Starting in San Francisco as a studio project, Grouse has recently emerged as a highly impressive, Ireland-based, 6 piece live band.

The music of Grouse is atmospheric and cinematic, where guitars, violins and brass instruments blend with loops, samples and synthesizers.

It has been described as “spacey, hypnotic and chilled-out” (Hot Press), “surprisingly diverse” (Erasoul) and “delightfully quirky” (Golden Plec).

Over the years, Grouse main man, Ronan Carroll, has been involved in an eclectic array of musical styles. He was a touring guitar player for many years in the US and he has composed music for short film and television.

His debut under the name Grouse, however, represented a shift from his live music background. Arming himself with a home recording studio, he began to make beat-driven tracks, influenced by the dubby electronic music he was listening to at the time.

The first Grouse album, ‘We Want To Be Loved’, received positive press and, as streaming internet radio was beginning to take hold, unexpectedly found fans all over the globe.

For the next few years, Carroll pursued various musical interests and moved back to his home town of Dublin before returning to Grouse to release the ‘Heads’, album in late 2012.

The music on ‘Heads’ is similar in its downtempo feel to ‘We Want To Be Loved’ but the sound is more abstract, cinematic and almost entirely instrumental.

Containing almost no samples, Ronan played most of the instruments himself.

Dan Hegarty of RTÉ 2FM listed the album as “one of the best of the year” and John Diliberto of PRI show, ‘Echoes’ was another fan.

‘Heads Reworked’, an EP of ‘Heads’ remixes by Carroll himself and others appeared in April 2014.

Shortly after the release of the second album, Carroll merged his live music background with his studio work and formed the Grouse live band. After recording an RTÉ 2FM session, the band played its first gig at Dublin’s Camden Crawl in 2013.

Since then, they have gone on to grace many Irish festival stages including Electric Picnic, Castlepalooza and Vantastival as well as playing their own headline shows.

Featuring live drums, bass, brass, percussion, guitar, vocals and members from all corners of the world, the Grouse live band tends to create an epic sound suited to big festival stages as well as the city’s rock clubs.

Coming full circle, Carroll recently released his third Grouse album, ‘Oslo’. This time he reversed recent trends and produced a more sample heavy album. At least, that’s how it started. In many cases, the samples are hard to spot as Carroll adds the usual flurry of live instrumentation. This album has a more jazzy, instrumental hip-hop feel while sticking to the atmospheric, downtempo associated with the Grouse sound.

A follow-up EP, ‘Also’, consisting of two tracks from the Oslo sessions was released in 2019.

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