New Pope – Youth LP – Album Review by Killian Laher
Galwayman David Boland records under the name New Pope, and this is his debut album. It opens with the rolling guitar strums of Onwards, Westwards. A hint of accordion gives the track something of a trad feel, as Boland’s soothing voice propels the song gently by. The wistful Amsterdam, We Were Young and Christopher seem forgettable at first, consisting mainly of repeated guitar patterns and muted percussion. However, gradually these soundscapes seep into your brain.
North Donegal is the centrepiece. At eleven minutes it’s the longest thing here, but probably the highlight – it feels like a genuine set of memories, delivered in a stream of consciousness over a lush bed of guitars and backing vocals. Something to really float away to, it evokes bedroom bards such as David Kitt and Paul O’Reilly. Sure it’s repetitive but prolonged exposure to it could be liable to induce warm, fuzzy feelings accompanied by a goofy grin for no apparent reason.
Not so much a collection of songs, more an album that sets a mood. It’s available via bandcamp here.
1. Onwards, Westwards
3. We Were Young
5. All My Life
6. North Donegal
7. Not Forgotten