Plenty of Irish folk bands have found eager listeners on American soil over the years, beginning with the Chieftains and Clancy Brothers in the 60s and 70s. If Irish folk popularity had waned a bit in recent years, the 2007 Irish musical “Once,” and its resulting folk duo, the Swell Season, reindoctrinated audiences here in the States. So it’s no surprise that another duo of Dubliners, The Guggenheim Grotto, is riding a wave of success stateside as well.
The twosome is comprised of Mick Lynch and Kevin May, who create lush and euphoric folk pop with just a handful of stringed instruments, a keyboard and some pretty great vocal harmonies. “Her Beautiful Ideas” begins with marching beat and a funereal organ and then breaks into a soaring pop chorus of pulsing guitar and bubbling bass lines. Likewise, “Fee Da Da Dee” is a dreamy synth pop melody that harkens back to ‘80s dance floors. Sometimes complex, sometimes deceptively simple, The Guggenheim Grotto’s arrangements are almost always infused with joy. If you’re seeking solace in a sad song, maybe put on the soundtrack to “Once.” Otherwise, we recommend spinning these guys – just make sure you clear some room to dance.