I've talked previously about a new genre of indie folk in it's infancy in Ireland by artists such as Henrietta Game, Arrow In The Sky, Joy Booth and you can add Rory Grubb to this list. Rory Grubb is one of a host of excellent Irish artists who have recently released new albums. Rory Grubb's second album "Sketches From The Big Sleep" was released last month.
In many ways I really like this album. I'm a massive fan of soundscapes and atmosphere in an album and 'Sketches...' has this in abundance. There's alot of variety on offer in terms of lenght of song, from multi-intrumental tunes to the acoustic and vocal songs. The lyrics are full of nature images with the sea and water being a central theme on songs like 'Pirates' and 'Keep Rising, Rising Tide'.
There is far more than just a nod to 1960's British Folk because at times the album feels like a lost Nick Drake classic that has just been discovered. This is mainly due to Rory's vocals sounding very similar to Nick Drake (not a negative point). At various stages the album is capable of transporting me to various physical locations as well as nearly dressing me in flares and adding flowers in my hair!
The album opener "I Saw You Go Out Fishing" and closer "Down To The Sea" are brimming with charm and are really great tunes. If the album on a whole had a little more charm and warmth I would easily describe 'Sketches ....' as the male equivalent to Lisa Hannigan's Sea Saw.
Sketches From The Big Sleep - 8 out of 12
After listening to the album many times I will have to see Rory play these songs live in the future!