By Shauna Golden
After eight years of careful planning, hard work and dedication, from out of the shadows emerges Kevin Nolan’s debut album ‘Fredrick & The Golden Dawn’. The Dublin native has arrived with this dark and enthralling ensemble of songs, with twists and turns around every corner, almost showing us a different character in each piece of music that compliment each other and breathe life into something very special. Nolan is a multi-instrumentalist that holds such an exceptional talent, singing and harmonising while playing various different instruments on the album which he seems to do so effortlessly.
When listening to this album, we are invited to step inside his world and a lot of the recurring themes are taken from his own life experiences, which add to the power of the message that there is always light at the end of the tunnel which echoes throughout the album. ‘Fredrick & The Golden Dawn’ is out now and is receiving great acclaim in the music world, with many of it’s tracks already getting a lot of air time both on Irish channels and beyond and from listening to the album, there’s no doubt we will be hearing a lot more about Nolan in the future.
The sound throughout feels like something from a different era while also creating a new and fresh sound that has not been heard from an Irish artist, transcending both time and place and transporting us to another realm where real human experiences meet the depths of the theatrical world. This story begins with the carnival sounding ‘Blood Wedding’, where Nolan powerfully bellows this twisted love song with a hint of revenge that’s complemented with both the deep, low sounding bass line and the light and gentle sounding ukulele. Then comes a twist with the beautifully harmonised sounding ‘Splinter’. Overlapping guitar riffs are layered together perfectly and the range of Nolan’s vocal abilities can be felt as he takes a step up from his usual uniquely low tone that shows just how versatile of an artist he truly is.
The track ‘Drowning’ shows another range of his talent as it begins with a more quirky orchestral sound led by a sultry double bass and then quickly moves on to a softer piano sound. The lyrics have a real meaning to them and allows Nolan to seem even more relatable to a wider based audience. The real high point of the album is the last track ‘Aubade’. A duet with singer/ composer Julie Feeney, this song has already gotten great reviews through many mediums and it’s simplistic style is a great way to finish off the album. Here are two voices that blend together perfectly and their vocal talents really shine through here as they are accompanied only by Nolan’s light and beautiful piano playing.
After eight years of his input, Kevin Nolan produces ten tracks that from start to finish tell a lavish story that invites anyone who enjoys any genre of music to enter and really listen. His talent is wonderfully celebrated throughout and his contribution to Irish music can already be felt as he emerges as a bright and exciting prospect. Unique and bold, Nolan is not afraid to be different and this translates into his music as his debut is like something that has definitely not been heard before. If you are ready to delve into his world, ‘Fredrick & The Golden Dawn’ deserves a listen and will certainly not disappoint.