James Irwin's new full-length album Unreal seems equally fitted for late-night slow-dancing and cuddle puddle-ing. Recorded over the last two years in Montreal, he's definitely channelling the '80s here. There's a Phil Collins vibe throughout (most glaringly in his album-title-cribbing track "Face Value") and a little Billy Idol on the following track "Michigan Miami". Keeping up a soft tone he covers lots of sonic ground; the final track "Sahra" sounds like an audition for the Twin Peaks redux, while his folk side shows on "Siberia China". But whether it's a French horn or synthesizer, everything is working together to emit a welcome warmth during a long Quebec winter.
James Irwin is releasing Unreal tonight at Bar Le Ritz P.D.B. with Alden Penner and Caro Diaro.