Ceol Review: Emma Langford Quiet Giant

Emma Langford Quiet Giant is a gift to music lovers

Emma Langford Quiet Giant

Emma Langford Quiet Giant is the brand new, debut album from the Limerick songstress. It’s an incredible offering of ten stunning tracks, each equally as beautiful as the next. We loved it so much so that in a Ceol Caint first, both Rachel and Lofty reviewed it below…

With a voice in equal parts angelic and seductive, Emma Langford woos us from the get go with her highly acclaimed debut album ‘Quiet Giant’. Emma’s journey has been fascinating to watch. How far she has come in such a short space of time is a testament to her hard work and determination. She’s a role model for all Irish musical talent as she has proven you can go as far as you want if you have what it takes…and she most certainly has it. Quiet Giant is proof of this.

A sweet opening with the album namesake track, Emma’s silky vocals combined with her quite brilliant lyrical prose give us a welcome introduction of what’s to come. The smooth ‘Sandman’ offers a gorgeous jazzy feel which would comfortably fit in any smokey blues/jazz bar

The newly released video for ‘Closed Book’ is track three on the album and is the first uptempo offering and another insight into Emma’s musical capabilities; there really is nothing she can’t do! The video itself is a fun look into Limerick City, watch it below.

“All You Want” is a completely stripped back stunning song and as she says herself in the opening verse “voice like velvet”. I find the opening lyric “there is nothing stunning about me, no illusions or delusions for the world” absolutely heart-wrenching. Having seen Emma perform this song I can verify it’s as breath-taking, if not more so, sung live. Lyrics such as “I have no GPS, no plans for this life” are simple genius. This song brings me to tears every time I listen, and I usually listen to it on repeat.

The album halfway point is ‘Bear This Child’, with powerful lyrics which keep the strength and flow of the album going. ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ further emphasising Emma’s captivating storytelling while ‘6 foot 4’ brings us back to the roaring 20’s a jazzy bop – a song worthy of a Charleston.

Onto track eight and the song which I’m singing repeatedly in the shower. ‘The Seduction of Eve’ is without a doubt one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. “I surrendered all to quickly to a man of many names, who had plotted excavations where my thoughts were, and I wondered now and then if things would ever be the same or if anything remained beyond the water” goes round and round my head like a big beautiful ear worm and one I’m thankful for. The song is so gentle yet so strong, if Emma never released another thing she can be rightly proud of creating this gem.

‘The Belle and the Ruin’ has that more traditional feel, true to Sean No’s and old Irish Ballads telling tales sang through the ages. The album ends on a high with the sublime ‘Tug O’ War’, an epic, feel good sing-a-long melody.

With a mature writing style, a celestial voice, an impressive album arrangement and determination like no other (not to mention being really sound!), it’s no surprise that Quiet Giant is as good as it is. Even more excitingly, it’s only the beginning for this Limerick musician.

Emma is a master craft wordsmith, what she has given us all is a pure gift and I for one am grateful.

-Rach x

 Lofty Reviews Emma Langford Quiet Giant

Emma Langford is a Limerick chanteuse who released her debut EP last year.  Now with Quiet Giantshe has delivered a highly polished debut album that builds on the promise she showed with that earlier release.

The first thing that grabs you about Langford is her voice which oozes class; its steeped in the traditions of some of the classic female singer-songwriters but with a contemporary sensibility and confidence all of her own. And the same could be said about the backing she receives throughout the record with gorgeous strings, stirring piano and measured percussion particularly to the fore on tracks such as the title track Quiet Giant, the sublime Bear This Childand the upbeat 6 Foot 4.

There are four tracks that have featured on previous releases but they have received the full makeover treatment by producers Graham Murphy & Chris OBrien which brings them to an altogether different level. Here Closed Bookis bursting with emotional urgency, All You Wantshines ever brighter and the melancholy of The Seduction of Eveis mined even deeper to impressive effect.

Much like Maria Doyle Kennedys album which I reviewed recently, Langford provides two powerful tracks to close out her album. ‘The Belle and Ruin’ is a dramatic narrative exploring love and heartbreak, set to a moody atmospheric soundtrack.

Uniquely enough it is closing track (the previously released) Tug OWarwhich provides the album highlight for this listener, it is a real triumph and its brilliant to see the development of the song from its initial inception as a rough spur-of-the-moment bedroom demo on YouTube to what amounts to an outstanding soulful showstopper in this latest incarnation.

With Quiet GiantEmma Langford has produced an impressive debut album that pays its dues to her musical influences while imbuing each fine composition with her own modern day take on the world and her place in it.
‘Quiet Giant’ is released on October 18th and is available for pre-order now via https://emmalangfordmusic.bandcamp.com and she plays Dolans on December 2nd with a full band show in the Warehouse, get your tickets now.

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