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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Watch the Official Cecile Corbel Video Entendez-Vous -from the upcoming album La Fiancée

Watch the Official Cecile Corbel Video Entendez-Vous -from the upcoming album La Fiancée

Wow Cecile Corbel is back. This time with a new album called “La Fiancée.” As she states in her official website:

September’s here again !!!
I’m happy to announce that my new album “La Fiancée” will be released on October 6…
Can’t wait to share the Cd booklet and the songs with you !
Hope to see you soon
CC

I just saw the video called “Entendez Vous” and I got goosebumps. It’s so beautifully realized that you can tell she takes her Celtic influences seriously. I did see pictures of the shoot as I follow her Instagram account. It has images that could be telling us about her native Brittany. In a way it also looks Arthurian with the water nymphs, wood fairies and elves.

The music of Cecile Corbel has always been wrapped in mystery, mythology and medieval stylings.It has that continental appeal. Her sound will appeal to those who are fans of Enya, Moya Brennan, Loreena McKennitt and Connie Dover. Plus the album packaging is always excellent! Can’t wait to hear the entire album. It will be released through Polydor records.

La Fiancée

 

 

Notable Celtic releases III

While the world hangs on a balance, let’s take a break , have tea and listen to these greats.

az_B101749_Macalla_ClannadClannadMacalla. The album means ‘echo’ in Irish. 10 beautiful tracks that will truly bring the magic around . Moya Brennan’s haunting vocals is wrapped finely in silken instrumental arrangements. Tracks like Caislean Oir, Buachaill On Eirne, Northern Skyline and In a Lifetime which is a duet with U2’s Bono will really haunt you.

loreelementLoreena McKennittElemental. A debut album  of lush, introspective and simple arrangements from this Canadian singer-composer. It’s just her voice backed by the harp and few instruments. You can’t help but be moved by her rendition of She Moved through the Fair and Blacksmith. Stolen Child will bring out the airy fairy in you.

2d00b528640dcab912fe3363dd314d06DagdaUnderword. Trans, ambient and New Age. You have these styles fused into this truly captivating album by the Irish duo. The tracks progress seamlessly with washes of uillean pipes, Gregorian choral singing, female vocals and keyboards. If you have the itch to go on clubbing in an elves suit, then this is the album you must bring with you.

Denez_Prigent_-_Me_'Zalc'h_Ennon_Ur_Fulenn_Aour_-Denez PrigentMe Zalc h Ennon Ur Fulenn Aour. This is pure Breton music as the title suggests. If you want your tune mournful, haunting but at times punctuated with festive vibes then this one is for you.  You will expect the showcase of hurdy-gurdy, Breton pipes-the beniou and bombarde, techno beats and yes the Bagad .

416NPCK559L__SL500_AA240_Patrick Street : Live. Vigorous playing, tight arrangements and traditional materials. Patrick Street brings Dublin and the rest of Ireland into your living room. The tunes are catchy and upbeat and I could really sing to them. Yes the voice  of Andy Irvine  is something not to be missed.

0009ca5c_mediumNightnoiseAt the End of the Evening. The soul of the late Michael Ni Dhomhnaill will live on in this timeless collection of haunting melodies, lush harmonies and beautiful instrumental arrangements. Snow on a High Ground is a classic!

Notable Celtic Releases List II

Halloween is near and what better way to greet the Celtic New Year? Here are some notable releases from where we last left off..

Clannad-Fuaim

This sixth album by Clannad if a transition between their older sound which they are known for in the 70s into a more layered synth flavoured work. Moya Brennan’s vocals are beautifully recorded  here.fuaim2 Nicky Ryan who now is with Enya produced this wonderful album. It also features the young Enya as Eithne Ní Bhronáin  in percussion, keyboards and vocals. 11 tracks of acoustic folk, rock and jazz bliss. The listening is further spiced with instruments such as the saxophone, electric guitar and clarinet among other instruments. Check it out here.

Cara Dillon-After the Morning 7266920

As a lark in the air, Cara Dillon’s voice has the vulnerability of a true balladeer. Her covers of traditional materials as well as original works are truly worth hearing. Born in Londonderry Northern Ireland, the area is steeped in traditional Irish music which sparked her interest at an early age. Listen to Never in a Million Years and This Time. More info here. You can also check out her Myspace page.

Capercaillie-Cascade 1195906488_capercaillie-cascade

Cascade is the debut album by this Scottish folk/rock band  released in 1984. This features Karen Matheson’s young heavenly voice. Highly energetic and unmistakably haunting. Cascade marks Scottish landscapes and history embellished by traditional instruments .Check out the samples here.

Ceredwen-O’r Mabinogi: Legends of the Celts 41NEKF3BMGL._SL500_AA240_

Layered female vocals washed in drum loops and electronic beats, O’r Mabinogi is the first album by dou Renee Gray, Andrew Fryer. Based in Wales all the tracks are sung in Welsh and used Celtic myths as a source of material in research. Sound samples here. Special thanks to my friend Bray from South Carolina for giving me the album which I have been looking for since the early part of this decade.

Planxty-Planxty(Also known as the black album) 41siw7GNIoL._SL500_AA240_

This album is a must for the so-called Celtic music collectors. Original members Christy Moore and Donal Lunny  pursued successful solo careers. The album is released in 1973 and has an excellent audio quality. The track The Blacksmith has also been covered by Loreena Mckennitt in her album Elemental. More of Planxty here.