Producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Seamus O’Muineachain came out with his sixth studio album “Isthmus” on October 1st this year. He hails from the coastal town of Belmullet in Ireland and has been regularly releasing music since 2012. After the successful release of his eight-track album “Different Time Zones” earlier this year, Seamus returns with another beautiful album filled with lush and ambient soundscapes. Featuring piano, synthesizers, guitars and strings, he delivers a truly captivating performance in the 10-track “Isthmus”.
“Isthmus” opens with a mellow guitar and piano-oriented track called Two Bays. Seamus sets a calm mood with soothing sounds that are all natural and mainly acoustic. Violin swells, guitar arps and subtle piano melodies fuse with the sound of flowing water beautifully here. Seamus gives us a peek into the ethereal world of “Isthmus” that is inspired by the vibe of rural Ireland.
Track two Lost Fishermen plays smoothly in continuation with the opening track. A somewhat upbeat piano riff introduces a dynamic violin section as the track progresses. Acoustic guitars mimic the initial melody, and everything seems to stay in line with the title of the track. Seamus is building up his story with the rising melodies here. I’m certain he’s got a lot of listeners hooked already!
Seamus introduces a light rhythm on Mouth of the Isthmus. I think he’s capturing the feel of the vibrant ecosystem of an Isthmus that has two large areas of water around it. The sounds of gushing waves merge with soft synthesizers and light piano melodies here; a very soothing composition.
Track four Conches showcases a solo piano performance that plays well in line with the album so far. Emotive melodies play on the soft-toned keys, evoking a sense of daydream or nostalgia. Seamus hits all the right notes on this one.
What’s great about this album is the minimal nature of all the instrumentation used. With just a piano to drive the feel of the track, Seamus continues to narrate his story through exquisite tones onSound. There is some uneasiness in the piano melodies here, and they settle down quite nicely as the track progresses. A mellow drum rhythm carries the newly found groove towards the end of the just almost three-and-a-half minute track Sound.
Halfway through “Isthmus”, Seamus begins with another piano-centric composition called Fields of Fog. He introduces a deep and dark string section that gives the track some weight. It seems very conversational as Seamus portrays a somewhat theatrical performance here.
We Went Beachcombing starts off in a playful mood with Seamus’s favourite soft-toned piano. The upbeat and lively melodies are a breath of fresh air following the tracks so far. With a duration of just under 90 seconds, the veteran composer shares another excellent track that fits in seamlessly with everything we’ve heard so far.
Seamus brings in a synth to begin track eight Almost an Island over sounds of water. This song has a lot more energy and is backed by a simple acoustic drum beat from the beginning. Etheral tones fill up the spacious soundscape and carry the piano tune extravagantly here. At 3:47, this is the longest track of “Isthmus” and with just two tracks to go, it already seems difficult to part ways with the album!
Meet Me at the Pier features a lovely piano melody, and it’s exactly what this album needed – intimacy. The warm tones on this track will make you forget everything you’ve heard so far! Close your eyes and dive deep into this one.
We reach the end of the dreamy “Isthmus” with the final track Haar. Almost orchestral, Haar’s melodies are emotive and really dynamic, just like waves. Seamus captures the beauty of the album by bringing in the sounds of water streams, nature and birds to set the mood. Piano and strings fuse beautifully with the ambience on this one; a fantastic end to this 10-track masterpiece!
Check out “Isthmus” by Seamus O’Muineachain on Spotify!