Cavan singer-songwriter Lisa O'Neill has just released her second album, Same Cloth or Not. Harry Guerin finds out how it measures up.

Every year there's an album that ends up on people's Christmas shopping lists through smart timing, snatches from the radio and good old word of mouth, one that somehow finds its way into the lives of the jaded, the curious, music nuts, the old and the young.

It sounds like you'll be hearing a lot of Lisa O'Neill in other people's homes in 2014, and perhaps in your own too.

Mixing folk with a little bit of country and relationship blues, wide-eyed and wise old head O'Neill somehow manages to glide between 12 and 80 years of age depending on the song or the moment. There are plenty of places to explore and plenty to hide; the arrangements are sublime and choosing a favourite song is a work in progress. Today it's the glorious closer Dreaming, tomorrow who knows.

If the goal of any artist on record is to put as much distance between themselves and their peer competition as they possibly can, then Same Cloth or Not gives O'Neill the opportunity for a long look over her shoulder. Up ahead, others should feel a little anxious.


Lisa O'Neill