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”

Album Review: Bonny Light Horseman

Songs and stories are passed down through history for multifarious reasons: to entertain us, to heal us, to warn us, to teach us how to live. Anais Mitchell’s musical Hadestown combined Greek myths and folk music in a way that showed how the past could speak directly to the modern world. Her new project Bonny Light Horseman offers traditional songs in a fresh but familiar way, wrapping the listener in a comfort blanket of melodic beauty. Continue reading “Album Review: Bonny Light Horseman”

Dolly Parton’s Discography: Burlap and Satin (1983)

1983 was a year that brought Dolly more crossover chart success thanks to her duet Islands in the Stream with Kenny Rogers. Her 25th solo album released in the same year, Burlap and Satin, in comparison did not contain any real classic or memorable hit songs. The title is an acknowledgement that there will always be two contrasting aspects to her music – and how best to balance pop and country is something she is obviously still struggling to reconcile at this point. This album reached number 5 in the country charts, a disappointment for her, although it did result in a Grammy nomination. Continue reading “Dolly Parton’s Discography: Burlap and Satin (1983)”

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