Unrequited love is the nucleus of the first self-penned single from Strabane man Adam Dolan.
Old-timers might call it a 21st century telling of the age-old story of a love that passes you by. A younger generation might think of it as a fella caught within the dark orbit of the ‘friend-zone’, never able to tell the woman he desires the way he actually feels, for fear that he will lose her completely.
Conceive of it whatever way you want, when the Adam sings ‘If Only You Knew’ with the quiet despair of someone who longs for the love they will never have, the listener is drawn into his world, and maybe even finds kinship with the narrator as a few buried memories begin to bubble back to the surface.
With a knack possessed by good songwriters and poets, Dolan reveals the love and pain that exist within every moment of unilateral love.
Like two sides of the same coin, the love and hurt exist together. The only way to free them of each other is to flip the coin, tell her how you feel, and hope that the coin lands love-side up.
“But it isn’t that easy to do, is it?” says Adam (25), skeptical of my straightforward ‘tell her how you feel’ solution.
“Plenty of brave men have ended up chief-bridesmaid because they just never found the right time to say it,” he explains.
“You see them standing there aisle-side, flowers in hand, tears in their eyes, ruing the day they ‘were about to tell her’.”
Adam’s writing style is deeply personal, but the product is never convoluted or even all that abstract.
Some songwriters like to leave things ambiguous, allow acres of space for the listener’s interpretation, and avoid getting specific with the details of the story.
But some songwriters are all about the details, because that is where the truth can be found – Johnny Cash didn’t ‘press the steel to hear the squeal of life and death pass by’. No. He shot a man in Rino, just to watch him die.
Adam is much more a student of Johnny’s school of songwriting, and this makes sense from the bird’s -eye view of his family tree.
Adam is a direct-descendent of two of Strabane’s most beloved music men, he is a grandson of Bobby Moore and a nephew of Eurovision star, Ryan Dolan.
“Hearing all those old country songs when I was younger probably influenced me on some fundamental level, but I’m not caught in a time-warp. I have taken a lot from the likes of Picture This, Ed Sheeran, and the immortal Queen,” he explained.
“I have to thank my family who have helped me build a life in music, and I’m also grateful to Peter Doherty who has produced almost all of my music so far,” Adam added.
• Follow Adam at AdamDolanMusic on facebook and instagram and give his new release a listen, it’s available on all platforms now.