Damien Rice

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At times, one is compelled to examine the working qualities in poetry: beauty, shape, vision and subtlety. Damien Rice’s long awaited album,My Favourite Faded Fantasy, embodies all of the elements of a personal keepsake, allowing the listener to couple with the steady stream of melodic vulnerability. The album’s opening track broods with sincerity, producing a bold reintroduction into the musical world for Rice. It’s been eight years since the release of the artist’s last album, titled 9, but the Kildare, Ireland native has resurfaced with musical offerings that erase the duration of his absence.

Although it’s been just shy of a decade since Rice’s last release, there’s much to be said for the folk singer’s hiatus. He explains, “I got to this place where I had everything I thought I wanted and I still wasn’t happy. That felt very, I guess, disheartening. So I kind of crashed.” After achieving multi-platinum success from his previous albums, Rice appeared to have lost his love for music and the connection with his fellow performers over the years. The ill-ideals of success surfaced, leaving Rice at a crossroads—needless to say, this forced him into a state of intermission. “Chasing dreams can be a great motivation for getting up out of bed in the morning, but if you’re looking for an achievement to give you lasting happiness, you may end up disappointed,” Rice has said.

It’s clear that this artist has not skipped a beat, and the collab- oration with producer Rick Rubin on Rice’s new album brought him back to a more original state of mind. “I have to really give a lot of thanks to Rick Rubin. He got my engine started again,” Rice said in a recent interview. The twosome began working together in Los Angeles in January 2013 and as the sessions progressed, so did Rice. He has decisively shown his hand, and in a recent press release, he explained about his new album and the recording process: “A lot of it was training at the beginning learning how to walk again, and then it started to flow.”

My Favourite Faded Fantasy fills in the rifts that seem to be missing throughout so much music today. Rice’s folk-infused tunes paired with his prevalent accompaniment of string quartets and lyrical phenomena reveal a vast depth of feeling. With songs that guide the listener through the caverns of love, loss, nostalgia and rediscovery, Rice’s resurgence is both noted and celebrated.

Text by William Lankford
Photography by Lilja Birgisdóttir

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