Áine Tyrrell: Return to the Sea review – A psych-folk force

A move to Australia has opened Tyrrell up to rule-breaking exploration

Return to the Sea
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Artist: Áine Tyrrell
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Sixty Six Records

Based in Australia she may be, but the name of Áine Tyrrell should be reasonably familiar to anyone on the planet who has their ear cocked towards Irish folk and roots music.

Although her father, Seán Tyrrell, has flown the Irish folk flag for decades, it is only since she moved to Australia that her creative explorations have really mattered to her, giving her “permission to break the rules.”

Tyrrell’s new album draws on her Irish folk background (it was also written and recorded here) but there’s a strong sense of what you could reasonably describe as psychedelic Dreamtime running through the songs.

There might be varying styles on display – from the Mary Gauthier-influenced Whispers of Shame to the viciously dirty rock music of Born to Do This – but on a record Tyrrell terms her “call to arms”, she defiantly stakes a claim to ownership from start to finish.

That she is assisted throughout by the likes of Karl Odlum, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Liam Ó Maonlaí and Declan O'Rourke is a bonus, but the spine is all hers. A really good bolt from the blue.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture