While having a late drink in Dublin, Stephen Shannon and John Hegarty were trying to calculate how many albums they had worked on for other artists. Having worked out it was ten, Shannon suggested it was time that they start working on a new John Hegarty album.

Into The Great Unknown is John Hegarty’s third solo album.

The follow up to the debut album, Twilight and it’s successor, Guiding Light, Into The Great Unknown is a return to the acoustic, string laden, folk arrangements of Hegarty’s earlier work.

Recorded at Stephen’s Experimental Audio studio in Dublin, the initial idea was that the songs would be stripped back to acoustic guitar and vocals, leaving the two musicians complete freedom to arrange the songs and craft the sound of the album.

John decided to vary the sound using new instruments like banjo, mandolin, glockenspiel and omnichord alongside his more regular work on guitar and piano. While recording the elegiac winter ballad, “Down on Murtagh Road”, Stephen began using delays and reverbs to create a spacious, resonant atmosphere.

The duo soon expanded their vision of the album to incorporate the talents of Joss Morrkens from the Dudley Corporation on drums, Michael Murphy from The Chapters on bass and Kevin Murphy from Seti the First on cello.

The album varies from the quiet acoustic numbers like “A Mystery to Me”, “Losing You” and “Not Enough” to the bigger band arrangements on “Where You Are”, “The Limits of Longing” and “No Heroes Songs.”

A collection of songs centered around wintertime, new relationships, early mornings and faraway places, Into The Great Unknown is now available on CD/Digital.