Album Reviews

Ensemble Ériu – Ensemble Ériu – Album Review

Ensemble Eriu

Ensemble Ériu are a septet that play traditional Irish music with a subtle twist. They say themselves, the music they perform is “rooted in the styles of West and North County Clare” but their influences range far and wide and draw in a variety of sounds. This is no typical trad album by any stretch.

There are elements of jazz and ambient with each track finding a steady groove and developing it thoroughly. The shortest track on the album is over five minutes so each tune is given the space it needs. Only the last track on the album features vocals so it is largely instrumental with Saileog Ní Cheannabháin’s voice creating a haunting end to the affair.

Led by Jack Talty and Neil O’Loghlen, the choice of musical instruments range from marimbas, concertinas, double bass, trombone, electronics, flute & whistle and that is what gives this album the lift. The arrangement in each track is unique and there seems to be a focus on doing something interesting with each of them. There is no attempt to find a unifying thread for the album, but it sets out to explore.

Ensemble Ériu have found something quite different, a sound that few others are delving into and that is a difficult task in itself. The fact that the music is quite lovely makes this one a bit of a find.

This album was originally released in 2013. Find out more details here.

1. Jurna 08:59
2. April’s Fool 05:37
3. Gleann na Réimsí 05:56
4. 3 College Square 05:28
5. Caoineadh do Leanbh Marbh, Tírdhreach Garbh, Bobby Casey’s 08:37
6. Seachrán Sí 07:16

Jack Talty – concertina, bass concertina & electronics
Neil O’ Loghlen – double bass, flute & whistle

Matthew Jacobson – marimba & drums
Matthew Berrill – clarinet, bass clarinet
Úna McGinty – violin & viola
Jeremy Spencer – fiddle
Paddy Groenland – guitar
Sam Perkin – piano
Colm O’ Hara – trombone
Saileog Ní Cheannabháin – voice

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