The Gloaming (album)

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The Gloaming
Thegloamingalbum.jpg
Studio album by The Gloaming
Released 20 January 2014 (2014-01-20)
Recorded August 2012
Studio Grouse Lodge, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
Genre World[1], Folk[1], Irish traditional[2], Celtic[1] contemporary classical, jazz, chamber, post-rock, minimalism
Length 59:51
Label Real World Records (Rest of World)
Brassland (North America)
Justin Time Records (Canada)
Planet Records (Australia)
Producer Thomas Bartlett, The Gloaming (group)
The Gloaming chronology
The Gloaming
(2014)
2
(2016)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic77/100[3]
Review scores
SourceRating
The Arts Desk5/5 stars[4]
Financial Times5/5 stars[5]
The Guardian4/5 stars[6]
The Irish Times5/5 stars[7]

The Gloaming is the debut studio album by the contemporary Irish/American music group The Gloaming. It was released on January 20, 2014 on Real World Records[8], and on Brassland Records in America, Justin Time Records in Canada, and Planet Records in Australia.[9]

The album received widespread critical acclaim on its release and is considered one of the finest recordings of 2014.[10] The Gloaming made several end-of-year lists for publications such as the Irish Times (who named it No.1 Best album of 2014)[11], Irish Independent,[12] and NPR,[13] while also being nominated for three BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, winning Best Traditional Track for "Samhradh Samhradh".[14] It won the Meteor Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year in 2015.[15]

Background and recording[edit]

In April 2011, the Irish Times reported that a “supergroup” made up of some of the biggest names in traditional Irish music had met for a collaborative session at Grouse Lodge Studios where material had also been demoed and recorded. A live date at Dublin's National Concert Hall was also billed for August of that year which would sell out before the group had released any music.[16]

Following more highly subscribed live outings in late 2011 and early 2012, the band entered Grouse Lodge Studios for a two-week period in August 2012 to record definitive versions of pieces they had been performing live up to that point, with a view to completing an album. While a couple of tracks had been earmarked for inclusion, there was a degree of flexibility from the band over the ultimate tracklisting. A recording of "Samhradh Samhradh" made during those very first Grouse Lodge sessions in early 2011 was used in the final cut of the record.[17]

As has become a signature of The Gloaming's music, several of the ten tracks that comprise the record consist of traditional material originating decades or even centuries ago that has been arranged by the group using a modern palette. For example, album opener "Song 44" features lyrics adapted by vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird from original poem No. 44 by poet Domhnall Mac Cárthaigh (Dánta Grádha, An Anthology of Irish Love Poetry 1350-1750). "Saoirse", meanwhile, has lyrics adapted by from the 1952 poem of the same name by Seán Ó Ríordáin, (Eireaball Spideoige, Sairseal agus Dill). One track, "Opening Set", includes a series of seven individual traditional tunes within the one composition, one of which, "An Chúil Daigh Ré", is from the singing of Conchúbhar Ó Cochláin, Doire Na Sagart, Ballyvourney, Co Cork.[18]

Production duties were carried out by pianist Thomas Bartlett and The Gloaming, while Patrick Dillett (David Byrne, St Vincent) engineered and mixed the record at his studio in New York.[19] It was mastered by UE Nastasi at Sterling Sound. The album sleeve was designed by Marc Bessant, with the cover art image – entitled 'Passage' – created by US conceptual photography duo Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.[20]

Release and reception[edit]

The Gloaming was completed in the summer of 2013 before the band returned to the road for a sell-out tour stopping off at London, Amsterdam, Paris and New York.[21] It was released on January 20, 2014 on Real World Records, and on Brassland Records in America, Justin Time Records in Canada, and Planet Records in Australia.

The album received extremely positive reviews from critics. The Guardian described the record as “exquisite”, while Uncut called the debut collection of songs “a magisterial set”.[22][23] In their five-star review, the Irish Times said the album was “contemporary music making at its very best: unself-conscious, freewheeling and yet deeply thoughtful, revealing layer upon layer with each listening”.[24] Music magazine Mojo’s verdict was that The Gloaming was “a very organic, modern album. And it's brilliant”, while the Boston Globe noted the record's “energizing tension” and “the pull of the past and the call of what's to come” present in the music. NPR Music, meanwhile, named it "One of the Year's Best Albums" and called it "astonishingly beautiful”.[25][26]

Following the quintet's sold-out three-night run at Dublin's National Concert Hall in February 2015, their debut album won the Meteor Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year, beating competition from acts such as Hozier, U2, Damien Rice and Sinead O'Connor.[27] That same year, album track "Samhradh Samhradh" was named Best Traditional Track at the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Track listing[edit]

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes. Information in brackets indicates individual tunes featured on a track.[28]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Song 44"6:44
2."Allistrum's March"
  • Trad. Arr.
  • The Gloaming
4:12
3."The Necklace of Wrens/An Muince Dreoilíní"
  • Michael Hartnett
  • The Gloaming
3:47
4."The Girl Who Broke My Heart"
  • Trad. Arr.
  • The Gloaming
2:17
5."Freedom/Saoirse"5:04
6."The Sailor's Bonnet"
  • Trad. Arr.
  • The Gloaming
4:15
7."The Old Bush"
  • Trad. Arr.
  • The Gloaming
7:35
8."Opening Set" (An Chúil Daigh Ré, Elizabeth Kelly's Delight, Billy O'Rourke is the Boy, The Millstream, Rolling in the Barrel, The Tap Room, Tom Doherty's Reel)
  • Trad. Arr.
  • The Gloaming
16:39
9."Hunting The Squirrel"
  • Trad. Arr.
  • The Gloaming
3:22
10."Samhradh Samhradh"
  • Trad. Arr.
  • The Gloaming
5:56
Total length:59:51

Personnel[edit]

Music
Production

Accolades[edit]

Year-end lists
Publication List Rank Ref.
The Irish Times The 50 Best Albums of 2014
1
fRoots Critics Poll 2014
5
Songlines Best Albums 2014
n/a
NPR NPR Music's 50 Favourite albums of 2014
n/a
Irish Independent Best Irish albums of the year
2
Deezer 2014: Albums of the year
n/a
Awards
Year Ceremony Category Result
2015 Choice Music Prize Album of the Year 2014[32] Won
2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Traditional Track ("Samhradh Samhradh")[33] Won
2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Original Track ("The Necklace of Wrens")[14] Nominated
2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Group[14] Nominated
2015 Songlines Music Awards Newcomer[34] Nominated

Charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Irish Albums (IRMA)[35] 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "CD: World/folk (She'Koyokh; The Gloaming)". The Australian. March 22, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  2. ^ "CD: The Gloaming - The Gloaming". theartsdesk.com. The Arts Desk. January 12, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "Metacritic Review". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  4. ^ Quinn, Peter (2014-01-12). "The Arts Desk". theartsdesk.com. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  5. ^ Honigmann, David (2014-01-17). "The Financial Times". ft.com. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  6. ^ Denselow, Robin (2014-01-16). "The Guardian". theguardian.com. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  7. ^ Long, Siobhan (2014-01-17). "The Irish Times". irishtimes.com. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  8. ^ "The Gloaming: 'There's a kind of experiment happening every night'". IrishTimes.com. The Irish Times. January 16, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  9. ^ "The Gloaming". Brassland.org. Brassland. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  10. ^ "Bio". thegloaming.net. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  11. ^ a b "The 50 Best Albums of 2014". The Irish Times: On The Record. December 1, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Best Irish albums of the year". Irish Independent. December 12, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2014". NPR. December 8, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  14. ^ a b c "Radio 2 Folk Awards nominees announced". BBC. BBC Media Centre. February 4, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  15. ^ "The Gloaming scoops top prize at Meteor Choice Awards". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  16. ^ "The traddest band in the whole damn town". Irishtimes.com. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  17. ^ "Recording the Glomaing in Westmeath, Ireland: Production Notes". Bowers and Wilkins. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  18. ^ "The Gloaming 2". discogs.com. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Recording the Glomaing in Westmeath, Ireland: Production Notes". Bowers and Wilkins. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  20. ^ "The Gloaming 2". discogs.com. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  21. ^ "The Gloaming Past Concerts". Songkick.com. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  22. ^ Denselow, Robin (2014-01-16). "The Gloaming: The Gloaming – review". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  23. ^ "The Gloaming". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  24. ^ "The Gloaming". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  25. ^ "The Gloaming". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  26. ^ "First Listen: The Gloaming, 'The Gloaming'". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  27. ^ "The Gloaming scoops top prize at Meteor Choice Awards". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  28. ^ "Discogs: The Gloaming - The Gloaming". Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  29. ^ "Critics Poll 2014". fRoots. December 8, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  30. ^ "Songlines' Best Albums of 2014 Announced". Songlines. October 31, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  31. ^ "2014 albums of the year". Deezer. December 22, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  32. ^ "The Gloaming scoops top prize at Meteor Choice Awards". The Irish Times. The Irish Times. March 5, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  33. ^ "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 - winners revealed". BBC. BBC Media Centre. April 23, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  34. ^ "Songlines Music Awards 2015: The Nominees". Songlines. Songlines. March 18, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  35. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 4, 2014". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 18 October 2017.