VIL­LAGERS

Q (UK) - - Q Review - THE ART OF PRE­TEND­ING TO SWIM DOMINO, OUT 21 SEPTEM­BER

Vil­lagers – aka Dublin song­writer Conor O’Brien – have spent a decade craft­ing a deep cat­a­logue of an­guished ro­mance that’s part Cass McCombs, part Paul Si­mon. How­ever, since the early gush of ac­claim (the first two al­bums were Mer­cury-nom­i­nated) there’s been some cre­ative tur­bu­lence – 2015’ s Dar­ling Arith­metic, in par­tic­u­lar, was jar­ringly sparse. Here O’Brien tacks back to the glory days by of­fer­ing a rich, max­i­mal­ist set­ting for a set of ru­mi­na­tions on faith. Sam­ples and DIY elec­tron­ics en­twine with a skit­ter­ing mu­si­cal­ity to bathe songs such as Again and Hold Me Down in a sump­tu­ous in­ti­macy that’s rem­i­nis­cent of Sparkle­horse at their most frag­ile. It’s an im­pres­sive re­minder of what made him so spe­cial in the first place. ★★★★ JAMES OLD­HAM Lis­ten To: Again | Hold Me Down | A Trick Of The Light

“Back to the glory days”: Vil­lagers’ Conor O’Brien puts cre­ative wob­bles to rest.

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