One of the most exciting folk-based bands to emerge from Scotland in recent years, Rura returns with their feverishly-anticipated second album, Despite the Dark.
Rugged and hard-hitting, yet intricately disciplined, instrumentals sit alongside heartfelt, anthemic songs, in a masterpiece release from the Glasgow and Edinburgh-based five-piece.
Lead, looping melody lines from fiddler Jack Smedley and Steven Blake, on Highland pipes and whistle, are bolstered by a punch-packing rhythm section of bodhran and guitar from David Foley and Adam Brown – a powerful combination, matched by the earthy honesty of singer-songwriter Adam Holmes’ vocals.
Recorded by highly respected recording and live engineer, Andrea Gobbi, and produced by one of Scotland’s foremost multi-instrumentalists, Ali Hutton (Treacherous Orchestra, Old Blind Dogs) – the album is an all-round triumph.
The tone is established within the seven-and-a-half minute opening track, Dark Reel. Not only was it the band’s first arrangement of new material for the record, but it illustrates the band’s natural progression towards larger arrangements and heightened production levels.
Following tracks weave between similarly high octane sets, and songs – namely the stirring ‘Between the Pines’ – to the delicacy of ‘Cauld Wind Blast’, ‘The Lowground’ and ‘The Glorious 45′.
The intensity and suspension of closing number ‘The Lasher’ bookends nine tracks of powerful, whilst contrastingly stripped back, subtle arrangements of instrumental and vocal mastery, demonstrating the band’s musical maturity, and highlighting both an innate understanding of their chosen material, and unashamed joy in what they do.
Artists’ website: www.rura.co.uk
‘The Lasher’ – live at Celtic Connections:
Tour Dates – http://www.rura.co.uk/tour-dates/