There is something to say, or hear, about two acclaimed singers / songwriters collaborating for a full album. Last month, on September 10th, Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill released their concept album titled In the game. The 14-track disc is brimming with poignant emotions and heart-wrenching intrigue. Fortunately, the American songwriter caught up with the Irish songwriter duo ahead of their performance at Americanafest to get a behind-the-scenes look at the song. In the game.
Centered around two characters, In the game is a whirlwind of romance and heartbreak. “Basically, they’re both musicians,” Flannery says of the characters that inspired this record. “Susan’s character is more naturally talented than my character, and my character is jealous. My character is more naturally ambitious, but just doesn’t have the elements to back it up. “
“I’m a full-fledged diva,” says O’Neill cheerfully. “But she’s endearing [character]. She suffers a lot and has lived a very adventurous life, with its ups and downs. There is a lot of passion in there. ”
The first track that emerged from these two personalities is the painful masterpiece, “Baby Talk”. This track is a back and forth between two lovers grappling with the status of their relationship. “Baby Talk” won the award for best original song of the year at the prestigious RTÉ Radio 1 Awards 2020, and the duo performed it live on The Late Late Show.
“Everything was going well, so we decided to keep going,” said Flannery of their early successes.
Continue to write songs together, “Are We Free?” was written as a sister song to “Baby Talk”. O’Neill explains that this song “is like a heavier version. [of ‘Baby Talk’]. At the moment when “Are we free? Comes along, they’re in a full-blown fight, yelling at each other, saying things they sort of thought at the time but might regret later.
“They are a little sicker of each other,” Flannery adds.
On the back of this lamentable bitterness, “Clain Reaction” touches on a feeling of gratitude between these two lovers. “[It’s about] be grateful to each other just because they are who they are, ”says Flannery. Sonically, the song bounces back with soaring harmonies and charming instrumentation.
Another remarkable piece is the elegant ballad “Freedom”. O’Neill also starred in the music video for “Freedom” via a series of clever underwater shots.
Globally, In the game is an amazing collection of stories and feelings that will touch all of its listeners.
Hear Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill In the game below.