Don't Feed The Peacocks is a group of musicians that formed after meeting at the 2016-17 cohort of the ‘National Youth Folk Ensemble’ where they decided to form a group to explore a common passion for their music. That recently resulted in their self-titled album Don’t Feed The Peacocks which is truly fantastic.
The group who from their pictures are a very young group of musicians have no lack of technical chops. They play a mix of traditional, Celtic, folk and more that is delivered with orchestral strings, guitars, accordion, vocals and sax. The album bursts with emotion from beginning to end in way that I found can only be accessed by humans playing actual instruments.
They open with “Lightning Epiphany” which had crackling Celtic energy to it. It’s dynamic, swift and they cover quite a lot of ground in under three minutes. The technical talent is not to be understated. “Barefoot” is a robust track and undeniable highlight. Female vocals take the lead but the instrumentation is gorgeous throughout with instruments like the accordion having their moments. On that note the track explores so much but never feels overfilled from the vocal harmonies to the fast and slick string work.
“Song For All Seasons” is such a beautiful song. The strings here tug at your heart in a visceral way that feels undeniable. “Little Sadie” goes the more traditional route with male vocals while “Minoorne Labajalg” is another lush, expansive instrumental track that showcases their talent.
“Glory In The Meeting House” has prominent horns which gives another flavor to their music. Their groove is infectious and actually something that you could dance to at points. The thing I found most fascinating is how they are able to shift mood and tone so seamlessly. They close with “Domhnall Nan Dun / Ille Bhig” which was a prefect way to cap off the album. It displays the range of instrumentation and emotion the band is able to capture.
On their Bandcamp page there is a blurb that says the band is “distressingly young.” I have quite a bit of years on them. All I can say is that there will most likely be a time when you are older and wish you had your youth. It comes fast and hard and there is no turning back the clock. In fact the clock just moves faster and faster. I mention this because it makes me happy to see musicians taking the time when they are young to learn how to play an instrument and write with other people rather than learning how to program a beat while sitting at a computer. Playing an actual instrument is becoming somewhat lost with production taking the reins. It’s an album like this that makes me excited as to what a younger generation can bring to the table.
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