FROM FLUSHED PINK to faded grey on the third Villagers album, Conor J. O’Brien explores the changing colours of love. Written and recorded at home, the album has the feel of an epic treatise on the theme: with O’Brien running the gamut from one-night-stand shelf lurker (No One To Blame) and post-coital dewy (Dawning On Me) to resentful (Hot Scary Summer) and widowed (Darling Arithmetic).
It’s a risky exercise but O’Brien pulls it off thanks to his trademark musical economy: succinct lyrical couplets (“Left my demons at the door/So what are you opening it for?” on Every Thing I Am Is Yours) that resonate deeply, a voice that recalls Will Oldham’s quiver and Bill Callahan’s deadpan.
An ominous Daniel Lanois-like production lends these stripped-back tracks a suggestion of past ghosts and future regrets that lurk just beneath the surface.
Watch the new video for Everything I Am Is Yours and listen to Darling Arithmetic in full below.