Irish neo-trad four-piece Strings & Things are set to release their new single, “Fuaim Gathering.” It is the second single off of their upcoming album, The Unsolicited Dance.
The band are based in Tipperary and combine genres of rock, folk, pop, and trad to create their unique sound. For the past three years, they have travelled around Ireland, the UK and the US, entertaining audiences with their energetic live performances, a huge repertoire of traditional music, and thoughtful, innovative original music. The band consists of James O’Meara Ryan (guitar & vocals), Eoin Shelly (percussion & vocals), Sean Mongey (banjo, mandolin, whistle & backing vocals), and Eoin Salmon (bass).
Speaking of their new release Banjo player Sean says, “The tunes were inspired by a music festival being organized by some friends of ours that was set to take pace in Summer 2017. It was called Fuaim Gathering, and they spent months leading up to it preparing and building. On the morning of the festival, it was cancelled by authorities who cited the “Unsolicited Dance Act,” a bullshit law that regulates outdoor gatherings. To commemorate the festival that never was, I wrote these tunes.”
I have to be very honest and admit that when I realised I had to review a song void of lyrics, I wasn’t really expecting much. Thankfully, Strings and Things made life easy for me, as listening to their newest single ‘Fuaim Gathering’ left me pleasantly surprised! The track is a high energy one with a heavy focus on the banjo. The opening of the song is dark and melodic and sounds like something associated with Irish folklore. It’s the perfect release to come out now with Halloween coming up! It opens with a slow rhythm and a mixture of banjo, guitar and whistle which compliment each other perfectly.
It almost appears to be split into two parts as roughly half way through the four and a half minute track, a beat arrives below the ensemble that leads into an explosive second half full of fast, lively and wild sounds pieced together as one. Sean says, “The first half is reflective of building up to the festival all summer, building up bit by bit in a forest, building anticipation, all the preparations. The second half is reminiscent of the morning-of cancellation, and the mayhem it left for days after.” The track, despite the lack of lyrics, somehow manages to mirror Sean’s narrative of the events perfectly and you really do become lost in the music.
Strings and Things have opened my eyes to trad music, as it was never a genre I had any interest in previously but from this one release alone, they have definitely gained a new fan!
If you’d like to check out Fuaim Gathering, you can do so right here, right now!