Sound

by Niall Connolly

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about

"Terrific. Born in Ireland and now based in Brooklyn, the singer-songwriter offered up a solo set of disarming and beautifully crafted folk-pop. Connolly is a witty storyteller and a not-to-be-missed songsmith."

- The Chicago Tribune

"Among the most vibrant, poignant, and authentic indie folk artists in New York City."

-No Depression

"Deeply Passionate. Engaging songs that are very much in the vein of early Dylan and showcase the strength of his voice and the potency of his words"

- The Irish Independent


Sound is also the new album from Niall Connolly - an album of songs written from the perspective of a life less ordinary. The Cork songwriter has spent the last seven years in New York City, breathing deeply and soaking up the myriad influences of one of the world’s greatest and most vibrant cities.

The album was recorded with Connolly’s regular live band, featuring performances by Manchester-born songwriter, Warren Malone, Brandon Wilde (Black Bunny, This Way), Len Monachello (All Night Chemists, This Way) and Dennis Cronin ( Lambchop, Josh Rouse, Vic Chestnutt, Vitamin-D, the Quavers).

Similar to many great Irish songwriters, Connolly has always managed to convey the personal in a manner that allowed his listeners to feel included; to take something from his songs that we could call our own, while also feeling that we were sharing an insight into a life worth considering.

Sound takes us in new directions, however. Years of touring the US and Europe, meeting new people, confronting different cultures, has brought both the songwriter and listener to a point where we are now sharing these songs with a far larger number of people.

In the words of the songwriter: “Some of the songs are imagined biographies, or rather chapters of biographies of people I’ve never known. The album is full of curiousity - about the lives, personalities and circumstances of the fleeting encounters with countless people. The people who, in a way, make all the things I do worth doing.”

Whether it is his observations on the financial wasteland of the West (‘Lily of the Mohawks’) or the erosion of common decency around our world (‘Come Back to the Table’), Connolly, writes intelligently and with extraordinary clarity about some of the issues of our day.

Far from lecturing, however, Connolly’s songs contain hope and no shortage of a dry Irish wit. Take ‘Brooklyn Sky’, where ‘Mohammed and Jacob and Jesus are all kicking in the basement playing Bluegrass tunes’. In an imagined world where this can happen, surely anything is possible?

The lead track ‘Samurai’ opened the doors of Sound a little to let us look inside. What we find in there is an album carved from the giant rock that is life. Lovingly etched in places, by a songwriter who has truly learned his craft. Sound brings Connolly’s music to a new plateau, and it is a place where the views are worth sharing

credits

released April 9, 2013

Sound made by:

Niall Connolly- Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar and Glockenspiel

Dennis Cronin- Trumpet, Vibraphonette and Piano

Warren Malone- Electric Guitar and Vocals

Len Monachello- Drums

Brandon Wilde- Bass, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Hand Claps and Vocals

Special Guests:


Chris Foley- Guitar on 'Were You Dropped?' and 'Work With Pigs'
Christy McNamara - Button Accordion on 'The Year Of the Dragon'
E.W. Harris- Vocals on 'Brooklyn Sky' and 'Come Back to the Table'


Produced by Brandon Wilde and Niall Connolly

Recorded and Mixed by Brandon Wilde at Studio 76, Brooklyn, NY
Drums recorded by Len Monachello at Soundtronics, Brooklyn, NY

Photographs by Clare McCarthy
Graphic Design and layout by Don Paris Schlotman

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about

Niall Connolly Brooklyn, New York

"Terrific. Disarming and beautifully crafted folk-pop. Connolly is a witty storyteller and a not-to-be-missed songsmith."

- The Chicago Tribune

"Among the most vibrant, poignant, and authentic indie folk artists in New York City."

-No Depression
... more

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Track Name: Invincible
Invincible

Sulphur, sulphur glow,
Burn slow or fast, you are no match,
For my calloused finger tips.

I try not to hold,
Sometimes I hold,
Sometimes I hold too tight,
When I hold too tight,
I always lose, lose, lose my grip

The flame that came from the hill faraway
Will find the oil, find the oil slick.
If we must explode, if we must combust,
Won't you wait, wait, wait for me.

I was all broken down, by the side of the road
Like some sad old country song,
Walking home, home, home in borrowed clothes

I try not to hold,
Sometimes I hold,
Sometimes I hold too tight,
When I hold too tight,
I always lose, lose, lose my grip

The flame that came from the hill faraway
Will find the oil, find the oil slick.
If we must explode, if we must combust,
Won't you wait, wait, wait for me.

We're invincible, invincible,
Invincible, no more.
Track Name: Were You Dropped?
Were You Dropped?

Were you dropped?
Were you dropped by a bird?
Were you dropped by a bird from a great height?

You landed on a rock in a lake
You don't complain, no you make,
The best of what you've got.

Did you crack?
Did you crack on impact?
Did you crack on impact or slip between the gaps and grow?

We all reach for the blue sky,
Reach for the blue sky when it comes,
When it's gone, when it's gone,
We hold on.
Track Name: Lily Of The Mohawks
I'm standing by the wall,
Waiting for balloons,
You don't recognize me,
That's all right, I know you, i know you.

Come now Lilly of the Mohawks,
From the cathedral door,
You've been lurking with the black cloaks,
For two centuries or more,
What are you lurking for?

Well I heard that that St. Patrick,
drove the snakes from the land,
But those sneaky little bastards,
They made their way back,
They're working for the government,
That is to say they're working for the banks


I'm standing by the wall,
Waiting for balloons,
You don't recognise me,
That's alright I know you,
Yeah, I know you

The fat cat has long since died,
He was poisoned on is feet,
Man, you know that that's a lie,
It was suicide by greed
Anyone who's known true hunger,
Eats everything they see

The invisible man is bagging
Groceries at your store,
You know exactly who i mean,
You just never talked with him before,
Oh God Save Us,
From seeing out nation's poor


Come now Lilly of the Mohawks,
From the cathedral door
You've been lurking with the black cloaks,
For three centuries or more
What are you lurking for?


I'm standing by the wall,
Waiting for balloons,
You don't recognise me,
But that's all right, I know you, i know you.

I'm standing by the wall,
Waiting for balloons,
To lift me from this hell hole,
And take me back to you, back to you.

I'm standing by the wall,
Waiting for balloons.
Track Name: The Year Of The Dragon
The year of the dragon,
The year of the flood,
Fire, fire, fire,
On all that you love.

The year of my wedding,
Your Willow was born,
Still here for the telling,
Long after the storm.

Goodbye dragon, dragon, dragon,
Goodbye fear.
We're still here.

The year of the dragon,
The year of the flood,
Fire, fire, fire,
On all that you love.

The year of the neighbour,
Who raised the alarm,
Took your trembling wet hand,
And lead you from harm.

The year of the dragon,
The year of the gun.

The Year that the Harbor
Light burnt down,
The Glashaboy,
Tried to wash you out.
Track Name: Places I Promised I'd Go
In the van an hour,
I'm already feeling sick,
Wish I'd had a little more sleep,
Or a little less to drink.
Five hours later,
Johnny, I really need a break,
Can we pull in soon,
I've got to tackle these shakes,
With a cold cup of coffee,
or a warm can of beer,
It's tough at the top,
It ain't easy down here.

It's hard to figure out,
A way to keep moving,
Without losing what you love at home.
My time is measured out,
Between places I've been,
And places I promised I'd go.

I'm arguing with strangers,
Smoking, I don't smoke,
Drinking till they throw us out,
Some places won't throw,
Me and Gavin, We've got no sense,
It's go, go, go, I'll pay for this tomorrow,
And struggle through the show.

It's hard to figure out,
A way to keep moving,
Without losing what you love at home.
My time is measured out,
Between places I've been,
And places I promised I'd go.

Two hundred and twenty on the autobahn,
Eric's in the back, somehow sleeping like a lamb,
Now Justin's finally quiet,
Must be playing with that phone,
The National are singing on the radio,
Something dark, something sad,
Something pretty and slow,
Something about someone out in Ohio.
I feel every drop of blood,
Every sinew, every bone,
Hey Gav, are you awake man,
I'm afraid to go home,

It's hard to figure out,
A way to keep moving,
Without losing what you love at home.
My time is measured out,
Between places I've been,
And places I promised I'd go.
Track Name: Inland To Mercy
Inland to Mercy,
And South on 99,
Where your family can't hurt you,
And the strangers might be kind.
When you lose your trust in everyone,
You make a cage out of this life,
If I make it through the next few hours,
I'll make it through all right.

Folding up the maps,
Like you know where you are going,
Shield your eyes from the headlights,
When where you've been starts showing.
Change your name in every town,
And step out of your skin,
Tear it up or burn it down,
Before letting anybody in.

Oh little bird, without a footprint,
The measure of the strength of your tiny wings,
There are no words, for these kind of things,
This is why the little birds sing.

Too busy being vague,
To get anything done,
Lend your body to the pleasures,
Of these ghosts, one by one,
Your thoughts are always elsewhere,
But they're not the sort to mind,
If your soul's a little further,
North on 99.

Oh little bird, without a footprint,
The measure of the strength of your tiny wings,
There are no words, for these kind of things,
This is why the little birds sing.

It's just a show of the world,
A Song off the station,
Conversation overheard,
Local history and the origin of words,
The geography that chases,
The accents, trees and birds,

Those little birds, without a footprint,
The measure of the strength of your tiny wings,
There are no words, for these kind of things,
There are no words, for these kind of things,
There are no words, for these kind of things,
This is why the little birds sing.
Track Name: Brooklyn Sky
Here's to the Brookyln sky,
The red hook in the bait of your pale blue eyes,
The man on the subway, the man on the moon,
The fruit sellers and me you,
Mohammad and Jacob and Jesus
All kicking in the basement,
Playing blue grass tunes,

Come on!

Dust to Dust he's coming soon,
Knock, knock, knock,
Honey, I love you.
Show up or shut up, but stand up straight,
If you've got something,
Say it to my face,

Come on!

Me and the boys on the graveyard shift,
With the lost and the lonely,
The eternally pissed,
No 'Freebird' gonna fly in here,
No, nay, never, no way no more,
No 'Freebird' gonna fly in here
You ask me again,
Roger show you the door,

Now Come on!

Here's to the Brookyln sky,
The red hook in the bait of your pale blue eyes,
The man on the subway, the man on the moon,
The fruit sellers and me you,
Mohammad and Jacob and Jesus
All kicking in the basement,
Playing blue grass tunes,

Here's to the Brookyln sky,
The red hook in the bait of your pale blue eyes,
The man on the subway, the man on the moon,
The fruit sellers and me you,
Mohammad and Jacob and Jesus
All kicking in the basement,
Playing blue grass tunes,

Here's the Brooklyn sky, come on!
Track Name: My Next Move
Standing at the border in the summer rain,
Trying to put out the fire in my big, big brain,
Oh, oh,oh my next move,
Don't you worry about me mama,
I always pull through.

I've got places, I've got places,
I've got places I can go,
Brooklyn to Budapest, Bangkok to Mexico,
I've got people, you wouldn't want to know,
Don't you worry about me mama,
I always pull through.

Step on me once, well that's alright,
Step on me twice, you better step up and fight,
And I'll cut you, cut you, cut you, flesh from bone,
You say that wasn't very nice,
Well, I'm not very nice I suppose.

I've got two sisters and a brother,
A father and a mother,
I've got money and a passport,
I've got three, three, three telephones,
I'm standing at the border,
Trying to figure which way to roam.


Standing at the border in the summer rain,
Trying to put out the fire in my big, big brain,
Oh, oh,oh my next move,
Don't you worry about me mama,
I always pull through.
Don't you worry about me mama,
I always pull through.
Track Name: Come Back To The Table
Come back to the table when you can

Polish your trumpet boy,
And iron that shirt,
Shine the dust from your shoes,
This job is mostly showing up.

Everybody talking "Here and Now",
But we are arrogant, we're young,
Let me see you talk so lound,
When the pain comes.

Come back to the table,
Come back to the table,
Come back to the table when you can.

I can't tell if he is stupid,
Or numb on Xanax,
You'd have to be a little stupid,
Not to feel a little panicked

We're all typing on our tiny screens,
Present company ignored,
If this is table manners,
We are shitting on the forks.

Come back to the table,
Come back to the table,
Come back to the table when you can

Did I hear that you are moving,
To Paris or Budapest?
To perfect your ennui,
Update your status there instead?

I wasn't always this mean,
Or judgmental,
No I had a little more compassion,
Before I left.


Come back to the table,
Come back to the table,
Come back to the table when you can

Hey, I've got my disguise,
And I know that you've got yours,
It's not black and white,
What's wrong or right,
It's a little more obscure.
So polish your trumpet boy,
And iron that shirt,
Shine the dust from your shoes,
This Life is mostly showing up.

Come back to the table,
Come back to the table,
Come back to the table when you can.