Folk

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tony Hillier

The Gloam­ing Real World/Planet

The Gloam­ing’s se­cond al­bum flows as flu­ently as the Ir­ish-Amer­i­can su­per­group’s widely ac­claimed de­but, a wa­ter­shed re­lease that docked at the con­flu­ence of Gaelic song and Celtic jigs and reels an­cient and mod­ern, and con­tem­po­rary clas­si­cal and art-house mu­sic. With the tem­plate es­tab­lished, might be less ef­fi­ca­cious on the ear than its epony­mous pre­de­ces­sor, but it still en­gages and en­chants. Ten­sions en­gen­dered by the di­chotomy be­tween its un­usual el­e­ments — en­hanced by the skill and imag­i­na­tion of the play­ers — pro­duce dy­nam­ics akin to a me­an­der­ing river. The rhyth­mic un­der­cur­rents, on which float the sym­bi­otic leads of County Clare vir­tu­oso Martin Hayes’s vi­olin and the ethe­real vo­cals of Cork sean-nos spe­cial­ist Iarla O Lion­aird, pro­vide ir­re­sistible propul­sion. The Nor­we­gian-styled Har­dan­ger fid­dling of Caoimhin O Raghal­laigh and the funky gui­tar riffs pro­duced by Hayes’s long-time duo part­ner, Chicago-born Den­nis Cahill, trawl the depths, deftly util­is­ing tex­ture and space. New York pro­ducer Thomas Bartlett’s thought­ful coun­ter­points on pi­ano add cred. Jour­ney opener The Pil­grim’s Song is in many ways a mi­cro­cosm of the Gloam­ing’s sound and aes­thetic, with Hayes’s el­e­gant fid­dle lines fol­low­ing O Lion­aird’s dul­cet Gaelic tones and a grad­ual build­ing of mo­men­tum to or­ches­tral depth. Fain­leog ( Wan­derer) dove­tails, a del­i­cate di­a­logue be­tween lead vi­olin and pi­ano mor­ph­ing into a jig. A haunt­ing air, The Hare, com­pels the lis­tener to dwell on each beau­ti­fully played note.

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