cua / Press

“So I’ve stopped wondering and now simply enjoy Songs of the Hollow, an album of variety and of voices, of echoes and of influences, and of emotions and passions.”

“The point about anything that’s truly ‘different’ is finding that moment when unusual becomes singular rather than strange. The latest album from decidedly different band, cua (in addition to cua - songs of the hollowbeing atypical they’re averse to capital letters) is unlike anything else, indeed it’s reasonable to describe ‘songs of the hollow’ as unique. The instrumental blend is not that radical ... fiddle, guitar, bouzouki ... however the dynamic delivery of those instruments, minutiae of melody, arrangements and three-part harmonies are uncompromising and innovative. There’s obvious folk music styling, beyond that is a mix of influence that interlaces, separates and coalesces to such an extent that you keep hearing snippets of genres from traditional to innovative, moving at such a pace it’s almost impossible to pin down. The more you listen the more you hear ... the roots of heritage, explosions of jazz with bluesy overtones, Eastern Europe mixed with American”

“Featuring four tracks, it starts with some resounding singing ahead of the deeply affecting instrumentation of “(and if) The Morning’s Alright”. Its poignancy is maintained by the soft and solemn serenade of the verse. The mood becomes a little merrier as the music picks up cheerfully for an uplifting chorus. The guitars and strings are extremely touching throughout, helping to forge an emotional but affable opening number. “Celebrate” takes off upon intense acoustic instrumentation, which sets an ominous ambience. This foreboding feel continues through a chilling harmony that stays sombre yet spirited as it sails forcefully forward. There’s a strong sense of urgency to the whole thing, causing it to have an effect that’s simultaneously exciting and unnerving. “No” is another portentous piece, packed full of traditional techniques and vivid vocals which cut deep. The acute guitars pierce persistently, while sobering strings relay more meaning than words ever could. ”

“Love the opening violins. Very professional sounding track. The instrumentation is superb. Superior to some pros even. Love this song, and would definitely buy it. It has an eclectic, interesting sound. Yet it all blends together perfectly.”

"I really like the 7/8 time, that meter really brings life to the track. The addition of guitar partway in is really in good taste and the building effect was appreciable. There is just a little bit of dissonance and it's done perfectly. The string player sounds very comfortable and it's quite enjoyable to listen to. I love the key change to harmonic minor! Really competent musicians, that much is immediately evident. The song travels, it moves, it doesn't just cycle over and over. The guitar brings the rhythm perfectly and the ending to the song is almost a joyous punchline. I wish I could hear it again, it was really a treat to listen to. Well done, I must say. Easily a ten."

“It is to the great respect of the duo that you cannot imagine any of their tracks working without either vocal, where appropriate, or instrument. Each element seems totally necessary.”

“music is a way of life.Its a universal language one of the greatest communication tools we have on the planet.”

“Its a busy time for the laois two-piece having put the finishing touches on their "Winter Tapes" album”