Sleepless Street – Peter Doran (Independent Release)
We are welcomed into this world with an earthy jolt of fierce blues. The ‚‘Hunter’s Sketches‘are frantic even nervous, the seductive unease as the beautiful breakdown approaches.
Then the calm, a vision of the serene holy that can be found in the ordinary, if you have soul for it, and this wistful regret (oh how memories shine different now) envelops the listener.
But don’t dare get used to the intimate only, the next song strives for epic, a sort of personal adventure set against a vast landscape Conor Oberst does so very well layered subtle upon a heartbreaking melody that once heard is never lost. ‘Eternity’, is exactly the right name for this.
He constructs a gentle swing, a love song simply (complicated), about the strength of love, then old fashioned piano ballad, with a skill an equal to those old Carpenters’ tracks composed by Paul Williams. Note here must be made of the soulful minimal production by Filippo Gaetani, never overusing orchestration, always adding just the right touch of drama and emotion.
To those who often cry out, ‘they don’t make them like they used to’ when whining about how good the folk pop song was back in the day, just listen to ‘The Composer’ or indeed, any of these tracks, these are creations that will be equally at home nestled in the mainstream charts, or that romantic couples private playlist.
But if I have given the impression that this is gloss, forgive me, because there is a wounded rawness at the heart of this, a frazzled moody Phil Ochs ghost wandering the chords and the choruses. It’s just that Doran doesn’t need to be strident to get his thoughts across, his song writing is sincere and pure.
Leaving the very best till last, the title track, the love letter to a difficult child woman, the allure of the leaving the sane path, the way some people cannot be touched, even when we so wish to, cause they thrive in their difference. This song haunts and touches and completes a tantalizing set.
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You can hear tracks from this album on NBT Podcasts from the 30th Sept and beyond