Since establishing himself as a groundbreaking voice in Dublin’s music scene, Somebody’s Child, the musical project of Cian Godfrey, has established himself as one of the major artists to watch in 2023. With his early singles receiving support from national radio stations such as RTE, supporting the likes of Kaiser Chiefs and Primal Scream, and appearing on The Late Late Show, all of which has amassed to one thing, the much-anticipated release of his self-titled, debut album, which finally lands this Friday, February 3rd via FrenchKiss Records.
The album opens with ‘You Know What’, a three-and-a-half minute burst of energy that perfectly presents Godfrey’s vocal talent and the passion he puts into his music. Accessible and begging for attention, ‘You Know What’ is a strong opener holding listeners captive from the off-set, then luring them further with anthemic instrumentation.
Previous single, ‘I Need Ya’, quickly follows, a track that has already become a strong standout in Somebody’s Child’s live shows – and as it builds pace and momentum, it is clear to see why. Described as the song that ‘defines the sound, and pace, of the album’, ‘I Need Ya’ holds an intense beat, filled with positive energy juxtaposed by its anxiety-infused lyrics that remind listeners to stay young for as long as they can.
Allowing Godfrey’s stellar vocals to take the spotlight, ‘Hold Me Like You Wanna’ takes a softer approach, with the guitar riffs helping to propel the track further, as its personal lyrics show an expression of human connection. Then listeners are thrown back in at the deep end, with ‘Sell Out’, an intense album highlight, allowing Somebody’s Child to acknowledge how important it is to stay true to yourself. Handing itself to being a memorable part of a live set, the track’s abrupt stop-start is unexpected and allows momentum to build even further.
Further delving into the importance of holding onto your innocence as adulthood looms, ‘Broken Record’ is another expansive track which will further cement the strength of this project. Where it is dominated by its reverb, the song still allows Godfrey’s vocals to be in the limelight, before they hand themselves back over to the reverb, seeing the track out.
‘Give It Up To Love’ and ‘How Long?’ both present a softer, more vulnerable side to the album, held together by heaps and bounds of passion and emotion. These tracks help to demonstrate the flexibility of Somebody’s Child’s talented band, as they quickly adapt to a change in tempo seamlessly, as the tracks offer a moment of quiet amongst the chaos, with Godfrey’s ideas of music being a healer pushing through.
Showcasing the talent in his vocals once more, ‘Jungle’ has a strong message, reminding listeners that they are not on their own, despite how difficult life can be. The talent of Somebody’s Child lies within the ability of the project to have deep themes backed up by bright, optimistic instrumentation, which is displayed once more throughout ‘Jungle’.
Perhaps saving the best for last, ‘We Could Start A War’ is striking and demands the listener’s attention. What was once a 2020 demo is now transformed, exhibiting shifts in tempo, intensity and vocal register seamlessly, most notably in the track’s final minute, where the piece transforms itself to highlight isolated, slow guitar. Its lyrics are poignant and heartfelt, allowing ‘We Could Start A War’’s final form to be its best form.
As Somebody’s Child’s album unravels, it becomes clear how much passion has been poured into it, its themes both personal yet universal, covering the difficulties of moving forward into adulthood and allowing Cian Godfrey to fulfil his desire to impress upon listeners an image of a modern, progressive Ireland.