The Man Whom
Wexford, County Wexford
The Man Whom is the moniker for Wexford-based singer songwriter, producer/composer and multi-instrumentalist Ian Doyle. The Greatest Event is his debut Album. With the help of musicians and friends, Brian Hassett (bass), Christian Best (drums), Doyle and his band retreated to the seclusion of a house in Kilrane Village and worked intensely to record the majority of the album. The piano parts were subsequently recorded in the local arts centre.
Further contributions to Doyle’s album include polished string arrangements written by composer Peter Fahey and performed by the Mamisa Quartet, as well as local guitarist Clive Barnes who played peddle steel for the current single Over and Under.
For the finishing touches, Doyle went to Exchequer Studios, Dublin with producer Brian Crosby and mixing engineer Phil Hayes who shaped and honed the original recordings. The result is an album which is the sum of its parts, held together by a shoestring and interwoven with the goodwill of creative, talented friends.
Sing Till There’s No Songs Left’ features emotive harmonies, uplifting brass, and swagger in spades. ‘Over And Under’ brims with good vibes, while ‘Leavin This Town’, with its unsettling melancholy, is a handsome tune with a lyrical edge that makes it relevant to these forlorn times. The string-tinged and choral ‘Easier To Run’ is almost illegally heart-breaking, while the restrained ‘Call All The People’ climbs with uncanny power, with Doyle taking it to higher and higher levels of elation. ‘Puppeteers’ is a long-held favourite of mine and ‘Til It’s Gone’ wraps it all up so you want to start all over again. The Greatest Event has enough charm and inventiveness to fill your head and nourish your soul. Eat it.
The Sunday Times ****
A slick production with accomplished musicians, elaborate scores and scrupulous string arrangements. Call all the People has the heartfelt passion of an anthem, including melodic bursts of melancholia, while Sing Till There’s No Songs Left, I know your Face, and Over and Under, the current single, strike all the right chords.
News of the World on Sunday ****
This debut album from Wexford man Ian Doyle takes the joyousness of Sufjan Stephens and the unusual phrasing of Villagers, filtering those elements into an eventful listen.
The Irish Times***
“New name, fresh approach, adventurous songwriter: that’s Wexford’s The Man Whom (aka Ian Doyle) for you. Songs such as I Know Your Face and The Man Who Knew Too Much display Doyle’s nifty craftsman- like process, while Call All the People and Autopilot highlight a working knowledge of the kind of music and musings that have gained him comparisons to Villagers and Neil Young. Out of the blue, then – another new, good Irish singer-songwriter”.