Dear Fionn Regan: Take My Money, I Want Your EPs
I’ve never been shy about professing my love for the music of Irish singer-songwriter Fionn Regan. For instance, when people know you’re a music lover, “What’s your favorite album?” is a popular question. For me, deciding the answer is what I’d imagine picking a favorite child would be like–there’s no real way to say…but it has to be Fionn Regan’s The End Of History.
That’s no left-field choice, either. You see, The End Of History got a lot of critical acclaim when it was released in 2006–it was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize along with a host of far, far more popular artists (Thom Yorke, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, etc.). And the lead single from that album, “Be Good Or Be Gone,” became quite popular–popular enough to fatefully, life-alteringly end up in some Pandora station (or whatever) of mine several years ago.
Since then, I’ve been hooked: I ate up the more electric The Shadow Of An Empire in 2010, and have recently fallen even deeper in love with the lush, pastoral 100 Acres Of Sycamore; it’s now perhaps my favorite album from 2011.
Regan is one of the best story-tellers in the music world (Though he might’ve just recently become aware of such, in May humorously tweeting “So it turns out I’m more beutifully received in literary circles, strange for a man who can’t spell!”). To supplement this lyricism, he has an uncommon gift for nuancing his vocals to provide just the right emotional color. Simply put, his work aches my heart in a manner more pleasurable than I’ve ever known. I could go on; all three of his LPs are excellent, especially the bookends.
Therein lies my problem: I have access to those albums (as could/do you!), and I listen to them regularly. I know what Regan can do, and I know he’s a talent without any real equal. I also know there are a handful of EPs floating around in the universe that, as far as the internet is concerned, don’t really exist.
So, Mr. Regan, without my taking into consideration any of the actual contractual roadblocks, I ask you: Re-release these EPs! (In the meantime, I’ve compiled all that I can find and share of each):
*later appear on The End of History.
2. “Red Lane”
3. “Noah (Ghost in a Sheet)”*
4. “After the Fall”
“After the Fall”
Hotel Room (2004)
1. “Hotel Room”
2. “Change The Locks”
3. “Hunter’s Map”*
5. “Old Folks”
“Change The Locks”
“Abacus” (Hotel Room version)
Campaign Button (2005)
1. “Campaign Button”*
2. “Medicine Chest”
3. “The Ballad Of The Toad Eaters”
4. “Ice Cap Lullaby”
“The Ballad Of The Toad Eaters”
“Ice Cap Lullaby”
Home Recording Sampler
1. “Noah (Ghost in a Sheet)”*
2. “Red Lane”
3. “Black Water Child”*
Limited to 300 copies with hand-painted album covers, these are too rare for Google.
Slow Wall (2000, under the name Bilbo)
1. “Slow Wall”
2. “Rocking Horse Town”
3. “Hello L”
The title track for “Slow Wall” has been played by a mere 17 last.fm users. This 3-song EP is a unicorn. And in a way, symbolic of my plight to find all of Fionn Regan’s released material. There are a handful of tracks here left unheard; the journey to listen to the man’s discography in its entirety continues (until he just releases them again, please!).
Bonus for those who’ve come this far:
Download (right click, “save as”): Fionn Regan, In-studio from NPR’s World Cafe, 08 August 2007