The debut album from a Glasgow-based five-piece whose line-up contains current and former members of the folk groups Mànran, RURA, Talisk, Barrule, Cara, Mabon and The Lowground. Between them they have won a BBC Young Folk Award and several All-Britain/All-Ireland music trophies. They are: Mohsen Amini (concertina) from Glasgow; Ryan Murphy (uilleann pipes, flute, whistle) from Cork, Ireland; Tomás Callister (fiddle) and Adam Rhodes (bouzouki) from the Isle of Man; and Adam Brown (bodhrán, guitar) from Suffolk.

This diverse band originally met as teenagers through Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the Irish traditional music network that tutors young musicians throughout the British Isles, and is funded by the UK’s neighbouring EU-member state, the Republic of Ireland. It was through the annual Fleadh competitions organised by Comhaltas that Ímar first met each other.

The album contains traditional Irish, Manx and Newfoundland tunes, plus melodies composed by the band, arranged and played with virtuoso skill, and performed with razor-sharp precision by a tightly-unified ensemble. Try the wonderful L’Air Mignonne! The instrumental music-sets here have thrilling segues from tune to tune, creating that exhilarating ‘lift-off’ sensation that many bands aim for, but few achieve.

Paul Matheson