- 19 Feb 20
Wicklow singer-songwriter's most consistent work to date
Luan Parle’s fourth studio album features 10 original tracks, with two – ‘Running In Circles’ and ‘Lonely World’ – co-composed with ex-Dire Straits guitarist Hal Lindes. It’s her first since 2010’s The Full Circle. Not that the Wicklow woman’s been slacking. Indeed, she has been gadding about on tour with her musical sidekick, renowned guitarist Clive Barnes, with whom she co-produced this LP.
And a fine piece of work it is too. Single ‘My Something Beautiful’ is a crisp slice of pop-country, with slick drumming and a vocal that comes with a liberal sprinkling of lovelorn tears. Indeed, there’s a country tinge throughout to the record, with Parle’s voice delicately balancing the grittiness of Emmylou Harris and the sophistication of Stevie Nicks.
‘Change Your Mind’ takes a more strident stance, while ‘Falling For You’ has a languid, old-fashioned charm that’s hard not to fall for. The sturdy ‘Cocaine Corner’, meanwhile, shows how Parle has the courage to tackle critical social issues. Elsewhere, New York-based violin-player Deni Bonet adds fresh colours to both ‘Fare Thee Well’ and ‘Never Say Goodbye’.
Recorded in Kilkenny with Thomas Donoghue, Never Say Goodbye is more sharply focused than any of its predecessors, with Barnes fully aware that less is often more. The production gloss never outshines the material or Parle’s born-to-sing-country voice, showing that the former pre-teen prodigy has matured into a first-rate artist.