Taking after Australian acoustic balladeers like Didirri, Gretta Ray and Paul Kelly, his live performances are an intimate affair, often just a man and a guitar.
The last of the great surges of folk music here in Australia was in the 1970s, and yet there has been a steady, small, stream of people keeping the tradition alive.
One such is Fiontan Cassidy (pronounced Fin-tan)
He is a Launceston based, Tasmanian singer-songwriter/actor, and has placed himself in that tradition. With an ever-growing set of folk ballads and acoustic-pop tunes, Fiontan has been quietly popping up at gigs around Launceston for over a year now. His unique brand of stripped back, candid songwriting has seen him opening for local familiars such as FLXW, New Wave Saints, and Pat Broxton.
Following up from his debut single ‘Sober’, ‘Windward Waters’ is his latest release, produced and mixed by Australian mixer and producer Kyran Daniel, best known for his recent success with Gretta Ray’s Heal You In Time and productions for Pinkish Blu and Sod Ven.
Fiontan says of his new single, “’Windward Waters’ is the result of listening to one too many Irish folk songs. I think there’s something special about those melodies designed to be belted acapella in the middle of a crowded pub, it really forces them to stand on their own. Not having to fumble around with finding chords to start with also meant it came together quite fast. The biggest challenge was working out if you actually want to be on windward waters as opposed to leeward. I’m still not entirely sure, but in this industry alliteration trumps nautical accuracy every time. So I’m told!”
His songs are personal affairs, tackling the various inevitabilities of small-town living: Getting older, getting drunker, wishing you were at the beach and life observations in between. At the risk of attracting unwanted attention, that rings true of my time in Launceston!
‘Windward Waters’ definitely hits the folk canon. It is melodic, and has a folk rhythm and feel to it. It is certainly well crafted, and the lyrics flow well.
This is a very promising release. I hope it leads to an equally solid album, and I look forward to hearing it.
Check it out below.