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VILLAGERS

VILLAGERS

Following the kaleidoscopic adventure of Villagers’ fifth album Fever Dreams, award-winning Dublin singer-songwriter-instrumentalist-dramatist Conor O’Brien returns with the intimate inventory that he has named That Golden Time.

No less intense than its more feverish predecessor, the exquisite new album unfurls O’Brien’s trademark melodic flair, his gift for simultaneously vivid and subtle arrangements and lyrics that couch his hopes, fears and dreams in rich-ly absorbing poetry. That Golden Time takes its name from the fifth track, which doubles as the album’s lead single. “I wanted the warmth of the record reflected in its title,” O’Brien explains. “The song also touches on a theme that keeps cropping up, of romanticism versus realism. How can you have aspira-tional ideas about yourself and the world around you, whilst being confronted with a harsh, cold reality? The friction interested me, as well as a lingering feeling that there was a time when things were better – but perhaps that time never existed.”

After the band-centred sessions of Fever Dreams, That Golden Time’s solo-centric core was not forced on O’Brien by lockdown. “For me, That Golden Time has an internalised voice, so much so that I almost found it impossible to let anyone else in, to the point of mixing it myself,” he says. “It’s probably the most vulnerable album I’ve made. I played and recorded everything in my apartment, and finally, towards the end, invited people in. But I was always dreaming of embellishments and arrangements so I could never have made a fully sparse solo album.”

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