FolkWords Reviews

‘Despite the Dark’ from RURA - intricate instrumentals and profound songs

(April 13, 2015)

Music offers an invocation to summon memory, conjure images or charm the soul, ‘Despite the Dark’ the second album from Scottish band RURA, does all that and more, through a construct of intricate instrumentals and profound songs. The term 'magical' is often applied to an album, in this case it’s accurate, for there is an alchemy at work throughout ‘Despite the Dark’ that spirits you away to reveal whatever enchantment you care to imagine. A despite the dark coversense of otherworldly fantasy moving towards haunting glimpses or an affecting involvement in human meanderings, the music and songs create powerful images that allow you into their existence, wherever you might to imagine them to be.

From the mysterious power and intense passion of the seven-minute progression through ‘Dark Reel’ to the deeply moving and lyrically evocative ’Weary Days’, there’s an immediate sense of latent energy waiting there to pull you into its presence. There’s also a manifestation of poise and authority to this album that’s driven by accomplished musicianship, expressive vocals, flawless composition and inspired production – all in all a supremely impressive, evocative album. Simply absorb the stirring emotion of sets like ‘The Smasher’ or ‘The Glorious ‘45’ or the poignant lyrics of ‘Between The Pines’ and the words of Robert Burns with ‘Cauld Wind Blast’. 

Wherever you start your journey with ‘Despite the Dark’ you’re riding a fluid river of music that induces you to join the flow. Go with it, you'll be glad you did

RURA are Steven Blake (pipes, whistles) Adam Brown (guitar, backing vocals) David Foley (bodhran, flute) Adam Holmes (vocals, guitar) and Jack Smedley (fiddle, backing vocals). ‘Despite the Dark’ releases on 27 April, 2015 – find out more here: www.RURA.co.uk

 Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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