Luka Bloom

This New Morning Big Sky Records ****

This New MorningBig Sky Records ****

With each successive album, Luka Bloom digs deeper and gazes wider. This New Morning is a series of discrete episodes, some of them recounting seminal moments, and others attempting to capture those more elusive ones that flit in and out of consciousness. Here, lyrics are crucial, fingering subjects as disparate as Queen Elizabeth's wreath-laying athe Garden of Remembrance, Japanese stoicism in the face of natural disaster, economic servitude and the unadulterated joy of river swimming and cycling. Spare, attentive production accommodates vocals from Rita Connolly and Iarla Ó Lionáird, guitar from Steve Cooney, bodhrán and vocals from Dónal Lunny, banjo and mandolin from Dirk Powell, and surprisingly lush orchestration. Bloom is at his reflective best here: unforced and at times, characteristically playful. Only Your Little Wings falters beneath the weight of its own ambitions. Otherwise he is on top form.

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about traditional music and the wider arts