I’ve seen Carried By Waves play a couple of times around Cork and each time he’s managed to grab the attention of the room when everybody was just happy to talk away, ignoring what was happening up onstage. A one-man vehicle driven by Ronan McCann, Carried By Wave’s debut album clocks in at 10 songs and under 40 minutes long. But there’s so much to uncover and get excited by. ‘Sleepless’ is a pop tune that comes with all the aspirations of a chart hit, featuring vocals from Foxglove. ‘Lights/Climbing Trees’ sounds like something that might inspire the Postal Service to record new music, while the gentle sway of ‘Aviatophobia/Carried In Your Palm’ gives way to an uplifting crescendo. Softly Held Together is one of those albums that, just when you’ve got the songs figured out, they take you by surprise. A prime example is the Caribbean chilled ‘Stranger Talk’ which hits you with such power just as you might be drifting off. Softly Held Together was mastered in Nashville at Sage Audio and sounds fantastic. Artwork by Brid O’Donovan. Download it for free at Bandcamp. That’s nice, isn’t it?