- 31 May 17
Superb seventh album from the bard of Donaghmede
Now a bona fide “national treasure”, Damien Dempsey consistently makes albums that challenge and inspire. The follow-up to last year’s 1916-inspired collection No Force On Earth is a collection of duets with top notch female vocalists (or as the singer eloquently puts it, “The Mighty Celtic Warrior High Queens”). Recorded in London with long-time producer John Reynolds, it is vintage Dempsey in terms of the songwriting approach, with the odd experimental sonic flourish.
Wistful, pastoral and suitably mellow, ‘Beside The Sea’ is a duet with – of all people – Dido. It’s a blissfully laid-back affair, with the two voices blending beautifully. Even better is ‘Big Big Love’, performed with another Dublin vocal powerhouse, Imelda May. A Stax/Motown style nunber, it’s the standout moment on Soulsun. Elsewhere, the title track is a characteristically epic tune; while the incendiary rocker ‘Pretty Bird Tree’ – sung with Pauline Scanlon – has echoes of Tom Joad-era Springsteen.
Out now / Colm O'Hare