Monday, 12 September 2011

Double Trouble

Irish guitarist Cian Nugent contacted me about two months ago regarding his album Doubles, which is out on VHF Records. Now, as some of you may have ascertained, I can be a little slow off the mark, so it wasn't until last week that I managed to sit down with this LP, which is essentially two 20+ minuted sound collages. And I was completely sucked into the soundscapes harboured within.

'Peaks & Troughs' undulates with an effortless calm before flowing into a crescendo of noise, the tide heading out again in the finale, all guitar picking finesse. On the B-side we have 'Sixes & Sevens', which is equally as magnificent even as it adds multiple layers in the forms of woodwind, strings, drums, horns, keys, synths... Nugent remains the constant heartbeat, his continuous guitar lines the lifeblood of these impressive compositions.

The true beauty of Nugent's guitarwork, and Doubles in its entirety, is how he interweaves classical guitar tropes with much wider reaching musical realms, most notable a fine ear for pop melodies. This is not a masterclass of guitar virtuosity that a contemporary like James Blackshaw may produce - yet that isn't the point. Nugent has struck out to make the point that languid compositions can be immersive yet accessible - and he succeeds on both counts.

Cian Nugent - Sixes & Sevens

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