The Gloaming – “The Gloaming”


The Gloaming is the sound of traditional Irish folk music being brought into the 21st Century. Part soaring adult contemporary album, part fiddle-soaked jig and reel, *The Gloaming* deals in atmosphere to a major extent. There is a sparseness, an understatement, to these pieces that is the most compelling thing about them; they refuse to wallow in the obvious modern signifiers of their heritage, eschewing the showboat tradition of the Irish revivalism that comes around every ten years or so (Riverdance comes to mind). Instead these tracks build from subtle clues: piano figures, fiddle sighs, weighty vocals. Throughout, these simple beginnings burst open into full celebrations (“Opening Set”, “The Girl Who Broke My Heart”) or soaring near-pop songcraft (“Freedom/Saoirse”). While it’s not modern music in the slightest, it feels modern through cutting-edge production. It’s not your mother’s one Irish CD that she pulls out for St. Paddy’s Day; it’s an album of subtle longing emotion, played out in an ancient tradition by honest lovers of the form.

Grade:  B+