The fact remains: you don’t have to fear mediocre or even poor Irish Villagers albums. “Fever Dreams” once again shows frontman O’Brien at the peak of his songwriting art.

Berlin (dpa) – Conor O’Brien, mastermind of Irish band Project Villagers, has proven on several occasions that the indie pop corset is way too tight for him.

The 37-year-old songwriter has incorporated delicate songwriter sounds, electronic cracklings like Radiohead or soul into songs that have always remained very melodic. In his lyrics he included a lot of material, from horror stories to political topics and his own coming out sensibilities.

Fragile song

Villagers’ new album “Fever Dreams” differs a bit from its predecessor, the strong concept work “The Art Of Pretending To Swim” (2018). Already in the opening “Something Bigger” O’Brien dares to escape the beautiful sound with buzzing guitars, fragile voices and slightly twisted brass. After that, in “The First Day,” the vanguard tormentors seem to run away with him again before the song explodes into a fiery chorus.

The following pieces also evolve at the interface between the desire to experiment and the hook – where the hypnotic “Song In Seven” and the dreamy ballad “So Simpatico” with their elements of symphonic jazz and soul are among the best. that the Irish have in their ten-year-olds Having submitted a career. It’s not for nothing that O’Brien has won numerous awards for his talents as a composer. The conclusion “Deep In My Heart” is another example of this exceptional quality.

Euphoric dream

Villagers’ sixth album is in no way inferior to favorites like “Becoming A Jackal” (2010) or “Awayland” (2013). Like his American colleague Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), with whom O’Brien has often been compared not only because of his boyish appearance and his first name, this very fascinating musician is also constantly developing in concert. In any case, the Irish song poet has achieved his goal of creating an “ecstatic and euphoric dream” from an album in his home studio in Dublin during the days of the pandemic.