We’ve been enthralled by Irish punk poet Sinead O’Brien for a while now, so we’re delighted that she’s announced her debut album Time Bend And Break The Bower for release in June via Chess Club. She reveals about the Dan Carey produced record:
“The story of the album is built up in layers; one song giving context to the next. I thought about becoming undressed; testing my ideas, my voice. Working myself out across themes of identity, curiosity, creative process. Experimenting with the form and shape of language, using tone and delivery to get to the immediate centre of what I am saying. The record opens and closes with poems, these tracks have a really clear direction – a form which is set apart from the ‘songs’. I hold stops in different places, moving emphatically through the lyrics, changing the meaning. No punctuation – only the voice mapping out the way.
“The album title “Time Bend and Break The Bower”, from the song ‘Multitudes’, came into my head and made its demands, an idea that pressed on me throughout the record. It has a very active role. The clock symbol is enlarged, it looms like a moon over my activity watching, counting me down to zero. Dripping with self-sabotage and the feeling of being chased; it pulls and pushes against the verses which talk of ’Multitudes’; the things that faithfully come back – the images, the words, creativity. It is creativity itself.”
With that introduction, you’re prepared to enter the new single “Holy Country”, which gives us a clearer insight into O’Brien’s thought process than ever (“I stare at walls when I feel hollow / I stare straight down the hall and I follow the thoughts”) – and yet we’re still wonderfully bedevilled by her words. She welcomes us in with a welcoming acoustic guitar melody, but the fabric of the song is ripped by glitchy synths and rapid percussion impacts. It provides a vivid mental landscape, with O’Brien pointing out many things as we traverse it. We watch as she points out “the Giants of Time turning tunes” and demands ” take me to taste the secrets of the Saints”, all of which combines into “the whispers of a Holy Country”.
March 2022 12th – Route Du Rock, Saint-Malo, France 14th– 20th SXSW Festival, Austin TX, USA 26th – M4Music Festival, Zurich, Switzerland
April 2022 9th – Wide Eyed Festival, O2 Academy, Leicester, UK 29th – Les Nuits Botanique, Brussels, Belgium (Belle and Sebastian Support)
May 2022 1st – Get Together Festival, The University of Sheffield Students’ Union, Sheffield, UK 12th – 14th – The Great Escape Festival, Brighton, UK 28th – 29th – Sea Change Festival, Totnes, UK
June 2022 6th – Primavera In The City, Barcelona, Spain
July 2022 17th – Motherwell Concert Hall, Motherwell, UK (Belle and Sebastian Support) 29th – 31st – All Together Now Festival, Co Waterford, Ireland
September 2022 1st – 4th – End Of The Road Festival, Wiltshire, UK 15th – Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing, France 16th – Le Point Éphémère, Paris, France 17th – Rotown, Rotterdam, Netherlands 18th – Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam, Netherlands 20th – Cassiopeia, Berlin, Germany 21st – Loppen, Copenhagen, Denmark 22nd – Obaren, Stockholm, Sweden 25th. – Bumann & SOHN, Cologne, Germany 26th – Trix, Antwerp, Belgium
October 2022 – UK and Ireland headline tour 9th – Cluny 2, Newcastle, UK 10th – King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, UK 11th – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK 12th – Deaf Institute, Manchester, UK 14th – Bodega, Nottingham, UK 17th – Lafayette, London, UK 19th – Green Door Store, Brighton, UK 20th – Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate, UK 21st – Exchange, Bristol, UK 26th – Cyprus Avenue, Cork, Ireland 27th – Whelans, Dublin, Ireland 28th – Black Box, Belfast, UK 29th – Dolans Warehouse, Limerick, Ireland
November 2022 – Belle and Sebastian UK Support Tour 14th – Roundhouse, London, UK (B&S Support) 17th – O2 Academy, Sheffield, UK (B&S Support) 24th – O2 City Hall, Newcastle, UK (B&S Support) 27th – Corn Exchange, Cambridge, UK (B&S Support) 28th – O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK (B&S Support) 29th – Guildhall, Southampton, UK (B&S Support) 30th – Brighton Dome, Brighton, UK (B&S Support)