Ye Vagabonds release their second album for Rough Trade’s River Lea label on May 13th.
Nine Waves was recorded in the Dublin Mountains at Hellfire Studios, produced by John ‘Spud’ Murphy (whose previous work includes records by black midi, Lankum and caroline). The album features 11 tracks of both traditional and original songs and tunes.
Nine Waves follows the duo’s standalone single I’m A Rover, which won them an RTE Radio One Folk Award for Best Traditional Folk Track. Ye Vagabonds were also named Best Folk Group for the second time at the 2021 ceremony, where they hold the record for most awarded artists.
The brotherly harmonies and multi-instrumental abilities of Diarmuid and Brían Mac Gloinn were joined on Nine Waves by Kate Ellis (cello) and Caimin Gilmore (double bass), both members of the Irish contemporary classical group Crash Ensemble, and Ryan Hargadon (Anna Mieke, Rachael Lavelle, Kojaque) on piano and saxophone. The record also features concertina from Cormac Begley, and harmonium from regular touring member of Ye Vagabonds, Alain McFadden.
The first single to be taken from the album is Blue Is The Eye, of which Brían explains:
“This song started as a poem I wrote for an old friend on Arranmore who passed away in late 2020. He used to bring me out fishing as a kid, and later when I got into singing we bonded over songs even more. When he was younger he knew Róise Rua, a well-known singer from the island. He often told me of when he used to visit her, and how she would give him a coal from the fire to light his way home at night. In his last few years he would sit and watch boats come and go across the bay all day. We’d always be happily aware of his eyes on us when we’d be out on the sea. The week he died, his son Jerry took myself and Diarmuid out fishing, and we half-wondered if he was watching still. A minke whale breeched next to our boat that afternoon.”
Stream ‘Blue Is The Eye’: https://ffm.to/blueistheeye
Ye Vagabonds premiered the song on The Tommy Tiernan Show RTE One last month. Watch the live performance here:
Ye Vagabonds will be touring throughout Europe, the UK and the US in 2022. They headline Vicar St, Dublin, Thursday 9th June. Tickets are available from yevagabonds.com.
Nine Waves is the sixth album to be released by River Lea (run by Geoff Travis, Jeannette Lee and Tim Chipping) following records by Lisa O’Neill, Brìghde Chaimbeul, John Francis Flynn, a compilation of Irish music from the archives compiled by Lankum’s Ian Lynch, and Ye Vagabond’s previous album The Hare’s Lament which was described as “A labyrinthine treasure trove” by The Irish Times, “A beautifully heartfelt collection” by The Guardian, and “Joyous” by Uncut.
Pre-order Nine Waves: https://ffm.to/ninewaves
‘Nine Waves’ Album Track Listing:
Forthcoming Tour Dates:
2nd May – Brudenell, Leeds
3rd May – The King’s Arms, Manchester
4th May – Blue Arrow, Glasgow
5th May – Bodega, Nottingham
6th May – Temperance Cafe, Leamington Spa
7th May – King’s Place, London
9th May – The Greys, Brighton
10th May – The Redgrave Theatre, Bristol
11th May – Bluestone, Pembrokeshire
12th May – Liverpool Philharmonic, Liverpool
1st June – Fire In The Mountain (Wales)
9th June – Vicar St Dublin Launch Show
11th June – Hebden Bridge Folk Festival
Photo: Rich Gilligan