Say Psych: Album Review: TAU – TAU and The Drones of Praise

TAU are back with their new LP TAU and The Drones of Praise which was released last week. It follows on from 2016’s debut TAU TAU TAU which was released on Fuzz Club Records.

TAU are steered by Sean Mulrooney but have an open-door policy for recording which has resulted in the capturing of some of the most unique and exciting collaborations possible during the course of the 10 days spent at Impression Studios Berlin last November. Co-produced by studio owner Robbie Moore, it incorporates the talents of many musical alchemists such as Afrofuturist legend Idris Ackamoor of The Pyramids, the pioneers of the present generation of Indian classical music, Lalitha and Nandini (aka the LN Sisters), and long-term collaborator Earl Harvin (Tindersticks).

After celebrating the first release in venues and festivals all over Europe, including coveted performances at Le Guess Who Festival, Liverpool Psych Fest and Levitation France as well as plays and recognition on BBC 6 with fans in Cerys Matthews and Tom Ravenscroft, TAU have matured their sound and intensified their focus on song structure, composition and methodology for getting ideas across to their audience. The LP leaps to life from its very first track, offering an empowering manifesto that lays their weapons on the table for all to see.

Opening with ‘It’s Already Written’, a chant inspired trance inducing number that has a relentless energy that doesn’t let up with an interesting array of instrumentation that is added to throughout. ‘Tonatiuh’ is much slower paced and builds in layers, from the painstakingly simple to the complex and diverse. There is a distinctly earthly feel to this track and a tribal dominance that is hard to master, yet TAU have it perfect. ‘Craw’ is a piece of esoteric folk that takes you back to Sean’s roots, his Irish accent striking piercing through the lyrics. ‘New Medicine’ has an almost shoegaze vibe about it, with lazy hazy guitar swirls where as ‘Erasitexnis’ channels Eastern influences, evoking imagery of Arabian bazaars and desert Bedouin retreats. ‘The Sturgeon’ opens with a mesmeric beat that sets the tone for the rest of the track, being the driving force before ‘Dance the Traps’ takes a step back to simplicity, with resonating piano before a form of stoner rock prevails and the track descends into noise. Concluding ‘The Seer’ offers a bit of all that has been before, with plucked folk elements, a psychedelic swathe running in the background and Eastern harmonies being hinted at.

This LP will undoubtedly confuse the hell out of some people, but that is where its beauty lies. It’s a complex offering that doesn’t conform to the normal boundaries. It’s not meant for the norm, it’s meant to be an oddity and should be appreciated as such.

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