Gareth Dunlop/ ‘Animal’/ Zenith Café/Membran
Belfast born singer-songwriter and producer Gareth Dunlop was fortunate enough to remain a busy man during the global pandemic. Having established Sycamore Studios in the city just prior to lockdown, he was subsequently in a position to record not only his own long-awaited second album, Animal (Zenith Café/Membran), but also produced new records by friends and fellow Northern Irish musicians Foy Vance (2021’s Signs Of Life on Ed Sheeran's Gingerbread Man Records) and Lee Rogers (Gameblood out spring 2022). All three artists will soon be on tour together, with Dunlop on additional duty as a member of Vance’s live band.
Animal consists of a diverse set of songs that include the soulful and anthemic “Right About Ready” and first single “Look Back Smiling,” which evoke the ‘80s yet exude a timeless quality, the atmospheric “Sorrow” and ”Prisoner Of My Past,” which both channel late period Roxy Music, the laid-back ‘60s dream pop vibe of “Humans,” plus a memorable title song that adds an electronic bounce to its subtle groove.