Villagers is the nom de musique of Dun Laoghaire poet and songwriter Conor O’Brien. His debut album “Becoming A Jackal” (out now on Domino) is on the shortlist for this year’s Mercury Prize, garnering rave reviews from heavyweight press and topping the charts in his native Ireland. O’Brien stilled a garrulous media audience at the Mercury nomination ceremony with a stunning solo rendition of the title track (available for download right here). His charming, lyrical collection of well-crafted songs joins “Sigh No More” from Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling‘s “I Speak Because I Can” on this year’s list – a strong roots-based presence in the UK’s most prestigious music award**.
||| Download: “Becoming a Jackal”
||| Live: Villagers play tonight at It’s a School Night at Bardot (RSVP-only), and at the Hotel Cafe on Tuesday.
** – save for the execrable back-slapping industry bun-fight that is The Brits, of which we shall not speak.
– By Keith Shackleton