At home as much with the sounds of Catalonia and South America as they are with gypsy swing and Irish traditional music, NoCrows, now a six-piece, release the folk-flavoured Waiting for the Tide on 24 May. Founded in 2005 in Sligo pub Shoot the Crows, originally as a four piece, the band released At the Strand – Live in 2006 followed by Magpie two years later, and then On the Moon in 2010. Material for the new album was written following trips to Sligo bay’s Coney Island, a spot that also inspired the band’s bassist Eddie Lee’s jazz and traditional music composition The Barinthus Suite co-written with David Lyttle premiered last year.

With Eastern European gypsy influences part of the NoCrows sound partly courtesy of violinist/composer Oleg Ponomarev (known for his work with go-ahead world jazz outfit Yurodny) who has written two of the compositions here to add to the other band-written charts, Waterboys fiddler Steve Wickham pays tribute to Sligo itself on the superbly sentimental ‘Rainbow over Sligo’. The other members of No Crows besides Wickham, Ponomarev, and Lee, are the Mallorcan guitarist Felip Carbonell and Swiss cellist/mandolinist Anna Houston, with Sligo singer-songwriter Ray Coen coming fully on board to effect.

Opening charmingly with ‘The Pendulum’ a piece that gathers eventually opening out into a kind of a swung rumba. ‘Save the Corncrake’ begins with a rattly croak and is more like a traditional Irish reel led by persuasive violin while ‘(Blame it on) the Good Times’, one of the big songs of the album, is more a questing folk number with a strong melody: ‘The moon shines a pale light/I’ve got my shadow by my side/And tonight I feel all right’. Sharing ‘‘rhythm reel and rhyme’’ it’s a song about shared experience but with a certain sadness to it. ‘The Cosy Eye’ opens stealthily with softly falling pizzicato before guitar chord changes add some deft motion entering a traditional Irish soundspace, but one that’s more syncopated, the extra dots on the page jazz-simpático: a lovely intimate dance of a thing. ‘Fintan Waltz’ enters the world of antique gypsy swing more, there’s a jaunt to it the violin hurtling the tune into a distant time a little like the 1940s world of the quintet of the Hot Club of France. ‘Heyka’ has a strong eastern European feel to it while the big song, a homage to the town by the Garavogue under the spell of Knocknarea, ‘Rainbow over Sligo’, has a Chris Rea-like quality to it with its heart on sleeve immediacy the vocal raw and heartfelt: “There was no need to take a picture/It’s been sitting there for days/High above the skyline/all of Sligo Bay its stage.” Stephen Graham
NoCrows, above, play Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo on 24 May; Whelans, Dublin (25); Watergate theatre, Kilkenny (29); Ballina Arts Centre, Ballina (30); the Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon (5 June); and Monroe's, Galway (26 June)