Album release: Iarla Ó Lionáird, Foxlight
Label: Real World Records
Release date: December 12 2012
"A melting pot of sublime pure-note singing and some of the most sky kissing melodies you’ll hear all year" - The Irish Times ****
"As always Iarla Ó Lionáird's voice is rich, compelling and nothing short of perfect" - Folk Radio *****
A thoughtful, intelligent and creative person, Iarla tends to begin work on fresh solo recordings when he has something new to say and Foxlight is no exception. This is only the third solo album from singer Iarla Ó Lionáird in fourteen years (the previous ones are The Seven Steps Of Mercy and Invisible Fields).
This release sees collaborations from illustrious artists across the UK, including recent Mercury Prize co-nominee Jon Hopkins. Leo Abrahams, guitarist and regular co-writer/producer to Brian Eno also appears on the album, as well as Planet Mu duo Geese and Leafcutter John.
The collaboration between Ireland’s leading traditional singer and this new and acclaimed generation of folktronica artists is bound to be exciting, but it is also a sublime and passionate affair. The kind of album that demands the listener takes the time to hear not only the 'surface' of the material but also dig beneath to the subtle pleasures that lie beneath. Make no mistake, this is no lightweight 'Celtic New Age' work but a set of substantial compositions and performances rooted deeply in folk, roots and world music genres. The album also introduces Iarla’s first song in English - Glistening Fields.
Though he has only made three solo albums to date, Iarla’s musical talent is constantly in demand. Recently he has toured with Moving Hearts, done reunion shows with Afro Celt Sound System, performed a sellout Irish tour with new project The Gloaming, toured with Martin Hayes' traditional flagship show Masters of Tradition, been involved in a new project with Gavin Bryars and recorded an acclaimed album with Donnachadh Dennehy on Nonesuch (garnering some rave UK press including a 5 star review in The Guardian).
His most recent adventure was performing at the Other Voices show at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, where he shared a bill with Laurie Anderson, The National, Glen Hansard and Martha Wainright. The show was MD’ed by Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman (Brassland) who is also involved alongside Iarla in The Gloaming.
For someone seen primarily as a ’traditional singer’, Iarla continues to regularly cross interesting boundaries. Foxlight could not be a better display of this.
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