How It’s New York: Tenement. Just the word conjures up the Lower East Side, and O’Shea lives in NY now.
How It’s Irish: O’Shea is Irish, from Killarney in Co. Kerry. And his singer-songwriter style comes right out of Irish folk.
Mike talks about Brendan O’Shea on this week’s podcast! Here is an excerpt from his Off the Record column for April 29th on Irish Central:
Brendan O’Shea’s Songs From a Tenement might be written about life on the poor part of town, but the album is rich with inventive textures and heart-melting harmonies that make this one of the best things I’ve heard all year!
“Miles from home/we are here at last/we hold the day that changes fast/we bite the hand that’s feeding/we take the hand that’s been stealing time/a new day for my love and I,” he sings softly on
“Bloodshot,” the album opener, before a crunchy electric shot brackets the words “I believe in you” over the chorus.
“Some say stop/others, go/you gotta take the steps that you know,” he sings on “Steps,” a song that Paul Simon would give a pension check to write today. The harmonies and playful chord structure is the perfect combination of sunniness with a cool breeze underneath.
On “One Star,” O’Shea takes a pensive piano and layers on the harmonies, and out-Frames Glen Hansard in the process.