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35
4.8 out of 5 stars
The Gloaming
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2014
I often struggle to fully embrace the idea of 'folk' music. Recently, a friend and I were discussing the idea of a piece of music in that general genre that could really surprise and unexpectedly capture our imaginations...and as if by magic, he presented this extraordinary piece of work. I often struggle to describe the nature of this to people who have never heard it...it seems to beautifully refuse to fit into any particular musical pigeon hole. All I know is that it is pure joy...breathtakingly crafted and refined to an unimaginable level (the piano playing particularly melts me every time). As an English language speaker, I particularly love that the songs are sung in Irish- for me, it offers an otherworldliness.

I'm completely ensnared by this...and it may take quite some time to escape!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2014
It’s all been said before, the Gloaming are both part of an old Irish tradition and and at the same time bringing it to new byways. There are stunning renditions based on haunting sean-nós songs to free improvisations that skirt and link with world jazz, they are making new music that is evocative of old traditions and themes. They will seriously translate across many boundaries and cultures. They will make you contemplate and think.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Oh the joys of the internet and to discovering new music. Some useful instructions for you to follow-

1. Take a sharp detour today to the "First Listen" section of the New Public Radio website where this album is streaming in its entirety.
2. Pull out your best pair of headphones
3. Listen in awe and wonder

The Gloaming are virtuoso musicians comprising Iarla Ó Lionaird, the legendary fiddler Martin Hayes, violinist Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, plus American guitarist Dennis Cahill and, perhaps surprisingly, pianist Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman). This is in effect an Irish folk supergroup with a strong American tinge. Bartlett who produces has worked with artists like the National, Anthony and the Johnson's and Rufus Wainwright. The unusual make up of the band nevertheless belies a musical empathy that brings them together like a compressed tube of Loctite superglue. Add to this that many of the songs are expertly delivered full of soul and feeling by Iarla Ó Lionaird in the Sean-nós tradition which is a highly ornamented style of vocal in the beautiful language of Gaelic. It this album was a sick of rock it would have the word "distinctive" running through it. The music literally soars and you clumsily fumble for the right words to describe it. Listen to the instrumental "Allistrum's March" and try not to be blown away by the wonders of its raw authenticity and sublime melody. The same applies to the plaintive "Hunting the Squirrel" which tugs at your heart. As for the 16 minute "Opening Set" this is a tour de force comprising musical alchemy ranging from traditional singing and lightning paced jigs to a hint of Keith Jarrett style piano jazz. You need to to sit down afterwards, pause to gather your thoughts at the aural pleasure you have experienced and smile broadly. Indeed you could do no better than return to the start of the album and hover the needle over the sumptuous piano driven "Nest of Wrens" with a vocal to die for. The language is in Gaelic, but whether you understand it or not, the emotion is universal. It is also proof that in their own way this band do for Irish music what Sigur Ros have done in terms of their Icelandic ethereal sound.

The New Yorker Magazine, have argued that The Gloaming "moves the music of Ireland in captivating new directions." For anyone who might disagree just listen to the magnificence of Hayes playing on "The Sailors Bonnet" which brings to mind Beethoven's maxim that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Finally round off the album with the uplifting "Freedom" and offer profound thanks to the mighty forces that pointed you towards it. A revelation.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2014
I do not care what your musical tastes are. You must listen to this. Undoubtedly Irish but more. These five guys are stars in their own right but together the have raised the bar for Irish music. The singing is in Irish but do not for a moment let that put you off. Whatever you are doing you will stop and listen to this. I do not write reviews often but I felt that I had to say something about this album. Irish, yes, but almost classical. You will come away from this feeling sad but exhilerated. Simply magnificent.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2014
lots of reviews out there for this album …..My review is that Martin Hayes in particular is a genius . The music is often hypnotic .Simple tunes are built up with layers and layers of textures and tones ….They are amazing live …musicians at the top of their craft.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2015
WARNING, The vinyl version of the Gloaming features only 8 tracks in total.The CD has 10 tracks. The two tracks missing from the vinyl release are outstanding pieces of music which contribute so much magic and mystery to the CD release.
Missing are the beautifully atmospheric, The Old Bush and the lengthy trance like Opening Set. Both are very long and obviously too much music to fit on a single LP. What a pity.
None of the track listings on Amazon or elsewhere make this clear. Just so that you know, good people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2015
Stunning is the only word you could use to describe it.Some albums take you away to another place and this is one of them.Many of the songs are tinged with sadness but really beautiful to listen to.The album finished and I felt like I had come out of a trance.I dont really write reviews but felt It was right to comment if it encouraged more to buy and listen to this album.If you like celtic music you will love it but it transcends its genre.So glad I bought it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2014
This is a very special album and one it would be hard to imagine getting tired of. The musicianship of all these wonderful artists is quite exceptional; the feel and atmosphere created is almost totally unique; and the experience of listening to it can only be described as highly spiritual. I know this sounds like it should be in Pseuds Corner but believe me, this album cannot fail to touch you. If this hour of musical perfection doesn't move you, nothing will.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2014
received this on valentines day.all i can say is this album is superbly crafted by musicians at the top of their field... favourites are "the old bush" and "opening set", although each track in itself is a masterpiece.Can whole heartedly recommend this unique collaboration.Buy it, relax and prepare to be both beguiled and bewitched.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2014
This is just such an emotional and beautifully played album it took my breath away. Like LAU in Scotland these Irish musicians are creating a new kind of modern, intense and wildly lovely folk music.
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