Spiro's instruments (fiddle, acoustic guitar, mandolin, accordion) might suggest a straightforward, run-of-the-mill folk band, but don't let first impressions mislead you. While 'folk' isn’t quite a four-letter word to this British (West Country) quartet, it is merely the jumping-off point from which they explore hidden depths and pull inspiration from unexpected sources. The traditional influences are "enmeshed" into an elaborate, atmospheric or quietly stirring rhythmic style that makes use of the repeated phrases and patterns of systems music – though they never stay on one riff for long. There is no improvisation and no solo work; each piece has been meticulously worked out in advance, with melodies and riffs juggled between the different instruments. Spiro are that rarity: true English originals who create "the hallucinatory effect of trance, albeit trance with incredible vitality" (Financial Times). In the words of composer Max Richter: "Spiro's music defies categorization … brilliantly played and arranged, lyrical yet groovy, traditional yet contemporary, raucous yet tender."
"We've got as much to do with minimalist classical (the world of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Michael Nyman) and dance music as we have with folk," explains Spiro guitarist Jon Hunt. "Even though we use folk tunes, they're raw materials that the rest of the sound is built around." 'Built' is a judiciously chosen word, as the four-piece construct layers of sound that create a truly cinematic aural experience. As their gorgeous new Real World album Welcome Joy And Welcome Sorrow confirms, Spiro are an impatient bunch – ever moving, ever searching.