This is How we Fly – Foreign Fields – Album Review
2018 / 28th Jan: Templebar Trad Fest, St Michan’s Church, Dublin
With the minimum of fuss, the second album from four piece ‘This is how we Fly’ was released in mid-September. The album has 13 new tracks and is the usual mix of sounds and influences. The band are made up of Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh on fiddle (or hardanger d’amore if you’re being precise), Seán Mac Erlaine on clarinets & electronics, Nic Gareiss on percussive dance and Petter Berndalen on drums. Two members of the group are from Ireland, while the other two are from Sweden (Peter) and the United States (Nic).
The album starts with the faintest of introductions in ‘A Man of Few Words’. It is a slow, creeping start that has you straining to hear the mix of gentle sounds. As is so often the case, the second track is one of the strongest with ‘The Bittersweet March’ being a exuberant track, with a strong fiddle line along with percussive dance to make it a toe tapping affair. Rí Rua is another bright moment, with clarinet and hardanger d’amore starting before the piece explodes into full bloom on the chorus.
Duck Egg is another fine moment, the track inspired by the Wilfredd Production of Farm, no less. There are a number of shorter tracks littered through the album such as The Feet and The Drums, solo pieces lasting less than a minute that slip past before you notice. The centre piece of the album must be Mumpsimus :: Counterline, which lasts over 9 minutes. It is built around an up beat fiddle line which erupts at the chorus, but has many moody or slower phases.
As an instrumental album, it will not have the type of appeal that more traditional arrangements attract, but these are some very impressive musicians, and there is something joyous about their work. It possibly lacks the instant appeal of their first album, but you should not let this album slip past. Grab it and hold it tight!
Track List –
1. A Man of Few Words 02:17
2. The Bittersweet March 02:26
3. The Feet 00:29
4. Rí Rua 03:33
5. The Drums 00:48
6. Duck Egg 03:17
7. The Clarinet 00:48
8. Tí Mór 03:15
9. Mumpsimus :: Counterline 09:31
10. The Fiddle 01:01
11. Foreign Fields 05:00
12. Fjellvant 04:19
13. Lonesome Road 06:43