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Cloudy Day Navigation


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Album Review

Very much an Irish folk band but hardly a traditional one, Grada is equally comfortable performing original neo-folk compositions, covers of songs by Suzanne Vega and Sonny Condell, and tunes from Britney alongside the traditional Celtic tunes (and traditional-sounding original tunes) which one might expect of them. In fact, the majority of the tunes presented on Cloudy Day Navigation are originals, and most are excellent — though the "Maria Letizia's" reel set bogs down a bit at the beginning and then truly unravels on the second tune, and "Red Civic" plods along a bit ponderously, everything else is exceptionally lovely. The group's swinging rendition of the Susan McKeown song "River" is one of the album's high points, as is the lovely "Twenty-One Foot Man," a beautiful reel that showcases some spectacular paired (or overdubbed) low whistles. The quiet and pensive "Natural Progression," a modern composition by Declan Folan, is another treat. Producer Trevor Hutchinson (of Lúnasa) gives the band a warm but clear sonic environment in which to work, and the accompanying DVD shows Grada playing brilliantly at the Temple Bar Music Center in Dublin. Highly recommended.


Genre: World

Years Active: '00s, '10s

It's definitely a compliment when an Irish folk band is said to be to its genre what Arcade Fire are to indie. But that's just part of the praise heaped on Gráda since their formation in 2001. The five-piece, which is made up of musicians not just from Ireland but also New Zealand, has undergone some lineup changes over the years, but remains true to its musical base, thanks to the core of bassist Andrew Laking and guitarist Gerry Paul, both of whom grew up in New Zealand. For the first few years,...
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Cloudy Day Navigation, Gráda
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