Chris McConaghy from Derry is the Son in question. This is the first release from his upcoming debut album on the local Derry label. It’s a bittersweet tale of love lost (or is it regained), detailing backstreets, holding hands and prying eyes.
First, there’s a glockenspiel playing a child’s melody. Lush piano chords. And an irresistible guitar hook. Later, swooning strings. But the main event here is McConaghy’s voice, a baritone croon with a velvety, careworn texture. A comparison with Richard Hawley isn’t out of place (although McConaghy’s has a distinct character), because, crucially, the vocal doesn’t try too hard. Restrained. Unshowy. Fitting perfectly with the song structure and arrangement.
The production by Sam Williams (Supergrass, The Go! Team) is also spot on, allowing the melodrama to seep through, but retaining enough of an edge to avoid a lapse into sickly sweetness. The whole thing is catchy as hell and you’ll find yourself humming it loudly all day.
Official digital release January 16th but available to purchase here now.