It’s an imagined place, one that lives in the clouded mind of Allison, the confused young girl who inspired the title track to Dublin singer-songwriter Peter Doran’s superbly crafted second album. Which must mean, then, Allison doesn’t really exist, either—or does she? “Sort of,” says Peter, 26. “She’s someone I half knew and half invented. ‘Sleepless Street’ is about a girl who discovers this whole hidden bohemian world and ends up falling in with a bad crowd, doing drugs, all of that.
But, in the song at least, she gets out okay in the end.” The track carries Peter’s tender voice over a flowing canvas of shimmering guitars and soft drums, and floats by like a rambling dream, an epic poem full of vivid vignettes. Of course Ireland is the land of poets—Swift, Yeats, Wilde, Joyce; the latter writer even spent time in Peter’s hometown of Mullingar. “That tradition makes for a good background to be from, though it isn’t really something I think about,” Peter says. “But I do like reading and, especially, good songwriting. Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Neil Young—that’s the Holy Trinity for me.” And it’s a fair guess that those giants would be well pleased by the songs on Sleepless Street.
Songs like the cello-laced “Someone Else’s Heart,” a fragile tale of miraculous rescue from the brink of death; and the rocking opener “Hunter’s Sketches,” in which the artist-narrator reaffirms his resolve for his craft. Peter’s been honing his own craft since age 11, when, inspired by his cousin’s heavy metal albums, he first picked up the guitar. (Music is in the family lineage; his father also plays guitar and writes songs, and an uncle, Anthony Doran, is the bassist for platinum-selling band the Blizzards.) After a few years of high-velocity shredding, Peter “became less interested in the speed of the notes, but in their character instead.” In 2006 he released Wood, a rich collection of startlingly mature songs heralded by leading music publication Hot Press as “an admirable debut that should open doors and minds.” In 2009 Peter was contacted by acclaimed Italian producer Filippo Gaetani, who had heard one of the singer-songwriter’s demo tracks online and was eager to collaborate. “Peter has the capability of moving your soul with simple yet profound lyrics, and his vocal tone and melodies are uncommon,” raves Gaetani, who has worked with Andy Bell, Stefano Bollini, and Adrina Thorpe. “He stands among my favorite folk/alternative artists of all time.” After pre-production at Gaetani’s Tuscany studio, recordings were done at Grouse Lodge in Ireland and eventually mastered at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios. Sleepless Street is the glorious result, a gorgeous, multi-layered work by a gifted artist swiftly gaining ground on the paths of his idols. “I’m trying to develop as I go along, to get better at understanding the songwriting process, at knitting the music together,” explains Peter, who plans to support the release with a full band and solo performances at home and abroad.
“If people could get the same sweeping feeling from my music that I get from the music I love, it would be amazing.” With Sleepless Street, Peter Doran’s restless trek continues. Wherever it takes him—and his listeners—is sure to be phenomenal. www.peterdoran.com Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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