Juliette Walking in the Rain is genuinely breathtaking;
and the haunting "Valley Of Tears" is truly
transcendent. A hugely rewarding album. - Hotpress Magazine
Chester's fifth album is yet another reason to wonder
out loud just how and why he isn't much better known.
Chester's stylistic traces have rarely been better outlined.
Dark Mornings is melody incarnate, brimming with chiming
guitar chords and wistful lyrics, while Valley Of Tears
is as beautifully sorrowful as the title indicates.
The pleasures of the remaining tracks unfurl somewhat
more slowly, but are no less rich or rewarding. - The
Sunday Business Post
With some heavy-duty guests, including cellist Vyvienne
Long, in tow, the respected Dublin producer's fifth
album, an exploration of faith, love, discovery and
belief, is deep, personal and intriguing. - The Evening
Archbishop McQuaid, Julliette Binoche, the "national
razor" and the Swastika Laundry all get mentions
on Joe Chester's haunting new album, The Easter Vigil.
"Spy Wednesday" bristles with lyrics worthy
of Elvis Costello. The Easter Vigil is his most profound
and moving work yet. - RTE
Renowned Irish singer, songwriter, and producer Joe
Chester released of his 5th studio album, The Easter
Vigil, for February 24th 2017. The album was preceded
by the lead track, Juliette Walking In The Rain on January
One of the most critically acclaimed contemporary singer-songwriters
and one of the most in-demand producers around ("A
legitimate giant of Irish music." - Hotpress),
Joe Chester has been nominated for both the Choice Music
Prize and the Meteor Irish Music Awards for his own
work (his debut album A Murder Of Crows was included
in the books 101 Irish Albums You Must Hear Before You
Die, by Tony Clayton-Lea and Buried Treasure Vol. 2
by Dan Hegarty).
Meanwhile Joe has written, played and produced for
numerous acts, including The Hedge Schools, Hozier,
Gemma Hayes, Shane MacGowan, A Lazarus Soul, The Waterboys
and Sinead O'Connor to name but a few.
'The Easter Vigil' was released on the newly formed
Bohemia Records who will also re- release Joe's albums
The Tiny Places Left Behind, She Darks Me, and Hope
What started as rough mixes, after a lengthy period
of reflection and writing, very quickly became the foundation
of the album. Within a few days - less than a week in
fact - piano, guitar and vocals, all relatively raw
and unfiltered, made the cut. Joe asked friends and
long time collaborators to lend their talent to the
project. Cellist Vyvienne Long and violinist Steve Wickham
add a subtle flavour foregoing superfluous embellishment.
Joe explains some of the themes of the songs:
"The album begins with Spy Wednesday, continues
through Holy Thursday (Like A Rose Tattoo), through
to The Easter Vigil itself and finishes on Easter Sunday
(Not A Christian Anymore). It's about the rewinding
of a man's faith. The loss of belief, almost a perverse
enlightenment told through the story of the passion.
"Juliette Walking In The Rain is about the night
myself and my wife saw the legendary French actress
Juliette Binoche walking across a deserted square in
Dublin. Just a very poetic moment - magic realism."
"The Valley of Tears is an area of clifftop on
Inis Mor in the Aran Islands. When the islanders were
forced to emigrate they would travel by currach to the
mainland where they would then board the ship for America.
This ship would then shelter in the Gregory Sound awaiting
favourable weather for the voyage. The ship would lie
close enough to this particular clifftop that you could
almost reach out and touch your loved ones who were
leaving the island, never to return. It was these scenes
of heartbreak that gave it the name, Gleann ne nDeor,
the Valley of Tears."
twitter : @joechester_