Sometimes, certain bands of immaculate quality manage to slip through the net, while the ones with the financial backing, PR company and big-budget press campaign are shamelessly snagged and thrown to the masses for public consumption and undeserved success. Michael Knight's 2005 debut 'Youth Is Wasted On the Young' was one of that year's best Irish albums, but was sinfully overlooked by all but a discerning few.
That scandalous oversight is about to be rectified, however, by the now Berlin-based protagonist of Michael Knight, Richie Murphy. If 'Youth..' was a collection of gloriously sun-saturated, piano-permeated pop that wryly embraced the halcyon days of adolescence, its follow-up is an older, more worldly-wise and perhaps cynical cousin, who's determined to tell it like it is.
Attention to detail unmistakably reigns supreme in Murphy's house: from the artwork to the album concept (a 'somewhat disjointed narrative in 11 tableaux', in its own words), to the guest appearances (Nina Hynes and Miriam Ingram both feature),I'm Not Entirely Clear How I Ended Up Like This is infused with both a dark humour and a self-deprecating melancholy that's evident in both lyrics and music - see Coronation Street, Reading Old Diary Entries and You People Are Idiots for illustrative glum chuckles.
Put it like this: a musician who can create a song from three minutes of nothing but "Ahh ahh aahs" (Dumbshow) and still make it a joy to listen to has to be doing something right. A wonderful album, from a supreme songwriting talent.