Ragoora – 2001 – 25 minutes

Stephen Hero is the alter ego of one Patrick Fitzgerald, former frontman with sonic shoe-gazers, Kitchens of Distinctions. Fitzgerald relocated from London to wilds of Connemara to hone his own brand of post-1980s/90s music. The result is an allusive mix of guitar meanderings, forlorn folk and sparse atmospherics. 'Lullaby' is entrenched in the acoustic, but makes room for guitar wails and Stereolab-influenced surround sounds.

The opening track, clocking in a succinct forty seconds, contains pianos that sound like they have been borrowed from a John McCormack song. 'Lull 2 (Hamlet Was A Prince)' has a backdrop that brings some of Warp's more guitar-friendly material to mind. 'Lull 5 – (Venus Slipped)' is all dream-like musings, 'Lull 3 (Night Fairy Guide)' continues the otherworldly theme and Fitzgerald does his best Lou Reed impression on 'Lull 4 – (I Know Who Is Sick)'.

Although this offering comprises just six short songs, it's a worthy collection. Aptly titled, the album belongs to the nocturnal, its soft, sleepy tunes are the most perfect refuge for the insomniac or anyone else who likes their guitars sublime and subtle.

Sinéad Gleeson

Tracklisting: Lullaby For A Broken Dog – Lull 2 (Hamlet Was A Prince) – Lull 5 (Venus Slipped) – Lull 3 (Night Fairy Guide) – Lull 4 (I Know Who Is Sick) – Lull 1 (Feed Me On The Banks Of The River Nile Afterlife)

Stephen Hero plays the Shelter, Dublin on Sunday 24 June 2001.