Lofty takes a look at the new Maria Doyle Kennedy album
The self-titled album from Maria Doyle Kennedy is a work of a confident artist which sees her questioning and challenging many of the injustices in the world and how we interact with each other in what are confusing and disturbing times.
Musically there is plenty of variety across the thirteen tracks, with diverse rhythms, textured electronica and orchestral elements all featuring. Each provides a perfect platform for Maria’s soulful voice which although central on each song never over-dominates, in fact one gets the feeling throughout that you’re engaged in an intimate conversation with her.
The production is unfussy but brings out the very best in each track, this is best illustrated on the album showpiece – ‘Pride’. Chosen as the lead release, it’s easy to see why; a simple but exceptionally evocative arrangement of guitar, voice and piano is further lifted with the introduction of some delicate synths, it’s beautifully understated and the message of tolerance strikes a highly emotional chord.
But there is quality right across the album whether it’s the powerful opener ‘Ladies of Bohane’, the passionate denouncement of the racial issues in the US on ‘Colour Code’, a treatise on valuing everyday on ‘Last Day’ or the repeated refrain of “let me tell you how I feel” over a spacey soundtrack on ‘All the Feels’.
And this is certainly not an album that goes softly into the night either with two of its most compelling compositions ‘Song For The Gone’ and ‘Word Anxiety’ closing out proceedings. It’s such an impressive conclusion to the album that you’re instantly compelled to press repeat and immerse yourself in it all over again.