07 January 2009


The Guggenheim Grotto
are from Ireland. Kevin May and Mick Lynch formed the band in 2003. They released an EP on their own, then added a third member, Shane Power, while recording their debut album, . . .Waltzing Alone.
Their first album was released in 2005 in Ireland, and lead to a sizable following in their homeland. While not as well known over here, they did make a splash when the album was released a year later.

Critical acclaim is putting it mildly. Both the music, and the packaging were incredibly well recieved, ending up on many critics best-of lists by the end of the year.
Now, more than two years later, and one man shorter, they're back with the follow up, Happy The Man. Released in Ireland a few months back, and available as a download elsewhere shortly after, it's finally getting its physical release in the States on January 27th.

Their style has changed a bit. The strong song writing and harmonies are still intact, but the new one has a bit of an electronic underbelly. Happily, those electronic elements don't overwhelm the heart of the music (like happened with, say,
New Model Army's Impurity).

With permission from their label, here's a few album tracks to give you a taster:

(all files expired)

Happy The Man: (buy)
The Guggenheim Grotto - track one I'm not giving you the song title on this one. Reason being, I first heard this song about a month ago and I think the title struck me as silly, and that negatively influenced me against the song. Not that it's a really bad title, just a bit silly. Having now heard the song in the context of the album, it's grown on me. So, I'm pulling a George Michael and saying Listen Without Prejudice.

The Guggenheim Grotto - "The Girl With the Cards"

A couple from the debut,
. . . Waltzing Alone: (buy)
The Guggenheim Grotto - "Rosanna"

The Guggenheim Grotto - "Vertigo"

Of course, I've got to get in a few rarities, too:

The Guggenheim Grotto - "The Universe is Laughing" Taken from the Tigers EP (buy)
The Guggenheim Grotto - "Told You So" (World Cafe Radio Session) Recorded live in the studio in November 2006. The full show can be heard here. The original version is on .
. .Waltzing Alone.
The Guggenheim Grotto - "An Dragun" This is an Irish language version of "The Dragon", which is on Happy the Man. My copy of this is fairly low quality. For a better sounding copy, you can pick up the
Ceol '08 compilation.
The Guggenheim Grotto - "One For Sorrow" From the first EP, A Lifetime In Heat.

The Guggenheim Grotto discography:

A Lifetime In Heat, 2003 (ep) - can be downloaded free from guggenheimgrotto.com
. . .Waltzing Alone, 2005 (buy)
Told You So,
2007 (buy) (ep)
, 2008 (buy) (ep)

Happy the Man
, 2008 (buy)

If you happen to live on the east coast, you can catch The Guggenheim Grotto playing this month:
World Cafe Live in Philadelphia for FREE every Tuesday in January
The Living Room in NYC for FREE every Wednesday in January
Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, M.A. every Thursday in January


peter said...

Great post, some nice rare tracks. I commented on the blog before telling you of my blog which has now changed to www.2uibestow.blogspot.com

DeadBilly said...

I've been to your blog(s) many times (downloading a Jack L track right now). Your new addy has been added to my blogrole. Thanks for dropping by.