Review of North Star a new album by Kyle Carey

Review of North Star a new album by Kyle Carey

Why a casual Celtic music fan would love North Star by singer/songwriter Kyle Carey-It has a universal appeal. 

Every album is a musical journey. The experience is always complete when one listens to all the tracks in the album (in the order they were recorded) instead shuffling.I think Kyle Carey has worked hard in recording every track in North Star. This is a follow -up to her highly acclaimed Monongah. Every nuance is given emphasis.

North star is a journey across continents. It has taken her to Scotland, in order to record the twelve tracks, each with its own story to tell. In the title track (Northern Star), she sings of how each point of light draws a constellation. Like the album itself, it is about seeing the bigger picture from the complexity of notes and melodies. We are part of each other. We are connected by this endless chain of histories. The album is a testament to the modern and ancient Celts. North Star Cover

Apart from the melodic merits, North Star has superb packaging and meticulous recording process.The music doesn’t intrude. Yes it draws you in because of the beautiful songs (this includes the instruments, the chords and yes the amazing voice of Kyle Carey). This is highly recommended for lovers of chill out pop and indie folk. Her sound has evolved. She blends Gaelic and English songs in this album seamlessly. Everything feels supple, organic and also healing.

The word north conjures many thoughts. One of them is the cold and quiet that an artist needs in the gestation period of his or her creativity. North Star is Polaris which has been embodied in a lot of myths. The fact that this album is produced by Seamus Egan proves that she is backed by stalwart talents.

North Star is one of the great releases of this decade. Everything works. Her vocals are more stretched and exploited as there are tracks where she lets those pipes loose. I love Sios Dhan An Abhainn. I got goose bumps listening to that song. It is my personal favorite. Across the Great Divide is also poignant and memorable.

And lastly…I love the album artwork. I think the images and overall design give justice to the feel of the album. Her persistence and professionalism has paid off. This started off as a crowdfunding project. This album proves that those who are passionate about this kind of music are out there! Now looking forward to the next album.

***

I among those fascinated by the music of Breton singer/songwriter Cecile Corbel. It has something more to do with the melodies in her songs than her vocals or arrangements. Although it is worth noting that her arrangements are superb as well! She’s one of those artists celebrating the beauty of Breton music(the other one is Nolwenn Leroy). I think these two artists are the best  in terms of putting out Celtic music with pop appeal. She continues to dazzle our imagination with her Arthurian concept.

This is a captivating song called Entendez-vous from  La Fiancée. Would you agree it’s beautiful in all aspects?

***

Celtic Colours Int’l Cape Breton, Canada

Celtic Colours continues to be an influential festival in North America. Great shows, fantastic artists and a wide array of genres (or colours). Here’s a Soundcloud sampler of music you get to hear when you attend the festival.

***

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Next, I will be writing about American group Soulsha: Afro-Celtic Funk, so watch out for this one.

Advertisements

The Enchanting Luascadh

Music of the elves…

We think of festive and loud sounds when we talk about the music of Brittany. This association is brought about by the popularity of the bombarde and the biniou. After looking further, I found this unique artist by the name of Alicia Ducout. She goes by the moniker Luascadh. Originally from Rennes, Bretagne, she tours around France with the medieval Celtic ensemble Gaimalis.

She mostly makes music using the harp. The vocals will delight you. It feels like the forest of the elves has suddenly opened up to draw one in. The music of Luascadh can be described as medieval Celtic. There is something hypnotic about the harp being played in such fashion. The sound it makes reminds me of the branches of trees that grow and surround you. She conjures images of fireflies dancing upon the leaves. When the sun sets and crickets start chirping their evening tune, it is time to play Luascadh.


http://www.myspace.com/luascadh

associated with

http://www.gaimalis.net

http://www.myspace.com/gayemalis

After studying drama at Lyon, and after 10 years of piano practice, I have evolved in several medieval ensembles, the journey opened the doors of Celtic civilization and ancient traditional music . .. These doors are engulfed  with wind and the breeze  and of the tale of the Celtic harp!-Luascadh

Marc Gunn’s Music Revolution

It’s a breeze for big record labels to push songs up the charts. They just open up their pocket books and wave a wad of cash around. Boom! They own the Celtic Top 10.

If you listen to the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast, you know that it’s not that big labels have better music, it’s that they have more money and expertise to promote the music they own. That is not the case for the indie Celtic musician… all we have is YOU!-Marc Gunn

I like Marc Gunn’s idea of breaking down the walls of major record labels. For musicians out there who might be having cold feet, this is the time to stop the hesitation and I’d say go for whatever musical ideas you have. Don’t be afraid to form a band or play solo, don’t be afraid to record and MOST of all don’t be shy to spread your music.

Talent is one thing but confidence is another. If we read the bios of famous bands or singers, we learned that they started like everyone else. They aren’t gods. U2 did not become U2 over night. So let us all start a music revolution and start recording whatever you got there. So get up, get on and get everyone involved. If you are a blogger and you are reading this, I hope this will help you start a chain of events in your community by helping out artists that you think deserve such attention.

Check this link out to learn about Marc Gunn’s Top of the Charts.

http://www.celticmusicpodcast.com/topthecharts/

***

Stetrice are a band from Nantes and they are making waves in the local scene right now. Time for giving these fellas a much wider audience.

www.stetrice.com.

If you have bands you want me to feature just email me and I will check them out.

Happy Breton Weekend

Some Breton music as the week goes to a close…

As weekend is here, I will be away from the Internet(I hope so but after getting a smart phone that would be hard to resist but still… ). I was trying to figure out what to post to cover my weekend of absence. I always make it a habit now to avoid checking even social networking sites like facebook or myspace. maybe I’d be with a nice book or be somewhere having an interesting conversation with someone at Bob’s Cafe. Whatever the case I will be away.

It’s usually important to detach oneself from the virtual world and enjoy the sunny outdoors-even for just two days! So what will I post here? I don’t have any interview with a Celtic musician yet…or album to review. And then it hit me. I have been posting videos from youtube on my facebook profile today. I have been inspired once again by the music of Brittany. So our ears point to the West of France this week 🙂

Take for instance this beautiful presentation with the music of Dan Ar Braz “Borders of Salt”….

More scenes with the band Tri-Yann..

 

Have a nice weekend!

Alan Stivell Releases New Album Emerald

I have listened to Brian Boru and Tri Martolod by Alan Stivell these past few days. What a surprise it has been to receive a letter from his website about Emerald , the new album. A coincidence! I would like to share the news to those who love Breton music and the talent of the one and only Alan Stivell. According to his official site:

It’s been almost 40 years since Alan Stivell released “Reflets” (Reflections), his first album featuring him singing. An Emerald anniversary, one could say. It’s definitely a return to the roots, a return to the violin and to folk-rock (“Chemins de terre”), much as he did with “Brian Boru”. But it’s also an album for 2010. It fuses electric and acoustic bagpipes – like his latest acoustic and electric harp prototypes – in musical arrangements that are as eclectic as they are original. Alan, the singer and the Breton of today: with his Gaelic, Anglo-Saxon, Indian or African influences and his very distinctive vocal and writing styles, he effortlessly blends Breton, French and English (along with Gaelic and Welsh). In addition, Alan wanted to present songs that were popular in the Brittany of yesteryear as well as in English-speaking and other Celtic countries … songs of his youth that are today forgotten. He brings them back to life and hopes others will love them too..

emerald

It is also in the chapter nostalgia that he invited the very beautiful Ensemble choral of the “bout du Monde” for “Mac Crimon” (a homage to Gwennole Ar Menn, Eliane Pronost, Roger Abjean, Paul Ladmirault and to Scotland).
He invited his stage musicians to join him on this disc, and also invited Dom Duff (song) for “Brittany’s” and “Tamm ha tamm”, Solenn Lefeuvre (song) for “Lusk”.
An album with much of emotion and festive.


Tracks

1 – BRITTANY’S – Ar bleizi mor – 5:56
2 – LUSK – Skye Boat Song – 4:08
3 – MARIONIG – 3:29
4 – TAMM HA TAMM – Rennes, Nantes & Brest – 3:16
5 – GAEL’S CALL – Glaoch na nGael – 6:07
6 – HARPLINN – 4:13
7 – GOADEC ROCK – 5:17
8 – EIBHLIN – Eileen A Roon – 6:52
9 – AQUARELLE – Er penn all d’al lanneg – 3:44
10 – AN HIRAÑ NOZ – Noël, espoir – Ar hyd y nos – 4:41
11 – MAC CRIMON (part I) – 2:23
11 – MAC CRIMON (part II) – 4:51
11 – MAC CRIMON (part III) – 2:58
Alan Stivell : vocals, harps, bagpipes, bombarde, flutes, percussion, synthesizers, piano, arrangements, production and composition.
Loumi Seveno : violins, alti, viele, bodhran (1,2,4,5,7,8,9).
Christope Peloil : alto (2).
Gaetan Grandjean : acoustic and electric guitar.
Nicolas Méheust : Hammond organ, melotron, piano and bass.
Marcus Camus : percussion, drums.
Iwan Ellien du Bagad Gwengamp : Scottish soldier drum (3).
Dom Duff : vocals (1,4).
Solenn Lefeuvre : vocals (2).
L’Ensemble choral du Bout du Monde directed by Christian Desbordes (11,12).
Samples of the tracks can be heard  when you go to the official site:

www.alan-stivell.com

www.alan-stivell.com/blog
Music of Brittany: Tri Martolod(With English Translation)

Music of Brittany: Tri Martolod(With English Translation)

Been a fan of Alan Stivell and I tried to learn this song by heart . I found the English translation to this by Bobby Bob and Ellan Vannin. However the beauty of this song really blooms through its native tongue. Breton language is fascinating to study. Too bad I am still struggling with my Irish Gaelic. The one on the video is from Arany Zoltán, a rising  singer/song writer from Hungary. Visit http://www.aranyzoltan.hu/ and  http://www.youtube.com/user/aranzoltan

The lyrics in Breton are –

Tri martolod yaouank tra la la la digatra
Tri martolod yaouank o vonet da veajiñ
O vonet da veajiñ ge, o vonet da veajiñ

Gant ‘n avel bet kaset tra la la la digatra
Gant ‘n avel bet kaset betek an Douar-Nevez
Betek an Douar-Nevez ge, betek an Douar-Nevez

E-kichen Meilh-ar-Wern tra la la la digatra
E-kichen Meilh-ar-Wern o deus moulhet o eorioù
O deus mouilhet o eorioù ge, o deus mouilhet o eorioù

Hag e-barzh ar veilh-se tra la la la digatra
Hag e-barzh ar veilh-se e oa ur servijourez
E oa ur servijouirez ge, e oa ur servijourez

Hag e c’houlenn ganin tra la la la digatra
Hag e c’houlenn ganin pelec’h hor boa konesañs
Pelec’h hor boa konesañs ge, pelec’h hor boa konesañs

E Naoned er marc’had tra la la la digatra
E Naoned er marc’had hor boa choazet ur walenn
Hor boa choazet ur walenn ge, hor boa choazet ur walenn

You can see that the structure of the song is quite repetitive, so the following attempt at a translation just tries to deal with the operative words in each verse – you’ll have to sort out the vocables for yourself.

In fact, you’ll probably have to sort out the meaning for yourself! I hesitate to attempt any Breton, not knowing how the grammar operates to any great extent.

However, by fumbling through my Breton dictionary, some sort of story seems to emerge – the nearer the end, the more hazy my attempts get, needless to say. Take it all with a pinch of salt!

Three young sailors went travelling

By means of a strong wind they were sent up to Newfoundland

In the vicinity of Meilh-ar-Wern (the mill on the marsh?) they set(?) their anchors

And inside that mill was a female servant

And she asked me where were our usual neighbours

In Nantes in the market our customary chosen circle

I hope you can find a Breton speaker to give you the proper thing.

Shoh slaynt – yec’hed mat,

Bobby Bob, Enez Manav

P.S.

I found this interesting wiki article about Celtic fusion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_fusion