By Shauna Golden
The Irish 6 piece live band Grouse are back with their third studio album ‘Oslo’, which was released in May of this year and certainly brings something different to the table for Irish music. The first two Grouse albums ‘We Want To Be Loved’ and ‘Heads’ were received well and the group have played many venues such as Electric Picnic and also their own headline shows.
The new album ‘Oslo’ contains tracks of dubby, electronic music similar to their old style, this time with jazz and hip hop influences present, fusing many genres together to amount to their own clear sound. The driving force of Grouse, Ronan Carroll, sees this concept of writing an album to be played live by a band as an amazing opportunity to put across the kind of styles he has came into contact with throughout the years and has used this album as an outlet that brings together his loops and samples into a more rigorous form.
The first track ‘Silence’, invites us in to listen and takes a slow and steady approach to introduce us to the album. Tracks like ‘Spinning Out Of Control’ and ‘Rich Vein Of Form’ demonstrate the influence that jazz has brought to the album; Carroll here infuses sample beats with a complementary trumpet that sound well together and add depth to the song. It’s tracks like this that have that kind of chilled out vibe to them that you can imagine hearing around the circuit of festivals throughout the Summer. ‘Taking Nothing Seriously’ has the sound of Grouse’s more typical sound of beats, guitars and electric pianos, while also incorporating more samples and musical passages than ever before. The album finishes up with ‘Aqua’, a truly soothing sounding song, full of tranquil and wonder.
‘Oslo’ as a whole has that hypnotic, trance like feel to it that on one hand would is nice to listen to as an album, but I have a feeling that the real beauty of Grouse is hearing these tracks live and getting the full impact of them. If you are into chilled out music and want some nice beats to listen to then this album is probably for you; download the album from bandcamp and keep an eye out for upcoming shows because they should definitely be worth attending.