Album Review | Nathan Connolly | The Strange Order of Things

On April 21st guitarist of popular Northern Irish rock band Snow Patrol, Nathan Connolly released his solo debut album The Strange Order of Things. The album contains 10 tracks and comes in at just over 30 minutes long. Fellow Little Matador members Steven Leacock, Dave and Herb McGee have worked with Connolly once again and feature on the album.

The album gets started with the track Ghost which includes soothing vocals from Irish artist Ailbhe Reddy alongside Connolly which compliment each other well. With a beautiful guitar riff it grabs your attention from the get go. Nathan Connolly shows off his vocal skills more in the next track Heart of Stone. His use of soft vocals along side mellow instrumentals work well to give us a classic melancholic indie tune.

Tracks We, The Life’s Light and Life like Wildfire, slow down the pace of the album by presenting emotional lyrics that explore themes of healing and hurt. The album shows the themes of upset and heartache very clearly in Love Like Wildfire with the lyrics speaking like an apology to a loved one by asking for forgiveness. In Connolly’s own words he says the album is “trying to understand, make sense and work through events that have led to who I am now: heartache, regret, emotional cost and fatherhood”.

Another emotional track follows – This Is All That I Don’t Feel, a well written acoustic song that may brig a tear to your eye. It shows lyrics describing what is like as Connolly embarks on his journey to fatherhood.

The Last Time is a little repetitive but still a more catchy track featured on the album. “This is the last time” is sang repeatedly throughout the song which can get a little monotonous.

Waves is a mellow, atmospheric track bringing more positive feel to the album. Connolly tells that “only in time will it heal” making it aware the time is a healer and that we should be patient within ourselves.

Fire was released on 16th March 2023 and has now received 3.5k views on YouTube and over 15,000 streams on Spotify making it the most successful song on the album. The track also features Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil. It has a very nostalgic feel with a sound of indie music from the early 2000s.

I’m ready or the sunshine. I’m ready for your peace sign my love” creates the feeling of a chapter ending and another beginning for Connolly. It is reminiscent of the early Snow Patrol, giving us a closing statement in the album like things are being wrapped up and coming to an end.

Night Sing bring the album to a close. After the emotion of previous songs to feels like the stir you’ve just been told is ending. “In time we will find our way” again repeating the healing process can take time. The piano in this song adds an extra layer to the atmospheric track.

You really go through a journey with Nathan Connolly on this album which leaves you feeling emotional but optimistic of your own journey that is ahead.