Album review: Daithí

Daithí - L.O.S.S. (Strange Brew Records)

Daithí. Photo:- Brendan Canty

Daithí. Photo:- Brendan Canty

INTROSPECTIVE, CONFESSIONAL songwriting is not an approach readily associated with electronic music, which tends mostly towards the austere and abstract on one side, or euphoric, Balearic, hedonism on the other.

Daithí however, has never approached electronica or dance in any usual way, drawing, as he does, from Irish trad and indie. On his recent EPs, he explored what it means to be Irish as a young person in the 21st century. These EPs were also his first steps away from his former wünderkind image and towards that of being an artist.

That transformation is complete on L.O.S.S., which also moves from the cultural-political to the more deeply personal as the album seeks to make sense of the end of a long relationship, and of loss in general.

It opens with arguably Daithí's greatest song to date - ‘Take The Wheel’, with vocals by Bell X1’s Paul Noonan. An ambient soundscape, full of echoing, ghostly, drones, it is underpinned by four gently shifting, rising, falling notes, over which Noonan muses on love and Jesus.

That ruminative nature suffuses the entire album, as does a sense of sadness - the pulse and hum of dance driven instrumental 'Nobody New Around You' seems bathed in a kind of sighing melancholy - but there is no trace of self pity. The thoughts and emotions expressed here are too generous for that, such as on 'Oranges', a break-up song by turns bitter, generous, and hurt, with an excellently judged vocal performance by Sinead White, her seeming wistfulness capturing the sense of loss and regret.

Irish trad is never too far away, check brilliant second track, 'Submarines', which finds electronic beats and trad Irtish flute co-existing very naturally.

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