Adrian Crowley Season Of The Sparks

Adrian Crowley Season Of The Sparks
Whilst Adrian Crowley might be relatively well known in his native Ireland, his fifth album, Season Of The Sparks, is the first to receive a wider release, thanks to Scotland's Chemikal Underground. His four previous records hinted at what he might have up his sleeve, but it looks like the folk scene on the other side of the Atlantic has a new leading voice. Season Of The Sparks is a difficult album, but in the best possible way. It might lack immediacy, but it compensates in so many other ways. There are definitely some similarities between Crowley and Noah & the Whale's Charlie Fink, when it comes to their lachrymose deliveries, but the resemblance ends there. The combination of Crowley's vivid, complex imagery and the intricate arrangements, with their mix of strings, piano, guitar and other less familiar instruments, creates a hypnotic spell that's never short of intriguing, and is very often utterly captivating. There are moments that are reminiscent of Nick Drake, such as "Swedish Room," and fans of Bill Callahan will find this an easy record to love. Even a woozy cover of "Squeeze Bees," a song by celebrated Scottish eccentric Ivor Cutler, feels like an obvious choice amidst the introspective, pastoral scenes he constructs. Season Of The Sparks is a simply stunning album and one that will bring Crowley the recognition he deserves. (Chemikal Underground)