Fionn Regan has released an exceptional third album titled 100 Acres of Sycamore. His last album The Shadow Of An Empire had a mixed response with its heavier shift crossing a spectrum of sound akin to Ryan Adams (Lines Written In Winter) and Pete Lawrie. 100 Acres of Sycamore sees a return to an acoustic base. The sparseness his debut album The End of History is built upon further to create delicate multi-layers of sound which brings a greater depth to the album.
The title track has a southern gothic opening, reminiscent of 16 horsepower’s dark acoustic work, but the overall the feel and ambience of this album is a lot gentler although not without its introspective moments. Sow Mare Bitch Vixen is song about an attraction to dangerous women and it demonstrates some winning elements with the lush stringed orchestration which bring a new vitality and beauty to Fionn Regan’s work. There is a justified resemblance to that of Laura Marling whose voice is equally at home in the quieter indie folk margins.
There is a great intimacy in this album that really works its magic, you will find yourself repeating tracks just to wallow in them…Dogwood Blossom is a heart-melting song with guitar and cello and the lyrics are, like the rest of the album, a key ingredient of its attraction:
What happens when you’re in too deep to break?
Loneliness keeps you constantly awake
What happens when the passage of time appears?
You see yourself as a child, and it brings you to tears
You say that you’re troubled and you always have been
Uncomfortable in your own skin
So you contemplate the riverbed
Turn off the dark thoughts in your head
The return to his acoustic origins was a purposeful move, whatever his motives for the shift there is no doubt that this trumps his acoustic debut. This album has a more natural feel, it has an intimacy and silken thread fragility. It’s a winner and we highly recommend it!
For A Nightingale
100 Acres of Sycamore
Video: 100 Acres of Sycamore (live set at Great Escape)
Amazon UK: 100 Acres of Sycamore