'Misneach' is a homecoming for Mulrooney, who, even as the arrangement of opener “It’s Right to Give Drones and Praise” seems to reference Screamadelica-era Primal Scream, establishes Ireland as the backdrop on which the songs are built. Mulrooney recently told Hot magazine that his return to Ireland from Berlin in 2019 found him "reconnecting to the magic, the mystery and the myth of Ireland ... I’m learning to play the fiddle. Trad and our old customs are new to me – but I feel an ancient recognition of them. For me, the great thing about traditional music is that it has to evolve. It's constantly evolving with respect to the authenticity of the origins, in a very natural way."
Heralded Irish folk troubadour Damien Dempsey and Pól Brennan from the legendary County Donegal band Clannad are just two of the more than 16 guests featured on the album. Engineer Robbie Moore calls it “adding to the party,” a process where an organic interwovenness is joyfully unleashed. But in the hands of Mulrooney – and the significant company he keeps – 'Misneach' is also the clearest and most live-sounding that Tau & the Drones of Praise have been yet. The songs are brimming with energy but are never overblown or melodramatic, even as grand ideas coincide with arrangements that, despite their depth, remain wholly unpretentious and earthed.
Cultures, languages and gods tie together. In terms of perspective, it can be no coincidence that the first words on 'Misneach' are “I am the tree,” and the last is “hope” in the song of the same name.
It is an album of ecstatic refrains and a search for wisdom. Wiry electricity and living ancestry.
In the same interview in Hot magazine Mulrooney noted: "We have so much knowledge here, and it's good to honor that, as well as the landscape and our sacred sites. With the wisdom of our ancestors at our back we can move forward. As John O'Donohue said, the ancestors are pulling boulders out of your way on your path – and you don't even realize it. They're always around. "
Quite a party, indeed. And the party is beautiful. Not blind to past woes – the trees in “It is Right to Give Drones and Praise” have of course been cut to build the Queen’s warships – but still daring to move forward towards joy. The party celebrates existence and connectedness. Experimentation and timelessness. The party is Misneach.