Lisa O’Neill’s third album Pothole In The Sky will be released on April 22nd, with an Irish tour soon after
Pothole In The Sky is Lisa O’Neill’s third album, following the previous Choice-nominated Same Cloth Or Not and her debut Has An Album, and this time round she’s recorded with Mossy Nolan, Emma Smith, Joseph Doyle and Seamus Fogarty.
Lisa O’Neill has a remarkable voice; a Cavan twang, a growl, a song-call. It can be many things. She needed to make an album about that voice. Potholes in the Sky is a recording of “the voice”. The Voice is everything for the folk singer – a conduit for the words, the emotion, the thought process. And if, like me, you ever felt a record needed to be made of an artist’s voice, about her voice, so beautifully focused on, centred on, honed-in, on and in love with the voice, then this, is the record.
David Odlum – the producer who calls the Loire Valley residential paradise that is Black Box Studio his home – has taken this notion literally and assisted O’Neill in making the record that needed to be made. This is apparent from the off, the opening track, the title-track, the first bump in the road. You hear that familiar Cavan sneer (in an odd, abstract way, Lisa has always reminded me of a folk John Lydon – go figure). It’s a foreboding, dangerous tale, and a song that builds with intensity. The intensity is achieved by the utterly brilliant and stark accompaniment. The drones that underlay the voice seem to egg her on. The doomed dance of the double bass-line grows. The piano trickles manically, spinning in circles like a possessed children’s toy. And that casual drawl starts to sound more like a cracked, wracked, wrought plea full of desperation and fear. And you realise that this is no ordinary record.
An Irish tour has been lined up for May and June, and Lisa will be hitting Dublin for a gig in Whelans on Friday May 20th. The tour dates in full: