Album of the Month
The prospect of an award from FolkWords is unlikely to ensure artists undying fame. It does however, recognise work that we consider outstanding and wave a flag for albums that we feel you should invest some of your hard earned beer tokens to acquire. We reflect on all the albums our reviewers cover each month and select an album to recognise as FolkWords 'Album of the Month’.
Previous album choices: 'Album of the Month Archive'
February 2018: ‘If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous' - Sarah McQuaid
A sense of expectation pervades the spirit when a Sarah McQuaid album arrives ... innovation, delicious vocals, emphastic lyrics, richness of observation and metaphor, and the ultimate revelation of an artist unafraid to pour her soul into her work. This time, with 'If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous', there’s a distinct feeling of minute examination and intimidating darkness, not overt but subtly looming in the background ... thought provoking rather than terrifying. The soundscape embraces immediately with the ominous title track ‘If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous’... deep in meaning with hovering sense of foreboding ... from there, the equally portentous and forbidding ‘Slow Decay’ continues more uncertain darkness, before a pulsating percussion enhances the reality of ‘One Sparrow Down’.
Complete with haunting piano and sonorous bass, ‘The Silence Above’ is haunting, a beautiful and ethereal experience, which leads neatly into a McQuaid live favourite ‘Forever Autumn’ and at the risk of upsetting Justin Hayward fans, possibly the most evocative rendition yet recorded, this slides neatly into a gorgeously arranged medieval Gregorian chant ‘Dies Irae’. There is so much to absorb, stunning instrumentals like ‘The Day Of Wrath, That Day’ and the gentle ‘New Beginnings’ plus heart-aching songs like ‘Time To Love’ complete with perfectly placed cello accents, and the inspired ‘Break Me Down’.
One notable strength of this album lies in the way successive tracks reinforce the previous, with a flow that is wholly contiguous, each in turn combining to build into a work of formidable passion.