kind of whiskey-and-tobacco stained country ballad in which the protagonist can’t catch a break with either his landlord or his lady.
“The rent’s still due/ And the government are still lying through their teeth”, sings Herm Connolly, before conceding that, “The sky’s still blue/ And I’m in love with you.” It’s an exquisite piece of songwriting and production.
Some more piano-led tunes wander by, and just when you think you’ve stepped into the middle of the road, Herm Connolly jolts you to attention again with ‘It’s Okay (Cos We’re in Love)’. Sounding like an import from a mid-’90s indie/college-rock playlist, the tune owes an obvious debt to the likes of Beck, Eels, and Pavement. This is the Kevin Herm Connolly that I like: audacious and unpredictable.
He brings the curtain down with ‘Underneath’, a contemplative piece. Overall, this is an impressive effort, which brings a welcome edge to the Irish singer-songwriter milieu.