The legendary Celtic band Clannad release their long awaited new album, Nádúr, on the ARC Music label worldwide on 23rd September 2013 (USA: 24th).
Nádúr (pronounced: Ned-dur) is the Gaelic word for Nature. It is a fitting title; the album sees the family band – siblings Moya, Ciarán and Pól Brennan and their twin uncles Noel and Pádraig Duggan – back together on record as the full original line-up for the first time since the 1989 album Past Present. Following Pól’s departure after that album, the band continued to release four highly successful albums – the last being the Grammy-winning album Landmarks in 1998. In an extended hiatus over the following decade, there was only the rare occasional performance.
In 2011, Clannad were invited to perform a series of concerts at Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral. With the intimate and historic nature of these shows, Pól was invited along to be part of the event. The concerts were a huge success and they were filmed and recorded for a DVD and CD which were released following airings on PBS in America. This event provided the catalyst for the five of them to start seriously considering a new album, but before entering the recording studio they decided to embark on an extensive tour across North America and Europe. This time together on the road helped shape the ideas they had for Nádúr.
"The fact that we'd toured quite extensively in the months leading up to recording really had an effect on the album,” says Moya Brennan. “Playing live across various countries gave us a really good indication of not just what we wanted from a new album but also what the audience out there wanted to hear. We feel this record touches on every aspect of our forty year career. Every track is different yet every track is pure Clannad"
Stand out tracks include Vellum, a song written about the Book of Kells, the ancient Celtic manuscript regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure; Brave Enough, which features a duet with eclectic Northern Irish musician Duke Special; TransAtlantic, including lyrics by the Irish author Colum McCann, based on his recent Booker Prize nominated novel of the same name; The Song In Your Heart, a beautiful contemporary song dedicated to the Brennan’s father; The Fishing Blues, an upbeat song about the plight of the Irish fishing industry, and Setanta, about the Irish mythological figure Cú Chulainn. So Nádúr, as with the band, is intrinsically and inseparably linked to Ireland. As has become Clannad’s trademark over the years, the album’s songs are a mix of those sung in English, and in the Gaelic language.
Indeed, Nádúr is a very natural progression to the Clannad sound, which since the 70s has been to fuse the traditional with the modern, the past and the future, with stunningly beautiful results.
As Colum McCann concludes in his beautiful liner notes for the album, “Clannad – the family – have taken the local and made it universal once again. Is é seo nádúr dhúchasach ...this is their inherent nature. It will always be so.”