Leaving Dublin for Rome and then to London to pursue romance and music, Louis Brennan, started off in a band called Semaphore before working on his debut album, Dead Capital. The first taste from it, 'Bit Part Actor', is streaming with a video below.
The track is led by his bass baritone, with eloquent lyrics that recall a despondent time in his life and the video helps to emphasise the stark, desperate feelings running through his veins at the time of writing.
It follows the lonely steps of an ageing business man passing through an empty, industrial town that corresponds to the Dead Capital title.
In a way the man's tender emotions reflect how Louis felt at a time in his life. He tells Gigwise he had a "wilderness period" after the dissolution of alt-country Semaphore before he channeled his nihilistic thoughts and anger into making music for what would become his solo album.
But this is far from a cliche outpouring. As the track above suggests, he's a deft lyricist who loads each line with imagery and delivers with a wry sense of humour. He's someone capable of turning the bleak into beautiful and relateable; a bit like Nick Cave and John Grant can.
Sonically, he draws influence from the Bakersfield Sound with acts such as Buck Owens and the subsequent artists they inspired like Gram Parsons. The singer admires "the whole heart worn highways vibe." He's also a big fan of existential Western movies such as High Plains Drifter which play on "the whole no goodies, no baddies, no message just suffering thing!" Those American influences are particularly felt thanks to the psychedelic tremolo-effected motif that's used sparingly to propell the tune.
A man of great references, and an ability to transfix on the most unlikely topics, Louis Brennan is one to watch.
Sat Oct 28th – Oxjam Camden @ Dingwalls London
Mon Nov 13th – Bush Hall w/ The Cactus Blossoms, London
Wed Nov 29th – The Harrison, London