EP Review: Anoushka Shankar – Love Letters

Sitarist Anoushka Shankar began working on her new EP Love Letters after going through a particularly difficult time in her private life. The songs address the complex reality of dealing with her divorce and its emotional aftermath.

Shankar chose to work mainly with other women on this project, seeking solace from her female friendships. As she explained in a recent interview, “I really got to experience the way women show up for each other when crisis strikes. And, that’s really where this music came from — the shared experience of women, holding my hand and helping me find a safe place to put some of my feelings”. She works with an array of women on the album from guest singers to engineer Heba Kadry and illustrator Azeema Nur. Continue reading “EP Review: Anoushka Shankar – Love Letters”

Album Review: ALA.NI – ACCA

Everyone does their thing a little bit differently, ALA.NI sings on the seductive opening track of her new album ACCA. We last heard from her on the wonderful You and I album (which I reviewed a couple of years ago) and since then she has been experimenting further with the boundaries of her unique sound. This new album has been written and recorded almost entirely a cappella, with the vocal tracks then being layered to sound like instruments. The result is a dizzying mix of innovation that sounds spontaneous and utterly sparkling throughout. Continue reading “Album Review: ALA.NI – ACCA”

Album Review: The Lone Bellow – Half Moon Light

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to catch The Lone Bellow play as part of Celtic Connections Festival and needless to say I was completely blown away. The songs they played from their new album were some of the most deeply felt of the evening, celebrating the wonder of our complex humanity. So while I do think a band like this really have to be heard in real life to truly appreciate the power of their vocals, Half Moon Light tries for a softer approach with impressive musical results. Continue reading “Album Review: The Lone Bellow – Half Moon Light”

Album Review: The Haden Triplets – The Family Songbook

After appearing in Hadestown as The Fates, it’s fitting that the Haden Triplets are releasing their new record at the same time as Anaïs Mitchell’s new project Bonny Light Horseman. Like that album, The Family Songbook also takes old songs, passed down through generations of their musical family and reinterprets them in a uniquely different style. Continue reading “Album Review: The Haden Triplets – The Family Songbook”

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