Review: Tau & The Drones Of Praise ‘Misneach’

‘I am tree… you who would pass me by… and you would raise your hand against me…. remember that I am the heat of your heart on a cold dark night’ sings Seán Mulrooney on the opening song It Is Right To Give Drones And Praise. Ostensibly, it is a tree lecturing mortals on not disrespecting that which they depend on (wood is awesome!). It seems less like an environmental treatise and more like a Celtic pagan gospel service, and that very much seems to describe Tau & The Drones Of Praise’s latest effort Misneach.

Tau & The Drones Of Praise 'Misneach'

Irish-born/German-based Mulrooney’s style of world music-imbued psych rock is as pleasantly melodic as it is wonderfully weird, following a course of his own design. Misneach itself is an old Gaelic word meaning cheerfulness and optimism. Truth to be told, I’m all on board from that because if you plumb too deep into the depths of despair associated with more extreme music these days, you need a good record for spreading open the curtains to let the sunshine in.

The second track The Sixth Sun draws seemingly from a blend of Todd Rundgren’s oddball method and Roger Waters’ contemplative approach. Like the previous track, it benefits from a swelling and prominent backdrop of female vocals. Backup vocalists figure prominently on this album, adding a rich layer to the group’s already dense musical tapestry.

Backup vocalists figure prominently on this album, adding a rich layer to the group’s already dense musical tapestry…

Thunder Thunder Hummingbird is a pleasant melodic number that makes extensive use of strong vocal harmonies with acoustic guitar, while Ceol ón Chré is a driving Celtic neo-folk stomp with pronounced indigenous woodwinds. Indeed, while Tau & The Drones Of Praise have drawn influences from various parts of the world, the native Irish foundation is most prevalent on this album in comparison to previous releases.

The rollicking Bandia brings to mind the hippie side of ‘70s krautrock, while the gentle and pleasant Ériu somewhat deviates from the Celtic focus in favor of a sound reminiscent of Iron & Wine. Lastly, the closing track Hope seems like a love letter to The Byrds and other psych-folk acts of the late ‘60s.

Misneach is definitely one of the less sonically aggressive offerings of Tau & The Drones Of Praise, but it’s hardly a fault. It is a record meant to evoke good feelings in a world where the opposite feeling is often the norm. It will be interesting to see where Mulrooney and his drones take us on his next excursion.

Label: Glitterbeat Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Rob Walsh