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Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery may be decorated at home by the Northern Ireland Music Prize (for his 2016 album ‘Let Bad In’) and might have totted up over 80 million streams during his five year solo career, but it’s his unrivalled knack for a poetic, heart-stopping lyric that’s set to earn him wider recognition as a treasured singer-songwriter.
His forthcoming third album ‘Sweet Decay’ is a collection of strummed acoustic fragility that’s as comforting as it is at times devastating. Beyond the classic melodies, however, it’s the storytelling that sets Ciaran Lavery apart, one that can be as brutal as Angel Olsen and as delicate as Neil Young.
The recording process was spliced between tours and although arduous, the drawn-out nature of the work contributed to the songwriting itself, particularly when Lavery found himself inspired by his on-the-road bedside book collection. ?One of the best things I had for provision of sanity were short stories, different kinds of manuscripts that I could dip in and out of.” Pouring through Denis Johnson, Joy Williams, Raymond Carver, JD Salinger, Castle Freeman Jr and admiring the detail, emotional heft and pace these writers could fit into such a short space, Lavery paused to think about what he could achieve in individual songs. ?I thought about trying to create a space for people to find a connection.?
After getting off the road, Lavery headed into Camden Studios in Dublin and put down his ideas. The songs are full of questions, but don’t often offer many answers. It’s open-ended. You can hear a man struggling with personal growth. ?I acknowledge the darkness inside of me, one that has the potential to let people down and make the wrong decisions,? he says.In the studio, Lavery was able to invite a whole host of session players and musicians in to build out those little worlds to gorgeous effect.
With ‘Sweet Decay’, Lavery will be heading out on his biggest tour to date, across Europe, the UK, US, Ireland and Canada. Probably with a fine collection of short story books in tow.