- 10 Feb 23
Cavan star produces her masterwork
Crikey, we've barely passed Brigid’s Day on the calendar, and already Lisa O’Neill has thrown down the gauntlet, for there’ll scarcely be a better record released this year than All Of This Is Chance.
Say you walked down Harry St. and into McDaid’s; and say it is 1953 and within is Paddy Kavanagh scribbling magical puzzles and Brendan Behan in his infinite cups: well, Lisa O’Neill is one of only a handful of contemporary artists who could pull up a high stool and fit snugly in. ‘Old Note’ and the ethereal ‘Whist The Wild Workings Of The Mind’ are immediately the real deal, already of the timeless past – gems to be long sung in the cozy parlours of Shercock, the back-rooms of Kilburn and the bars of Woodlawn.
On the eponymous opener, O’Neill trades lines with Kavanagh’s The Great Hunger that are jaw-droppingly the equal of the Monaghan master. You topple in hook, line and sinker. Before you know it, you are on the moon, peering down on the stony grey soil, an inspection many scribes have executed, arguably none matching O’Neill’s majesty here.
A scalding wisdom courses through the record, one that seems astonishingly innate – the yelping flamenco warnings tattooing ‘Silver Seed’; the quicksilver grasp of nature’s beasts on ‘Birdy From Another Realm’; the angelic strands of youthful idealism peppering ‘The Globe’; the tempted metamorphosis which emigration provokes on ‘If I Was A Painter’; and finally, the stoic, nonchalant, whistling acceptance of them all on ‘Goodnight World’.
A breathtaking and incredible record.