Fresh from an action packed SxSW which featured a standout set at Spotify House and a brush with danger as torrential storms waylaid Texas’ own native, Willie Nelson’s Ranch where he was scheduled to perform, Ciaran Lavery returns with the next single off his upcoming sophomore release, Let Bad In. Premiering on The Independent, “Okkervil River” features Ciaran’s earthy vocals rising up against expansive production to create a searing teaser of what to expect on the full length, which will be available on May 27.
Despite wielding an acoustic guitar and writing achingly beautiful lyrics, the County Antrim native doesn’t conform to the sensitive singer-songwriter archetype. Let Bad In blends Americana and hip-hop influences in a grainy voice with a deep soul impulse over processed beats and sumptuous strings that ultimately create a “very personal album” says the singer. He explains, “I have written 10 songs based all around that nostalgic innocence of youth and now, older, I look at things, what things I face in the future. How I felt about certain things at a certain age or point in my life, others reflective as an older version of myself looking back then forward.” Let Bad In is essentially an album based on the naivety of childhood and the loss of innocence with age.
In 2014, Lavery’s Kosher EP and Not Nearly Dark album went global, with the tracks, “Shame” and “Left For America” leading the charge racking up more than 30 million listens on Spotify. Both releases received incredible response from both critics and music industry insiders with Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody saying Not Nearly Dark was a “stunning” and “magical” collection, while BBC One’s Zane Lowe described Lavery as “a songwriter that is very comfortable in his own skin.” 2015 saw the release of Sea Legs, a mini-album on which Lavery collaborated with electronica artist Ryan Vail. The pair received a nomination for best album at the Northern Irish Music Prize and, later in the year, won the Big Break, a search for the brightest of Ireland’s bright young things. It’s all about momentum. And there is real sense, especially with the release of Let Bad In, his most profound statement yet, that this time belongs to Lavery.
Stream Let Bad In here: