TÉADA – Coiscéim Coiligh – As The Days Brighten (CEFCD218)

Coiscéim Coiligh - As The Days BrightenTéada have been together for twenty-one years and have recently released their sixth studio album Coiscéim Coiligh – As The Days Brighten. Amongst its claims to fame, the album includes the Irish-American actor (Oscar and Tony Award nominee), producer and musician John C Reilly joining regular vocalist Séamus Begley on the vocal for the track ‘Eileen Óg’.  Begley takes the vocal for a further three tracks and the remainder of the album is instrumental, both traditional tunes and new compositions within the structures of the tradition.

I forget where it was, but someone was on the radio recently playing a June Tabor track and quoting Tabor as saying that if the song is strong enough, it will live, even with a simple vocal (no need for quavering etc) and simple arrangement. The strength of Coiscéim Coiligh – As The Days Brighten is that it draws on the tradition …. and the strength of the tradition is that it draws on tunes and songs which are emotionally powerful and (comparatively) simple – it’s why they have lasted and been repeated many times over.

The title, Coiscéim Coiligh – As The Days Brighten, is explained by the band; it is a title for our times, “As the darkness of winter receded and the evening skies slowly brightened, older generations sometimes spoke of the day stretching by a rooster’s step – tá coiscéim coiligh ar an lá. Reclaimed from the night , the incremental lengthening of the days held promise of better times to come, of hopeful new beginnings….Now at last, as the days brighten, the world begins again.”

There are twelve tracks on the album; they cover Song, Reel, Slow Reel, Barndance, March and Hornpipe. They are beautifully sung; they are played on fiddle, button accordion, flute, guitar, bouzouki, bodhrán and keyboards.

Coiscéim Coiligh – As The Days Brighten is an album from the heart of the tradition. Even if that’s ‘not your thing’ give it a listen. Téada will make it your thing. The past is brought to life as a regenerative promise of the future.

Mike Wistow 

Artist’s website: https://teada.com

‘Reels: Greta’s Favourite/Grist for the Mill/Ríl Johnny Phádraig Pheter’ – live: