Swear I'm not Paul: Album Review: An Taobh Tuathail Vol III

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Album Review: An Taobh Tuathail Vol III

An Taobh Tuathail is an RTE Radio na Gaeilge (RnaG) show, which is presented by Cian Ó Cíobháin, and is on Monday-Friday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. This is the third volume of their compilation series of albums, featuring the best music from the show.

RnaG wouldn't be a station I'd usually listen to, but their nightshift programming is excellent. They combine brilliant instrumentals with wonderful soft vocal-led tunes. This sort of variety is what makes the latest CD release worth owning.

Opening song 'Frozen Grass' from Loner Deluxe, is a sleepy instrumental song, easing the listener into the record. Vocals kick in on the second, 'Nightswimming' by Roshi featuring Pars Radio. I had not heard of Roshi before this release, but her vocals here are splendid. Think of a less twee Lisa Hannigan. Essie Jain's 'Haze' is a piano-led tune, which is beautifully sombre, but also marvellously inspiring.

There are local and international acts on the compilation, with appearances from Kilkenny's own R.S.A.G., as well as Animal Collective's 'Loch Raven'. 'Dwelling on the Past' is taken from R.S.A.G.'s splendid Organic Sampler, and fans of Animal Collective will know 'Loch Raven' from Feels.

Jacaszek's 'Walc' is probably the most out-there tune on here, with a brilliant syncopated beat, as well as glimpses of haunting vocals, which never quite appear. There are many highlights on this album, 'Able' by Them Use Them is a standout, as well as closer 'The Highway' from Peter and the Wolf.

If you've picked up this album and are wondering whether it's worth getting, it probably is. If you're a fan of any of the artists involved, you'll like it. Anyone who turned on Merriweather Post Pavilion on a regular basis will love this, and it'll probably turn you on to more great acts of a similar vein.

And I hope you'll be tuning in every night from now on too. 92-94FM, 102.6 FM, Sky channel 0166 and NTL channel 905.

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