tir na nog

Much to my own embarrassment our listening world has thus far somehow managed carry on spinning apace without ever having encountered Ireland’s Tir Na Nog. Well that was the case until that is the arrival of a promo featuring four cuts that’ll find themselves genteelly pressed upon coloured wax grooves for the adored Fruits de Mer imprint shortly. A short potted history of Messrs Condell and O’Kelly – they be Tir Na Nog – reads thus. Formed and signed to Chrysalis in 1970 they recorded and released three highly acclaimed albums in the blink of an eye, admired by Peel for whom they were invited to record several legendary sessions, the duo proved to be a support draw for the likes of Roxy, Jethro Tull and the Who (such disparate associations gives hint at the duo’s acute ability to defy easy categorization). Going their separate ways in ’74 the duo reunited in the mid 80’s playing on home soil and buoyed by the reception received for their UK visits in 2010 the love affair continues afoot. An admirable coup on the part of FdM to get these dudes on side (and I should not the first coup this batch of releases). Due to hit record store racks late May, the first of FdM’s spring season collection is a much anticipated release. The set comes headed up by a sublime rephrasing of the Silver Apples’ ’I have known love’ (the original appearing on the ’Apples legendary and pioneering ’contact’ set – upon the sparse framing of the original the duo delicately colour this lost gem in the warming caress of soft psyche hues drizzled in Celtic mosaics, the effect softly intoxicating and lilting and surrendering aglow in a fondly reflective sun setting that sweetly sighs to the ghosting tonalities once bequeathed by a youthful pre disco Bee Gees and a ‘paisley, sage, rosemary and thyme’ era Simon and Garfunkel. The captivating pastoral ‘you in yellow’ is a gorgeously woven aural love note fondly recalling a romantic moment between a couple while ‘I pick up birds at funerals’ is a bit of a curio muscularly threaded with a knowing soft psych fuzzy strut. That said best of the pack by some distance is the utterly captivating and spell crafted ’the Angelus’ whose bewitching tapestry is traces back to a lost song craft rooted deep in folks long and illustrious consciousness and might well prove simultaneously prove to be something of particular interest to those much admiring of the Soft Hearted Scientists. If you happen to lucky enough to grab a hold of a promo CD of the release you’ll find an additional 5th cut that missed the final pressing edit due to the limited capabilities afforded by vinyl. A delicately demurring beauty ’Andria’ is old school song craft honed at its finest, dimpled in MOR motifs and ageless at that, its possessed of that breezily airy care freeness that these days attaches easily to the work of Paddy McAloon and with that well worth a diligent hunt around the auction sites trying to secure a copy of to hear. Comes housed in a linen effect sleeve on coloured vinyl in limited quantities.

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