Brigid O’Neill – Touchstone
Brigid O’Neill’s ‘Touchstone’ opens with the interesting stripped back sound of ‘Little Bird’. Though mainly a vocal track, it’s accompanied by Uilleann pipes in the background. The message of the song is clear and, in this case, is given from the perspective of a parent watching a child grow and finding their own path in life.
See the swallows chase the air in the summer. Freed heart and soul until it’s time to leave. Go on and claim your place out in the sunlight and know your home is where you can be free.
‘Turn And Face The Sun’ is a positive upbeat song that tells the listener there’s much more to life than material goods and that positivity is often looking at us in the face, it just needs to be realised.
‘Iron In Your Fire’ co-written by Gareth Dunlop is familiar territory for Brigid’s music. A sassy little jazz tune that she has proven time and time again to have a natural feel for.
‘Rumour’ is a gentle country-inspired folk tune that explores the effects of jealousy and the fight to rise above it and beat it.
With production duties shared between Brigid and Gareth Dunlop, they have delivered a very slick, accessible and easy listening record that anyone familiar with Brigid’s earlier work will instantly like and appreciate.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the record is another co-write. This time Matt McGinn shares the credit on the strongest song in the collection. ‘Refugees’ takes the listener inside the mind of someone who has lost everything and left their own world for a new life in a better place. The song explores the challenges faced on the journey and at the end destination.
You need answers why we had to leave. I can’t reason with what you can’t believe. I won’t show you, I’ll take you there. We’re letting off what we’ve known and until we’ve found a place called home, we’re refugees.
With the majority of material covering family and relationships, the record doesn’t necessarily break any new ground but delivers listenable songs about familiar subjects that the listener can relate to.
The opening five songs on the record are the strongest and if there is any fault to be found with the overall package it is probably down to the running order of the record.
The strongest songs debut too soon and the second half of the record struggles to hold the interest of the listener by comparison.
Brigid O’Neil will launch ‘Touchstone’ on 14th September in Belfast’s Black Box.