Beoga - 'Carousel'

7/10

Until a few years ago, the Irish trad sound was rarely seen in the larger commercial scene, usually used as gimmick for artists who had seen their usual guise wear thin over the years. But ever since Ed Sheeran brought in Beoga to co-write his world-conquering hit singles 'Galway Girl' and 'Nancy Mulligan' for his '÷' album, the profile of the band and their subsequent sound has gone supernova in recent years, lending a whole new generation's ears to this most vibrant of sounds. And now it feels like collaborations have become their forte as they return with their glistening mini-album 'Carousel'.

Inviting in a host of guest contributors such as James Bay, Lissie, Foy Vance, Ryan McMullan and many more to aid in writing and performing on this new collection, 'Carousel' looks to find that happy middle ground between their traditional Irish folk aesthetic and a more radio-friendly approach to their direction. The result is this fresh and uplifting hybrid of the two normally opposed worlds, creating a record filled with euphoric overtones and some truly knee-slapping moments. And while fans of their earlier work may find this sound a tad jarring in places, Beoga still manage to create a release that never stops throwing up surprises.

Tracks like 'In A Rocket' and opener 'Make A Mark' remain very much the standout offerings on 'Carousel', while the Foy Vance featuring 'We're Blood' is still an idea that feels more out of place on here due to its almost dubstep-inspired build-up and breakdown. But nevertheless, this new collection mirrors the diversity of their back catalogue perfectly and shows that they are far from out of fresh and exciting concepts.

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