Here We Go 1,2,3….
Celtic Folkicana Never Sounded Finer.
We don’t much like Folk Music much here at Rocking Magpie Towers; but we always make an acceptation for the Princess of Co. Kildare who now resides in Bonny Scotland….Miss Heidi Talbot.
This is her fifth album and unlike her previous discs seems to have a more ‘International and even Cosmopolitan flavour’ to it.
The title track Here We Go 1, 2, 3 opens the proceedings with Heidi’s beautiful voice being complimented by the lone drone of a harmonium (?) in the background before a couple more acoustic instruments including some pleasing fiddle playing, glide into the background to create a lo-fi haunting backing.
Heidi’s songwriting has always been ‘interesting’ none more so than the gently intense The Year That I Was Born; which features husband John McCusker on harmonies, is the first track to transcend her British/Irish Folk background, as it sounds like an intoxicating blend of Appalachian and Canadian hill music.
This interpretation of Natalie Merchant’s Motherland is as deep and dark as I’ve heard on a Heidi Talbot album; featuring some exquisite acoustic guitar picking in the background as the singer sounds like she is fighting back the tears as she pledges her love as a mournful trumpet plays in the background.
There are three songs here that I’ve become rather smitten with; first is Tell Me, Do You Ever Think Of Me? A story that will resonate with many of us in our more doleful and lonely moments.
Then there is Chelsea Piers; a co-write with Duke Special and a bright new direction for Ms. Talbot as she sounds like several of my favourite 70’s bedsit singer-songwriters.
But my choice for ‘favourite track’ has to go to A Song For Rose (will you remember me) written for her Mother and featuring her and her elder daughter singing a soft lullaby at the fade. It’s been that kind of year for me where songs like this reduce me to mush…..and I can’t resist pressing ‘repeat.’
For me this album is best listened to late at night, with the lights down low and either a strong cup of tea or an alcoholic drink to hand. As many of the songs sound very personal; intrusive even at times which is no surprise when you find out the 8 songs Heidi contributed were written at a time while she was pregnant, subsequently giving birth to a second daughter, helping build the studio the album was recorded in at the same time she was nursing her dying Mother. None of which actually makes for a sad album. Even the outwardly sad songs always have an uplifting edge to them somewhere, making them bittersweet and easy on the ear (and heart) which is why Heidi Talbot is a very rare talent that should be celebrated by a much wider audience.
Released September 23rd 2016