Here is a review of my new single, In Paradise, in Pure M magazine:
“You may remember Conor Furlong as the musician who single-handedly wrote, arranged, produced and performed last year’s superlative pop/rock odyssey, Adventure. Considering how impressive the talent and skills exhibited throughout that album were, the Dublin based singer/songwriter could easily be forgiven if any follow-up material didn’t live up to the tremendous standard he set for himself with his inaugural endeavour.
Fortunately though, for both the man himself and listeners alike, Furlong has returned to demonstrate that he does indeed have the ability to match his previous accomplishments, if not outdo them altogether. “In Paradise” is the latest offering he has unleashed upon the world and it’s every bit as exciting as that which has come before.
Kicking off with a light and airy introduction, it sets an affecting, almost dream-like ambience ahead of a happy, laid-back harmony as the first verse begins. A merry beat skips nonchalantly through the background, while playful guitars hop in and out to maintain a strong sense of optimism and hopefulness. Stirring synths build alongside resonant vocals on approach to the chorus, which explodes into a maelstrom of mesmerising music and melodies. There’s a very transcendent trait to the whole thing as it invades the ears and hangs heavy in the air.
Rousing piano keys bridge the gap to the second stanza, generating an epic atmosphere that really draws you in. Quirky instrumentation continues to manifest itself and keeps things lively before the next ethereal eruption. A reserved and relaxing breakdown of keys and electronics takes over from here to build anticipation on the approach to the final volley of vocals. It eventually all fades pleasantly out and lingers long afterwards.
This is yet another absorbing and accessible undertaking by Furlong that’s guaranteed to have wide reaching appeal. If you liked what you heard on Adventure, then you’re going to love this and if you’re unfamiliar with the artist’s material, then here’s your perfect jumping on point. “In Paradise” hits on June 17th.”
Next Friday, 22 May, we in Ireland are being asked if we want to extend the right to marry to same sex couples.
I am voting ‘yes’ because everyone should be treated equally under the law. It is, quite frankly, offensive that we even have to vote on this issue. It is like being asked to vote on whether black people should have the same civil rights as white people.
I always considered myself an open person, aware of the discrimination many gay people suffer, but it was only when I saw Panti’s Noble Call speech that it really hit home. This issue inspired the video for my song, “In My Arms”.
Dave Simpson has reviewed my album for Pure M Magazine. Here are his thoughts:
I honestly don’t think anyone could listen to the album Adventure by Conor Furlong and not be impressed. This alt-pop/rock collection was arranged, performed and produced by the Dublin based musician alone; something for which, considering its scope, he deserves a tremendous amount of praise and respect. And if that’s not enough for you, Furlong has released his undertaking as a free download, hoping that “it might be able to make a bad day feel a bit better and maybe even make a great day even more great.” This man is a true artist, if ever there was one.
Thematically, Adventure is quite romantic. This can be felt right off the bat with “All That I Gave”; a moving love song loaded with resounding vocals, pianos, guitars and electronics. It’s a colossal opening that grows larger as it unfolds. Consistency is maintained sound wise with “Alive”, which flaunts a cheerful beat and jubilant melody, allowing for a pleasant, easy listen.
“In My Arms” seems made for dancing, taking off with a reserved but well paced verse that builds anticipation as it approaches its enchanting chorus. “On Fire” follows on quietly with a dreamy feel, enhanced by a dazzling harp like effect during the chorus. Its successor, “Beam of Light”, strikes a great balance between electronic and acoustic elements. It feels deep and meaningful, like it’s a song that matters.
To be fair, this is true of the album in general. It makes you believe that you’re listening to something that’s important. And, much to Furlong’s credit, he doesn’t even always need words to convey such an impression.
The next three tracks are ample evidence of this, being almost entirely instrumental. “The Stars Are Out Tonight” commences with a catchy acoustic riff and striking synths that build over a brief but haunting vocal harmony. The music soon takes over, carrying things by itself to create a stirring, quixotic air that continues into “YPSS-790.” This is essentially an interlude made up of a static effect infused with occasional piano keys. “In Memory” completes the instrumental trilogy with a mystical quality that maintains an introspective atmosphere.
“Take You Out” returns to a more conventional, acoustic pop approach. Furlong’s absorbing voice reignites the romantic air of earlier entries, lending the song an optimistic, hopeful vibe. “Daylight” picks up as a short but sweet acoustic/piano piece, with “A Rowboat in a Storm” further capitalising upon the piano to introduce itself. Subtle vocals during the verse step up to steal the spotlight once the chorus hits. They’re joined by magnificent guitar work as the tempo increases to a suitably prodigious climax. Fading out, “The Dead of Night” picks up as a terse epilogue with an uncharacteristically ominous aura.
Furlong states on his site that he “really believes in these song and [he is] extremely proud of them”. He most assuredly should be. What he has crafted by himself is astonishing. It would be a great achievement by any band, but the fact that it’s the passion project of but a single individual makes it all the more momentous. Adventure serves as a profound and reflective pop/rock album that is remarkably uplifting. And given that Furlong has generously offered it as a free download, there really is no excuse for anyone not to experience it.
(Dave Simpson, Pure M Magazine)
The review is available on Pure M Magazine’s website here.
The current issue of Hot Press, the music magazine, features a review of my album, Adventure.
Here are a few excerpts from the review:
With an ear for haunting melody – and the voice and musicianship to match – hopes are high as Conor Furlong’s LP begins. ‘All That I Gave’ is a decent opening salvo, followed by the energetic and catchy ‘Alive’. By the time the outstanding ‘In My Arms’ is done – and you’ve reminded yourself that it’s not Jen Lekman you’re listening to, but a self-produced Dubliner – things are looking very promising indeed.
‘Take You Out’ is an impressively serviceable slice of Coldplay-esque balladry. Combined with its [the album’s] impressive opening, it confirms that Conor Furlong has considerable talent.
One to keep an eye on.
(Colm O’Regan, Hot Press)
You can read the full review in the latest issue of Hot Press magazine, which is out now.