Reviews

The GloamingThe Gloaming
Album: The Gloaming 2
Label: Real World
Tracks: 12
Website: http://www.thegloaming.net

Sometimes music stops you in your tracks, sometimes you have to listen, sometimes nothing else matters. Moments that stretch time.

This is one such occasion, this is the second album by The Gloaming, a meeting of like minded musicians who are not only incredibly talented in their own rights but perhaps more importantly comfortable which each other and their abilities.

This is traditional Irish music played with emotion, with joy for the most part, with sadness occasionally, with beauty always. Whether it's the melancholy fiddle of Martin Hayes, the fuller resonance of the hardhanger drone of Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh the perfect pitch of sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, the plaintive yet expressive piano of New York based Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), or Chicago-born Dennis Cahill's guitar the glue that helps keep everything together, this is simply music that moves you.

Twelve tracks, over an hour of listening but it's not, you get to the end and hit play again. And again. And time passes, the day has gone and still you are mesmerised.

At times reflective, haunting, peaceful, happy this album runs the full gambit of emotions. You don't want it to end. It doesn't have to. Just one more listen.

Overall it's the feel that the Gloaming 2 exudes, a stellar collection of musos, no ostentatious solos, no showing off, no "twiddly bits" just for the sake of it. The warmth of like minded folk melding together allowing their instruments the space to interpret the tunes and songs.

To tell a story even if you don't understand Gaelic or perhaps Gaeilge, you still feel the meaning of the message. You feel the quietness, the emptiness sets the mood, the understated sounds shout out to you. It tugs at the heart.

It sounds so simple, it sounds so fresh as if you are discovering the song for the first time like "Cucanandy" who I'd previously associated with Clannad.

There's slip jigs and reels as you would expect impeccably played, session tunes gorgeously slow, you savour every nuance of each note. This is music that slows time, it slows you, it's a wonderful place to be taken to.

To analyse this record track by track would be wrong in my opinion, look elsewhere if you need that, to me it's like trying to describe the beauty in watching a butterfly flit over a summer lawn, some things you just accept, they "just are".

The Gloaming 2 just is. Just what it is you must decide. Don't wait too long though.

Ian Cripps