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Damien Dempsey

Soulsun

Seventeen years into an astonishing career, Damien Dempsey releases his seventh studio album, his most exciting work to date, Soulsun.

The lead single and opening title track gets straight to the point. Soulsun is accompanied by a colourful and life-affirming video directed by legendary rock photographer Steve Gullick, who has shot iconic images of Nirvana, Beck and Nick Cave over the years, just to mention a tiny few.

“As ever, people can take their own meanings from it, but for me, it is about the sun that shines from within,” Dempsey explains.

Soulsun sees the man affectionately known as Damo team up with a stellar cast of female guest vocalists, who are referred to as ‘the mighty Celtic Warrior High Queens’.

Dido, who sold 21 million copies of her debut album, No Angel, sings on a tender love song entitled ‘Beside the Sea’. Fellow Dubliner Imelda May appears on ‘Big Big Love’ and ‘Pretty Girl Tree’ features Dingle singer Pauline Scanlon.

Soulsun was recorded in long-term producer John Reynolds’ studio in north London. The striking cover image was created by renowned Dublin graphic artist Maser, who Dempsey worked with on large-scale mural works.

Amidst all the plaudits Damo has won over the years, one of the most notable is contained in Morrissey’s Autobiography. The legendary singer describes Dempsey performing at a session in Dublin’s Four Seasons Hotel. “Damien captivates and enchants with all the love of one blessed and unselfish,” Morrissey writes. "I see myself crying at his funeral, missing him already.”

“I’m not sure exactly what I did to deserve such praise," Dempsey says. “I had absolutely no idea I was in it until the book was published, but it’s nice to be appreciated by such an incredible artist and writer who’s unquestionably an absolute genius.”

Track Listing:

  • 1. Soulsun
  • 2. Pretty Bird Tree
  • 3. Simple Faith
  • 4. Big Big
  • 5. Sam Jenkins
  • 6. Forever and a Day
  • 7. Beside the Sea
  • 8. Sweet Gratitude
  • 9. Family
  • 10. Soft Rain
Release
Music can change lives. For almost 20 years, the Hush Foundation has been working with renowned Australian artists to create music of joy and calm – originally to support children in hospital, and now enjoyed everywhere from concert halls to living rooms. In this latest offering from the Hush series, pianist Tony Gould and guitarist Peter Petrucci present music that can bring optimism even in the toughest times.The Hush Foundation, under the inspirational leadership of physician Professor Catherine Crock AM, transforms the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff through music and the performing arts. It has produced 17 albums, bringing some of Australia’s finest performers and composers together in collaborative partnerships that engage with the lived experience of people in the health system and other stressful environments. Hush albums are played not only in hospitals, but also in aged care, palliative care and childcare facilities to reduce stress and anxiety. Community and international orchestras also play music composed for Hush. In 2014, Hush’s contribution to Australian music was acknowledged with the APRA/AMCOS Award for Excellence.Gathering of Kindness recognises the power of the small acts of kindness and respect that build trust and create a sense of safety and security in difficult and challenging situations. ‘When we ask patients, their families and those working in healthcare “What matters to you?”’ says Professor Crock, ‘the single word at the top of the list is kindness.’Tony Gould and Peter Petrucci wrote the music on this album with the Hush ‘family’ firmly in mind. ‘We hope they serve at least one of music’s purposes in life, and that is to help calm our fellow humans in times when things aren’t going so well. Music can do this superbly. It can also give us joy, can foster kindness and a sense that, ultimately, everything will be all right.’ This latest album has been named after the healthcare events Hush has hosted since 2016. The Gathering of Kindness bring people working in health and aged care together to talk about ways kindness can flourish in their organisations and services. These events are being hosted throughout November at metro, regional and rural healthcare organisations across Victoria, and include live performances of Hush plays and music, healthcare book launches and panels, narrative and a range of self-care workshops, as well as updates on new research being undertaken. Hush is also hosting a ticketed event at KPMG in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November.›Pianist / composer / critic / author / academic / educator Tony Gould has been involved in music in Australia for over half a century. A prolific performer, composer and recording artist across several musical genres of art music, Tony has composed and performed alongside other renowned musicians Australia-wide and internationally. His numerous accolades include membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his contribution to music.Peter Petrucci is one of Australia’s leading jazz guitarists, recognised for his virtuosity and lyricism in improvisations and artful compositions. He has released eight albums – the latest, They Know That We Know, in August 2019. Peter has performed locally and internationally supporting distinguished musicians and has appeared at numerous international jazz festivals, in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Wangaratta, Stonnington and Queensland Jazz Festivals. TRACKLISTING 1 All Things Good2 Anthem3 Calm4 Autumn Lullaby5 Quiet6 Spring Town7 It’s Up to You8 A Little Folk Song9 Essence10 Truth and Beauty11 The Softness of Air12 The Smile Peter Petrucci guitar – Tony Gould piano Tks 1-3, 5, 8, 10-12 composed by Tony Gould.Tks 4, 6, 7 and 9 composed by Peter Petrucci.