From Manchester, Marc Gallagher is a singer-songwriter who specialises in groovy, fun, ukulele tunes. A self-confessed “player with Nantwich origins from jamming with the N’ukes back in the day,” Gallagher has really only been heavily involved in the ukulele scene (yes, that is a thing, a glorious one at that) for a year. Songs From a Shit Summer is his second album, available on Spotify and Apple Services. The project details his experiences of pain, sadness and hope in a deeply personal and occasionally funny way.
One Foot in Front of the Other began the album. The ukulele had some interesting chords, coupled with Gallagher’s raw but gritty tone. My only issue with this first track was that it continued for longer than needed, and could have ended just before three minute mark. I enjoyed the light-heartedness of the next track. Named Sexy Butt, the song had a definite rockabilly, country-blues vibe. Down the Toilet had me wondering how Gallagher would incorporate other instruments into his compositions. Although I appreciated the sound of his vocals and the ukulele, I think adding more instruments here and there could have added another dimension to his musical personality. In Since You Been Gone, I found myself wanting him to explore a different part of his vocal range, as the melodies were getting a little repetitive.
I liked the percussive strumming during the first verse of I Never Knew You Had a Boyfriend. Pastures New showcased the British singer’s accent, with a more carefree I-don’t-give-a-crap attitude. I thought his addition of tempo changes were what the album needed at this point, prossibly even sooner than it actually occurred. The minor feel of Perfect Guy at the Wrong Time was interesting, along with the ukulele solo. Dear John Letter had a triple feel accompanied with modal, folky sound. The next track, I Give Up, was the most heartfelt song of the album, but also had the most raw vocal performance. You Said Goodbye used broken chords which was a welcome change, but felt like a song to end an album with. Pretty Girl at the Gay Bar was an interesting song, but should have been placed before You Said Goodbye from a purely musical perspective.
It’s clear from this album that Gallagher has a great and authentic personality. Using this in his music was a great move. With more experience and more musical breadth, I think he could go far in the music industry. I give the album 8/10.