Folk Friday: Fionn Regan

I mentioned Fionn Regan in an off-handed way last week. As I found out that he is nearly completion of his second album The Shadow of an Empire, it’s time to talk about him in greater length.

If Novi Split is the purveyor of song fragments, emotional moments and other intimate things, Fionn Regan is the stately, organized workman of the folk scene. He has only released one album, but The End of History was immaculately written, performed and recorded. Every note of the album (and the album is all fingerpicking; no chords) is precise and meted out perfectly. The lyrics are tight and powerful, also not misplacing any words.

If the form seems intense and somewhat intimidating, that’s because it is. But it works because a. Fionn Regan is a melodic genius b. Fionn Regan has a glorious voice and c. Fionn Regan is a unique and interesting lyricist. His voice is high and wafting, disaffected at times and pointed at others. It doesn’t have a lot of breathiness to it; it doesn’t have any Dylan creak and whine. It’s a round, full, clear voice, and it fits the songs perfectly. It cuts through the dense atmospheres he occasionally makes, and it plays on top of the charming ditties he often creates (including the album highlight, “Put a Penny in the Slot”).

The lyrics are wonderful as well, but they play second fiddle to the songwriting and vocal prowess. These are songs that simply jump out of the speakers and attach to your heart. They are near-perfect. In short, you need to hear Fionn Regan. It will enhance your life.

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