Slow Moving Clouds: Starfall review – experimental roots trio shoot for the stars

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Artist: Slow Moving Clouds
Genre: World Music
Label: People

Opening their collective gabháil to welcome influences from theatre and electronica into their already lateral-thinking take on Irish and Nordic traditional music, Slow Moving Clouds have raised the bar further on their second album, Starfall.

This is an album that unfurls organically with each successive outing, basking in a dreamlike delight in the pearls that lie beneath the surface of old and new tunes.

Cellist Kevin Murphy takes on a surprising and intriguing lead vocals role, singing in a language all his own. Word meanings are largely rendered redundant, with the trio of Murphy, fiddle player Danny Diamond and Norwegian nykelharpa player Aki happily preoccupied by mining highly atmospheric pieces composed for Michael Keegan Dolan's stunning production Loch na hEala.

Mesmerising in their spiralling patterns, with at times foreboding titles (Downfall of Paris), new compositions sit remarkably comfortably alongside traditional tunes such as Ash Plant, the latter a doffing of the cap to the sonic landscape of The Gloaming.


Released on Bon Iver and Bryce and Aaron Dessner's People platform, Slow Moving Clouds' viewfinder is firmly fixed on a wide horizon. A collection that oozes a musical curiosity that's all their own. World music at its finest.

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

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