Listen to this: The Lost Brothers – Halfway Towards A Healing

The Lost Brothers are back with new album Halfway Towards A Healing
The Lost Brothers are back with new album Halfway Towards A Healing

THE fabulous Lost Brothers are back with another album of hushed, melodic/melancholic beauty.

However, as its title suggests, Halfway Towards a Healing finds superlative Irish songsmiths Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland adding a pinch of hope and humour to their now decade-seasoned acoustic guitars and close harmonies-powered heartache/break.

Recorded at Dust and Stone Studios in Tuscon, Arizona with ex-Giant Sand man Howe Gelb taking charge of 'vibes' and Gabriel Sullivan at the controls, there's a 'sand-blasted cowboy' style romance and regret to songs like the shuffling, croonsome title track, Come Tomorrow's cantering 'Nick Drake on horseback'-esque fingerpicked lament and the gently pining Where The Shadow Goes, the latter's mournful Mariachi-style horns perhaps reflecting the duo's close proximity to Mexico during recording (see also the Leonard Cohen/Fleetwood Mac-esque instrumental interlude, Reigns of Ruin).

While desolation and inertia are palpable in every shimmering note of the haunting Songs of Fire and the simmering break-up ballad Summer Rain, the bros' newly optimistic bent shines through on unabashed love song More Than I Can Comprehend (a co-write with Frames man Glen Hansard) and the uplifting fiddle 'n' strum of traveller's tune Iron Road, while the deadpan dark humour of album closer Ballad of A Lost Brother – on which Gelb provides a superbly dry, chuckle-inducing spoken word 'note to self' – is simply delicious.

Let the healing continue.

Read our interview with Lost Brother Oisin Leech about the album and their Valentine's night show at The Black Box in Belfast in next week's Scene.