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Conchúr White Announces Debut Album “Swirling Violets” out 19th January via Bella Union & Shares New Single “I Did Good Today”

September 19, 2023
photo credit: Nathan Magee

Conchúr White Announces Debut Album “Swirling Violets” out 19th January via Bella Union

Shares New Single “I Did Good Today”

Live Dates Including shows with John Grant & Richard Hawley

Conchúr White today announces his debut album Swirling Violets out 19th January 2024 via Bella Union and available to preorder here. To accompany the announcement White has shared the striking first single “I Did Good Today”. Part compulsive confessional, part plea, Conchúr White’s dreamy reflection on the longing for validation traces an arc towards a lustrous, sighing chorus with weightless fluency. Between his impressionistic lyrics and luminous backdrops, the first dispatch from White’s incoming debut album seems to glow from within. 

Commenting on the track Conchúr – pronounced Conor – White says: “I Did Good Today is a song about craving validation but understanding that such approval can come at the expense of honesty or integrity. Musically I reference the likes of Midlake, Aldous Harding and Bleachers. The track was recorded in a Belfast church with producers Danny Morgan Ball and Kris Platt and mixed in London by Matt Wiggins.”

The sweeping tones and immersive textures provide this deeply complex landscape for the delicate, ethereal vocal harmonies to glide above. This composition consumes the audience through the fragility and the tender lyrics, Conchúr has this fearless ability to let the audience in, to allow this embracement for the aching words and the emotive course. The lyrics can be taken in a multitude of ways. understood, accepted, connected and inspired alterations, this artist provides such a vital step in the importance of the words and the stirring formation of the orchestration in its entirety.

We are now two tracks into appreciating the importance of Conchúr White and his immense ability to create such stirring ensembles. Each embraces an emphasis on this allurement which is centred into the composition. Be it a level of magic, or a level of fragility it all works towards these vital, melodic arrangements filled with affection.

Additionally, White has announced news of a busy upcoming live schedule including a support show with Margaret Glaspy at London’s Omeara tomorrow, support dates with John Grant & Richard Hawley on their upcoming tour playing the songs of Patsy Cline, then shows with The Magnetic Fields in Europe in November. All dates are listed further down the announcement.

“I like surreal settings, but with tangible messages,” says White. A singer-songwriter from County Armagh, White navigates the dreamlike and the grounded with blissful fluency on his beautifully lambent debut album. Released through Bella Union in January, Swirling Violets is allusive and intimate, unearthly yet instantly accessible: touching on fully felt themes with grace and lightness, it’s a richly imagined album of multitudes from an instinctive talent.

As White explains it, “There wasn’t a conscious theme, though the songs operate in the same sort of space, that sense of surrealism. There’s ghosts, there’s other worlds. There’s a cosmic feeling, questions about the beginning and the end and dreams. And then there’s simpler songs, love songs about the feelings of infatuation you have when you’re young”

Opener ‘The Holy Death’ is exemplary, White setting folk-ish reflections on mortality to an elegant melody within a chiming arrangement that shifts effortlessly to a more maniacal mode for the climax.

The hymnal ‘Righteous’ swerves sideways into tender introspection, setting a reflection on religion and the longing for vindication to an airy melody. ‘501s’ is a different ballgame, a dream-pop reflection on teenage infatuation played with an impressionistic lyricism; White evokes the tastes and textures of lived-in youthful experience at a stroke. The dappled folk of ‘Rivers’ dives deep into themes of compulsion, and how others try to accommodate the afflicted and addicted.

Elsewhere, White ranges deftly from lost-love songs (‘Fawn’) to tales of tragic romance (‘The Woman in the War’). The title track is a melting beauty, drawing you deep inside its “parallel world” of longing. Wherever you listen, these are songs with stories to tell and sublime ways of telling them: “There’s not one track on the album that doesn’t mean something to me,” says White.

A music graduate who has also worked alongside young people with mental health issues, White’s story began in bands. He played in atmospheric indie-rockers Silences before their split allowed Conchúr to develop his solo voice at his own pace. That sense of freedom colours Conchúr’s music. On the Bikini Crops and Dreamers EPs, he filtered the influences of acts such as Arctic Monkeys (recent vintage) and Father John Misty into songs at once playful, referential and experiential. The moonlit plea of this year’s ‘Atonia’, a cathartic reverie on sleep paralysis, showed White’s melodic and lyrical talents blossoming.

With praise from SPIN, The Line of Best Fit, Under the Radar, Steve Lamacq, Radio 6 and others under his belt, he has also notched up touring slots with Villagers, Billie Marten and John Grant, who complemented White’s work warmly. Meanwhile, a recent invitation to support the mighty John Cale in concert lead to more compliments from Cale’s storied bandmembers.

Collaborators on Swirling Violets include Matt Wiggins, who mixed the album; producers Kris Platt and Danny Morgan Ball; and co-writer/producer Iain Archer (‘Swirling Violets’). Finally, Brendan Jenkinson produced the closer, ‘Deadwood’, a serene drift through the “mystic night” under the “summer’s moonlight”. An irresistible invitation to float along with White, Swirling Violets is a magic-realist wonder from a new name to reckon with, bathed in a radiant glow.

Conchúr White UK + European live dates:

20 Sept – LONDON – Omeara (with Margaret Glaspy)

21 Sept – SUNDERLAND – The Fire Station (with John Grant & Richard Hawley)

22 Sept – BRIGHTON – Brighton Dome (with John Grant & Richard Hawley)

23 Sept – COVENTRY – Warwick Arts Centre (with John Grant & Richard Hawley)

06 Oct – LEEDS – Brudenell Social Club (with The Boxer Rebellion)

08 Oct – DUNDALK – Spirit Store

12 Oct – NYON – La Parenthese

14 Oct – KALTERN – Kaltern Pop Festival

22 Oct – CARDIFF – SWN Festival

28 Oct – AMSTERDAM – London Calling Festival

29 Oct – HALDERN – Haldern Pop Bar

02 Nov – BRIGHTON – Mutations Festival

04 Nov – BARCELONA – Sala Apolo (with The Magnetic Fields)

05 Nov – ZARAGOZA – Sala Oasis (with The Magnetic Fields)

06 Nov – MADRID – La Paqui (with The Magnetic Fields)

13 Nov – BRUSSELS – Orangerie (with The Magnetic Fields)

15 Nov – OSLO – Rockefeller (with The Magnetic Fields)

16 Nov – GOTHENBURG – Pustervik (with The Magnetic Fields)

17 Nov – STOCKHOLM – Nalen (with The Magnetic Fields)

19 Nov – HELSINKI – Tavastia (with The Magnetic Fields)

1. The Holy Death

2. Righteous (Why Did I Feel Like That?)

3. 501s

4. Rivers

5. I Did Good Today

6. Swirling Violets

7. Red House Parlour

8. Before Ten

9. Fawn

10. The Woman In The War

11. Deadwood

https://conchurwhite.ffm.to/swirlingviolets

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