This album slipped under the radar when it was released late last year, which is a pity. Barry McCormack (a former member of Jubilee Allstars), has dabbled in various projects and jobs since he left that band, but only now releases his debut record.

Heavily influenced by rural Ireland as well as a plethora of literary references, it's no surprise that McCormack's main strength is his lyrics. His tales of often fantastical experiences showcase a terrific ability for storytelling - particularly the icy-cold ambience of 'White Strand' and the quivering 'Encounter on the Road to Cobh', its title straight out of a dusty collection of Irish ghost stories.

Perhaps because of the dark nature of his songs, he's often been compared to Nick Cave. Those parallels aren't completely inaccurate, but closer to the mark, perhaps, would be early Dubliners or Pogues. These are sombre guitar ballads with heavy dashes of folk and trad, and could easily be dismissed as hoary; instead, McCormack's rough voice lends a charisma and charm to the majority, particularly the gentle sway of the title track and the sing-along nature of 'The Waxing of the Moon'.

That said, to 'Night Visiting's detriment, there are more than a few numbers that are sound uncannily similar; but there's also the sense that they'd be electrifying coming from the murky corner of a tiny country pub in the depths of winter, too. What's more, it's been quite a while since Ireland has spawned a young balladeer of McCormack's quality.