Seamus O’Muineachain – ‘Isthmus’

Photo Credit: Colin McAndrew

Stirring with its gentle ambient spaciousness, Isthmus is the sixth album from Irish composer and producer Seamus O’Muineachain. Full of beautiful piano-based compositions, the release serves as “a sonic exploration of his hometown, Belmullet, on the remote isthmus of the mullet peninsula.”

There’s an immediate charm to the album’s scenic and lush composure. One example, “Lost Fishermen” consumes with its tranquil yet captivating development. The trickling piano and steady string-laden accompaniment evokes a sun rising over the sea; the frolicking notes play with anticipation amidst the gentle pulses underlying. A scene-setter for the album’s atmospheric delights, “Lost Fishermen” rewards with its illuminating tones and gentle ruminations.

Many of the album’s tracks are fit for relaxation and contemplation, such as “Mouth of the Isthmus,” whose serene textures and keys resemble walking alongside a riverbank at dawn. Similarly achieving water-based tranquility, “Almost an Island” adds an extra rain-trickle in its soundscape over a serenely escalating piano line. A lush, jazzy percussive entry past the one-minute turn adds a soothing, meditative quality that persists beautifully throughout the track’s remainder.

Isthmus is a beautiful album clearly inspired by the beautiful experiences of the artist’s hometown. “I’m a stone’s throw from the shore here, and when I go for my daily walk I’m constantly mapping the peaks and dips of Achill, Croagh Patrick, and Nephin on the horizon,” he says. Isthmus captures such experiences in alluring audible form.

Stream the album:

“Lost Fishermen” and others featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of October 2022’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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