Dublin born troubadour Fiach Moriarty is due to release his new album ‘The Revolution’ on 17th April of this year. As evidenced by the album title, Fiach Moriarty is heavily influenced by leftist social justice. This album at first appears to be a softly swaying singer-songwriter collection of tunes, however the deeper one listens, Moriarty’s righteous anger emerges. Protest and dissention is a civil duty, and Fiach Moriarty will tell you why. This album includes the 1916 Rising, the First World War and the Irish Brigade in the 19th Century Mexican army (Los San Patricios) among its subjects.
The opening track sets the tone for the entire album. ‘Revolution’ is a lament for the art of oppositional protest, and the way in which it is portrayed by the media, all set to a striding, marchers pace. In it, Moriarty evokes his childhood in Dublin attending protests with his parents in the 80’s, name checking the Guildford Four as he does so. He also takes us through the typical timeline for any modern revolution. First, the revolution will be televised, then the revolution will be criticised, then the revolution will be vilified. From the Occupy movement to the Arab Spring, a large number of modern protests and revolutions have unfolded using this formula. Notable mention must be made of the sly dig at American foreign policy – The Revolution will be criticised, by the World elite, unless it suits their agenda to overthrow those they’ve armed to the teeth.
‘Mount Street Bridge’ takes the form of a more traditional singer-songwriter type tune. It is in turn, a coming of age song, a travel log and the remorse of a soldier. In terms of vocal quality, Moriarty is channelling the spirit of early Josh Ritter and the song writing style of Woody Guthrie.
One of the other time Moriarty experiments with writing style is in the penitent sinners tale of ‘Confession’. This song assumes the form of an Aisling, whereby the young patriot receives a spiritual calling to fight for the honour and dignity of Hibernia. In Moriarty’s version, it’s a soldier confessing his sins to a priest. This song asks us if military violence is justified in the pursuit of peace, and is violence the only response to a negligent authority that ignores its citizens?
The entire album is asking several questions: Is a revolution of the people ever successful? If so how will we know given the agenda driven nature of the media? How can a civilian affect change without appealing to an authority? What is the line between genuine protest and over-sensitive troublemaking? These questions and more are asked in Fiach Moriarty’s album. Having said that, at times Moriarty’s earnest call for revolution is slightly reminiscent of the naivety of The Young Ones: sincerely felt, but ultimately, a tad innocent. However, with thought provoking lyrics and catchy, singalong tunes, you may well be glad you bought this album in years to come.
It has all the hallmarks of a classic.