Wednesday, 8 October 2014
Killer Opening Songs (Oganaich Uir a Rinn M' Fhagail by Julie Fowlis)
Killer Opening Songs knows exactly what it likes: lie-ins on Saturday mornings (and Sundays, too, but especially Saturdays), watching films at home as a family (although its choices have been restricted for the last couple of years. There is only so much Tarkovsky and Truffaut K.O.S.’s mucky pups are willing to put up with) and the feeling of the sea caressing its feet.
Killer Opening Songs also likes beautifully expressive singing. The type that unfolds slowly like a journey through mystic lands where the destination matters less than the journey itself. This mystic nature fits perfectly the oeuvre of Scottish singer Julie Fowlis. Since her debut album, Mar A Tha Mo Chridhe (As My Heart Is) she has been at the forefront of the revival of folk music in the UK in recent years. What sets Julie apart from many of her fellow folk musicians is the fact that she sings in Gaelic, plays the pipes, the whistles and delivers her songs with a precision that has more to do with Kate Bush than with the world of jigs and reels.
Julie’s debut album put her part of Scotland, the Outer Hebrides (usually thought of as a bleak landscape) on the UK musical map. Her record is a beguiling and at the same time upbeat offering. Part of that it’s due to the Killer Opening Song Oganaich Uir a Rinn M' Fhagail (Oh Noble Youth Who Has Left Me), a mesmerising and jolly melody that incorporates various traditional Celtic and non-Celtic instruments. Key to the success of the piece are the arrangements made by Julie’s husband and bouzouki player Eamon Doorley, mandolin player John Doyle and Julie herself.
Versatile instrumentalist, excellent arrange and expressive singer. It is no surprise that Julie’s artistic career goes from strength to strength. Her fifth album came out this year to wide acclaim, both from critics and audience alike. And K.O.S would like to believe that it all started back at the beginning, with a Killer Opening Song.
Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published on Sunday 12th October at 10am (GMT)