100 Acres Of Sycamore
Young, confident, and bit mournful, Fionn Regan is on one of those rising pop star rockets. Top reviews in the hip mags, photographs by Annie Leibovitz, and actors like Rhys Ifans are tattooing his lyrics, well, somewhere. It’s a well deserved booster. Regan builds complex songs with modest backing, and allows his sturdy vocals to tell stories — stories of remembrance of old love, old drinking binges, current loves, and the English countryside. The topics aren’t deep, but timeless and well suited to his mellow vocals. He’s accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, behind him hide a lethargic drum kit, a piano, and off in the shade a touch of tambourine. All serve one purpose: To emphasize Regan’s vocals. Try as I might, I find no listing of the backing musicians. He’s a one man band with a suitcase full of studio musicians behind him.
I’m listening to this collection for the third or fourth time, and while every lyric stands in high contrast, delving into the subtext of the music is mystifying. Phrases flit by: “…like a neon sign that gets thrown from side to side…” or “…there were diamonds laced with sorrow in that pillow…” or even “…roman candles and paraffin lamps and sparklers from North Korea — it’s good to see you…” and all that’s left is a mood. But it’s a good mood, and Regan counts as a poet in my book. I don’t know what he’s saying but it’s truly sweet.
Fionn Regan: www.fionnregan.com