Album Review

This is an EP which features Tradconnect member Jacob McCauley, James M Law and Graeme McGillivray and introduces us to their new group called NUA. It consists of 4 tracks and is their first official release. Rooted in traditional Irish and Scottish music from a very young age they have applied a modern approach to the recording. What immediately stands out is the introduction of a single melody player, namely fiddle player James M Law with guitarist Graeme McGillivray and Jacob on bodhrán having to find new musical expression to fill out the sound. Time signatures and tune structure are also modern and inventive. With regard to the four tracks they are creative and incorporate structures that are different to the norm.

Fizzbuzz is a jig of sorts with a varied intro, strong chord progressions and a layer of bodhrán and guitar rhythms driving it on. Martin’s Yellow Tea Pot is the slower of the compositions and it is obvious that a lot of work has gone into the arrangement with the three instruments again laying down a rich tapestry of rhythms, beats and sounds. Marvellous. The Draw follows a reel time signature in the main but includes a mid section of beats and syncopation that finally meanders its way back to the main tune. The Hijack is an equally complicated but engrossing piece with fiddle leading and bodhrán and guitar working feverishly to create a polyrhythmic melody that links in with fiddle. It’s all inventive and ultra modern in its arrangement and reveals three musicians at the top of their creative game. This should also make for a very engaging live act so if they are near your neck of the woods, do check them out. A group that most definitely have something new to say.