The Gloaming: 2
Label: JUSTIN TIME
Two years on from their debut, this five-piece Irish-American supergroup have become a phenomenon, packing out concert halls around the world with their blend of traditional influences and subtle experimentation. Their second album explains the attraction. The starting point may be Irish song and poetry, but the fiddles of Martin Hayes and Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh are matched against the thoughtful, non-folky piano work of New York’s Thomas Bartlett, who quietly dominates much of the set and provides delicate backing for the powerful vocals of Iarla Ó Lionáird. This is a band who specialise in subtlety and surprise rather than foot-stomping playing, as they show with the gloriously emotional song of parting Slán le Máighe, their mesmeric treatment of The Pilgrim’s Song and the instrumental The Rolling Wave, in which drifting piano work is intercut with fiddle dance tunes. An exquisite album from a virtuoso band.