Malojian have been through various incarnations, firstly as a duo called Cat Malojian, then briefly as a trio. At the heart of every manifestation, Belfast’s Stevie Scullion – the softly-sung songwriter with a knack for crafting wee-hours folk tunes – has steered the ship safely to port. Scullion’s second “solo” album is a fuller-sounding affair than its predecessor, thanks to session players who give songs such as Communion Girls and No
Alibi an enjoyably idiosyncratic indiepop buzz, and It Ain’t Easy a dreamy alt.country flavour. The skeletal folk tunes are less engaging, with Scullion’s breathy, secretive vocals too slight to command attention in any serious way. Still, despite a lack of purpose, there is imaginative songcraft lurking in some unexpected places. malojian.com
Sunday Songs ★★★★
Gavin Glass’s impressive fourth album of what is now fancifully termed “Eirecana” strikes a reflective, almost melancholic note. The sense of time passing – “we got old before our time,” Glass sings on the gorgeous, country-tinged title track – pervades almost all eight songs. So does a sense of loss: how is it that songwriters never look back and laugh? The Dubliner is a Jack of many trades (among them a noted producer and a member of Lisa Hannigan’s band), but clearly a master singersongwriter. His songs carry real weight, whether they be big, passionate declarations of bruised experience ( Better Left Alone or
Rise & Fall) or more stripped-back affairs such as First Stone. The production is top-notch, rich and dramatic with steel guitar, violin and piano to the fore, while Glass’s voice adds meaning at every turn.