We couldn’t face putting together our best of the decade list at the end of last year, but if we had, Fionn Regan‘s The End Of History (2006) would rank highly. Without doubt one of the finest debut albums by a British artist of recent years, it’s an intricately woven spider’s web of songs; dusty, inseparable and oddly robust underneath their delicate exterior. So-called ‘freak folk’ was big at the time, but Regan’s humour and way with words stood out from the contrived naivety that was prevalent at the time.
Four years on, Regan is finally ready to release a follow up – the ominously titled The Shadow Of An Empire. Apparently inspired by urban surroundings rather than the rustic setting of The End Of History, this new one was recorded and recorded alone in a small discused factory in Ireland, which is a rather lovely back-story. I’ve avoided listening to advance singles; I’m looking forward to (hopefully) being beguiled by this hugely talented singer-songwriter all over again, over the course of an entire album.
The Shadows Of An Empire is out today on Heavenly. Fionn Regan plays The Rainbow, Digbeth, on 2 March.
MP3: ‘Protection Racket’