Read on Goldflakepaint
Describing himself as a “drummer who decided to sing an album of songs which I sing with myself”, Sfumato (actually named Daithí Ó hÉignigh
– Sfumato is a painting technique used by Da Vinci), has created a
blissful, elegant album. Dodging between vibrant, joyous choruses and
soft ballad like moments, tinged with a delicate melancholy. It gently
winds its way into your brain,where it’ll quietly stay put.
The use of violins hints at folk influences, but avoids the trap that
many bands often fall into of using this as an excuse for a very
simple, basic (and boring) song structure. Instead, the strings add a
harsher edge to otherwise sweetly melodic moments. ‘Pound’ features some spectacular illustrative drumming, “pound goes my heart”
Ó hÉignigh sings, followed by a thumping beat that brings to mind Slow
Club’s latest record, with its distinctive drumming. Exquisite, soft
female vocals hide underneath O hEignigh’s own rich voice, occasionally coming to the foreground to great effect, such as on ‘Fly To Me’ and‘Song To Myself’
– which also features some truly sublime saxophone; a hint of smoky
jazz clubs and melancholy improvisation leaks in, fitting perfectly with
the carefully strummed guitar.
‘These Things Between stands out because
it’s a clever album. There’s almost always strong melodic interest and
it’s constantly surprising. Even the sampled crow noises at the
beginning of ‘Pound’ avoid sounding clichéd or ridiculous, instead somehow being exactly what is needed to ease out from the faster pace of ‘Fly To Me’. It’s an unusual album at points but certainly never even close to un-listenable, instead it becomes vibrant and exciting. Sfumato are certainly a band to keep an eye on.