Christian Bookshop

Jimmy Monaghan’s and Aisling Walsh

with contributions by Evelyn Walsh (Clarinet), Eleta Van Schalkwyk (Violin) & Trista Monaghan (Tin whistle).

All songs written, recorded and mixed by Jimmy Monaghan.
Mastering and sequencing by Liam O’Connor

I love my experience checking out this fantastic folk duo from the West of Ireland.  Christian Bookshop. The title sounds catchy. But they aren’t a bookshop and their songs aren’t really Christian songs. In fact the lo-fi approach of these artists make this album sound good whither you are using the small laptop speakers, or the typical home entertainment speakers. The recording sounds warm and it echoes the sounds of the 60s and the 70s. The tunes are also happy and they make you forget your troubles.

The album has 10 tunes.  The songs are easy to memorize because the melodies are simple and uplifting. Which is what folk music is all about right?  Singin’ Freebird reminds me of Sesame Street. But the lyrics will tell you they mean business!

Hey head to the islands,
Now that everything’s going my way.
I’m signin’ Freebird to anyone passing my way,
And if you don’t like what I do then fuck you.

The second song has a sad tune but the tempo keeps you on your toes. I tried to check the lyrics again and this is what I discovered:

So this is how it ends,
You tell me that it hurts,
The night I kissed your breast,
At the fireworks…

So basically if you think that Christian Bookshop is your typical airy fairy folk duo then you are wrong. There is more to this project that meets the first listen. There is that Irish vibe that is so familiar and appealing in their melodies. There are moments of tenderness and poetry like in the case of Penitentiary:

Hold me in the dark,
Hold me down forever ever.
I know where we are,
Falling apart with the weather weather,
So tie my shoes,
Walk me down to the city city,
Pick and choose all the places my mind it should be.

I’d say you give Christian Bookshop and listen . Fantastic duo. It looks like they are here to stay for a long time.

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