Kila - Suas Sios (Kila Records) 
Kila - Suas Sios

Release Date: Out Now

Every now and again I get something sent to me to listen to that is so different, so unique and so stop-you-in-your-tracks-and-slap-you-about-the-face special that I have to just sit up and take notice. Irish collective Kila firmly fit in to that category and their latest album, Suas Sios (translated as Up Down), is full of energy, passion and more instruments than a Harley Street surgery. Opening with the title track, 'Suas Sios', the band set their stall out confidently with a tune full of frantic guitars, reeling fiddles and lyrics delivered at a hundred miles an hour. And we're off. 'Mac Lir' is a more pensive number with atmospheric melodies creating a misty, wistful atmosphere as various instruments intermingle in the early morning light. On 'Jigs' the band unleash an East European and North African influence with a superbly structured tune that makes me want to travel, dance, meet new people and generally engage more with the world - any song that has that impact in a little over four minutes is surely worth prescribing to anyone suffering depression or anxiety.

There are moments on the album where I have to step back slightly and 'Rachel Corrie' is one of those as, although it's a wonderful tune, there are moments when the pitch of the melody gets a little unbearable for my ears. 'Abair' is a return to form though with an assortment of strings being plucked, bowed and strummed to create an incredibly energetic and enchanting stack of melodies. 'Length Of Space' marks the midway point of this collection and the solitary guitar melody has a real Wild West feel to it before the thumping, rippling rhythms of the bodhran and wayward fiddles take this to a more mythical and mystical space. And then there is the intriguingly titled 'Mikar Dypnic's Transient Nights (In Adult Situations)' which is essentially a 95 second fiddle solo that doesn't pause for breath. How very prog. 'Am', on the other hand, is probably one of the more traditional sounding tracks on the album but is still utterly enthralling as the instrumentation layers up one sound at a time to create something far greater than the sum of its parts.

Kila - A truly talented bunch
The sombre acoustic tones that open up 'Skinheads' are soon augmented by a pure, sweet flute and then a gentle, rolling bodhran rhythm - all at a juxtaposition with the title of the song and the connotations. Suddenly the pace of the song quickens and, like a fight breaking out in a pub, you don't know where to look as instrumentation, melodies and rhythms fly in all directions at break neck speed but without ever putting a foot wrong. You see, Kila are all excellent musicians and whether you like the music they create or not you have to admire their ability. Much of this album is either instrumental or in Irish/Gaelic which makes 'Last Mile Home' as the only song sung in English but it still works wonderfully as the plucked notes create images of late night shadowness and the edginess of that walk home alone. The album closes on the atmospheric 'Fainne Or An Lae' which puts proceedings to rest in a particularly gentle and subdued way. As I said at the top, there is a special, unique and truly captivating quality to Kila that I would urge you to get involved with just to increase your horizons if nothing else.

More information:

Live Dates:

25th July - Folkfest, Killarney