CD OF THE WEEK

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - REVIEWS CDs - Sinéad Glee­son

SPOOL Spool Patch­w­erx Records ★★★★

Whose in­ter­est wouldn’t be piqued by a band who cite Aphex Twin and Joni Mitchell on their barom­e­ter of in­flu­ences? Step for­ward Spool, a Dublin four-piece that might just be the city’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the fu­ture folk move­ment. Most of us have good rea­son to scoff at Johnny-come-lately sub-genre pi­geon­holes, of­ten con­jured up as tricksy mar­ket­ing ploys. Here, though, the hype paints an ac­cu­rate pic­ture of a hy­brid that blends tra­di­tional com­po­si­tional el­e­ments with con­tem­po­rary bells and whis­tles. Spool sub­tly bor­row from the past while up­dat­ing their mu­si­cal metaphors: so you get reams of melody, and echoes of Vashti Bun­yan vo­cals, while their elec­tronic airs re­volve around a post-folk ful­crum of bleepy nu­ances, gui­tars, shim­mer­ing vi­o­lins and twin­kling pi­ano.

In­stant com­par­isons will be made to Ps­app or a more or­ches­tral Tunng, but vo­cally there’s a ret­ro­spec­tive hint of All About Eve, thanks to Martina Gaf­fey’s soft, soul­ful tones, no­tably on the lone­some Face­lines. Her brother Sean is equally at home in front of a mi­cro­phone, tak­ing charge of lead vo­cals on Where the Air Is Rare and har­monies on Rain­ing. The lat­ter is an undis­puted high­light, built on a foun­da­tion of in­sis­tent clicks and sul­try arpeg­gios cour­tesy of Conor Hayes’s pro­gram­ming.

Each track bends and weaves, up­turn­ing many sur­prises: the dubby trum­pet stabs of Swal­low, a mourn­ful lap­steel on Rain­ing, the shuf­fled per­cus­sion of Where the Air Is Rare. Hyp­notic and orig­i­nal. www.spoolthe­band.com

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