Fergus Daly is an upcoming, Irish indie-rock artist. Despite only releasing his first song in December 2017, he has gone on to rack up over 50k listens on SoundCloud to date, not to mention over half a million cumulative views for his music videos!
Although always being musical and a music lover – it runs through his veins, he says – Daly was a late starter on the music scene, only setting off on this journey in earnest in autumn of 2016. The catalyst was upheaval in his personal life, a difficult episode which he channeled into his latent, untapped songwriting ability. A few months later he had produced sufficient material for an album, which he set about recording in Autumn 2019, in Jealoustown Studios, under the stewardship of Stuart Gray, his producer (who also plays guitar and keyboard on the album). The result was a collection of world-class songs, which surprised everyone, including Daly himself:
“It being my first foray into a studio, the process of discovering my sound and voice was more of an iterative and evolutionary one than something set in stone from the get-go, asI was open – and still am – to so many influences. But am so happy with the outcome …”
And his influences are certainly both broad and wide, spanning from every decade since the 50’s, with Led Zeppelin, The Doors, U2 and Oasis probably being the top of the long list, which also includes solo artists such as Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Ed Sheeran and David Gray. This eclectic mix probably goes some way to explaining the unique, unmistakable yet fresh sound he went on to create, with rock influences being pronounced in certain songs, such as Soldier Boy, and folk influences evident in others (such as Riddle – which lent it’s name to the album), characterised by a rich lyrical content, something that runs like a seam through all his work. And although all the songs on the album are personal in nature some are more so than others:
“I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve in this album … in terms of concept, I think it’s an attempt at an honest portrayal of myself: a bundle of contradictions … hence the title … each song representing a different side of me … some being deeply personal, being forged from a difficult period in my life … But I hope, despite that, their appeal is universal in nature …”