Irish traditional music will forever hold a place in the hearts of Irish people. There is something about that genre of music that continues to excite and enthral people on this island. In recent years, Irish musicians have helped to bring it to the front of people’s minds again in the form of acts The Gloaming, Moxie, Daithí, and others. Another act to include in that conversation are the group formed in 2014 by renowned traditional percussionist Robbie Harris, Jiggy.
The group are considered one of the biggest trad groups in Ireland at the moment, and have developed a reputation for energetic and compelling live shows. The groups is comprising of seven members: Aoife Kelly (vocals and fiddle); Éamonn de Barra (flute); Éamonn Galldubh (uilleann pipes); Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin (vocals); Koushik Chandra Shekar (mridangam, dholak, konnakol, kanjira); Gary O’Brien (guitar); and Robbie Harris (bodhrán, percussion), and this mix of musical backgrounds is one of the things that make the band such a interesting and engaging listen.
The video for Silent Place would go on to gather over 35 million views and would bring the act to an even wider audience than before. The hype around the video would see the debut album by the band in 2017, Translate, go to number 1 in the charts in the United States, Poland, Australia, Canada, among others. It was a breakthrough moment for the band.
Last month, the group released their second full length album, Hypernova. It stands as another triumphant statement by the band.
As you listen to the album it is clear that Jiggy are an act who are trying to push the very boundaries that we recognise of trad music. Every song feels like a mix of different influences and ideas coming together, with themes familiar to Indian music often being heard in amongst the Irish trad. It makes for a compelling listen and causes the listener to realise that they are experiencing something a bit different to what else is out there.