Some songs have the capacity to quite simply, stop you in your tracks.
Dermot Kennedy’s songs have this power. It derives from the dramatic percussion that makes the bed for the prowling passion that rumbles his vocal, and the intimacy of the RnB lacing, that raise pimples on your skin.
His latest cut, ‘Moments Passed’, is intense. Delivered with a burning fire from the soul, there’s a tenderness weaved between the multi-textured soundscape that cradles the vulnerability in lyrics that would be at home in a poetry book, and etch onto your heart.
This is an artist who is endearing, and whilst he crafts our future favourite songs, he shared his own.
Stormzy – ‘100 bags’
“If there’s anybody worth writing songs about, it’s your mother! I think Stormzy does a damn good job of it too. One of my favourite artists right now for sure. I love how he performs, and how he writes, there seems to be a real honesty to it. And in a genre where bravado is so often the main ingredient, there seems to be a real sense of joy in his music sometimes, which is infectious.”
James Blake ft. Bon Iver – ‘I Need A Forest Fire’
“I remember I was in Switzerland when this song came out. I played for five nights in a row in a bar in a rural town. I was staying in a barn near a lake, and I had free time every day, so I used to walk around the lake every evening before playing, and I used to just listen to this song on repeat while I walked around in the sun. So it brings back some very fond memories. That vocal melody and the harmonies have such a groove. I remember hadn’t been that hooked on a song in a while.”
Bon Iver – ‘Creeks’
“Bon Iver is changing the game and inspiring me constantly. No one can do it like he can, in my opinion. I saw him perform this song in Paris, and the sound of that affected vocal live is just stunning. He’s evolved with every album, and I’m blown away every time. He sets the standard I think.”
Anaïs Mitchell – ‘Epic (Part II)’
“The instrumentation and imagery in this song is so special. Her whole Hadestown album is so beautiful and such a great storytelling achievement. It even inspired me to write my final year thesis on the opera of Orpheus. To take something so classic and tell the story in a more contemporary way is awesome. Hats off to her.”
Foy Vance – ‘Indiscriminate Act Of Kindness’
“Again, just a really beautiful and powerful story told in this great song. There’s a real message in it, about the way we treat others, especially those less fortunate. There’s not too many songs like that these days, so I think it’s special, and important. There’s a video on YouTube of him performing this song with the Ulster Orchestra, and it’s incredible.”
Words by Tanyel Gumushan