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The Gloaming dwells at a musical crossroads, enhancing traditional Irish music’s rich, melancholic tones with modern hues of jazz, contemporary classical, and experimental music. Steeped in traditional Irish music since birth, fiddlers Martin Hayes and Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh and sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird are joined by New York pianist Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), and Chicago-born guitarist Dennis Cahill.
While Ireland is a small nation, the diversity in styles between traditional music players from different counties and parishes a few dozen miles apart is a thing of no small wonder. The backgrounds of The Gloaming’s three Irish members show the strength and colour of this ecosystem. Hayes hails from County Clare, where a slow, contemplative, and melancholic sweep of fiddle music holds sway amongst its musicians. A move to America burnished his sound with new idioms, ranging from Arvo Pärt to Sigur Ros. Still very much an East Clare fiddler, Hayes has brought this age-old sound into a modern setting without losing its essence. Hayes’s fellow fiddler is Dublin-born Ó Raghallaigh, whose head was turned by minimal, experimental sounds. His ability to mine the space and texture between the notes with his customized fiddle, part Norwegian Hardanger and part viola d’amore, has produced some groundbreaking work.
Ó Lionáird hails from West Cork, where Sean-nós singing - solo singing unaccompanied by any instrument - is the lingua franca. Passed down the generations, the songs cover a multitude of material: historical events, love poems or bittersweet accounts of loss and emigration, and, of course, songs about drinking and devilment. An exponent of this dark, passionate, and ancient art, Ó Lionáird has taken a unique, indelibly Irish voice and lyrics drawn from Irish literature into new terrain. He has recorded a number of albums for Real World Records and became a choice collaborator for composers like Nico Muhly, Gavin Bryars, and Donnacha Dennehy.
The cast of The Gloaming has proven transformative with the addition of guitarist Cahill, an American from Dingle, County Kerry stock, and Bartlett, who has worked with Antony and the Johnsons, Sufjan Stevens, Glen Hansard, The National, Sam Amidon, and many more. With Cahill and Bartlett’s musical dexterity and shaping, The Gloaming’s reels and jigs attain new and exhilarating heights. It’s a bold and brave combination that creates the distinctive, bracing sound of music then and now, perfectly in tune.
The Gloaming have performed at the most prestigious venues in their home countries. Five shows in February/March at The National Concert Hall in Dublin, and one at London’s Union Chapel, sold out within days, some within hours. Their international touring calendar has been equally impressive, including such notable nights as the Ceiliúradh at Royal Albert Hall (a celebration of the Irish president’s first-ever state visit to Britian); Barbican, Sydney Opera House; New York’s Lincoln Center, Los Angeles’ Bovard Auditorium, Mexico City’s Teatro de la Ciudad, and headlining WOMAD festival.
The Gloaming’s debut was widely considered as one of the finest recordings of 2014, featuring on many year-end best lists including Mojo, NPR Music, and the Irish Times; was picked by The Guardian as The One Album You Should Hear This Week; won a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award; and the Meteor Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year.
The new album “2” was recorded in December of 2105 at Real World Studios and released in late February of 2016. As with the groups debut, it was produced by Thomas Bartlett and engineered and mixed by Patrick Dillett.
“Having reached the top spot in the Irish Album and Independent charts in March of this year The Gloaming took some time out of their busy schedules to accept their IMRO No.1 Awards. ‘2’ is the second album from The Gloaming and follows from their self titled and No.1 debut ‘The Gloaming’.”
The Gloaming Deliver Powerful Performance in Galway – July 25, 2016, The Irish Times
“Tonight, though, in a big top pitched by the river in the middle of Galway, the show comes together with a sort of carefree ease which you can’t set up or manipulate because it has to be in the stitching and fabric to begin with. At this stage of the curve, with all the shows the five have played together and those two albums under their collective oxter to map where those lines and routes are going, there’s a hip to hip and shoulder to shoulder understanding about what’s going on. When those looks are thrown left and right on the stage, it’s time to strap yourself in.”
'The Gloaming 2' Ranked 5th Best Album of 2016 So Far – June 28, 2016, The Irish Times
“Powerful, rich and deeply textured new adventures in traditional music from the famous five. A second album which leaps and jumps further out into the wilds.”
A full concert from a recent sold-out show in Dublin from The Gloaming on The Rolling Wave Show — May 29 & June 5, 2016, broadcast by RTE Radio
The Gloaming: The Gloaming 2 Review – April 19, 2016, Paste Magazine
“A synthesis of traditional Irish music and post-rock, The Gloaming’s second album is a tour de force of this unique and fascinating combination. Although the lyrics are entirely in Gaelic, their melodic content translates into a language universally understood.”
Past St. Patrick's Day: The Gloaming Rearranges Irish Tradition - March 23, 2016
The Guardian: The Gloaming: 2 review – exquisite, powerful performances - February 25, 2016
The Gloaming: The Gloaming 2 album review - 'They justify trad supergroup tag' - February 25, 2016
"This new 12-track collection takes things to a higher level."
Irish Times: Album of the Week - The Gloaming 2: a richly textured thing of beauty - February 25, 2016
"Their debut carved a fresh swathe through a rich musical landscape, unencumbered by any notion of predestination. Now, with countless road miles tucked beneath their belts, The Gloaming have distilled their original musical ideas further, and what emerges is a deeply meditative and richly textured thing of beauty."
Folk Radio UK: The Gloaming: 2 – Featured Album Review - February 18, 2016
"SIn 2, The Gloaming meet and exceed the expectations encouraged by their debut. It’s another enthralling, captivating interpretation of Irish tradition. For some reason it’s all rather emotional – that emotion tends to be joy, frequently mixed with wonder."
Album Review: The Gloaming - The Gloaming 2 - February 17, 2016
"Stunning second album from traditional Irish supergroup."
The Guardian: The most unmissable culture of 2016 - January 4, 2016
"The Gloaming have become an international phenomenon, thanks to their virtuoso blend of Irish traditional influences and experimentation. They release their second album, as yet untitled, on Real World Records on 26 February, when they play London’s Union Chapel, followed by five concerts at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Tickets are already on sale for their UK tour, which begins at the Colston Hall in Bristol on 21 September."
The Gloaming, National Concert Hall, Dublin review: 'They deserve to be celebrated and cherished' - January 3, 2016
"The sound is pristine and so is the performance. Ó Lionáird haunting voice and Hayes' mercurial violin playing often take centre stage, but they all bring something extra special to the party. "
Irish Times: Get your 2016 on: Everything you need to know - January 2, 2016
"The biggest Irish album of 2016 will arrive in February. That will be the second release from trad supergroup The Gloaming, whose debut in 2014 was a huge success. The album was recorded in Real World Studios last month and it will be interesting to hear the band’s new shapes and structures."
2014 Meteor Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year - March 5, 2015
The Gloaming have on the Meteor Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year 2014 for their self-entitled album.
The Gloaming Review: Exhilarating Folk from a Classy, Original Group - March 4, 2015
The Guardian reviews sold-out show at Barbican, London. "The Irish-American five-piece combine soulful ballads and fiddle work in an intense, emotional performance of largely new material."
2014 Meteor Choice Music Price Nomination - January 7, 2015
The Gloaming are nominated for best Irish album of the year.
Irish Times: On the Record's 50 Best Albums of 2014 - December 22, 2014
The Gloaming are listed at #1 and other projects from Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh also make the list.
Irish Times: The Ticket Awards - The Gloaming wins Best Band, Best Traditional Album - December 19, 2014
The Gloaming wins Best Band, Best Traditional Album, and is runner up in the Best Album and Best Irish Act categories.
The Guardian: Best Albums of 2014 - December 17, 2014
Writers Michael Hann and Robyn Denselow place The Gloaming on their top 10 albums of 2014.
Best Selling Album of 2014 at Tower Records Dublin - December 16, 2014
NPR's Best Global Music Of 2014 - December 13th, 2014
"Bands are too often hyped as supergroups, but The Gloaming is the real deal — and one that breaks free of the traditional boundaries of their genre…... In short, this is the rare album that might well transform the syntax of a whole style.” —Anastasia Tsioulcas
NPR Top 50 Albums of 2014 - December 8th, 2014
"There has never been an album quite like this, spare and textured, representing past and future as well as transcending all you may think you know about Irish music." —Bob Boilen
The Gloaming: Continuing Adventures of a Trad Fusion Supergroup - Aug 11th, 2014
From Mother Jones Magazine Contact: The Gloaming’s Unlikely Convergence: Martin Hayes and Thomas Bartlett on their multigenerational Irish-music powerhouse. By Jacob Blickenstaff The Gloaming is a collaboration of some of the most respected names in traditional Irish music.
Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill - http://www.martinhayes.com/
Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh - http://www.caoimhinoraghallaigh.com/
December 12, 2013
February 26, 2016