Exposé Online banner

Niall Mc Guigan — Spiritual Anarchy
((Not on label) no#, 2019, DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-10-27

Spiritual Anarchy Cover art

Mc Guigan is an Irish musician and practicing music therapist, specializing in medical ethnomusicology (music and healing within shamanic and neo-shamanic traditions). Over the years he has played in a number of different bands playing every style imaginable from rock to metal to funk and reggae and Irish traditional music, and a bit of all that and much more comes to the fore in his own releases, beginning with his debut studio release Awareness in 2016, which was quickly followed up in 2017 with Live at St. Anne’s Church, Dublin. At hand is Mc Guigan’s latest studio release Spiritual Anarchy from 2019, ten tracks that span his range of interests, all featuring thoughtful lyrics dealing with his spiritual journey and cultural conditioning through self-inquiry and the quest for truth and freedom. It’s part folk, part roots rock and perhaps a little bit of everything else in his varied background, and features superb playing by all. Mc Guigan sings and plays guitar and mandolin, and composed all of the tracks except the closer which is a traditional cover. Joining him are drummer Karl Cosgrove, bassist Paul Mc Cabe, Paul McElroy on guitar and mandolin, violinist Rafal Szydlowski, and Clare Foley on backing vocals. Opener “Simple Message” starts with an intro of mandolins backed by deep growling bass for about half a minute until the singing and drums join in, revealing a solid rock presence that truly sets the stage for all that follows. “Don’t Let the Music Die” takes a softer more intimate singer-songwriter approach, the violin backing througout makes for a beautiful melodic passageway. Again, “Butterfly” makes great use of mandolins, violin, and vocal harmonies, the lyrics regarding transformation and change, slowly morphing into a more folk-rock presence. “Talisman” takes a more folky approach, its introspective lyric “There’s no need for a talisman… you are the one that you’ve been waiting for,” backed with beautiful harmonies and violin making it one of the album’s standouts. The title track is another winner, a powerful rocker with great vocals and strong harmonies that even features some Tuvan throat singing in various parts to great effect. All taken, Spiritual Anarchy offers an introspective view into the complex world of one of Ireland’s best singer-songwriters.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Niall Mc Guigan

More info
http://www.niallmcguigan.com

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Paul Rucker & Hans Teuber - History of an Apology & Oil – Like Nels and Alex Cline, Satoko Fujii, and even Henry Threadgill (all with their various ensembles), Paul Rucker produces music that is usually referred to as jazz, but has such far-ranging elements...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues