Chris McConaghy, aka Our Krypton Son, has an uncanny knack for making beautiful records.
The critically acclaimed songwriter released his second album this year, five years on from his self titled 2012 release which earned plaudits far and wide. BBC presenter Stephen McCauley went as far as to describe him as "one of the best songwriters I've ever heard” and it’s easy to see why.
Fleas and Diamonds follows in the same mould, exquisite original ear-catching songs, perfectly written and produced. A must have album for any collection.
The people in the know at the NI Music Awards felt so too, with Fleas and Diamonds being nominated for ‘Album of the Year’. The release may not have won the big award, however it is not surprising that the nomination features in Chris’ highlight of 2017.
“I've been very lucky this year so there have been a few” said Chris. “The stand out moment for me though was having my second album nominated for ‘Album of the Year’ at the NI Music Prize awards. I couldn't believe it.”
The local songwriter has been busy on the gigging front throughout 2017, spreading his tunes across the country
“Again there have been a few honourable mentions” said Chris. “I had a great gig in the Guildhall under a giant inflatable moon for the Samhain sessions. My favourite gig though was in Hawks Well theatre in Sligo with Duke Special on his Hallow tour. He covered a song of mine and I sang harmony with him on one of his his.”
Our Krypton Son - Relics
Speaking about his latest release, Chris has been pleased and grateful for the reaction to his new album. “I am indeed” said Chris. “All the reviews have been great. And the support from radio, press and folk in general has been phenomenal. I owe a lot of people a huge debt of gratitude.
“I have written songs with a definite artist or blueprint in mind before but most of the songs on this album just sort of appeared. Influences were primarily subconscious but I can hear the impact on some of the songs of The Divine Comedy, Brian Wilson, Nick Cave and Scott Walker, for example.”
Having just returned from Dingle’s ‘eir Other Voices Festival’, Chris filled us in on the weekend of live music.“I was delighted to be asked to come down to Other Voices again. I loved being a part of it the last time I was there. Dingle's such a great spot and it was an incredible line up this year. A swell weekend was had.”
Many other local acts joined Chris in the lineup, with Rosborough, Waldorf & Cannon Touts and Roe making the trip to the iconic location. “I think the local music scene is stronger than ever” admitted Chris.
“Everybody seems to be raising their game, pushing each other on. Even just in the northwest, acts like ROE, TOUTS, The Wood Burning Savages, Strength NIA and Ryan Vail are blowing minds. Other artists like Conor Mason, Invaderband, who are my other group and also nominated for the NI Music Prize, amongst others are working away on new material. And that’s only the stuff I'm aware of. And I'm a bit of a hermit” laughed Chris. “It’s all very exciting.”
Chris revealed that 2018 will be yet another busy year: “I have another single and an EP under way. They're due for release in the New Year” said Chris. “New singles and videos, an EP and album number three.”
The local musician is grateful for the support he has received over the years, reveals how vital local support is
“Its very important. A lot of artists like myself are self employed so releasing music and playing gigs is literally our only income. There isn't the same 'music industry' model as there once was and with Spotify's, amongst others, free online streaming becoming the default way in which most artists are listened to. It’s imperative to have audiences coming to gigs.”
With so many incredible local acts on the scene at the moment, it’s a great opportunity show your support by giving the gift of local music this year. You can get in touch with Our Krypton Son to purchase merchandise through his website and be sure to check him out on Facebook and YouTube too! Don't forget to enter our competition here, where you have a chance of winning a host of merchandise from all the acts involved in the campaign.