Our Krypton Son
For Fans Of: Andy Schauf, The Divine Comedy, Leonard Cohen
Derry singer-songwriter Chris McConaghy, Our Krypton Son's debut record sparked a tidal wave of acclaim too substantial to be ignored. Whilst Electric Mainline presenter Stephen McCauley claimed him to be "one of the best songwriters in the country", cultural magazine/website The Thin Air went one further, calling the eponymous record "unparalleled in this country at present". Sophomoric effort 'Fleas and Diamonds' takes all the gentle genius of that first effort, whilst upping the dosage of love and loss just enough to break your heart even more than the first time around.
Haunting opener 'Winter Taunts Spring' eases to life a record that sits beautifully between Buckley and Cohen. Other highlights include the Divine Comedy inspired 'Alexandria' and the brilliantly titled 'Falling In Love Is A Suicide Mission'.
Oddly, Our Krypton Son's delicate take on the Weezer classic 'Buddy Holly', which could so easily have gone wrong, lives almost as long in the memory as his originals; the touching re-arrangement sounding like a future wedding classic from the first listen.
On a record swimming in carefully constructed layers, Our Krypton Son has manages to maintain an endearing simplicity throughout 'Fleas & Diamonds'. The reference points feel warm, comforting even, as McConaghy's original voice is never buried by his influences, only enhanced by them, making for an all around gem of a record.