Photo: Daniel King
Dermot Kennedy, a Dubliner with astonishing vocal ability and haunting lyrics, is one of the up and coming accolades to the region. His latest single, “Power Over Me,” has us wondering if there’s something in Irish water that breeds exceptionally soulful songwriters. Or maybe it’s the Guinness?
Kennedy first hit it big with his viral 2016 single, “After Rain,” currently at over 47 million streams on Spotify alone. A year later, we sat down with him to talk about his Doves & Ravens EP, which features one of his most popular songs to date, “A Closeness.” Announced on BBC Radio 1 as Annie Mac’s “Hottest Record In The World,” his latest single is a declaration of blissful helplessness, spoken from a man weakened by love.
“Power Over Me,” begins with choppy guitar strums, reflective of the rawness to follow. Hums ease into the track, containing a depth that feels centuries-old. Once Kennedy’s vocals hit, the upbeat pace of the song is established, and his Irish accent surfaces every now and then to add a layer of folkiness.The chorus is layered with vocals, creating a sensational choral effect that adds to the power of the song. Ending with the same hums that marked the start, “Power Over Me” paints the picture of vulnerability with Kennedy’s unparalleled vocal ability and gritty authenticity. He speaks on the inspiration behind the single,
“The whole song started with just that one idea, that sole lyric of ‘you’ve got that power over me.’ The idea of being totally bewitched by somebody, to be totally under their spell, in a really good way. Just totally enamored.”
Give “Power Over Me” a listen, and see him live at one of the stops of his sold out Keep The Evenings Long World Tour shows. That is, if you’re lucky enough to snag a ticket.