The Gloaming

Stunning Second Album From Irish-American Supergroup By Jen Eisler

Irish-American quintet, The Gloaming launch their sophomore recording The Gloaming 2 on May 9, 2016, licensed exclusively in Canada to Montreal’s Justin Time Records. Hot on the heels of their 2014 self-titled debut, also licensed to Justin Time, this follow up is further proof of the group’s genre-stretching musical approach, which expands beyond its roots in traditional Irish folk music.
Since forming in 2011, the ensemble has packed concert halls in all corners of the world with their unique blend of traditional influences and subtle experimentation. Celebrated by music lovers for their quiet intensity, critics have also sung their praises. In reviews of their newest effort, leading British daily, The Guardian said, “An exquisite album from a virtuoso band”, Paste Magazine exclaimed, “The Gloaming’s second album is a tour de force”, and Folk Radio UK said, “The Gloaming meet and exceed the expectations encouraged by their debut.”
The ensemble’s personnel are extraordinary and virtuosic musicians each with successful individual careers. What results is a unique mix of musical sensibilities where contemporary classical, post-rock and experimental influences dovetail seamlessly into each other. New-York pianist Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), has been identified with the independent rock scene for his work with artists as diverse as The National, Glen Hansard, and many more. Chicago-born guitarist, Dennis Cahill and Irish fiddlers, Martin Hayes and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh have all been recognized for extending the Irish and Celtic music traditions – both literally and metaphorically, balancing traditional rigor with an energy that seems entirely new. Iarla Ó Lionáird, has sung with various projects including the electronic/ world-music hybrid Afro-Celt Soundsystem, and recently contributed an a capella version of “Casadh an tSugain” to the Academy Award nominated film Brooklyn.
What distinguishes The Gloaming from other folk music ensembles is their surprisingly subtle sound, one quite removed from the usual foot-stomping fare associated with gigues and reels. Instead, they introduce a classical-like sensibility, as in the glorious “Slán le Máighe”, the mesmeric treatment of “The Pilgrim’s Song”, or the instrumental “The Rolling Wave”, in which drifting piano work is intercut with fiddle dance tunes. They also wistfully transition through pieces of ancient vintage as in “Oisín’s Song” and “Fáinleog/(Wanderer)”, while others more contemporary with “Casadh an tSúgain” and “Cucanandy”.
The Gloaming truly set themselves apart from the rest with distinctive contemporary touches and genre-bending flair. Imagine if alchemical music of a band like Tortoise could appeal to your old Irish uncle – and you have an idea what the Gloaming is after.
For more, visit: Video for the making of The Gloaming 2: