- 13 Nov 19
IRISH SINGER DELIVERS SUPERB DEBUT
Sorcha Richardson’s debut had been in the offing for quite time. Boasting a multi-million-streaming presence on Spotify, the singer has been releasing indie-pop earworms for several years. An LP, though, always remained around the corner. Well, the waiting is over. Recorded over a month in LA with long-term producer Alex Casnoff, First Prize Bravery is about as coherent a debut album as you can get.
Telling the story of Sorcha’s life between New York and Dublin over the course of several months, the album is about the minutiae – and the social politics – of relationships and friendships, and what it means to negotiate these whilst being constantly on the move.
As with any good situational drama, the joy is in the small details. On opener ‘Honey’ – a stripped-back, heart-on-sleeve number – she sings about an encounter with a mysterious “you” that left her questioning everything. But it’s the imagery that wins you over: “I watched you move around the room/ You’re more magnetic than the moon/ That hangs above the balcony/ As you make your way back to me.”
This trend of careful, meaningful description is sustained throughout, even as Sorcha incorporates different musical styles. With consummate skill, she moves from the punchy riffs of ‘Don’t Talk About It’, to the bubbling synths and piano melodies of ‘Oh Oscillator’, and the back-to-basics guitar chords of ‘High In The Garden’.
The joy is that it all works. Every song, in fact, boasts stellar production. So catchy is the title track, it’s easy to overlook just how exquisitely constructed it is. As the song commences, Richardson’s echoing vocals gradually emerge into the foreground. Thereafter, the tune folds layers of acoustic guitars, piano melodies and dreamy synths into a readymade pop hit. Exemplifying the overall attention to detail, the line “I heard the crunch of your heels on the stones in the driveway” is duly followed by skittering percussion.
Everything, of course, is a foil to Richardson’s voice, which can only be described as laidback liquid gold. It draws you into these personal situations, and lays them out like an open diary, judgement-free.
Bravery indeed. This is a superb record.