Album review: PADRAIG JACK – Making Sand

PADRAIG JACK – Making Sand

Website [Release date 25.09.20]

Padraig Jack writes and sings in Gaelic and English, being born and raised 10 miles off the west coast of Ireland on the Aran Islands. Padraig has won second prize at the Pan Celtic National Song contest and his song ‘Minnie’ was shortlisted for the final of the Christie Hennessy song contest. He has also received numerous Gradaim NÓS Award nominations.

‘Making Sand’ is his debut album and what a delight it is. Padraig Jack successfully mixes elements of folk, indie pop and pop rock into one heady, enjoyable mix.

‘Let It Shine’ is a darn fine indie pop rocker, with a full backing band and jangly guitar chords, you can imagine this one blasting out at a summer festival. ‘Gospel Of Matthew’ continues in a similar vein, where the call and response backing vocals and guitars work well. A very strong double whammy to open the album with.

Despite the upbeat melodies, his lyrics pack a punch – ‘Hello Mum’ is about a son who finally realises what his mum meant to him but can only tell her headstone. ‘Long Goodbye’ is a moving song dealing with dementia, with a poignant line ‘he is weeping memories’.

‘Minnie’ is a classy piece of indie pop, made for the airwaves with a strong chorus and melody.

For those after a more folk narrative, ‘Fighting Irish’ does just that aided by pipes, whistles and a rousing backing chorus. ‘Smaointe Cailte’ highlights how Gaelic is a language perfect for song. He would be an ideal support act for Clannad’s farewell tour next year as he bridges traditional music and the world of pop, not a feat many artists can successfully pull off.

For a debut album Padraig Jack has many musical ideas going on and hopefully he will continue to plough a wide musical furrow, as his vocals suit the pop and folk moments equally. ****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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