One of my favourite performers at the Zodiac Sessions any time that I have had the pleasure of attending the live music night in Bruxelles Bar on a Wednesday has to be Dublin singer/songwriter and guitarist, Declan Carruthers. I have always been struck by the honesty and intelligence in his songwriting with songs like High Bells and Shots at Dawn leaving me wishing for an album of songs from the performer…
Fallen Walls is the debut LP by Carruthers and it lived to all the expectations that anyone who has seen the artist perform live would have had.
Across the ten songs on the LP, there is a sincerity to the vocals and the guitar playing on that is hard not to appreciate as Carruthers uses his songs to create stories for the listeners on each track. The feel of the album is set instantly from the outset with the gorgeous opening tracks, Sun Goes Down and Runaway, where Carruthers let’s his delicate guitar playing and honest vocals do most of the work to engage the listener with the album.
One of the stand out tracks from the album is the 1916 Rising inspired Shots at Dawn, a fantastic piece of songwriting about the executions of the leaders of the rising. Again, this is another excellent example of Carruther’s ability to tell stories in his music as we are told the story of the executions from the point of view of one of the men about to be put to death. There is something very haunting and poignant about this song.
My favourite song on the album is without doubt the heartbreaking Coin Drops, a song about a friend of Carruthers who sadly passed away on the streets after a few years of being homeless. Knowing the context of the song makes the already poignant piece of music truly affecting with lines such as “one day we all home” leaving a lasting impression on the listener. The theme of homelessness and self care are clearly both very important to Carruthers, with the songwriter donating all the proceeds from the album launch on 9 March in the DC Music Club in Dublin to Pieta House.
From listening to this LP, there is little doubt that Carruthers is already a very accomplished songwriter and there is still the potential of more to come.
Fallen Walls is currently available to stream or purchase online.