“I recently played a gig in Cornwall where this guy collected old typewriters and hair brushes. I stayed up all night just playing all of his instruments,” said 25-five-year old Dublin based Fionn Regan, the new singer songwriter making waves not only across the waters to the UK, but throughout Europe.
And it’s his eye for the little things in life that makes his new album ‘The End of History’ magical. Growing up by the sea 14 miles from the southern Ireland city has given Fionn’s music a rich landscape to draw on and he keeps a childlike vision of the places he goes and the people he sees.
“I tried to create something that sounded like an old record. I love the way you have to stop and turn a record over. It makes you take notice of what you are listening to”
His sunshine folk – predominantly him and his guitar – has been compared to the Nick Drakes and Dylans of this world, but any dark, depressing curtain has most definitely been lifted to reveal an uplifting collection of songs that doesn’t tire after endless plays.
But inspirations for ‘The End Of History’ – each track recorded in one take and produced by Fionn – are from snippets of life and not his predecessors. In fact he admits he doesn’t even own a Nick Drake album.
“The best decision I ever made was to build my own little boat and not have too many people standing around me trying to hand me the next piece of wood. I didn’t plan where it was coming from; I just knew I wanted to create something positive. The songs were written in short bursts, so there is more joy than misery.”
Although each song combines his melodic and exquisite finger plucked guitar playing and gentle voice, with a touch of the musical saw, banjo and some talented friends, everyone is different, laid out like a good ol’ fashioned record to sail you through from start to end.
A cheery ‘Be Good Or Be Gone’ introduces Fionn before he builds with soft percussion, a bit of knee slapping and foot tapping, some occasional backing vocals and some low laying strings until it reaches a turning point – literally.
“I tried to create something that sounded like an old record. I love the way you have to stop and turn a record over. It makes you take notice of what you are listening to,” he says as he describes the journey to one of the many highlights on the album, ‘Put A Penny In The Slot’.
Recorded at his home, it feels like it stems from his own teenage memories, with gems like: “At night time I’d lie in Beckingham Park with tears like flashbulbs and recall my treasure searching days in the rock pools as a kid”, but Fionn assures it is not a reflection of life. “It was the last song I recorded for the album and is like a slideshow of images, but I don’t allow myself to get too hung up on things. The album is just 12 chapters of a time and place in my life.”
With so many beautiful songs, each wonderfully written, played and recorded, ‘The End Of History’ should definitely be on the Christmas list.
Big Chill Festival 2010