Despite its weighty beginning, a sense of hope rises from these odes to life and all its difficult dimensions. After the stripped-down, sombre yet redemptive opener, Maasai, Dempsey pours his spirit into every controlled moment. The songs unfold over a rich range of acoustic guitars and keyboards, with the occasional mandolin or Uillean pipe to embellish the emotional rawness.
Chase The Light envelopes you in a warm Gaelic guitar, and its message of respecting the wisdom of our elders is expertly told. An odd pseudo-rap delivered in a thick brogue, Serious is a standout moment, with its uptempo drum line and poetic pacing, and just when you think that’s as experimental as this disc will get, Dempsey dives into Irish roots, rock, reggae and dub on the rebel musician tribute Teachers.