Conor O’Brien is sat next to me on a picnic bench, a look of genuine surprise spread across his face. We’re both squinting in the early evening sun, the Thames rolling sedately along behind us as I tell him what his debut album Becoming a Jackal means to me. Born and bred in Dublin (Dun Laoghaire, to be precise), perhaps it’s quite obvious that the record will serve as a reminder of my time travelling across his home country; the long coach journeys through endless grey November fields interjected with nights spent by rivers and in abandoned candlelit apartments, listening to tales about the devil and the Dublin Mountains. It’s more than just the fact that he’s from that same place, though. It’s that extra sparkle that the songs have, the little something you can’t quite explain that resonates with the sparse landscapes and almost traditional storytelling.