Julie Fowlis's ascent to international stardom, putting Gaelic folk on the world music map, is evidence that a sublime voice transcends language and culture. This fourth studio album returns to her Hebridean home of North Uist (pop 1,254), its dozen songs including lullabies,Victorian poems, antique "mouth music" and folk tales of shape-shifting seals. There are a few jigs and reels, but the songs are the primary force, delivered in a voice as pure and elemental as a Hebridean seashore. The accompaniment, overseen by her partner, Eamon Doorley, is immaculate, especially the fiddles of folk quartet Rant on the touching lament Do Chalum. A bare but lovely creation.
Gach Sgeul (Every Story) – review
Neil Spencer is a writer and an astrologer for The Observer