Friday, 11 April 2008

GaelicFilles 2 (finally): Julie Fowlis

The National Mod theme is a bit out of date but I should probably finish it since I Julie Fowlis.

Julie has released two solo albums: Mar a tha mo chridhe (As My Heart Is) in 2005, and 2007's Cuilidh, and is a vocalist with the band Dóchas. As well as being known for her voice, she also plays the pipes, whistles and the oboe, and has won several awards including Best Gaelic Singer at the Scots Trad Music Awards, and the Best Folk Singer at the 2008 Radio 2 Awards.

The albums are a mixture of Gaelic song and instrumentals, with the emphasis on songs. Personally I found Cuilidh a very immediate listen, more so than Julie's debut; however, Mar a tha mo chridhe is a definite grower. I especially love "Ged a Sheol Mi Air M'aineol (Although I sailed to foreign countries)"- you will end up singing along to it, and the bodhran in it is fantastic.

It's hard to pick a favourite track from Cuilidh. "Mo Gruagach Dhonn (My Brown-haired Girl)" has some lovely mandolin from Chris Thile; It's the track that first made me go "wow" about Julie. " 'Ille Dhuinn, 'S Toigh Leam Thu (Brown Haired Lad, I'm Fond Of You)" is a beautiful, understated love song. The album's puirt-a-beul set will get anybody dancing.

I was lucky enough to go to Julie's gig at Celtic Connections in Glasgow in February; if you get the chance to see her, jump at it.

'Ged a Sheol Mi Air M'aineol' (mp3)
'Mo Gruagach Dhonn' (mp3)
' 'Ille Dhuinn, 'S Toigh Leam Thu' (mp3)
'Puirt-a-beul set' (mp3)
extra: Dóchas, 'A Mhairi Bhoideach' (from An Darna Umhail) (mp3)

official Julie Fowlis website (link)
official Dóchas website (link)


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