Monday, July 21, 2014

Sister Irene O'Connor - Fire of God's Love / Songs to Ignite the Spirit (1973)

Here's a nice 'lil oddity. So as you can easily tell by the cover, this is a Christian album, through and through, recorded by a nun. An Australian nun, to be precise. Stick with me, though, and if you haven't heard this record, download it now.

Upon pressing play, you'll be greeted not by acoustic picking and a sunny-sounding voice praising the Lord, but by eery, ethereal, echo-laden vocals, primitive drum machines, and synthesizers. And even if not every song is as haunting as the album-leading title track, Fire never stops sounding as though it was written and performed by an insane person. Sounds as if Sister O'Connor wasn't just getting high on Christ -- she was straight-up tripping her balls off on him. Or acid.

Track listing:
1. Fire (Luke 12:49)
2. Nature Is a Song
3. Springtime (In Australia)
4. Mass: Emmanuel (Text: I.C.E.L.)
5. Messe du Saint Esprit
6. Light (John 8:12)
7. Mary Was 'There'
8. O Brother! (Matt. 7:1-5)
9. Teenager's Chorus
10. O Great Mystery (John 6)
11. Christ Our King (Col. 1:13)
12. Keshukoran

I am the living bread
He who eats this bread I give
He shall not die but he will live


  1. By appearances and your description, I'm more frightened of this than anything Diamanda Galas could hurl at me. Might give it a try. Maybe. Hmm.

  2. Loved this, her voice is gorgeous...alternately however, I don't particularly agree that this sounds insane in any way, it's just really pastoral, and yes, the synthetic instrumentation adds a unique tonal quality to the song, though not a zany or looney way. What actually struck me more was how 'indie' "Fire" sounds and quite ahead of its time regarding the theatrical production. Really great, highly listenable though not all that weird.

  3. Thanks a lot for this gem, buddy!

  4. Yes not weird. And Teenager's Chorus would be memorable on any soundtrack.

  5. Pretty sick shit id say. Somehow 'Woods of infinity' come to my mind all the time. Maybe some kinda Christian fanatic 70s version of Förintelse & Libido