Any time there’s even a hint of a new anything by Australian singer-songwriter Paul Dempsey, I wait in breathless anticipation for a release date, a potential live performance to show up on YouTube, and then the release itself. This year the wait has been for his new solo album Strange Loop. As always, it was worth the wait.

The Something for Kate, also known as SFK, front man has been one of my favorite…everything to do with modern music…people for a long, long time. An Aussie friend got me hooked on SFK, and Dempsey’s amazing talents took it from there. Not only a gifted singer, he also writes deep and thoughtful songs and is one of the best guitarists I’ve heard.

Somehow, the combination of his mesmerizing voice and the songs he crafts have a soothing effect on me. Listening to his music can actually lull me to sleep, which is quite a feat considering my insomniacal tendencies. I affectionately call the welcome result of this power Dempsolepsy, meant entirely as a compliment. It seems to only be certain songs that carry this ability. Most notably Man of the Moment and Out the Airlock, from his first solo album Everything Is True, but Strange Loop as a whole can manage it at times. This perk of being a Paul Dempsey fan makes me love his music even more. I mean, what can be better than for an insomniac to fall asleep to music they love?

Strange Loop is different from Everything Is True, just as the most recent SFK album Leave Your Soul To Science is different from all that came before. All their albums are wonderful, in their own way. Dempsey’s three standalones (the two aforementioned and his covers album Shotgun Karaoke) are individuals, just as siblings are individual members of the same family. The thread that runs through them all is Dempsey’s
brilliance.

The True Sea is my favorite track from Strange Loop. The chorus has been on a loop in my head for days. In a broader sense the entire album is my favorite track from the album. There’s a soaring depth of intellect here that echoes throughout Dempsey’s body of work. It makes me think and sing and look forward to what’s next, even as I continue to discover nuances of what’s now. This is not the kind of album that would be easy to try to give rating stars, because this is the kind of music that brings the real stars of the night sky to mind.

The True Sea by Paul Dempsey

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