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Another voice I think I could not exist happily without is old Irish bard Adrian Crowley. Chemikal Underground must've been waiting years to sign him as he's trundled along from label to label, usually leaving them the happy recipient of an album's worth of wonderfully melancholy musings. 'Season of the Sparks' initially shares something in spirit with Sheffield crooner Richard Hawley, except Adri ...

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Season of the Sparks by Adrian Crowley
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9/10 Brian Staff review, 05 November 2009
Another voice I think I could not exist happily without is old Irish bard Adrian Crowley. Chemikal Underground must've been waiting years to sign him as he's trundled along from label to label, usually leaving them the happy recipient of an album's worth of wonderfully melancholy musings. 'Season of the Sparks' initially shares something in spirit with Sheffield crooner Richard Hawley, except Adrian's much less end-of-pier seaside town 50's throwback & more Leonard Cohen spine-melter. There's some gorgeous strings & atmospheric near-drone on my favorite track 'The Beekeeper's Wife' - all topped with his effortless, velvety yearning voice that will always move me as long as I live. I think he's fleshing some of his songs out a bit more these days and there's a couple of tracks when it all sounds a bit more commercial/radio friendly than you'd care for, but then you realise you've only been half listening so you adjust your ears to concentrate more, and delve happily right back in to his tender, majestical world view & reassuring sonic folk stew. I think he's the nearest thing we've got to Bill Callahan, his voice surely made to mingle with these shimmering, spectral guitarscapes like on 'Squeeze Bees' He's got a bee obsession here hasn't he? When all seems dirt, Crowley is the diamond that forever shines through. Absolutely essential.

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