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[indie-folk] (2020) Bróna McVittie - The Man in the Mountain [FLAC] [DarkAngie]

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Name:[indie-folk] (2020) Bróna McVittie - The Man in the Mountain [FLAC] [DarkAngie]
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(2020) Bróna McVittie - The Man in the Mountain



Review:
We often associate the harp with a kind of fey prettiness, as if its sound is the musical equivalent of filigree or lacework. As an object, a harp is a kind of signifier, conjuring up ambrosial imagery, femininity, a kind of classical purity. Bróna McVittie’s music can encapsulate all of these things. It can be pretty and delicate. She is capable of soothing passages, of notes that sound like falling water and pastoral dreams. But that is only half the story. McVittie is an avid experimentalist, willing to augment folky arrangements with passages of ultra-modern electronica, and able to jump from harp to guitar and back on a whim. She is a writer, a composer, and a producer. She is also a great collaborator, already well known for her work with The London Lasses and is highly attuned to the ways in which a wide range of musicians can contribute to her singular artistic vision. On her 2018 debut, We Are the Wildlife, was a concept-driven meditation on place. A mixture of self-written material and traditional song helped to create an astonishingly detailed portrait of a landscape and the musical heritage that it fosters. The Man in the Mountain is a more tightly focussed collection, relying more heavily on McVittie’s own songwriting. But it is also more expansive in terms of its artistry and its influences. The twin strands of experimental and popular music are woven together more tightly than ever. The first track, The Green Man (which appeared as a single earlier in the year), sees the flute and cello of long-term collaborators Anne Garner and Richard Curran play off against Myles Cochran’s steel guitar. The song has an ancient, pagan feel to it, but it also takes advantage of thoroughly modern ways of making art – its structure is unconventional in a slippery kind of way that fuses the ancient with the contemporary. It sounds like a kind of avant-garde magic rite. McVittie draws influence from country as well as folk music – she has spoken about her admiration for Dolly Parton – and Cochran’s steel guitar becomes one of the album’s calling cards, appearing on nine of its ten tracks. On the sweetly melodic Falling For Icarus, it stays mostly in the background, rubbing shoulders with the subtle, plinking electronics provided by experimental duo Isan (Anthony Ryan and Robin Saville). There are times when it resembles the folktronica of Beth Orton, but McVittie’s scope is greater, and she seems to be more in tune with the rhythms of the natural world. She is also more literary in her approach – various song titles make reference to Neruda, Wordsworth and Sassoon. A native of Northern Ireland, McVittie’s voice is clear and richly accented. This comes through most prominently on the softer songs like The Man in the Mountain, whose narrative bursts with the detail of myth and the specificity of place. On the album’s experimental high-point, The Lark in the Clear Air, that mesmerising voice floats back and forth between bittersweet snippets of trumpet. It is meditative without being soporific, a waking dream of a song. The trumpet is played by Arve Henriksen, a Norwegian composer working in the intersection of neoclassical, jazz and ambient who bases his playing style on the Japanese shakuhachi, a kind of bamboo flute. His sound is unique and breathtaking, somewhere between woodwind, brass and the human voice. Indeed, at some points, it’s difficult to tell where his playing ends and McVittie’s voice begins. As collaborations go, this one is absolutely inspired. McVittie’s mastery of many different musical forms has many benefits. It means, for example, that she can pace a song perfectly. With its eerily beautiful cut-up vocals, Secretly, Between The Shadow And The Soul unfolds with strange precision and evolves to a quietly ecstatic finale. So Be It When I Shall Grow Old’s base of cello and flute gives it the feel of languid, dreamy chamber pop, while its lyrics paint misty pictures of acorn-dotted paths and monkey puzzle trees. Eileen Aroon – which came out as a double A-side with The Green Man – is again decorated with Isan’s electronics, which, together with the plucked strings of McVittie’s harp, create a dappled effect, as if the song were bathed in its own light. The result is low-key, but spellbinding nonetheless. Eileen Aroon is a traditional song of great antiquity (possibly with roots in the fourteenth century) and has been sung by the likes of Bob Dylan and the Clancy Brothers, but it can rarely have been performed as sweetly and as confidently as this. In The Secret Garden alternates harp and cello, while McVittie’s voice extends and stretches over the top, holding notes and creating a tension that is evocative and strange. It seems like one of the most straightforward pieces here, but like many of these songs, it is undercut by electronic warbles that sound almost like glimpses into possible futures. This is an album full of understated ghosts and beguiling little visions, and Strange And Forgotten Things Of The Moor (the title is a nod to Tarka The Otter author Henry Williamson) is probably its most haunted moment. The harp takes centre stage, a melancholy will-o’-the-wisp, rising and disappearing and rising once more. It is the album’s only instrumental track and acts as a perfect showcase for McVittie’s melodic and interpretive playing. By contrast, final track When Glamour Obscured Her Gaze puts the voice very much front and centre, backing it up with composer Hutch Demouilpied’s stunning but restrained trumpet (another excellent collaborative coup). It perfectly caps off an album whose impressively varied nature is a sign of McVittie’s enviable confidence and wide-ranging talent. The Man In The Mountain’s predecessor was one of the best releases of 2018, but somehow Brona McVittie has surpassed herself. There is an added maturity, a new breadth of influence, and a creative control that sets this album apart. But she never loses the wide-eyed sense of wonder at the poetry of the natural world. If she set out to reflect that beauty and that wonder in music, she has succeeded admirably.





Tracklist:
01 - The Green Man
02 - Falling for Icarus
03 - The Man in the Mountain
04 - Secretly Between the Shadow and the Soul
05 - So Be It When I Shall Grow Old
06 - Eileen Aroon
07 - The Lark in the Clear Air
08 - In the Secret Garden
09 - Strange and Forgotten Things of the Moor
10 - When Glamour Hid Her Gaze


Media Report:
Genre: indie-folk
Format: FLAC
Format/Info: Free Lossless Audio Codec, 16-bit PCM
Bit rate mode: Variable
Channel(s): 2 channels
Sampling rate: 44.1 KHz
Bit depth: 16 bits
YouTube Video:
Category:FLAC
Language:English  English
Total Size:231.92 MB
Info Hash:FC761D76518769F9D5A3A9D8F4544CD551B9C9DD
Added By:DarkAngie Verified UploaderMusic Lover
Date Added:2020-09-17 03:56:17
Torrent Status:Torrent Verified


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