Villagers’ dreams

The album cover invites discovery: we see a huge brown bear, asleep at the edge of a swimming pool where a man also seems to be dozing on an air mattress. If it is unlikely that the Irishmen of Villagers could laze around in the sun like this, the painting shows how much daydreaming matters to them. And that’s how “Fever dreams” (Domino) takes us to surprising shores, populated by ghostly voices, strange sound effects and wonderful guitars. Not really Celtic flutes in the sophisticated universe imagined by Conor O’Brien and his band, rather a very Beatlesian taste for chic brass and lyrical flights. This results in wonderful songs like “Something bigger”, “So simpatico”, “Momentarily” or “Full faith in providence”. The sweetness is sometimes crossed by angry lines, the piano-voices by nervous saxes. In a melodic edifice which also sometimes recalls Burt Bacharah (oh the beautiful trumpets!) It is then that the libretto is opened, seeing an imposing eagle and a giant snake, on which two boys sleep. During “Feverish Dreams”, the imagination soars …