After Free One (2018), we now have This Too, the much awaited new album from the dazzling all-female Scottish ensemble. Can’t wait to find out what their third album will be called!
And waiting will probably be worth it because this new release is, in my opinion, even better than the debut that was so very good already. The band sounds more together here, the production is just a bit richer and fuller and the tunes are very, very strong, from the hilarous, showstopping time machine swirl of Period Drama to the heartfelt beauty of Bonobos.
And this is more than a bit surprising, considering This Too was made over a long period of lockdowns and isolation in 2020-21 in quite strange circumstances. The band themselves note that ”…we were able to find a way to record live with separation, but we sure had to adapt and learn to make that happen. Take whatever you want from the diversity of this album, we certainly felt a rollercoaster of emotions over these last two years.”
I don’t know – maybe it’s a per aspera ad astra thing: overcoming obstacles and difficulties like that can give you an extra edge and focus. That might explain why this sounds so together and tight, even more than their acclaimed debut. And there are moments of such energy on the album, one wonders if it isn’t the frustration of the isolation seeping into the music and energizing it.
Be that as it may, This Too proves that KQ are at the very cutting edge of the modern, innovative Celtic-based acoustic music, treading the borderline between folk and neoclassical and creating something new and excellent of the two worlds. Now, I will enjoy this and keep guessing what their third album will called…