‘All that glisters is not gold’, Willie Shakespeare once wrote. He’s right. Sometimes it’s Shiny Silvery Things, Cormac O’Caoimh’s new album. Cormac’s opted for full band arrangements on the album. With different individuals on engineering/production, mixing and mastering, Cormac has left nothing to chance, and the resulting audio sounds gorgeous. Repeated listening reveals more layers, but the mixes never sound busy, and it always sounds like a Cormac O’Caoimh album. In fact it’s an album “that fits you like old shoes” as Cormac sings in Second Hand Clothes, the first single to be released. As a tired old hack, I generally need to listen to a new album at least twice before I get it, but Shiny Silvery Things hit me right in the feels on the first listen.
Lyrically, Cormac is on point as usual, as evidenced in the opener – Second Hand Clothes:
On an old phonograph
But your favourite tracks are scratched
Try to put the needle back
Ditched you like old shoes
Tracks like Proud remind me of Cormac’s previous incarnation, The Citadels. It’s a little more uptempo than we’re used to, with a very upfront aggressive drum sound, and a little bit of wordplay in the lyric
I used to belong here
I built a treehouse here
We don’t have to fall out
Sometimes the softly sung lyrics are so intimate, revealing internal turmoil, that you feel like you are eavesdropping on a private conversation. At other times the words are oblique, hinting at some deeper truth you can’t quite grasp. It’s nice, then, to have some light relief in the form of the title track, a jaunty jazzy ditty which opens like a saccharine love song:
You bring out the rainbow in me
I start to see through clouds that have been
While it revisits darkness in subsequent verses, it is ultimately a thankful ode to a loved one.
Cormac grows in songwriting ability with every album, and every album improves with each listen. If you haven’t yet checked out Start a Spark, Remember When We Didn’t Kiss and The Moon Loses Its Memory, I recommend that you do. That will keep you occupied until Shiny Silvery Things is released on April 28th 2017.