‘River Waiting’ from Connla - innovative composing reflecting the tradition(June 23, 2016)
From time to time a band follows up its debut release and utterly realises all expectations as to their future. This is so with Derry/ Armagh-based band Connla. Their debut was an EP packed with potential and left listeners, me included, wanting more. Their album, ‘River Waiting’ definitely delivers the ‘more’ it also showcases the talent that Connla have ‘on-tap’ and further releases their innovative composing skills while reflecting on the tradition that brought them to this point.
‘River Waiting’ showcases each band members’ skills bringing together an amalgam of harp, bodhran, Uilleann pipes, whistles, guitar, flute and voice to deliver originality and intrigue in equal measure. From the opening expression and invention Ciaran Carlin’s composition ‘Escaldàrium’ through Emer Mallon’s beautiful ‘The Enchanted’ to Paul Starrett’s emotive ‘For Doc’, their instrumentals are both fascinating and absorbing. Once again, Ciara McCafferty’s enchanting and appealingly fragile vocals bring life to their songs with ‘Moon and Stars’ and the emotive ‘River Waiting’, while Connla’s obvious musical interaction expresses through intricate pieces such as ‘Forty Pound Jeans’, ‘Blue Lagoon’ and ‘Iridescence’ ... hear this album once and you’re hooked.
Connla are, as before, Emer Mallon (harp) Ciara McCafferty (vocals, bodhran) Conor Mallon (Uilleann pipes, whistles) Paul Starrett (guitar) and Ciaran Carlin (whistles, flute) with guest musician Fintan Mulholland (percussion).
Review: Tim Carroll