Tír na nÓg -
I Have Known Love

(Vinyl 2014, 17:51, Fruits De Mer Records Custacean 49)

The tracks:
  1- I Have Known Love(4:23)
  2- You in Yellow(3:08)
  3- The Angelus(4:35)
  4- I Pick Up Birds at Funerals(2:14)
  5- Andria (Bonus track that only appears on the promo CD)

Website      Fruits De Mer Records

The record company Fruits De Mer Records have some special releases in their catalog and this is one of them for sure. Tír na nÓg is a legendary folk duo consisting of Leo O'Kelly (guitars, bass, violin, tin whistle, vocals) and Sonny Condell (guitars, percussion, vocals). In 1970 they moved from Ireland to London, where they recorded three albums: Tír na nÓg (1971), A Tear And A Smile (1972) and Strong In The Sun (1973). They were considered to be one of the first progressive folk bands, along with artists like Nick Drake, Pentangle and Simon and Garfunkel. Their music mainly contains acoustic guitar, violin and close-harmony singing. They toured with, amongst others, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, The Who and Roxy Music. After the release of their third album they moved back to Ireland, and the band split up. From 1985 on there have been incidental reunions, where they played some live shows in Ireland and the UK, but a small tour in 2010 inspired them to play more often, and this EP now is the first new recording since 1973. Their three albums have recently been re-released through Esoteric Recordings.

The title track is a cover from Silver Apples' second album Contact (1969); not an obvious choice. Silver Apples was a duo from New York who made music, using some kind of electronic instrument built around nine audio oscillators and 68 manual controls. Tír na nÓg made an acoustic version of this song, giving it a completely different sound, but nevertheless they managed to capture the spirit of the original. The Angelus is based on the ringing of the Angelus on the Irish radio back in the 1960's and '70's, a time in which Ireland was politically, socially and culturally dominated by the catholic church. For some it is a sound of melancholy and memories of childhood, for others it is the sound of suppression and lack of freedom. 

I Have Known Love is released on vinyl only. Not on CD and not as a digital download, except for the promo CD. The music I heard on this release is very sober and melancholy.

*** Erik Gibbels (edited by Esther Ladiges)

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