Quick Take album reviews: The Askew Sisters, MacDonald&Gamauf

The Askew Sisters continue their ”low-key but very intense” forays into the more shady forests of English folk. Enclosure is worthy of its name: a cosmos of it own, inhabited by songs mostly about various injustices, the minimal-yet-strangely-rich arrangements and the strong vocal performances by the sisters. As on their earlier albums, the overall mood … Continue reading Quick Take album reviews: The Askew Sisters, MacDonald&Gamauf

Quick Take Album Reviews: “Allt”, Fàrsan, Còig, Mary Ann Kennedy

This is a quick look at some albums I've listened to lately and wish to note for their quality even if I have nothing too insightful or clever to say about them 🙂 - The stellar Fowlis-Conway-Dooley-McIntyre ensemble released Allt almost a year ago already but only now it's really been on power play here. … Continue reading Quick Take Album Reviews: “Allt”, Fàrsan, Còig, Mary Ann Kennedy

Album Review / Eabhal: This Is How The Ladies Dance

I noticed Eabhal back in 2016 when I happened to hear their debut EP. It was a solid showing of potential in the field of Scottish trad, far from a beginner's first unsteady efforts. It took a while for a full album to appear but here it is, and well worth checking out. A casual … Continue reading Album Review / Eabhal: This Is How The Ladies Dance

Album Review / Gráinne Holland: Corcra

Corcra is Irish folk singer / singer-songwriter Gráinne Holland's third album. It both continues the natural evolution of its very good predecessors and brings in some new elements as well. Her songs have always been excellent: the ballads beautiful without being sappy or too ethereal, the ones with her band full-bodied without being too pop. … Continue reading Album Review / Gráinne Holland: Corcra

Retro Review / Ailie Robertson: Traditional Spirits (2016)

Ah, the Celtic Harp... Such a fragile sounding instrument; looks great but can you really use it as the central piece in a band context? Yes, you can. If you're Ailie Robertson, that is. Traditional Spirits is a great album for various reasons and I just mentioned one of them: the harp takes many roles here … Continue reading Retro Review / Ailie Robertson: Traditional Spirits (2016)

Retro Review: Aidan O’Rourke’s “Sirius” (2005) and “An Tobar” (2008)

When I started this website, I inevitably did - and constantly do - some backtracking and kind of musical fact-checking, listening to stuff I haven't returned to in a while. In that context, I said hi to Aidan O'Rourke's earlier stuff, as it had been a while since I'd listened to it. I have to … Continue reading Retro Review: Aidan O’Rourke’s “Sirius” (2005) and “An Tobar” (2008)

Album Review / Lau: Midnight And Closedown

I remember hearing Lau for the first time. It was almost trad but not quite; there was always an element that didn't belong in the trad paradigm. It was full of energy and exciting and the playing was blindingly good. At the time I didn't know the lineup; a bit later I did and went … Continue reading Album Review / Lau: Midnight And Closedown

Album Review / Dowally: Somewhere

I had the pleasure to see the Edinburgh-based trio's 20-minute very solid show at this year's Celtic Connections' Danny Kyle Open Stage. The show sent them to the Open Stage finalists and, consequently, to appear as support to a major artist in CC2020. And I just like this soooo much... The band's website says that … Continue reading Album Review / Dowally: Somewhere