Almost thirty years since the release of their seminal debut album, Immigrants, Emigrants and Me, Power of Dreams are set to release a double A-side on FIFA Records that encapsulates the different sides of the band’s musical coin and the multi-faceted songwriting of Craig Walker. ‘America’ / ‘Across the Shannon’ is the precursor for Power of Dream’s first studio album in twenty five years, titled Aüslander, and a wonderful re-introduction to one of Ireland’s most enigmatic bands of the nineties.
Aüslander will be followed by a special 30th anniversary remastered release of Immigrants, Emigrants and Me, that will also feature a special collection of previously unreleased material. In the meantime however, Power of Dreams return with two tracks to whet the musical palette of fans both in Ireland and internationally who have been waiting patiently to hear music from the band’s classic line-up.
“Many of the new songs are tracks that I have been keeping to one side in recent times in my job as a songwriter,” explains Craig, “they were very obviously Power of Dreams songs. I have found the experience of looking back and reflecting a really interesting one. I would only have ever done this when I felt there was an artistic purpose to a new record.”
There are several connections between Immigrants, Emigrants and Me, and Aüslander, perhaps most obviously in the albums’ titles (Aüslander meaning ‘foreigner’ in German) and Walker’s years of touring living outside Ireland in England, France and Germany have obviously informed many of the songs, including one of the lead tracks, ‘America’, but there is as always a deeply emotive and personal aspect to the lyrics, as evidenced on ‘Across the Shannon’ and others.
“There’s a lot of personal stuff in the album,” says Craig, “that only worked in the context of a Power of Dreams album. There’s a song for my mother, who played a huge part in the band’s beginnings. She allowed us to rehearse in her kitchen, garden shed for years and never complained once. I wrote the song ‘Margaret’ in 2000 when she was dying in hospital.”
Aüslander is due for release later this year, but in the meantime ‘America’ and the beautifully-crafted epic ‘Across the Shannon’ will serve as a timely reminder for those who loved Immigrants, Emigrants and Me, on its release in 1990 and perhaps as a sonic gateway for new Power of Dreams fans of to retrace the legacy of a not-so-well-kept secret.
“I am doing this for the fans who have been asking for it for 25 years. But also for myself and the guys in the band. It was a special time in our lives and I hope the new album is a worthy follow up to Immigrants,” concludes Craig.