Becoming A Jackal (2024 Repress)

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The debut from Dublin, Ireland’s Villagers is as lush and intricate as the act’s moniker suggests, but its creator’s idea of what constitutes a proper settlement is clearly in question. Formed after the break-up of indie rockers the Immediate by singer/songwriter/multi instrumentalist Conor J. O’Brien, Villagers is a one-man band, and a damn good one at that. Handling all of the duties (besides brass and stings), O’Brien has crafted a warm, weary, and highly listenable first album that shows that you can go it alone without going lo-fi.

Part Conor Oberst, part Paul Simon, and a whole lot of Jens Lekman and King Creosote, Becoming a Jackal starts out strong with the one-two punch of “I Saw the Dead” and the infectious title cut, both of which present two sides of the artist -- the former, a dreamy, dirge-like invocation of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, and the latter a simple, reflective bit of folk-pop that’s only a few vinyl scratches away from classic rock radio.


I Saw The Dead
Becoming A Jackal
Ship Of Promises
The Meaning Of The Ritual
That Day
The Pact (I'll Be Your Fever)
Set The Tigers Free
Twenty-Seven Strangers
To Be Counted Among Men