Following 2018’s critically acclaimed debut album ‘Here Comes the Rapture’, Paul McCann is unleashing the follow-up second album titled ‘Alter Ego’.
For this album, Paul took a very different approach to both the writing and the recording processes. Lyrically, Paul chronicled his grief, following the sudden death of his father in late 2018.
The themes of the songs include love, reflection, confusion, anger and the whirlwind of emotions experienced by McCann during this time.
Of the album’s creative process, McCann said:
“Writing these songs acted as a type of therapy for me during a very difficult time. When you hear the album, you can hear a lot of different emotions and feelings seeping through. It is the most personal and exposed my songwriting has ever been. Some of it wasn’t exactly easy to write or record, but certainly did help me come out the other side with some shred of sanity remaining”.
Recording sessions for the album commenced in 2019, with a 2021 release date initially scheduled. The arrival of COVID caused massive delays to the recording process. Scheduling sessions in-between lockdowns, and with the use of remote recording, McCann worked closely with JAM Studio’s Martin Quinn in developing these songs whenever possible.
Where previously McCann had played most of the instrumentation himself, the recording process for ‘Alter Ego’ is somewhat different and features guest appearances from several high-profile musicians including Jason Falkner (St. Vincent, Beck, Paul McCartney); Roger Joseph Manning Jr (Beck, Jellyfish, Air); Charlotte Hatherley (Ash, Bat for Lashes); Gary Lucas (Jeff Buckley, Captain Beefheart), Sylvie Lewis and many others.
Regarding these collaborations, McCann said:
“It really was a dream to work with a lot of these musicians. I had shared my first album with a lot of these people who I have been listening to for many years. The only positive thing that came out of COVID was that lockdown allowed me the opportunity to collaborate with these incredible musicians”.
‘Alter Ego’ also features McCann’s close friends and regular collaborators Majella O’Reilly, Brendan Scott and Tony Smith, as well as McCann’s two daughters Lily and Cassie. The album was recorded at JAM Studios in Kells, Co Meath with Martin Quinn producing alongside McCann.