Stephen McDaid: Trail Maps (bandcamp)

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Stephen McDaid: Trail Maps (bandcamp)

From a seaside village in County Donegal, 46-year old Stephen McDaid grew up playing bass in his dad's country and western band, moved into the metal and alternative scene in Dublin, moved to New Zealand in 2006 and has been playing in covers bands and My Famous Friends in Christchurch.

Trail Maps is his debut album of originals recorded in a couple of takes on acoustic guitar.

He's quite some player although his vocal sometimes lacks a distinctive expression (and in places not enough to the fore).

However the tight songs, shapeshifting melodies and lyrics – which can either be allusive or obliquely narrative (as on the melancholy Torch Song on Douglass St) – mostly keep the attention for the 50 minutes of these 11 songs.

A couple of instrumentals – Hold Tight at the centre, the flighty Once Upon the End near the close – are fine entry points and you suspect from the evidence here that he'd be very much worth catching in a house concert or folk club.

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You can hear and buy this album at bandcamp here


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