The debut album from Irish singer/songwriter Colin O’Shea, ‘Scars and Tones’, produced by David Prendergast (Overhead the Albatross, Kodaline), is bold and eclectic, fusing elements of everything from U2, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to even Bruce Springsteen.
The first track on the album, debut single ‘Booze ‘n’ Hangovers’ kicks the album off in an anthemic style. The track features the kind of classic songwriting and dazed atmosphere you might expect to find on the likes of a Mac DeMarco album, however combined with strong hints of Springsteen. O’Shea’s songwriting capabilities are immediately evident from the opening track, as is the fantastic production by Prendergast.
The second track, ‘Soldier’ truly highlights the diversity of O’Shea as a songwriter, with the song’s lo-fi vocals combining seamlessly with the instrumental, creating a sound which is unlike anything else found on the album. A true standout moment in the record.
The most memorable moments on the album, however, are found in the romantic ballads. Tracks such as “The Stars” and “Heartstrings”, the latter in particular creating a melancholic atmosphere akin to that which can be found in the discography of Nick Cave. These tracks combine all the best elements of O’Shea’s musical capabilities, classically trained as a pianist and a guitarist, as well as featuring some beautiful production.
Of the ten tracks on the album, there is not a single one that does not bring a new element of O’Shea’s abilities to the fore. This outstanding debut perfectly showcases the promise of the massively diverse singer songwriter.