- Summary: This is the debut Irish folk-influenced release for the collaboration from Martin Hayes, Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman, Iarla Ó Lionaird, Dennis Cahill and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh.
- Record Label: Brassland
- Genre(s): Folk, International
- More Details and Credits »
MojoFeb 11, 2014This is a very organic, modern album. And it's brilliant. [Mar 2014, p.93]
UncutJan 21, 2014A magisterial set. [Feb 2014, p.75]
Q MagazineJan 28, 2014Not for the casual listener, but enormously rewarding if you hanker for some NY loft space in your croft house. [Feb 2014, p.115]
Jan 23, 2014...Gracious.
My second review (and I was damn compelled). (I don't know what this means to the individual reader, but) I am in a Celtic...Gracious.
My second review (and I was damn compelled).
(I don't know what this means to the individual reader, but) I am in a Celtic band myself, playing Irish and Scottish songs, and then some. I play Irish bouzouki and mandolin, and though I'm not native to Texas, I have taken lessons for both instruments at an Irish Music retreat in Texas, called O'Flaherty's. I've been learning more and more about Celtic music since I started playing it and studying it in my early teens in 2010.
On the other hand, I'm also very passionate about indie music, orchestral music, experimental music, instrumental music, minimalism, world music etc.
I'd always wanted to incorporate Celtic music into the music that I wrote, because I love it so much. Doesn't help that I'm part Irish and Scottish. However, most fusions of Celtic music--like and especially The Dropkick Murphys and other pub-rock bands--weren't my ideal choices, so I wanted to fuse it with something else. Something I could enjoy more.
Today I found out I was beaten to the punch. And I'm so glad: I couldn't have thrown one harder.
Indie meets Irish... but mostly Irish. It really works.
Every song on here, first to last, is genuinely wonderful and expertly varied, from the haunting and brooding 'Song 44' to the sixteen-minute amalgamationary epic 'Opening Set' to the lovely finisher 'Samradh Samradh.' The really impressive thing is that it feels cohesive, too, and not just by way of individual tracks: the whole album successfully feels pieced together properly.
Some songs that I'm used to hearing fast, like 'Allistrum's March,' are slowed down to a crawl, and the effect is stunning. I won't lie: on my first listen I was moved to tears. It's the most beautiful rendition of the song I've heard. It's a toss-up between that and 'Freedom / Saoirse' as my favorite songs on the album, the latter of which is remarkable in it's on right: beautiful, powerful, but never overblown, with the chord progressions and melodies remaining memorable throughout.
From quiet to loud, slow to fast, smooth to harsh, the elements fit together wonderfully. Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman)'s piano works, even though he's not trained in Celtic music, as far as I know, add a sort of magic to the whole business that lend heavily to the sound. Martin Hayes and Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh's fiddle parts are precise on every featuring, whether they be on the slow, moving songs or on the dexterous runs of the reels, calling for disciplinary agility. Dennis Cahill's guitar works are subtle and beautiful and, like Doveman's piano, provide a crucial background for everything else to stand in front of. Finally, Iarla O'Lionaird's Sean-nós style singing, while it might not immediately impress on the opening song, is stunning. His voice is graceful, powerful, and wide. One song he sings low and another he's singing high. Together, the quintet come together to form what deserves to be called one of the most impressive supergroups of Irish music.
Please, please check out this album. It's a fresh, new, exciting, varied, and rock solid effort from five class-acts, American and Irish, who have taken Irish music to ground both familiar and higher. Some traditionalists might find the need to balk at this album, but even the stoniest of the elites should be moved by this; if not, they should at least acknowledge the effort as something fresh, notable, and beautiful one way or another. Not everything may fall under the category of "How Irish Music Is Supposed to Be Done", but what's been done has been done. And all I can do is applaud the results.
I give this a 10/10.… Expand
Aug 25, 2015The Gloaming's eponymous debut is one of the freshest sounding and unique records I have heard in years. How to define them? ContemporaryThe Gloaming's eponymous debut is one of the freshest sounding and unique records I have heard in years. How to define them? Contemporary Irish folk is inadequate. While they take plenty of inspiration from centuries of Irish folk music, it is the American Thomas Bartlett's influence that sets The Gloaming apart. You can hear a fusion take place of the new world and the old Celtic world. A fan of Irish folk and say a modern brooding band like "The National" could find common ground on a record like this. Song 44 opens proceedings in eerrie fashion but in a way that means the albums gets its hooks into you immediately and starts to pull you under. Closing track "Samhradh Samhradh" is the highlight of the album for me, a beautiful piece that has to be heard in quiet surroundings to be fully appreciated. This is something I'd say of the whole album. You'll miss out if you listen to this as background music. It's when its got your full focus and listening attention that it really begins to reward the listener.… Expand
Jan 23, 2014This is good instrumental music. It is kind of folky. Overall the whole thing kind of sounds the same so by the end of the album you areThis is good instrumental music. It is kind of folky. Overall the whole thing kind of sounds the same so by the end of the album you are pretty sick of the sound. It isn't a bad listen, it is kind of like Enya in the sense that it isn't really fun to listen to but it can be nice if you just need good background music.… Expand
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