Ye Vagabonds: Nine Waves review – a gently engaging follow-up

Ye Vagabonds: Nine Waves review – a gently engaging follow-up

As elsewhere across these isles, Irish folk is gathering momentum. Ye Vagabonds – brothers Diarmuid and Brían Mac Gloinn – boast a peer group that includes Lankum, Lisa O’Neill and Brigid Mae Power, all of whom are refurbishing tradition in deft, inspired ways. Here, the Carlow-born, Dublin-based Mac Gloinns set aside the Irish songs of The Hare’s Lament – their first album for Rough Trade offshoot River Lea, a label becoming a Hibernian force – in favour of traditional and original pieces sung in English. Irish-speaking Donegal, their mother’s home, is still powerfully present, though, on An Island, an evocation of Arranmore that recalls early Paul Simon, and Blue Is the Eye, an elegiac piece for a lost friend and fisherman. Sibling harmonies are at the heart of the Vagabonds’ …
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