- 11 Dec 13
As Kíla frontman, Ronan O Snodaigh has taken trad in thrilling new directions. His latest solo LP, however, is a far more wistful affair
Ronan O Snodaigh reminds me of the weather-beaten islanders you see in turn-of the-century photographs from The Blaskets or the Aran Islands. Whether fronting Kíla or performing solo, he's a tousled, gravel-voiced ball of energy, an artist who honours the guiding principles of traditional music while riding them like a bucking steer.
Kíla have certainly been a force in keeping trad relevant over the last quarter century, tapping into other folk traditions from across the world and making them their own.
Admittedly, it has been a while since Kíla released a record. New songs have been committed to tape. However, they've yet to be mixed and mastered. O Snodaigh blames his perfectionist streak.
In the meantime, he's released a solo LP, Sos (Irish for ‘rest’). “Sometimes I find when I’m speaking in Irish, it means I forget about everything in English,” he says of the project. “It’s just a little bit of escapism. I wanted to make an album which was all as Gaeilge. I just imagined, with all the emigration starting, if I was bringing up kids in America, I’d want an album like this.”
The LP was made with a band who go by the moniker The Occasionals. They are: Pete PAMF on guitar, Steve Mogerly on double-bass, Nick Seymour on the regular bass and Conor Murray on drums. Liam O Maonlai does the occasional tinkle on keyboard.
“Sometimes you play music with somebody and if it’s happening you end up doing it for a few months and you go, ‘This is great, let’s just put a little work into this’. And that’s what we did.”