Album review: GNOSS – The Light of the Moon

GNOSS - The Light of the Moon [Release date 07.05.21]

Gnoss originally formed as a duo in 2015 at Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, consisting of Aidan Moodie (vocals, guitar) and Graham Rorie (fiddle, mandolin), before being joined by Connor Sinclair (flute, whistles) and Craig Baxter (bodhrán, percussion). Gnoss have steadily made a name for themselves as originators of music steeped folk and tradition. For his album Gnoss have enlisted special guest Braebach’s James Lindsay on double bass.

The album also marks the first time all the songs have been written by the band. As Aidan Moodie notes: “The album was recorded at the end of a year that should have been filled with career highlights and instead became quite the opposite – and I think all the emotion connected with that was channelled into the creative process of the release and we pushed ourselves into new spaces musically”.

Instrumental opener ‘Gordon’s’ soon shows the band’s undoubted talents as the whistles, bodhrán, guitar and mandolin all weave together to create some magical folk. ‘The River’ has already been released as a lead track off the album and with its hypnotic melody is a shoe-in for radio airplay. One of those songs that has appeal outside the usual folk audience. What Mumford & Sons did so well until they went full on indie.

The sprightly ‘Good Crieff’ certainly gets the toes a tapping, whilst ‘Alistair & Katrina’s’ (Connor’s thank you to his parents for running him all over Scotland for piping practice!) starts of gently before reaching a frantic musical finale.

Aidan Moodie certainly has a strong, yet soothign vocal, as ‘Sun That Hugs The Ocean’ proves. One of the four songs on here to feature Moodie’s singing.

I am never ceased to be amazed by the number of talented young artists coming through on the folk scene, with Gnoss certainly leaping to the head of the pack with this delightful and enjoyable album. Now all we need is for live music to get back into its swing again to allow the band to get out and get their music heard for the enjoyment of many I am sure. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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