Here’s a real Dublin DIY phenomenon: Conor writes, records and plays all his own music, releases it via his own website, then rings the journo up to make sure he got his CD-R copy. “Peace of Mind” is a lovely, sad piano-painted tune, as is the B-side (titled “B Side”), so we’ll be looking forward to his call.
(Kevin Courtney, The Irish Times)
Conor Furlong’s gorgeous mixture of lush orchestration, tender vocals and sombre piano make “Peace of Mind” a pleasure. Conor’s gift for haunting melody is similar in fashion to Deserter’s Songs-era Mercury Rev.
(Killian Murphy, Hot Press)
“Are You Gonna Sleep Tonight?” initially works best in the context of the video that accompanies it. It marks a remarkable jump forward by Dubliner Conor Furlong, his earnest indie pop was always easy on the ear but ‘Are You Gonna Sleep Tonight?’ is downright moving. As you’d expect for a bedroom project the production is a bit rough around the edges (those Mike Oldfield guitars) but you’ll hardly notice given the soaring chorus, it’s already perched high on my list for songs of the year. ‘Are You Gonna Sleep Tonight?’ is taken from Furlong’s second album ‘Playing With Fire’, something I hope contains other precious nuggets like this. Without being funny this is a true thoroughbred.
Featuring some soaring pop-rock tunes, this singer-songwriter has crafted an interesting album with 10 new songs, led by the single “Wrong”. Furlong is influenced by the likes of Bowie, The Beach Boys and Beck; although there are touches of Neil Young to his material as well. While these influences are present and correct in the material, they don’t overawe or chain the songs down. The talent and good song construction are obvious from the outset. “Godless” is the most impressive song here, as the bass rumbles perfectly in tandem with nicely mixed guitars, even though it clocks in at over six minutes, it never feels drawn out or too long and it finishes with subtly and sleeks into “The Preacher”. This opens with what sounds like whale song, before the rest of the instruments charge in; generating an energy that instantly lifts the song off the ground.
(Leigh O’Gorman, Easy Music For Difficult Ears blog)
Furlong has an immense talent, he can do what many other artists lay awake at night longing for, he can take you into his world and show you around. Comparison-wise, sometimes “Playing With Fire” harks to something that Nick Cave may accomplish in his solo guise, but there are mighty hints of bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai et al. Mercury Rev is another influence that oozes from the record. Well thought out songs with deep messages but completely without pretension and bullshit – something very uncommon in the Dublin music scene these days. There are times where Joy Division’s Ian Curtis comes to mind, maybe it’s because of the underlying tone of sadness and regret common with Joy Division or maybe it’s because like Curtis, Furlong isn’t afraid to bare all for his music. “Playing With Fire” is one hell of a journey, hopefully this album will be a stepping stone to greater heights.
(Jonathan Bourke, Drop-D)
The winding drama on “Enough” sees Conor Furlong evoke a woe-stricken Mercury Rev. In short, he`s whipped up a perfect guitar ballad. Containing more than a hint of Rufus Wainwright, “Godless” exudes an ethereal charm. We eagerly await future releases from this Dubliner.
(Celina Murphy, Hot Press)
The energised, guitar-driven “Wrong” is quite startling.
(Jackie Hayden, Hot Press)
“Are You Gonna Sleep Tonight?” is a stirring anti-war anthem. Despite being produced on a shoe-string, this is a neatly polished track with a memorable chorus and more than a hint of Echo & The Bunnymen throughout.
(Bryan O’Hanlon, Stop The Lights blog)
Furlong’s vision and application to his craft are commendable to say the least. He’s definitely one to watch.
(The Show Fuss blog)
Songs such as the gentle guitar ballad “Enough” come across as genuine rather than pretentious and “Are You Gonna Sleep Tonight?” could work well on radio.
(Lauren Murphy, The Irish Times)
“Love/Like” is an unashamed tribute to Brian Wilson, both lyrically and musically, as a spacey, classically-inspired synth melody meshes wonderfully with Furlong’s violining vocals. It’s as if Wilson circa 1966 had hijacked a Nobuo Uematsu soundtrack. The result is predictably awesome. Melodically, one of the understated pop gems of the year.
(Dave Donnelly, State Magazine)
Swirls and stretches your ears in all directions, a veritable smorgasbord of sonic delights. “So, You Think That You’re A Star?” is a real winner, a wholesome slice of mellow alt-rock that builds magnificently …Furlong’s voice has a beguiling quatility to it.
(Jackie Hayden, Hot Press)
Furlong’s tunes are a beatific blend of dreamy folk, sunny harmonies and lazy electronica with a psychedelic twist.
Like the meeting of The Beach Boys, Air and a bit of Mercury Rev.
(Dave Kennedy, Road Records)