Fionn Regan almost walked away from music. There was a moment before he started work on new album The Meetings of the Waters, where he seriously considered putting down the guitar and pursuing visual art full time. After releasing three records in as many years between 2010 and 2012, he took a step away. The months rolled by, 2013 was quiet, and soon almost half a decade had passed with no new music. Fionn participated in a group art exhibition with Peter Doherty, Adam Green, and Martin Creed called Noise Kids - testing the waters, as it were.
But he came back, and we’re all the better for it; the art world’s gain would have been our loss. The Meetings of the Waters is expansive, hopeful, and possibly Fionn’s most impressive work to date. On album number five, Fionn Regan has distilled his music to its purest form.
The album opens with the title track, a melodic reverie with barely-there electronica burbling away in the background. The Meetings of the Waters is an apt name - both the track and album are fluid, malleable. “Cape of Diamonds”, “Book of the Moon”, and “Wall of Silver” ebb and flow like rushing currents, while the hopeful “Turn the Skies of Blue On” and “Euphoria” run calm and deep. Soaring recent single “Cormorant Bird” is another gem, its rhythmically picked acoustic guitar and sweeping synths setting a dark tone that belies its poetic lyrics.
There are brash moments, too: “Babushka Yai Ya” is harder and more frantic than the rest of the album, racing along in power-chord fits and starts.
Fionn does all of this with a light touch. Nothing feels heavy-handed on The Meetings of the Waters - not the synths he’s recently branched out into, nor the guitars, and certainly not his lilting vocal as it skims across the top of the instrumentals. The record is carefully considered; measured, but not without soul. The Meetings of the Waters shines with hope. Deep breath: it might be Fionn Regan’s best album yet.
Release: 14th April 2017, TSUNENI AI / Abbey Records