Seamus Fogarty – God Damn You Mountain

Album Review by Finbarr Bermingham | 30 Mar 2012
Album title: God Damn You Mountain
Artist: Seamus Fogarty
Label: Fence Records
Release date: 16 Apr

Rita Jack’s Lament, the centrepiece of Seamus Fogarty’s startlingly good debut album, features a recording of a County Kerry native on her first trip to Ireland in 50 years. She’s standing in the house she grew up in, talking about her childhood, as a traditional Irish guitar track plays out, distorted and unwound. You can hear the birds singing in the background and, to coin a phrase, you can almost smell the cowshit off it.

The ethereal mood permeates throughout God Damn You Mountain, a record that nestles beautifully at the point where the digital and analogue worlds collide. It’s a wonderful, woozy mix of folk, country and blues, in which Fogarty’s weary vocals and ghostly field recordings are fused fast with the plaintive banjo, plucked guitar, organ and violin. At times it’s heartbreaking, but, like a good daydream, you come out the other side wistful, smiling and longing to go back in for more.

Playing Eye O' the Dug Festival in St Andrews on 15 Apr and supporting James Yorkston at Edinburgh Caves on 31 May