Goítse – Úr review: Folk quintet shine on fourth album
The road and all its picaresque adventures are stitched into the fabric of Goítse’s fourth album, Úr, which has one ear cocked to the present and the other keenly trained on what came before.
The band’s reputation for high octane, tightly wound arrangements is copper-fastened by this collection, but it’s their own compositional flourishes, along with their refined skill for melding old and new that proves to be their particular strength here.
Goítse’s take on the Goodman tune, Siobháinín Seo, is beautifully buoyant while fragile as cut glass, while singer and fiddle player, Áine McGeeney bestows a sweet but never saccharine tone to the tale of the Irish Republican, Henry Joy (McCracken) that warrants – and repays – repeated listening to get beyond its initial, somewhat jingoistic tenor.
As an ensemble, Goítse have upped their game, with Tadhg Ó Meachair’s piano accordion and piano picking inventive traces through Colm Phelan’s subtle bodhrán and percussion and Conal O’Kane’s imaginative guitar lines. The percussive energy of Alan Reid’s banjo and bouzouki serve to colour and shade with equal delicacy.
A thoughtful postcard from a quintet clearly in thrall of the journey rather than hurtling towards any destination.