She hails from a trad-playing family in the west of Ireland, but there is an international flavour to Síomha Brock's sound. Perhaps that's due to her years spent travelling in America, Canada and Mexico, or perhaps her time as a teenager in France, where she learned jazz guitar from "an Italian gypsy". Alongside her music being self-described as "cosmic jazz-tinged folk-rooted post-pop" and a debut album themed around "our collective oneness", your mind's eye may be conjuring the sound of Tibetan gongs ringing amid the waft of incense. In that case, leave your preconceptions at the door.
Recorded in Michigan and with members of Snarky Puppy and Vulfpeck among the contributors, this is a seriously accomplished and self-confident debut. Both of those bands apparently play a role in the snaky, unorthodox direction that this album takes. Based around a neo-soul core, songs mutate in a dreamlike manner to incorporate folk, willowy soul and languid jazz riffs, best heard on the poised experimentation of album centrepiece Mind Go Slow.
Síomha’s graceful voice keeps the ever-shifting template consistent throughout, whether she’s singing in Irish on the hazy tilt of Speir Rua or Craobhacha, fusing brass with keyboards and layered vocals on the title track, or adding colour to the atmospheric murmur of eerie closer Saol. It may make her sound difficult to classify, but it certainly keeps the listener on their toes.