I initially discovered Gráinne Holland not through an album but a gig. Her live set at Celtic Connections 2019 was a total wow, and she came across as just a wonderful person as well.
She was then promoting her third album, Corcra, her first with original material. It was as good as her gig, very colorful, varied and skillfully put together, with some truly great songs and lyrics.
And now she has come up with what she calls an album for children – she could have fooled me as there is musically nothing that to me sounds like ”music for kids”. Ceol na Sióg (”Music of Fairies”) is a theme album about nature, the songs are about owls, woods, squirrels, foxes, rivers…
The music is all acoustic and gentle but very, very far from the simplistic, condescending pap often sold as children’s music. Every song is an example of the inner strength and power that’s in so much of Celtic folk music. There’s no need to be loud if your heart and soul come across this clearly and speak to you.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable collection for all ages – and languages, too. If you don’t know any Irish, don’t worry, the online translator services will tell you what the song titles mean and you’re soon all set up and ready to go.
And yes, I have listened to this album when actually walking in our Finnish nature, and I can testify it goes so well together with all the trees and beasties of Nordic summer, it just made me very happy in that moment. Simple as that. As the best things often are.
Ceol na Sióg is available at Gráinne’s web site where you can choose between just the music and a package that includes an illustrated songbook.