Since the release of her debut album ‘Hemet’ one month ago on the new label Black Gate Records, Galway artist Niamh Regan has received consistent praise for this game-changing record, as she carves out her own niche in the world of contemporary folk music, and puts forward a strong contender for album of the year.
“Regan’s craft has grown in scope and vision, making Hemet, one of the finer albums released in Ireland this year.” Nialler9
“Regan has inched her way out of early influences (Laura Marling, Karen Dalton, Nick Drake, et al) to present tunes with a collective distinctive oomph… a memorable debut from Galway singer…” Tony Clayton Lea, Irish Times 4/5
“’Hemet’ is a stunning debut from the Galway singer-songwriter. Her potential to be a future mainstay of the Irish music scene is clear. But, for now, Hemet stands on a pedestal of its own as uniquely, unmistakably the work of Niamh Regan.” Hot Press Magazine
“To blend specificity with universality, pop melodies with eerie silences, and retain a singular voice throughout, is a feat indeed. Hemet goes gently, but do not be fooled by the obvious comparisons – Regan is an artist of singular talent and substance.” Andrea Cleary, Journal of Music
“The Galwegian troubadour has fashioned a bewitching album and her artfully wrought songs are in the confessional vein…. Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon are touchstones, but Regan’s gorgeously arranged songs signal the arrival of a special talent” Irish Independent, Album of the Week
Recent singles ‘How About That Coffee?’ and ‘Save The Day’ have showcased Regan’s immense songwriting prowess and her stunning vocals across the album have brought about rich comparisons with Lisa Hannigan, Sarah Jarosz and Laura Marling. However, rather than provide some standout moments ‘Hemet’ is holistically connected throughout both sonically and philosophically. ‘Hallelujah Game’ and ‘Two Seagulls’, both co-written with her husband, display an observant delicateness. “With all these highs, there comes the lows,” is a poignant summation of the breadth and perspective of Regan’s debut.
There is evidence of traditional and bluegrass influences on tracks like ‘Sweetest Drop’ and ‘She’ but her strongest craft on exhibition here is to mix these ingredients with the sparse contemporary sounds of drum machines and synthesizers as heard on ‘Ode To Youth’ and album opener ‘Something So Good’. The result is something which is synchronously earthly and familiar, yet intoxicatingly fresh.
Regan says “’Hemet ‘is a collection of songs I am very proud of. It was a labour of love and I am glad people have received it so well. I never imagined to be opening messages from people all over the world telling me ‘Hemet’ struck a chord in them or waking up to a 5 star review in Swedish. It’s bizarre and I’m still wrapping my head around it.
I simply cannot wait to get to play this album live in as many places as possible when the time comes.”
‘Hemet’ is out now on digital, CD, and vinyl, via Black Gate Records.
Buy ‘Hemet’ on digital/CD/vinyl via Bandcamp: https://niamhregan.bandcamp.com/album/hemet
Stream ‘Hemet’ on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/y6s74nu6