The Shadow of an Empire

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The Shadow of an Empire
Studio album by Fionn Regan
Released 5 February 2010 (IE)
8 February 2010 (UK)
8 February 2011 (vinyl)
Genre Folk
Label Heavenly Records (UK)
Universal Music Ireland (IE)
Diverse Records (vinyl)
Fionn Regan chronology
The End of History
(2006)The End of History2006
The Shadow of an Empire
100 Acres of Sycamore
(2011)100 Acres of Sycamore2011
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
BBC (positive)[1]
Clash (magazine) 7/10 stars[2]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[3]

The Shadow of an Empire is the second studio album by Irish singer-songwriter Fionn Regan, released on 8 February 2010 on Heavenly Records and Universal Music Ireland.[4] The album's aesthetic differs from Regan's previous album, The End of History, featuring more electric guitar-based rock songs. Regarding this change in musical direction, Regan stated, "This album's lyrically quite fast, with lots of word changes and phrase changes, and it asked for a different kind of coat."[5] In October 2009 the first single, "Protection Racket" was released as a free download.[6]

Following the album's release, Regan toured with support act, Danny and the Champions of the World, appearing as his backing band.

Background and recording[edit]

Following the critical success of his debut album, The End of History, Fionn Regan began working on a follow-up with producer Ethan Johns. Described by Regan as "quite an uncompromising record" and "a combination of two uncompromising people", the album was ultimately shelved by his label, Lost Highway.[7]

Regarding their decision not to release the album, Regan states that "Sometimes when you discuss making a record with a record company, everyone draws a sketch of the house, and when you come back with the finished thing it's like, 'Oh, we thought the doors were going to be on the left side.' [...] [the album] is in a vault somewhere. It ended up getting clamped on the docks and the tariff was too high to get it out, and they put red tape around it. And so, I backed out of the drive and made the record that I set out to make."[7]

Regan subsequently left Lost Highway and relocated to Ireland to start afresh, recording in an old biscuit factory.[7]

The majority of The Shadow of an Empire was written whilst Fionn Regan was touring in support of The End of History. Regan states that he wrote character-based songs on his typewriter first, before putting the words to music, and notes that:[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and arranged by Fionn Regan

  1. "Protection Racket" - 2:39
  2. "Catacombs" - 3:25
  3. "Coathook" - 2:20
  4. "Genocide Matinee" - 3:52
  5. "Violent Demeanour" - 3:32
  6. "Lines Written In Winter" - 3:58
  7. "House Detective" - 3:06
  8. "Little Nancy" - 3:17
  9. "Lord Help My Poor Soul" - 4:45
  10. "The Shadow of an Empire" - 4:04


The following people contributed to The Shadow of an Empire:[8]



  • Fionn Regan - producer, additional engineering ("Genocide Matinee")
  • Brian Murphy - engineer
  • Stephen O'Brien - engineering assistant
  • Paul Stacy - mixing
  • Steve Rooke — mastering


  • Fionn Regan - artwork, design
  • Laura Murphy - artwork assistant
  • Autumn de Wilde - cover photograph
  • Swollen Design - photography of artwork and layout


  1. ^ "Music - Review of Fionn Regan - The Shadow of an Empire". BBC. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  2. ^ "Fionn Regan - The Shadow Of An Empire | Clash Music Latest Album Review". 2010-01-27. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  3. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (2010-02-05). "Fionn Regan: The Shadow of an Empire – CD review". The Guardian. London. 
  4. ^ "Fionn on his way to the Electric Picnic". The Irish News Online. 
  5. ^ a b "Fionn Regan interview - Features | State Magazine". 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  6. ^ Lindsay, Andrew. "Fionn Regan offers new track for free". Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  7. ^ a b c Barton, Laura (2010-02-22). "Fionn Regan: My way or the highway". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  8. ^ The Shadow of an Empire liner notes

External links[edit]