- 01 May 19
The Hare's Lament expertly mixes old and new and gets better with each listen.
Doing your own thing can be a dangerous idea in the music business, but Carlow brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn have shown considerable singular vision on their second album The Hare’s Lament, a reworking of ten folk songs – some known, some less so – interpreted in their own inimitable way. This record feels ancient and contemporary all at once, as well it should, drawing from a well so deep to contain music from the songbook of Róise na nAmhrán as well as the modern Dublin folk scene.
From the opening chords of the ‘Bacach Shíol Andaí’ – sung in the most beautiful Gaelic by the duo – the scene is set for a record of such extraordinary attention to detail and restraint, it defies their relative youth compared to obvious pathfinders Andy Irvine, Planxty and latterly Lankum. Brían’s haunting take on the classic ‘Foggy Dew’ is perhaps the most accessible entry point for those whom folk music is not the usual tipple, but it’s on tracks such as ‘On Yonder Hill’, ‘Da mBeinn I mo Bhadoir’ and the ode to love lost, ‘I Courted A Wee Girl’, that the pair find their true voice.
Every note hangs, every chord hits, and as with everything worthwhile, The Hare’s Lament gets better with each listen. This work is a joy, the labour of two master craftsmen, who, far from finding some old folk songs and singing them, have paid due deference to tradition – and, in the process, made this music their very own.