Boa Morte: Before There Was Air review – slow-burning alt-folk doesn’t come much smoother

Thu, Sep 26, 2019, 05:00


Before There Was Air

Boa Morte

Gare Du Nord Records


Cork’s Boa Morte formed a hint over 20 years ago, released a debut EP, 1998’s Passenger, Measure your Time, and then signed to US label Moodfood Records, then best known for having had Whiskeytown (Ryan Adams' pre-solo fame band) on its books.

With a debut album – Soon it Will Come Time to Face the World Outside – recorded and poised for release, music industry gremlins burrowed deep, interrupting the release of the record by several years. Career plans slowly ground to a halt.

In 2009, a second album, The Dial Waltz, was released, but it has taken another 10 years for a third to emerge. Being in no hurry, however, doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of focus, as Before There Was Air proves.

Building songs from gentle beginnings to hushed peaks is at the core here, and although it takes a while for the ear to run in parallel with the music, a few listens generates the required results. The fluidity of the music is key, of course, be it purely instrumental or as a comforting bed for vocals, and here the trickle of slow-burning alt-folk doesn’t come any more steady or smoother.